So , I did a short (~2.5 hour) hike in my KSOs yesterday. It was an out-n-back on a section of the AT near our house. This was the first time I was in rough terrain in my VFFs and I have mixed feelings about the experience.
Most of the section of trail was very rocky. My partner was in regular hiking boots and had to keep on waiting for me, as I had a much slower pace. I did not consider this a bad thing, as we weren't in a hurry and slower means you can see more interesting things. However, it took me quite a while to not stare at the trail immediately in front of me. If any of you are mountain bikers, you know that learning curve. You cannot stare at your front tire or bad things happen. I think the same rules kind of apply here. I was not seeing any of the wonderful surroundings during the first part of the hike because I was staring at my feet. Once I got a bit more comfortable navigating the rocks, I could look around more and enjoy the hike more. During really rocky parts, I did have to pay much more attention to foot placement though. I did have a moderate toe stub at one point and another time I came down pretty hard on a pointy rock with the ball of my right foot, but that was the extent of painful incidents. The pain from both did not last too long.
In addition to being the first hike with my VFFs, it was also my first hike using trekking poles that I had gotten a year ago. VFFs and trekking poles are an excellent combination!! If I had to take weight off of a foot, the poles offered some much appreciated support. It was a great combination of gear in my opinion. When the hike was over, I decided that when we hike that section of trail again, I'll most likely be in my Vibram boots, not KSOs. But if we hike trails that are less rocky, I will definitely be in my KSOs.