I didn't even plan on bringing my Nike Free's on the trip. I was going to bring my hiking shoes (Inov8) and my sandals. The Free's were so dang comfortable, however, that I did bring them. I got to thinking before the first hike that I should try hiking in them, since I do know that some ultra-runners run mountain ultras in very minimalistic shoes. So our first hike (10 mile) I wore them. What I noticed: They are comfortable. I have a good feel of the ground that is great for balancing on logs. When they get wet they dry very quickly. However I think I would have to train a little more because my feet were kinda sore when I got back to the car. Think 80- miles- into- Superior-ouch- that- kinda- hurts- oh- well- sore (not pure hell 90 miles in soreness). Also when they are wet (or I can imagine sweaty) my feet kind of slip around a bit, making it a little more difficult to do any bouldering if the boulders aren't flat. Also they don't cover my ankle bone (whatever that is called) which could cause an injury if I bang it just right. For the record my Inov8's don't cover that bone either.
Yesterday we were rained out of Hazelton Peak as well. We did do a late afternoon cross-country off-the-trail hike over a couple peaks (probably about 11 miles between 7500' and 9500'). RR is the only person I will follow into the woods not fearing for myself or that I need to pay super good attention and be able to lead us out; I trust him completely (even more than myself). He took us on an 11 mile loop that got us right back to the car. Amazing!
Today we are going to climb Loaf Mt. (11,200'). Darton is still snow covered.