The first thirty miles of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) north of Springer Mountain acts as a shake down for many hikers. Even as an experienced backpacker, with well broken-in boots, I lost a couple of toenails thanks to this section.
At Neels Gap, the trail literally passes through Mountain Crossings, an outfitter that has made its reputation helping A.T. hikers stay on the trail. Often, hikers find that the boots they thought were acceptable 30 miles back, now resemble medieval torture devices. Once a hiker has found a good replacement, they have the option to leave their old boots hanging in the rafters or trees surrounding the store. Visit the outfitter today and you’ll see hundreds of worn-down and sole-less boots hanging in every spot imaginable, like the ones in this photo of the day.
If you enjoyed this post then subscribe by email to have new posts delivered directly to your inbox. Your information will not be shared. Want even more photos and travel fun? Then follow me on Facebook and Twitter where you will see my chatty and sometimes offbeat side.
I am sure a lot of those boots are fine, but a lot of people probably make the mistake of not breaking in their boots enough before hiking. Then they get crazy blisters and blame the boots.
They say location is everything and this outfitter has made a living on this very principle. Interesting post.
I agree that many of the boots were either not broken in or were a poor fit in the first place. They are ideally located without a doubt! Have you read Just Passin’ Through? It was written by the owner of the store. It’s a good read.