Shoes/boots for winter

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Shoes/boots for winter

Postby A buzzz and a beer » Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:16 pm

So I live in iowa and am planning on at least playing some during the winter. I have snowboarding gear that will work for everything, EXCEPT for my feet.

I need to know what type of footwear to use for walking through a foot of snow and still being warm and comfortable.

do most people buy special boots? or do people just wear their normal hiking type shoes that people wear for disc golf?
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:23 pm

A buzzz and a beer wrote:So I live in iowa and am planning on at least playing some during the winter. I have snowboarding gear that will work for everything, EXCEPT for my feet.

I need to know what type of footwear to use for walking through a foot of snow and still being warm and comfortable.

do most people buy special boots? or do people just wear their normal hiking type shoes that people wear for disc golf?


You will see all manner of shoes/boots out there in the snow: sandals, running shoes, huge boots, snow shoes, waders, cross country skis, etc. Some players can only be comfortable if their feet are dry and toasty warm.

Except in extreme cold, like 10 below zero or worse, I don't really care if my feet are wet or cold. So long as I can keep moving, the cold and wet is tolerable and I opt for traction (ice cleats) and mobility ( lightweight and not too bulky). After the round, or between rounds you can warm up and change to dry footwear.

If you take an old, comfortable, (almost worn out) pair of hiking boots (low tops have better mobility and less weight) and drill half inch sheet metal screws in the bottom you have homemade ice cleats, which will give you better traction than anything else I have found, especially on icy tee pads. You will need boots with soles thicker than a half inch (obviously) and hard rubber soles. In soft rubber soles the sheet metal screws will fall out. These boots will no longer be good for wearing for indoors (the screws will scratch the heck out of floors) but they are just old boots anyway. With a power drill you can install screws in just minutes.

If wet feet is a big deal to you then add Gortex socks. Shoes don't have to be waterproof if your socks are.

Huge, heavy boots are hard to throw in. Their weight and bulk make run ups balky. It is hard to keep good balance or generate power. If there is a lot of snow on the ground it is already tough to manage and big boots make the task harder.

With any winter gear the trick is to use the least you can get away with. Adding weight and bulk will not improve your shots. I have seen players in full snowmobile suits playing the game but I have never seen them play WELL wearing them.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby what'shisname » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:44 pm

I wear some lightweight winter boots that have a catch on the toe for Gaiters. I sometimes throw on some yak trax too, but I'm currently looking for a better option. My pair that I bought new last season has a couple weak spots in the rubber already.

It's easy to use the boot alone, with the gaiters and/or the yak trax and you have all your different winter conditions covered, still have all the mobility you need and my feet never get cold or wet.

This is the 3rd season for my Merrill's and they're still in great shape.
Image

The Gaiters I use are like this but they have a quick clips instead of the buckles.
Image
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby what'shisname » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:48 pm

I do like the screw in the boot idea too but I use those boots all over the place and don't want to tear stuff up around the house. Maybe I'll try that when they're a bit older and I need to get a new pair for everyday stuff.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby A buzzz and a beer » Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:45 pm

Those merrils look perfect. I generally only wear low top shoes for comfort, but I think that shoe wouldn't be bad for the winter. I went once last year and getting a run up wasn't really possible anyway. I mainly will be doing stand stills or one steps. I will probably also be throwing lots of forehands because I can standstill a forehand 300.

I don't mind cold feet, but I do not like wet feet. This was something that bothers me in the summer when its raining. I wear running shoes for comfort and they aren't water proof at all. I never knew they made water proof socks until I saw Mark talking about them in a different thread. I will be picking up a couple pairs of those for the winter and summer. They sound awsome.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby RS39 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:27 am

I've only used them a few times since buying them last spring, but Seal Skinz are handy for shoes.

My pants are wool from a milsurp store, and they absorb very little wet up the leg.

I usually use Smartwool socks and an old pair of Timberland leather boots. Leather is nice for long term use as there is no goretex to give out, no weave for muddy slush to stick to, and refreshing with Sno Seal is very effective and easy. When it gets real deep, I use my Sorel Caribu boots since I can't x-step gracefully in deep stuff and the CO lift operator boot of choice keeps my feet cozy.

Yes, boots instead of shoes handicap my throws. But once I convert for a season and re-learn my timing, accuracy is recovered and I'm just glad to get out.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby JR » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:19 pm

Mark, there is a problem using just sneakers with waterproof socks. Three if you count the shoes getting wet from the inside from the snow and losing durability and gaining smell. A shoe without any ankle support is dangerous to your health running in snow that is higher than the top of the shoe. If you're unlucky and the snow is hard where you should pivot but the shoe has dived into softer snow even lower snow is enough to twist the ankle. So for those with ankle injuries an ankle brace is a must for injury prevention. I'm not so sure if those fabric based braces are enough. It's one week from mildly twisting my ankle with a high top hard shoe that supported my ankle enough not to break running in 6" snow planting heel facing the target and the snow didn't give way. Ouch after a field driving session and normal life the ankle still hurts a bit. In the field training session i used sneakers for the first time ever in the snow now that i have Sealskinz. Ouch time all the way -luckily mild. I didn't have a brace with me and now i wish i did. I'm not sure if i can even fit the brace in the Sealkinz i have. I need to buy a larger one probably but i had troubles fitting into the shoe without a brace already so that may need to change as well grrr... And i have a heavy duty brace that is even larger and more restricting.

I need to test different warming setups and braces with Sealskinz liner or no liner combos in different temps to see what's what. I'm afraid i need to spend more money. There is a big but in that using a brace further limits mobility of the ankle reducing D. I imagine that is less than with a high top shoe though. Then there is the option of not planting so far away from the target and accepting that kind of D loss to protect the ankle. Unfortunately i did that last winter and i still had abruptly stopped pivots when the shoe hit ice and that twisted my ankle painfully. I have an almost broken in two tendon in the ankle so my pain indication is set on high sensitivity compared to healthy players. According to my doc i still need two years for pain free regular exercising and seven years to getting pain only from hard exercises. And a life time ban on heavy lifting. That's kinda ok because my previously busted arm already prohibits that and so does a back injury. Joy. So this comes from somebody who has walked miles bare footed in broken glass -give me my shoes back and walk the miles barefooted yourself if you want to ahem step in my shoes. I wouldn't recommend that. One stepped throws with little toe angle away from the target limiting D bad ain't what i call a solution. That's driving with one arm tied behind your back. You have to decide which gear works for you, what kinds of run up you take with how many steps and how far you are willing to plant the toes away from the target according your willingness to get winter time D at a risk to your health.

I need to test a lot and draw conclusions later once i get enough data. If that means getting new gear i need to retest and hopefully by then the gear ain't a limiting factor and allows me to gain enough security and D to play well in the winter and not prohibit me from playing at full tilt the coming summer -or ever. My doc said that this being my first tendon injury i may get to 70-80% of previous tendon strength and durability but damage it one more time and that's all she wrote. Then it's gonna be brittle, weak and break easily again and often a start to a vicious circle. No way i'm gonna be able to play my home course well after that with natural tees and being built around ski jumping hills. Too steep inclines for a busted ankle to climb. I like elevation changes in a DG course so i don't want to risk my enjoyment. All the best courses i've played except Disc Golf Terminalen have lots of altitude variation. It would be stupid to risk not being able to play on those nice courses.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby Mark Ellis » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:43 am

JR wrote:Mark, there is a problem using just sneakers with waterproof socks. Three if you count the shoes getting wet from the inside from the snow and losing durability and gaining smell. A shoe without any ankle support is dangerous to your health running in snow that is higher than the top of the shoe. If you're unlucky and the snow is hard where you should pivot but the shoe has dived into softer snow even lower snow is enough to twist the ankle. So for those with ankle injuries an ankle brace is a must for injury prevention. I'm not so sure if those fabric based braces are enough. It's one week from mildly twisting my ankle with a high top hard shoe that supported my ankle enough not to break running in 6" snow planting heel facing the target and the snow didn't give way. Ouch after a field driving session and normal life the ankle still hurts a bit. In the field training session i used sneakers for the first time ever in the snow now that i have Sealskinz. Ouch time all the way -luckily mild. I didn't have a brace with me and now i wish i did. I'm not sure if i can even fit the brace in the Sealkinz i have. I need to buy a larger one probably but i had troubles fitting into the shoe without a brace already so that may need to change as well grrr... And i have a heavy duty brace that is even larger and more restricting.

I need to test different warming setups and braces with Sealskinz liner or no liner combos in different temps to see what's what. I'm afraid i need to spend more money. There is a big but in that using a brace further limits mobility of the ankle reducing D. I imagine that is less than with a high top shoe though. Then there is the option of not planting so far away from the target and accepting that kind of D loss to protect the ankle. Unfortunately i did that last winter and i still had abruptly stopped pivots when the shoe hit ice and that twisted my ankle painfully. I have an almost broken in two tendon in the ankle so my pain indication is set on high sensitivity compared to healthy players. According to my doc i still need two years for pain free regular exercising and seven years to getting pain only from hard exercises. And a life time ban on heavy lifting. That's kinda ok because my previously busted arm already prohibits that and so does a back injury. Joy. So this comes from somebody who has walked miles bare footed in broken glass -give me my shoes back and walk the miles barefooted yourself if you want to ahem step in my shoes. I wouldn't recommend that. One stepped throws with little toe angle away from the target limiting D bad ain't what i call a solution. That's driving with one arm tied behind your back. You have to decide which gear works for you, what kinds of run up you take with how many steps and how far you are willing to plant the toes away from the target according your willingness to get winter time D at a risk to your health.

I need to test a lot and draw conclusions later once i get enough data. If that means getting new gear i need to retest and hopefully by then the gear ain't a limiting factor and allows me to gain enough security and D to play well in the winter and not prohibit me from playing at full tilt the coming summer -or ever. My doc said that this being my first tendon injury i may get to 70-80% of previous tendon strength and durability but damage it one more time and that's all she wrote. Then it's gonna be brittle, weak and break easily again and often a start to a vicious circle. No way i'm gonna be able to play my home course well after that with natural tees and being built around ski jumping hills. Too steep inclines for a busted ankle to climb. I like elevation changes in a DG course so i don't want to risk my enjoyment. All the best courses i've played except Disc Golf Terminalen have lots of altitude variation. It would be stupid to risk not being able to play on those nice courses.


One of the advantages of getting older is you understand your body better and you learn what works for you and what doesn't. In my prior sport I sprained my ankles regularly (my racquetball coach told me I was as graceful as a drunken 3 legged dog) and found ankle braces which were wonderful. These were lace up braces with plastic inserts on the side. Laced up tight they give great support. While the braces limited mobility (on a sprained ankle you don't have much mobility anyway) they prevented further injury so I just played on.

I have noticed that doctors err on the side of caution. While they know more about medical science than I do, they do not know my body as well as I do. I return to activity as soon as I can, even if I have to wear an ankle brace to do it or start slowly and build back up.

When you stop pedaling a bicycle it falls over. I am not stopping until I have no other choice.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby JR » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:04 am

I agree with the western medicine docs being too cautious now. I heard that some studies have been made about training harder than current recommendations and healing people faster. Athletes have known about this for much longer. The first time i threw was six weeks after snapping the tendon to almost two. Very painful but i'm glad i did then and even more so later on. I've pushed through pain with the ankle injury all the time. Work and practice. I stopped using an ankle brace a little over two years after the injury and even then the ankle would swell mildly on occasion. I have a great tight brace but hope that i won't need it. It's too large for sneakers

I threw again today with my second attempt at using just sneakers and Sealkinz but on a round with a fabric ankle for protection. The first time in almost half a year using the brace. No pains no twists. No run ups in deeper snows and the tees were good enough. With worse conditions on the way i need to reassess the situation then. Regular cotton sock plus the brace plus Sealkinz was just enough at 32F so when the temps drop i'm gonna need warmer stuff. The brace fits in the Sealkinz but the shoe is too tight so the blood flow is hampered and i suffer from coldness in the toes so i think i need new low tops. My current ones are water proof so they may not gain smell fast and they have great traction although i use Veriga cleats for great improvements to traction to help. I think that is a superior system compared to your screws Mark. Kahtoola makes a similar system in the US. I believe i need larger shoes and warmer socks for liners once the temps drop but i may do with my current Sealkinz barely initially. If not i need to get larger ones as well.

I agree with the sentiment and actually pushing through problems but not with the analysis of how to continue playing. I don't need braces any more in the summer. It would be suicidal for me to risk sneakers without a brace in the snow. Nothing to be gained from that but much to lose.

People can't appreciate how much being in a ski jumping hill strains ankles. Some can't even after being there. I was balls deep in snow three times last winter when we had more snow than in the last 70 years. Way less than that forces reduction in planting angle. In high snow even reduced planting angle won't protect the ankle against all dangers so a brace is a must. There's no point in risking a vicious circle of getting injured even more i'm minced too much as it is already. Luckily so far a fabric brace seems to suffice and that restricts less than the snow at 6" high. With even higher snow on the way a brace is a no brainer to use because D is gonna drop no matter what. But staying healthy and gaining power while still playing ok is all pluses without negatives that i can't take. I've been forced to value health. For me health equals performance directly. I've seen it time and time again on the course so i aim for top condition in the coming competition season instead of risking even more performance reducing injuries. I've had enough retardation in skills development and especially throw repeatability from being injured over my 8 year long DG career. I'm more like 4-5 years in skills. Unfotunately :?

Had i not spent so much time in field practice i'd be even more behind from so much pounding my health has taken. Combined together my DG designed discs usage healthy days total about 4 years over the last six years and the two prior years to that with beach discs were definitely hampered by not having recuperated much from the arm injury.

My advice to everyone is to limit the planting angles to milder in the snow. Ankle injuries wreak havoc for years for disc golf players. Take it from someone who knows this first hand don't do it and don't take unnecessary risks in the winter it ain't worth it.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby cmlasley » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:14 am

I'm in Waterloo, so I know the sort of snow we get around here. I can usually play fine and comfortable all winter in a pair of hiking boots with smartwool socks, and the exact gaiters that what'shisname posted.

For the February Tourist tourney, there are usually big puddles of icy water on the course, and I have to go to a heavier waterproof boot.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby JR » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:01 am

cmlasley wrote:I'm in Waterloo, so I know the sort of snow we get around here. I can usually play fine and comfortable all winter in a pair of hiking boots with smartwool socks, and the exact gaiters that what'shisname posted.

For the February Tourist tourney, there are usually big puddles of icy water on the course, and I have to go to a heavier waterproof boot.


Low tops in the snow gave me about 25-30' more D compared to high tops that are a bit heavier. Cleats on both for traction so that i could run.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby uNicedmeMan » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:18 am

what'shisname wrote:I wear some lightweight winter boots that have a catch on the toe for Gaiters. I sometimes throw on some yak trax too, but I'm currently looking for a better option. My pair that I bought new last season has a couple weak spots in the rubber already.

It's easy to use the boot alone, with the gaiters and/or the yak trax and you have all your different winter conditions covered, still have all the mobility you need and my feet never get cold or wet.

This is the 3rd season for my Merrill's and they're still in great shape.
Image

The Gaiters I use are like this but they have a quick clips instead of the buckles.
Image


Been putting off winter boots for too long, thinking pretty hard about picking these up. The only downside I see with them is the $$$ and being mid top. If I can get a solid 3 seasons out of them and the gaiters work well, I'm sold.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby what'shisname » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:34 am

My boots and gaiters are still holding up great, definitely no complaints. I haven't been able to get out as much as I'd like to play this winter, but I'm still wearing the boots all the time for other uses and they're still great.

I replaced my yak trax this year with Kahtoola Microspikes and I'm loving them. They're terrible on concrete or asphalt, but on snow/packed snow/ice... .they're the best.

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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby uNicedmeMan » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:41 am

They didn't have the Merrells in my size at REI so I ended up buying these:

Image

More money than I wanted to spend ($140) but they kept my feet warm and dry for an entire icebowl in ~9" of snow = money well spent. They seem hella durable so I hope to be wearing them for at least 3 seasons or so.
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Re: Shoes/boots for winter

Postby uNicedmeMan » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:27 pm

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