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Hiking Boot Recommendations Anyone?

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Unbelieveably I have been so much happier with two pairs of $20 hiking boots made by Faded Glory, that i got at Walmart, than I was with the $145 Asolo's I got at EMS. I say two pairs because I had to get second pair, in case they stopped selling that kind. Comfy from day one, when the Asolo boots almost got me hauled out of the woods on my arse, I couldn't walk any further. The pain was unbearable. And the walk wasn't really that far. :D

Edited by Planet
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Well I've had my Vasque boots for about 2 weeks now and have a problem. My feet hurt when I walk in them. The pain is in the arch area. I can't walk more than a KM in my boots. I thought at first it was because they were not broken in, but after wearing them every day for 2 weeks, they should be broken in, or at least comfortable at the very least.


Any suggestions?

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My personal preference is sneakers.


When I took up walking for exercise the $20 WalMart specials just didn't cut it. I ended up going to a specialty shop that is owned by a sports orthopedic specialist that decided she could offer more on the fitting end than the therapy end. She fitted about 30 pairs of running shoes, taking about 2 hours. She emphasized that there should be no discomfort or rubbing. Ended with a pair of shoes which I had never heard of before, Brooks. These are super light weight with lots of mesh for ventilation.


From then on, I've not ever had a problem with my walks.


Got to wearing them on the trail and found them to be very comfortable. The only downside with them over my boots--some brand for WalMart--is they don't have the aggresive grip of a typical hiking boot. Heck, they're even comfortable walking in them soaking wet for hours!


I've very pleased with this shoes.

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Wow - what a question.


I've owned Vasque boots - very nice for MY feet. Probably the nicest I ever wore were a pair of Russell Moccasin CUSTOM fitted boots - yep, they make them to fit you, and you get to spec what YOU like - NOT cheap


Believe it or not, my current pair of boots, which I bought so I could send the Russells back for new soles is a pair a Magnum Stealth boots - the joke. I like them enough that I'm on my second pair, and have not send back the Russell boots yet!!


Part of what determines what I wear is time of year - I don't want boots with Thinsulate for the summer - heck, in the summer I don't even want goretex - my feet sweat, so...


Now, in the dead of winter.....

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I am a noob to this, but I like my sneakers. Maybe after I hit a few more caches, I'll upgrade to more rugged trails and the boots to match. So far I haven't had any problems. Right now, it would be like buying a 4x4 for driving in the city for me as most of the trails in my area are in great shape. Good thread though, now I know what to look for. Thanks everyone.

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You make a good point, golem. Around here, where we don't even have HILLS, the terrain isn't too difficult. Unless, of course, you're traversing the river banks, and we've done quite a few of those. Tennies just don't quite cut when you try to go up and down those.

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I've got a pair of Danners on right now. I've had them for nearly 2 years (come August) and I've almost forsaken all my other footwear for them. I work as a security officer, racking up 8-10 miles per day on duty, and there is nothing I'd rather be wearing than my Danners if I've got to do some steady walking. Now that I'm caching, I fear I'll have to get another pair for work...takes a while to get all the mud off and bring the shine back. :mad:

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I have a pair of Kodiak Survivors (but I think they don't make them anymore?). The most important thing I found was that they should:


no. 1 Be wide enough

no. 2 Have GOOD ankle support

no. 3 Toe room

no. 4 Accept the socks you're gonna wear


Which brings up another important topic. Socks!!! 1 pair or 2? Cotton first then wool? I know "Cotton Kills" but I'd rather have blisters on my socks than on my feet. I know some hikers swear that you shouldn't wear any socks at all.... but?!?


Then there is the discussion about how one should lace their boot.... man this could go on forever...


But from personnal experience, I can't emphasize enough the importance of GOOD ANKLE PROTECTION / SUPPORT!!




Oh yeah: Hard soles and tough toe caps for going up hill and hard heels for going downhill.... they should dig in "real good"!

I live in an area with lotsa hills. (Freddy Beach, and Insp. Gadget knows where that is).


Edit: added the bit about heels etc.

Edited by davwil
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Hey there fellow New Brunswicker


We are avid backpackers. Our best boots were Vasque Sundowners which we purchased partway through our appalachian trail thru hike in 1999. They are mid weight and provide good support and we both found that there was no break in period. After many trips, the sole finally wore down to a point that there was no more grip, so we needed replacements. Unfortunately the price had gone up and many outfitters refused to carry them.


I see that there is a newer and cheaper version out there, but I don't know about the quality.


We always wear sock liners and hiking socks. It prevents blisters, although some hikers only wear one pair of socks and swear by that.


I have a thin polyester Tshirt that wicks moisture away from my body. I also often wear it as an inner layer in cooler weather. You may want to check out MEC.ca for a great selection of stuff in Canada. You can order by mail or even visit their Halifax store


Ma & Pa

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I bought a pair of Vasque hiking shoes after the insoles in my tennis shoes gave up. I discovered that they gave up after a 5-6 mile hike - I could barely walk. :mad: Once they were back to normal, I perused this thread (which was well timed :( ) and decided to look mainly at Vasque and Merrill. I liked the Merrills, but the store didn't have them in my size so I got my second choice, which was a Vasque model. I love 'em. :mad:



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I have a pair of Merrells that I really like. I got them at Galyans. I had them for 6 months or so, and they started making a popping sound when I walked. They still felt fine, but it sounded like I was wearing cleats on a tile floor. I contacted Merrell, and they said to take them back to the place I purchased them for replacement or refund. I walked into Galyans, explained the situation, and they said they would replace them, no problem. When they checked their stock, they found that they didn't have my size, so they issued me a refund on a gift card, found one of their other stores (in Indianapolis) that had a pair, called them, and took my payment for them over the phone (from my gift card). They shipped them Airbourne Express at no charge, and they even gave me $5 off because the model was on sale that week. Galyans is definately not the cheapest place to shop, but they are nice to deal with when something goes wrong with something you bought from them, and have won my business.

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Combat boots. Not yer fancy jump boots or jungle boots with the cloth on the side, but good ol' reliable full all-around leather combat boots. Real men's boots. I can hike/run/drive in them forever and my feet will never get chafed or blistered.


By the way all the fancy hiking stuff they sell these days cannot by any right be called 'boots'... REAL boots come up high, at least 3 inches above the anklebone. Them civilian hiking 'boots' are really glorified shoes...


Though there are certain people who revolt against high-top real boots for some inconceivable reason, and swear by the newfangled things. Hey, to each his own.

Edited by USAFA05
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I like L.L. Bean products. Their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is great. These Just arrived at my door this morning, and I am wearing them now to start the “break-in” routine.


I purchased the LL Bean Cresta Hikers about a month ago. After a few break-in hikes where I developed some blisters (on extended downhills), they have been great since. Comfortable, waterproof and they provide plenty of support.


Combat boots. Not yer fancy jump boots or jungle boots with the cloth on the side, but good ol' reliable full all-around leather combat boots. Real men's boots. I can hike/run/drive in them forever and my feet will never get chafed or blistered.


The problem with these is that they are designed to fit the widest range of foot types possible, meaning that a lot of people get mediocre fits, while some people get lousy fits and some get excellent fits. If you're in the latter group, consider yourself lucky.

Edited by briansnat
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I just got a pair of Merrell "Refex" hiking shoes a coupleof weeks ago at Galayans Clearance Store in Greenwood IN. and only paid $20 for them. I also got my wife apair for $10. They have got to be the most comfortable shoes that I have ever worn. They feel like you are walking on air. I recomend any who can to try thier clearance store, all shoes and boots are 50% off the lowest marked price (original price on my Merrells was 70).Tey also carry a lot of clothes there at up to 75% off. I also got a $30 leather belt for $2.50.

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