Best Hut Shoes — Nike Mayfly?


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Every alpine athlete has an endless quest. Some seek powder, some seek splitter rock climbs. As for me, I just look for the lightest “real” shoes I can find so I can haul them from hut to hut in the Alps, or pack in my airline luggage with enough weight savings to allow another pair of pants — while still being able to walk a few miles once back in the village (which is where Crocs do not shine). When I published a post about my saga of “the” shoe a while back, some of you suggested Nike Mayfly. Sure enough, they’re beautiful (other than the colour, as they’d spell it up in the north country where I got some interesting comments).

Nike Mayfly is flyweight. Note the homebrew vent holes. Smaller ones would be better.

Nike Mayfly is flyweight. Note the homebrew vent holes. Smaller ones would be better.

Mayflies are so minimalist they’re only guaranteed for 100 kilometers of running or walking. They’re purposed for elite runners who want an ultra lightweight “sacrificial” shoe for winning races by split seconds. Perfect for the race from your hut bedroom to the beer stube, and if you do 100 K worth of that and a few bus chases I’ll be impressed; indeed, my pair seem to be holding up fine after quite a bit of use, mostly as hut slippers but some outside. Yes, Virginia, way better than Crocs (though the bumble bee yellow is not a winner). Weight of my size 28.5 is 5.1 ounces (144 gr) per shoe! Incredible. Pull the insoles and you’re down to 4.5 ounces (128 grams), no lie — that beats Crocs by an ounce or two!

Only caveat is the Mayfly upper is non-breathable nylon that makes damp socks stay damp and hot feet stay hot. Solution (if you need it) is an easy mod. Hold a small drill bit in locking pliers, heat in a gas stove flame, then punch-melt a bunch of small vent holes in the upper. Keep the holes small in case you’re walking in fresh snow on the way to the hut sauna. For even more weight savings, swap a single small chunk of bungie cord for the laces.

Shopping for Mayflies is tough as they appear to be manufactured in limited quantities. I got mine from Eastbay athletic, but Google gets lots of results.

Comments

24 Responses to “Best Hut Shoes — Nike Mayfly?”

  1. Brian January 7th, 2013 9:32 am

    Nice! How’s the durability on these? I’ve been racing Brooks T series flats for years, 6.4 oz and they take quite a beating.
    Next year Lou will be in steeplechase spikes, breathable and quick drying with spikes to prevent slipping on the deck ice!

  2. Tuck January 7th, 2013 9:37 am

    The New Balance MT00 is 124 g, and has a breathable upper… And come in black (as well as electric green…). They’re pretty easily available.

  3. Lou Dawson January 7th, 2013 9:39 am

    124 grams ?! That is amazing.

  4. Tuck January 7th, 2013 9:43 am

    Plus they’re a trail-running shoe, so they’ve got decent traction. I’ve not taken mine out in the snow yet, though…

  5. R_Train January 7th, 2013 9:52 am

    My NB 5000′s claim to be 3.2oz(I have no scale) but they are certainly nice and compact well even in a size 11.
    Not sure if post url’s but: http://www.newbalance.com/New-Balance-5000/MRC5000,default,pd.html#pdpTab1
    if you would like…please edit out if you don’t. I have no affiliation.

  6. Lucas January 7th, 2013 10:41 am

    Merrell Bare Access and Trail Gloves will get you down in the 5oz. range too w/ a host of color choices and the option for Wide 2E’s in the Trail Gloves, even though both are quite roomy in the toes already. Mizuno Wave Universe’s are quite sock like as well, maybe too “airy” for cold nights though.

  7. Ansh January 7th, 2013 11:28 am

    These shoes are so boss. I wish I had a pair. The only thing I don’t like about them is the color. In my opinion, orange is a bad shoe color. They look like a pair of spikes. I wish there was a picture of the soul so I could look at it and compare them to mine. My sauconys appear to be 4.2 ounces when I measured its weight on a scale. They are pretty cool if you ask me.

  8. Pieter January 7th, 2013 11:43 am

    Take a look at these:

    http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/mens-advocate-stitch-vegan-shoe?p=78533-0-961

    I have the first incarnation and have carried them for approaches that involve creek crossings. Factory spec weight is 4.23 ounces. I think I weighed mine at 4.1.

    They have a heel loop so they’re easy to clip, and they compact almost completely flat. They also dry very quickly. They’re not bad for casual walking too. I and a few other people I know also wear them at rock crags between laps in our rock shoes.

    You could also remove the insole and wear thicker socks with it. It would be essentially just a durable thin sole with fabric outer.

  9. Jim January 7th, 2013 12:52 pm

    Check out Chinese Kung Fu shoes. http://www.natashascafe.com/html/shoes_p2.html

    Cheap, breathable and comfortable.

  10. Lou Dawson January 7th, 2013 1:07 pm

    Jim, I used those for years when I could get a version at Walmart, but they were heavier than the ultra light running shoes. Cheaper, however.

  11. Colin Lantz January 7th, 2013 1:39 pm

    Well, I am definitely biased as I work for La Sportiva but I have to say that the Vertical K is an awesome hut shoe. The upper is really breathable and the sticky rubber outsoles give you a distinct advantage if your apres happy hour turns into a fireplace bouldering session :-)

  12. Lou Dawson January 7th, 2013 1:48 pm

    Colin, I’ll delete your post unless you come up with a weight (grin). Seriously, however, someone told me that sticky rubber marks floors. I don’t have much trouble with that with mine, what’s your experience?

  13. Colin Lantz January 7th, 2013 2:03 pm

    6.9 ounces Lou — the sticky rubber is heavy. Grind it off and you have a 5 ounce shoe. Sticky rubber is what sets them apart however. Makes them incredibly versatile for alpine endeavors, and then works as your hut shoe also. Bouldering, scrambling and even easy 5th class climbs are possible. Yes, sticky rubber will mark floors but you have to really kick the floor to make them mark. Lift your feet instead of dragging them and no problemo. http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwear/mountain-running/vertical-k

  14. Lou Dawson January 7th, 2013 3:50 pm

    Colin, yeah, the testers I have don’t mark the floor very easily, but I wasn’t sure if they were retail models. Blogged about them a while ago, they’re indeed very versatile as hut shoes, but I’m going all out on the weight savings (grin).

  15. bob January 7th, 2013 3:55 pm

    Finally, something I can comment on––Lou, all you need for those loudly-coloured shoes is a can of black (I like matte) spray paint. I don’t have much cash, so I am always looking for a cheap deal and sometimes that means a LOUD pair of shoes.

    I have found through a few pairs that it’s easiest to just spray the entire shoe. The paint will wear off the rand (if that’s the part you want to paint) but stays with the mesh sections, eventually fading enough so your bright orange (or your yellow) shoes will have a sort of worn “custom-dirtied” look to them.

    With all the spotless SUVS here in San Francisco, I once thought if doing a custom car dirt business––spray on some dirt so your spiffy mercedes or land rover that’s never seen the snow or gone off-road, will have that kinda “:I just got back from skiing” look to it . . . but maybe I’ll just stick to making my shoes look like they’re seeing some gnarly muddy fun action. LOVE THE BLOG!!!!

    I would caution though against taking a freshly sprayed pair into a closed space, like a small hut, or even on a plane, as they’ll smell a faint bit like fresh spray paint for a days . . .

  16. steveo January 7th, 2013 4:09 pm

    If you are rocking crazy orange shoes like these, I’d hate to see what you use for hut skivvies. Probably something lacy and barely there:) Sorry.

  17. cehike January 7th, 2013 8:29 pm

    Another suggestion for tried and true hut shoes is the Timberland Radler, they were perfect for for a multi-day hut trip and village exploration in the Alps this fall, my feet stayed warm and dry.

  18. Lou Dawson January 7th, 2013 8:37 pm

    Well, the DPS skis are not much different, really…

  19. See January 8th, 2013 9:23 am

    If you have wide feet like me, the Mayfly’s probably won’t fit (too bad, ’cause I like the orange). Mizuno Wave Universes 1/2 us size larger than normal are snug, and Vivobarefoot Ultra Pures are roomy. Both Mizuno and Vivo are under 4 oz per shoe and breathable. Vivos don’t absorb water but have lots of ventilation holes.

  20. Matt January 8th, 2013 12:20 pm

    another light option is the Inov8 bare x lite 135 at 135g.
    the soon to be released merrel vapor glove looks like a great trail runner that would work well as a hut shoe but the NB Minimus hi-rez http://sneakerreport.com/news/look-out-for-the-new-balance-minimus-hi-rez-dropping-in-2013/ is about as light as a full shoe can go at 4.3 ounces

  21. drew January 8th, 2013 6:20 pm

    Check out the Vivo Barefoot Ultra Pure. Not so good for outside since the upper is mostly holes, but a claimed weight of only 104g.

  22. carlo January 9th, 2013 2:44 am

    hei lou, I have been looking at these new newbalance posted by Matt, these minimus … don’t you think that those soles with 42 indipendent pods are asking for a “shave”. I bet you coulddo your hut thing with 30 or less and easily go under 3.5 ounces .. :)

  23. Ben January 17th, 2013 8:05 pm

    I have some Sauconys (the Hattoris) that are in this weight range, give or take a few ounces, and they’re great. But, Saucony also makes an all-weather version of the Hattori with water resistant soft shell uppers. I would live to try them as a hut shoe, this article has inspired me.

  24. Ben January 17th, 2013 8:06 pm

    I meant “love”, not “live”, but I guess either works. Oh well.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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