Jump to content

Hiking boots


Followers 0

Recommended Posts

Want to spend a ton of money? Peter Limmer & Sons out of Intervale, NH will custom build you some leather battleships for your feet. I think you have to actually GO there so they can trace your foot and take measurements. After that you wait a year or more until they actually get made. But they will last a lifetime.

I agree on the glued soles - never had a lot of luck with those, although I do still have a pair of Raichle leather hikers that have held up remarkably well, glued soles and all. I had a beloved pair of Merrels that were comfortable, but the glue just couldn't hack it. And GoreTex is a waste of money - I should know I've bought hundreds of dollars worth of that crap, and except for deep winter use, where the temp differential is high and the "breathing" can actually occur at a decent rate, I never felt that GoreTex rainwear was any better than the cheap stuff. There, now I got THAT off my chest icon_smile.gif.

Link to comment

My beef with hiking boots is that it is nearly impossible to find ones wide enough for my feet. You can order them online, but since there are 5 different variations of "wide", I'd really need to try them on first.

 

My wife loves Merrill boots, but they don't even MAKE wides. I've tried them on, and it's like putting my feet in a vise.

 

I'd be curious as to where you guys with wide feet buy yours, because I've gone to Gander Mountain, all the stores that supposedly specialize in outdoor footwear, and nothing. When we hike, I wear a relatively new pair of Reeboks, but obviously they weren't designed for hiking and as such are disintegrating quickly.

Link to comment

I think the better quality Timberland boots have sewn-on soles and you can find them in all-leather to protect from those darn Foxtails. I loved my Timberlands but when I wore them out experimented and bought some "Air sole" Doc Martins. Takes a while to get them comfy but once they are, they're keepers and they have sewn on soles.

 

Team Kender - "The Sun is coming up!" "No, the horizon is going down."

Link to comment

Have you tried Army Surplus? Since I retired from the Army in 1995, I have worn out two pair of tan suade desert boots just hiking. I like the desert boots because they have the panama sole (Viet-Nam style) but they are light-weight, and cooler than most other boots. And they are made for combat. With care, 3 years wear is not unusual.

 

The military has developed boots for all climates. If you find some to fit you, and use good hiking socks, you just might find a goldmine.

 

BTW, the desert boots in this area typically sell for ~$60 new.

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Team Og Rof A Klaw:

Just ordered some Dr. Martens from Zappos, based on hearing some good stuff about 'em earlier. At least they have a 60-day return policy. Thanks, all!

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

_All who wander are not lost._


 

Just make sure they state the sizes in U.S. standard, as even in retail stores here (in California) they have the English measurement as the primary measure, with the US measurement as a side-note icon_wink.gif

 

Desert Warrior: I used to go hiking in army boots as a teenager. They were really protective! But the hard rubber of the soles for those boots were much more slippery once the tread wore down. Is that usual for them to be hard and slippery like that? Maybe they were surplus from the 50s and the soles were aged too much...

-Dan

 

Team Kender - "The Sun is coming up!" "No, the horizon is going down."

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by GeoPernas:

My beef with hiking boots is that it is nearly impossible to find ones wide enough for my feet. You can order them online, but since there are 5 different variations of "wide", I'd really need to try them on first.

 

My wife loves Merrill boots, but they don't even MAKE wides. I've tried them on, and it's like putting my feet in a vise.

 

I'd be curious as to where you guys with wide feet buy yours, because I've gone to Gander Mountain, all the stores that supposedly specialize in outdoor footwear, and nothing. When we hike, I wear a relatively new pair of Reeboks, but obviously they weren't designed for hiking and as such are disintegrating quickly.


 

Vasque makes a wide boot. I don't hike in anything else. A cheaper boot that has wide sizes is Rocky. LLBean started as a footwear company. I think they have wide boots too.

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Team Kender:

Desert Warrior: I used to go hiking in army boots as a teenager. They were really protective! But the hard rubber of the soles for those boots were much more slippery once the tread wore down. Is that usual for them to be hard and slippery like that? Maybe they were surplus from the 50s and the soles were aged too much...

-Dan


 

Dunno. The problem I have with the desert boots is that they wear out quickly. I think the sole is too soft. But they were designed to be used in sand, and I am using them in mountainous rock.

 

My son has promised a pair of the new desert boots designed for Afghanistan/Iraq when he gets back. I can't wait... and not just for the boots. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

Link to comment

Thanks for the advice! I did see Vasque at several places, but they were horribly expensive (>$180). I do wear Doc Martens at work, and they're great shoes.. if I could find someplace that sells their hiking boots, that would rock. They're solid - they last about three years (I'm on my second pair in 5 years), and comfortable as heck.

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Team Og Rof A Klaw:

Does anyone know where to get a good pair of hiking boots with a _sewn-on sole_ and with _no steenkin Gore-Tex_.

 

Glued-together boots always delaminate at the sole, and Gore-Tex does exactly what Sno-Seal does, only hotter.


 

They are everything you said you don't want but I'd swear on my Torre GTX boots from Montrail. Been wearing them for 3 years straight and they are still in great condition. In fact they probably have about a year left on them I figure I'm going to wear a hole in the sole before they actually fall apart. I wear them for hiking and work. They've been abused but I keep them cleaned.

 

I often wear a wool sock and haven't had a problem with heat or dampness.

 

On the other hand I won't buy another pair of Doc's. Bought my first pair of 10 hole steel toed Doc's about 13-14 years ago. Back when you could only find them in specialty shops. The last two pair that I bought for work boots fell apart on me. On one the sole crashed and fell into the air sole. The second pair had a blow out on the side of the air sole. They started leaking very badly and my feet were getting really wet. My job often requires me to do testing where I have to stand in water.

 

Of course that's just my opinion on the matter. I say get what fits and works for you. Read this review I wrote for epinions on shoes

 

-beatnik-

Link to comment

There are a lot of boots with sewn soles (aka Norweigan welt). I prefer them for rugged terrain and they will last many years.

 

But they tend to be very heavy, which is why most mfrs. use glued soles. Some major boot manufactures still sell boots with sewn soles, but they are usually the most expensive boot in their line. Here is a sewn boot at a good price and here is another. This one is a woman's model. Keep checking www.sierratradingpost.com for good deals on sewn boots. They deal in closeouts, overstocks and irregulars so their stock changes constantly. Also, their customer service is excellent.

 

And Carleen, check www.campmor.com for a good selection of hiking boots.

 

quote:
did see Vasque at several places, but they were horribly expensive (>$180)

 

$180 is not horribly expensive for a quality hiking boot. It's about mid range, price-wise.

 

[This message was edited by BrianSnat on June 19, 2003 at 05:08 PM.]

Link to comment

Red Wings for the extreme ends of the size and width scale. Personally I lean toward Wolverine Durashocks. I wear a steel toe Durashock 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. The sole is direct attached and after two years, the bottom of the sole split. The plant I manage makes hollow-core concrete slabs, so I get both wet and dry cement and concrete on them. Every couple of days I hose them off and let them dry. A couple of years ago I worked part-time in a friend's shoe store selling work boots, so I was able to try on various brands and styles. I have ordered Durashocks in my size without trying them on and they fit like they were six months old. Of course everybody's different, you just have to keep trying til you get it.

P.S. Vasque is owned by Red Wing and Wolverine owns Merrill and Hush Puppy.

 

Maps?!? We don't need no stinking maps! We got coordinates!

Link to comment

i have a pair of asolo boots that i think are glued, but are holding up well through several years (6? 8?) of hard all-weather year-round use.

 

just for reference, my foot is very wide at the ball of the foot and very narrow at the heel. i have a heck of a time getting shoes that fit.

 

it doesn't matter if you get to camp at one or at six. dinner is still at six.

Link to comment

quote:
And Carleen, check www.campmor.com for a good selection of hiking boots.

 

Thanks Brian! I get the regular (snail mail) campmor catalog and had never noticed boots that would work for me in there, but the web site has plenty in size 5. Maybe I just need to start doing some general web searches! Of course, mail order always has a downside since I have to hope that a 5 will work for me, and might have to return them. But then again, I have already tried all the stores around here (and when traveling) with no luck. My old boots are wearing out pretty quick now, so mail order it will have to be!

 

pokeanim3.gif

Link to comment

Gotta agree about the Timberlands. They are great. Bought a pair during our move up here in Massachusetts from South Carolina on the 1st of January. Stopped at a Outlet Mall in Connecticut and they had a Timberland store there. The tennis shoes I had the time were shot and weren't going to do any good with the snow. After about 6 ft or snow or so since we moved here 6 months ago, they have worked great. They aren't Gore-Tex either.

 

I agree with Desert Warrior to about the military boots. They are some of the best boots I've ever owned. I had several pair during my 4 yr active duty in the Air Force. They got a good workout being Security Police as well. I was working for a State Police Department and needed some boots and not a whole lot to spend. I ordered a pair through US Cavalry magazine. They were mock ups of the jungle boots, but all black. Cost like $18. I wore them everyday at work and it was a job you were on your feet at least 7 of 8 hours. They lasted about a year. But for what I paid, how can you go wrong. Also bought a pair of "SRT" generic type of boots, but they had a padded top that goes around the ankle/calf. They lasted about 6 months and paid a little more for them.

 

Another alternative are Hi-Techs. They are used widely in Law Enforcment agencies. The Federal Bureau of Prisons issued them to us. Got a couple of almost brand new ones sitting in my closet. Might break them out in some of the next hiking trips. One bad thing is that they are steel toed. Said is was safety, my thoughts it was a self protection weapon against the inmates. icon_biggrin.gif

 

I've had mixed reviews about Hi-Techs. I had a pair back in 1992 that ripped on me in less than 6 months. These latest ones I've gotten and have talked to people about last pretty good.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

Link to comment

quote:
just for reference, my foot is very wide at the ball of the foot and very narrow at the heel. i have a heck of a time getting shoes that fit.

 

I feel for you, I have the same problem. On top of it, I have a small shoe size (about women's 4 1/2)! I have a hell of a time finding any type of shoe (imagine finding women's heels when you wear kids size)! But sometimes, I also get great deals from sales racks because they can't sell my wierd size. My last hiking boots were worth over $100 and I got them for $35 (9-10 years ago)! Unfortunately, they are wearing out and the buckle loops are rusting!

 

pokeanim3.gif

 

[This message was edited by carleenp on June 19, 2003 at 07:54 PM.]

Link to comment

quote:
Another alternative are Hi-Techs. They are used widely in Law Enforcment agencies. The Federal Bureau of Prisons issued them to us. Got a couple of almost brand new ones sitting in my closet. Might break them out in some of the next hiking trips. One bad thing is that they are steel toed. Said is was safety, my thoughts it was a self protection weapon against the inmates.

I've had mixed reviews about Hi-Techs. I had a pair back in 1992 that ripped on me in less than 6 months. These latest ones I've gotten and have talked to people about last pretty good.


 

My current hiking boots are Hi-Techs. I have had them for 9-10 years. They were the top end model (non-steel toe) when I bought them. I have been really happy with them. They have held up pretty well considering that I have really abused them (and hell, they are still usable after 9-10 years). They are starting to break down now, but most of that is due to my own neglect. E.g., I failed to dry them off a lot and so the buckle loops are rusting. I also took a trip to the Amazon and had to pack them wet and muddy at times in plastic bags. Then, the luggage got lost on the way home with them in that condition and that started part of the sole to deteriorate.

 

pokeanim3.gif

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Team Og Rof A Klaw:

Does anyone know where to get a good pair of hiking boots with a _sewn-on sole_ and with _no steenkin Gore-Tex_?

 

Glued-together boots always delaminate at the sole, and Gore-Tex does exactly what Sno-Seal does, only hotter.

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

_All who wander are not lost._


 

Gortex and snoe seal are not the same thing in any way shape or form, Sno- sno-seal is used on 100% leather boots only, it seals up the boots and then they will not beath. Sno=seal also has to be replace every year. Gortex does no wear out. Gortex is a tissue paper thin layer inside the boot that you cannot see. Gortex has small holes in it that are too small to let water into, but it well allow vapor out so that the boots breath.

You sohould also stay away from cotton socks in hiking boots, all the cotton does is keep your feet hot and damp, Cotton will not wick moisture out of the boots, this can lead to blisters and other problems. What you should use is a sock with wool in it. the wool will wick the moistur away from your feet and keep them dry and healthy.

 

Secondy, DO NOT BUY boots based on Brand name, you should also try several models from several companies and when you pick a pair wear them around the house for a few hours. Buying boots mail order or on line-Not for me. Your boots are your most important when you are hiking, why take a chance. BTW Red wing and Vasque are the same company. How old where the boots the delaminated? WHat model? If you buy a light weight boot and do lots of heavy duty hiking, they will fall apart. Your body weight will also effect the life of the boot.

 

Go to a specialty shop and stay away from desighner brands like Ecco and Timberland.

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by Team Og Rof A Klaw:

Does anyone know where to get a good pair of hiking boots with a _sewn-on sole_ and with _no steenkin Gore-Tex_?

 

Glued-together boots always delaminate at the sole, and Gore-Tex does exactly what Sno-Seal does, only hotter.

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

_All who wander are not lost._


Link to comment

quote:

Gotta agree about the Timberlands. They are great...SNIP... I agree with Desert Warrior to about the military boots. They are some of the best boots I've ever owned. I had several pair during my 4 yr active duty in the Air Force.


Timberland shoes were the best in the world 20 years ago. They were hand sewn in Maine. I had a pair of Timberland boat shoes that lasted well over 10 years of nearly daily use. I finally lost one wading in a lake, so I had to buy another pair. Because of my prior experience, I went with Timberland, but my next pair made it barely past a year before the leather started to rip. My replacement pair lasted about 6 months before the eyelets pulled out.

 

The problem was (and still is) that Timberland went from a small company, that was concerned only about making quality products, to one that became a popular brand among rappers and "urban trekkers" (The North Face made a similar change).

 

Since the mid 80's, I've found that Timberland products are built to sell. They look and feel comfortable in the store (EVA soles add to initial comfort), but break down and fall apart quickly (EVA soles do that also).

 

As far as military boots, they are great, for many people. But they are made to fit the largest number of people (the LCD) at the lowest possible cost, under the widest range of conditions (I could be wrong, but I don't see Army rangers wading streams in Teva sandals, or climbing cliffs in Boreal Ballet climbing shoes). I know ex military people who swear by the boots and those who swear at them. If they fit you well, go for them. They are inexpensive.

But you're probably best off getting a quality pair of well fitting hiking boots.

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

Link to comment

quote:
Gortex and snoe seal are not the same thing in any way shape or form, Sno- sno-seal is used on 100% leather boots only, it seals up the boots and then they will not beath. Sno=seal also has to be replace every year. Gortex does no wear out. Gortex is a tissue paper thin layer inside the boot that you cannot see. Gortex has small holes in it that are too small to let water into, but it well allow vapor out so that the boots breath.

You sohould also stay away from cotton socks in hiking boots, all the cotton does is keep your feet hot and damp, Cotton will not wick moisture out of the boots, this can lead to blisters and other problems. What you should use is a sock with wool in it. the wool will wick the moistur away from your feet and keep them dry and healthy.


 

Well, my old boots are leather and I added a sealing product every year or so. I don't know about gortex, but I will say that with rain gear, I have been just fine using a cheaper non-gortex product since I don't tend to run into many situations where the "breathability" of it is worth the cost to me. I can see the same in boots (although my last leather boots were very high end, but bought cheap, but that was when gortex was new).

 

As for socks, YES! avoid cotton! I totally agree there. If you want blisters, wear cotton socks! With that said, there are some cool-max etc. type socks with cotton in them that will also wick moisture and help prevent blisters. Just make sure that what you buy is a "wicking" sock! Wool, of course, is always a safe bet.

 

pokeanim3.gif

Link to comment

quote:
The problem was (and still is) that Timberland went from a small company, that was concerned only about making quality products, to one that became a popular brand among rappers and "urban trekkers" (The North Face made a similar change).

Since the mid 80's, I've found that Timberland products are built to sell. They look and feel comfortable in the store (EVA soles add to initial comfort), but break down and fall apart quickly (EVA soles do that also).


 

I don't know a thing about Timberland boots, but I do know that they sell cheap tents that are cheap for a reason. A friend was about to buy one and asked me what I thought. One look at the web page, and I told her that the rain fly was only for show because it didn't go even close to where the waterproof bottom ended and lacked sufficient tie-outs. Then, I went to the store with her and saw that the tiny model was poorly stitched (so I assume the actual thing would be too). It also didn't come with seam sealer and didn't mention it in the literature. Finally, it was heavy for its size. I sent her to find a Eureka tent since she wanted something affordable and I have been happy with mine.

 

pokeanim3.gif

Link to comment

I'm always on the lookout for good hiking shoes/boots, as I have a hard to fit foot, and go through several pair a year. Seems every time you find a brand/style that fit good are are well made, they change the model or quality in some way.

 

Just shop around and look in a variety of areas. I've got a couple pair of Coleman brand I got at Walmart that work better than the very expensive specialty boots I got for use with crampons and snowshoes. They're well insulated, have very stiff soles, and completely waterproof.

 

I've found New Balance has some wide sizes in trail running shoes and light hikers that fit my feet very well. The soles get torn up fairly quickly in talus fields, but then so do most other boots I've tried. Good thing about the New Balance shoes is they're relatively inexpensive.

 

I had fairly good luck with HiTech for awhile, until they recently seem to have shortened and narrowed their sizes. Their all leather boots seem to hold up fairly well for the money.

 

Whatever you get, find something that fits well. The best quality boot in the world isn't much good to you if it gives you a blister in the first five miles of a 30 mile hike.

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by GeoPernas:

Thanks for the advice! I did see Vasque at several places, but they were horribly expensive (>$180). I do wear Doc Martens at work, and they're great shoes.. if I could find someplace that sells their hiking boots, that would rock. They're solid - they last about three years (I'm on my second pair in 5 years), and comfortable as heck.


 

A hiker/backpacker with bad feet is stranded. The money spent on quality footware is well spent if you plan on hiking more than a few miles.

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

Timberland shoes were the best in the world 20 years ago. They were hand sewn in Maine. I had a pair of Timberland boat shoes that lasted well over 10 years of nearly daily use. I finally lost one wading in a lake, so I had to buy another pair. Because of my prior experience, I went with Timberland, but my next pair made it barely past a year before the leather started to rip. My replacement pair lasted about 6 months before the eyelets pulled out.

 


 

I think that can happen with any pair of shoes. It happened with the Hi-Techs I had over 10 years ago that didn't last very long. But that was my pair. Othe peoples had their same pair for years.

 

You are correct about going from a small company to a large one. But I believe just about any company goes through that, that gets popular. They have to speed up the process to keep up with the demand.

 

The military boots today are not of the quality of what has always been put it. Believe it or not "Combat Boots" are now a good thing. They have to be. They are put through a lot, have to last and still look good (when you shine them). You can get them in all sizes to include wide sizes. It's been 11 years since I was in, so I imagine that the quality of the boots have gone up since then. Aftter every war, they come up with better things. I mean look at them now. They are using GPS devices. A couple years ago I was looking at some Air Force Security Police websites and saw they now had 4 wheelers, bike patrols, dune buggies and a lot more stuff. We thought we were cool with the Jeep Cherokees when we had them and were trying out the Vortex Light Bars (V-Shape).

 

In recent years I've seen some military personnel (Army) wearing Hi-Techs. Are they allowing those to be worn now?

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by ZingerHead:

Want to spend a ton of money? Peter Limmer & Sons out of Intervale, NH will custom build you some leather battleships for your feet. I think you have to actually GO there so they can trace your foot and take measurements. After that you wait a year or more until they actually get made. But they will last a lifetime.


I'm originally from right down the road from these guys in NH...I had a pair made in 1978 and with some regular care and 3 "re-sole's"...these have been GREAT hiking boots...anytime I'm doing more than 5-6 miles...I put these on...I "think" you can actually get from them now a kit for DIY measurements at home...

 

Never say Never...Never say Always!

Link to comment

What is funny is that the kids sizes tend to stop at 3! Although in some brands, such as Nike, a youth 3 is about the same size as a women's 5 (I buy Nike youth sports sandals alot). Basically, the companies make sizes 4-5, but the stores rarely carry them. So, I will have to mail order, which is a bummer with boots because they need to fit just right!

 

pokeanim3.gif

Link to comment

I have to say, I wear my hiking boots as much as anyone else in this discussion, and probably more than 98% of you. I invested in a pair of Birkenstock Rockford's. They are the most comfortable pair of boots I have ever had on my feet (and I have tried them all). They give your foot a chance to remain in it's natural position. If the soles come apart, they will have them repaired for you (At least, if it happens in an unreasonable amount of time). When the soles of mine wear out, I will definitely spend the money to have them re-soled. They are not Gore-Tex, but a different name brand (Simpatex) They have yet to leak a drop of water in the 10 months I have had them, and if they do, I intend to take them back and get a new pair. Anyone who has worn Birkenstocks will tell you they are EXTREMELY comfortable. I will never wear another kind of hiking boots. BTW, I work in a nursery (plants, not babies), and I walk around in mud and water all the time. They are expensive, but I consider them an investment. Just my opinion.....

Link to comment

Hmmm, I didn't know that birks made boots! I'll have to check that out since I know that I can order birks in my size from a local store that will return them for me if they don't fit. I practically live in my birks, I even get away with wearing them to work. They look a little silly with trouser socks and decent slacks, but I work in a closed off area where no one really cares! Interesting.

 

pokeanim3.gif

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by carleenp:

What is funny is that the kids sizes tend to stop at 3! Although in some brands, such as Nike, a youth 3 is about the same size as a women's 5 (I buy Nike youth sports sandals alot). Basically, the companies make sizes 4-5, but the stores rarely carry them. So, I will have to mail order, which is a bummer with boots because they need to fit just right!

 

http://outbreakcorp.hypermart.net/animation/pokemon/pokeanim3.gif


 

Companies Make the kids shoes up to a 5, then they become a mens size 6. It sounds like the shops you are going to just do not stock them.

Link to comment

Hiking boot buying tips

If you have a pair of tennis or running shoes, hold them with the toe in one hand and the heal in the other, then push the toe and heal together, you should be able to bend them into a U shape, Next twist them like a wet towel, If you can do this with a hiking boot, that boot is not a hiking boot, it is a designers hiking style, and should not be used for hiking. A hiking boot need to give support while hiking, Boots that are soft and pliable are Garbage and should not be used for hiking. Get a real boot not some slipper that wants to be a hiking boot. Go to a specialty shop that sells real camping and backpacking gear, this would rule out Walmart, Target, K Mart, Big Five, and so on. Your boot is your most important peice of gear when you are in the outdoors. Carbage boots can mean a visit by the local search and rescue team.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...