Hiking boots (again)

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Hiking boots (again)

Postby lenslover2003 » Apr 30, 2008 1:42 pm

I need advice from a boot guru.

I need a heavy duty,stiff boot to ridgewalk in. I am currently using Danner Acadia boots,and they were ok,but now they are like moccasins. I don't care if they take awhile to break in......I just want them to last,and give support. I also need to be able to have them easily re-soled. This rules out all those boots that have the sole/bottoms,glued on. I would eat through them in no time. I have no experience with the mountaineering- type boots. Is this what I should be looking into?

I am willing to spend some decent money on a pair or two,since my feet are worth it. What do you recommend for say,$250 a pair? Hopefully,someone has first hand knowledge.

I read through the earlier topic on boots,but it seemed to be more about what boots to wear while inside a cave,rather than outside.

Thanks
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby YuccaPatrol » Apr 30, 2008 2:25 pm

Boots are such a personal thing that it is hard for me to recommend any particular brand/make/style.

But I have always liked boots made by Vasque and Asolo (just two reliable brands that have worked for me)

But when it comes to getting a great deal on boots, you can't go wrong checking out the deals at http://www.sierratradingpost. They are an outlet store that specializes in outdoor gear, particularly shoes and boots. When I order something like boots from them, I'll order two or three pairs and then immediately return what does not fit the best since they have a fantastic return policy.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby nordicjw » Apr 30, 2008 3:24 pm

You might look into a company called Limmer. They make custom fit boots and now also have a line of ready fit. The waiting time for the custom fit can be quite long. The Limmer's have a welted sole, relaceable. They are heavy duty boots, were at one time the choise of long distance hikers and generally considered a one time/life purchase.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby JoeyS » Apr 30, 2008 9:25 pm

I second Yucca's suggestions. Asolo makes good boots and Vasque does too. Also check out the Alico brand they are selling at Sierra Trading Post. I have a pair of the "Teton" and it is definitely one of those old school, resolable workhorse boots, although I just got them last year so they are far from needing that yet. Merrell used to make a model called "Wilderness"; I bought a pair 12 years ago and they are still wearable, although they could use a new sole. Don't know if Merrell still makes them though, they seem to be more focused on the trendy footwear nowadays.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby NZcaver » May 1, 2008 12:53 am

I just bought a pair of light-ish weight waterproof/breathable hiking boots which have good hardy soles (so far). After trying many (including Vasque) in the store, I settled on a pair of Keen Targhee Mid II hikers which fit the best for me. I've been real happy with the Keen sandals I bought last year, so I guess I should have started with that brand when it came to trying boots. It would have saved me some time and effort!

I also have a bombproof pair of Meindl heavy weight boots, which I've had for years and are now mostly kept in storage. With modern boot technology, I just don't see much point any more in buying boots that weigh 4 lbs or more a pair.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby paul » May 1, 2008 6:29 am

To be honest, I have always found that when it comes to boots, the first priority above price, brand, re-solability, etc, etc, is FIT.

I have had very expensive boots and had to replace them because they didn't fit properly and cause blisters and were uncomfortable - even after allowing for breaking in.

Make sure that which whichever boots you do choose fit you properly.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby Scott McCrea » May 1, 2008 6:53 am

I'll second that, Paul. Fit is king. Try on every pair of boots you can, find a good fit, then shop for price.

IMO, the heavy duty-ness of a hiking boot should depend on the load you are carrying. Heavy loads = heavy boots. Since pack weights have been coming down in recent years, many AT thru-hikers just wear running shoes or even sandals.

Many boot's fit and comfort level can be improved by adding a custom foot bed. They are very expensive, but they sure do get a lot of praise. Over-the-counter foot beds can also be a big help.

I have a pair of 13 year old Danner Light II that are holding up great. I got them because I have a narrow foot and they make a narrow boot which fit well. I got the glued on sole replaced a year ago and it's doing fine.

Good luck.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby lenslover2003 » May 1, 2008 10:52 am

Thanks for the replies,everyone. I learn something new,everytime I post. For example,Yuccas idea of ordering several pairs of a boot you like,never even crossed my mind! Order a size bigger and smaller,and you should find the magical fit. Then return the ones that don't fit. Pure genius......in it's simplicity.

I also agree with the idea that fit, comes before everything else. That's why I have stuck with my Danner's for so long. I know I can count on them being comfortable,right out of the box. The bad thing I have noticed about them,is that they have gotten cheaper in their build lately. But, I suppose everything has. The leather seems thinner,and more supple. I am also guessing that since they are a military-style boot,they are probably meant to see more time in a barracks,being shined,and looking good,than being outside,being abused.

My wife currently uses the Vasque brand,for hiking,and she uses the 7177 model,If I am reading it right. It has about half the tread gone on the front,and she hikes maybe a third as much as me. The boot itself seems ok,for the casual user,but as Joey said,it seems more trendy,than tough.

I will start paying more attention to the Sierra Trading post site,and also Mountain Gear. They both seem to be similar.

Also,good call on the ortho inserts. I use a pair in all my boots,and they really seem to help. Especially my snow boots,which again,are probably meant for tree stand sitting,rather than hard hiking.

Thanks again,and if I come up with the perfect solution,I'll let you know.........
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby Evan G » May 1, 2008 11:26 am

If you want a tough boot that will stand up to anything get a pair of La Sportiva. http://www.sportiva.com/products/cat/M

For a general purpose boot the La Sportiva Makalu is wonderful. http://www.sportiva.com/products/prod/238 Which is named after one of the fourteen 8000 meter peaks.

GLACIER is also a great boot an is a toned down version of the Makalu http://www.sportiva.com/products/prod/239.

Asolo boots are also very good choice. Asolo Men's Glacier GV Boot http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/product.asp?s_id=0&dept_id=10013&pf_id=10037538&ad_id=GoogleBase, they also make toned down version of this boot but I forget it name. I use Asolo AFS 8000 boot for winter mountain stuff and have found it well made. I have had many pairs of Asolo and never had a complaint.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby paul » May 2, 2008 6:42 am

lenslover2003 wrote:Thanks for the replies,everyone. I learn something new,everytime I post. For example,Yuccas idea of ordering several pairs of a boot you like,never even crossed my mind! Order a size bigger and smaller,and you should find the magical fit. Then return the ones that don't fit. Pure genius......in it's simplicity.


It isn't just size.

Fit will also depend on shape: both the boots' and your feet. Boots vary quite a lot in width, etc.

For example I had a pair of Scarpa Manta boots for many years (possibly not sold in the US so you may not be familiar with them). They fitted well but eventually wore out. I bought a new pair of Scarpa Mantas. These looked quite a lot different from the original pair but were the same size. These gave me no end of trouble with blisters etc. Same manufacturer, same size but different shape in later models.

You really need to try on a range of boots from different manufacturers and different models to get that perfect fit. I went to a shop which sells boots and the salesman was also very suggestive of trying on as many pairs as possible. I had planned on getting a certain boot after reading about them in the magazines. I tried a pair on and they just didn't fit my feet properly. After trying on several others of similar type and price I got a pair made by Asolo which fitted perfectly. I bough those and they are very comfortable and I was able to wear them on a 15 mile walk immediately with no problems. Another model of boot made by Asolo may still not fit as well.

Get to a shop and try those boots on!
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby Adam Craig » May 2, 2008 7:29 am

I've been through a ton a high end hiking boots and mountaineering boots. If you don't need the ability to use crampons, the best boot I've ever found, regardless of price, is the Cabelas Outfitter Series. I've been wearing my pair for two years now, and they show no sign of giving up the ghost. These things are TOUGH and only require a day or two of break-in time.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?type=pod&id=0005217
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby Scott McCrea » May 2, 2008 8:04 am

Again, what Paul said...

I tried real hard to find a pair of Fabiano Rio's (THE classic hiking boot) that fit. But, they just didn't work for me.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby NZcaver » May 2, 2008 9:57 am

Funny, I've been backpacking since I was about 8 years old and this is the first I've ever heard of "Fabiano Rio" - I had to Google it. Amazing what new things you can learn on this forum!

Most of you probably know this, but I'll throw it into the mix anyway. As a rule, with any new footwear (especially boots) I make a point of wearing them around indoors for a while to see how they fit. Virtually all reputable retailers these days will accept returns of ill-fitting boots if they have not been worn outdoors and show no signs of wear.

Another point about fit is experimenting with the way you lace them up, and how tight you cinch them. My old heavy mountaineering boots needed to be worked tight, as any slop in the fit would give me blisters. Hiking around Banff here the last few days I've discovered my new Keens are less comfortable when laced too tight, and can cause aching along the outer edge of my foot. But when laced just a little snug, they've been great. Being waterproof/breathable is nice too, especially when I drop down a couple of feet into the snow here and there because I'm not wearing snowshoes.

Still on the subject of fit, another weird thing I noticed about the Keen Targhee II is that my wife and I both chose this boot independently (there are men's and women's versions), even though our feet are very different. She has small, slightly narrow feet with high arches, and I have larger, slightly wider feet with flatter arches. Yet they were both the most comfortable boots we tried in the store (on different occasions) even after a parade of Asolos, Vasques, Merrills, La Sportivas, and more. At around $100 (on sale) they aren't the cheapest boots, but they certainly aren't the most expensive either. I've heard some anecdotal reports of their soles de-laminating in a few cases, but if this ever happens to mine I'm confidant both the manufacturer and retailer's reputation and policies will make it right.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby graveleye » May 2, 2008 10:23 am

stay away from Timberlands - they've had several years of quality problems.

I wish Rockport made a good hiking boot. I had a pair of boots they made several years ago that were great... they fit like slippers, yet are firm and durable. Unfortunately they don't seem to make them anymore.
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Re: Hiking boots (again)

Postby SpeleoRover » May 5, 2008 8:46 pm

If I may be so bold as to jump in late...

After years of making my (pitiful) living in a pair of hiking boots - I've found that Merrell and Asolo are far and away the best boots for me.

Everyone's foot is different, and different brands fit different foot shapes best. Wear 'em around the store as much as you can. Don't mail order unless you've tried on a pair. Your best bet is to talk to someone that knows boots and foot shapes.
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