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Hiking Boots

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I read this on a web site: 5 things you need to know about buying boots

1. Only consdier well made brand names

2. Buy the pair that fits best

3. Buy the pair that fits best

4. Buy the pair that fits best

5. Buy the pair that fits best (even if you don't like the color)


One other thing that hasn't been mentioned is there is a big difference between real hiking boots and "nauture trail boots/shoes"


Take your pair of tennis shoes at home and fold them in half. Does your foot fold in half like this? No!


Real hiking boots will have a stiff sole (often steel shank) that won't flex very much. (the same way your foot doesn't flex a whole lot) This provides better support for 10+ mile hikes.


"Nature trail" hiking boots are are designed more like tennis shoes to be light weight and comfortable on flat terrain. For easy terrain these are great but don't provide the support needed on a technical hiking trail with rock and uneven surfaces, roots, etc.


I have both and save my real boots for long hikes or when I know the terrain is rough. For in town caches or easy/short finds I wear the lite weight hikers.


Don't buy boots off the internet unless you have tried a pair on first. When I buy boots I go to REI or other stores, tell the guy what kind of foot I have and what I am looking for in a boot then try on everything they have. If you try on 10 pairs you should be able to tell a big difference between something that fits and something that doesn't.


Like someone else said, "Cotton Kills". The reason is once cotton gets sweaty it retains moisture. You feet stay hot and damp which makes blistering more easy to occur. Once cotton socks get wet they compress and start slipping on your feet. When you feet slip inside your boots is when you get blisters.


Wool (for cold weather), smart wool, or synthetic fibers are best. I always carry a spare pair of socks and plan to have a change of dry socks for every 5+ miles. After 5 miles you will be amazed how much better your feet feel with new socks.

Edited by GeoCyclist
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I love my Vasque Sundowners with WL Gore's often imitated, but never duplicated Gore-Tex. Yeah, they cost me, but, I've had them for 10 years and they are still water-proof, the've been all over the US, Canada and to West Africa.


The reason I bought them was a friend had a pair for over 10 years and all he had done was have them resoled (once). I bet he still has the same pair.


I have some Merrell trail shoes that I like too, but if the word hiking is even mentioned, I'm wearing the boots. My ankles like to turn both ways, yay for weak ankles :( and I like the added support of the boots.


I also recommend the Smartwool socks that someone in the above posts recommended. I just got my first pair a few weeks ago. I will never buy another brand. They ROCK!


Oh, and for anyone out there with any type of ankle, feet problems, such as plantar fascitis, may I also recommend ShockDoctor arch supports. They are fantastic! I've had several pair of costly custom orthotics and countless off-the-shelf brands in my lifetime. Runner's World featured Shock Doctor recently and they are affordable and great! shockdoctor I paid about $38 for mine including tax!



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Some excellent boots are made by LL Bean, Asolo, Rachlie, Montrail, Scarpa, Merrell, Salomon, Vasque, Lowa, La Sportiva, Danner and Technica. But don't get hung up on a brand, look for a boot that fits YOU.


Be wary of the Montrails.


I spent over $100 bucks (not hard to do when buying hikers) and I only had them for 8 months at most before the side seams starting falling apart and the gortex membrane failed me....Polgara is NOT a happy camper due to this.


My montrails are very comfy, never gave me any blisters, but I don't like their tread, (skechers make better tread) and I hate the laces, I triple loop them and they still come open...and we all love retying hikers when they are covered in sludge, and while you have a camelback strapped to you...especially in the rain...GRRRRRRR.


I used to love my montrails when i first bought them cause they are comfy, but I definetly won't be considering montrails when i go for my next pair of hikers.

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I prefer the Merrell Chameleon XCR low hiking shoe (GORE-TEX). They are very comfortable and quite usable on day 1, the goretex and grip have never failed me after many strenuous hikes in the ADKs, up and down wet rock, and through low, active creeks. Its a low-cut, so if your ankles tend to shift on rocks/roots it may not work for you. Personally I cannot hike with a high-cut boot, its uncomfortable and nagging around my ankles. I seem to be quite stable with low-cuts. As others stated the best measure of what to buy should depend on whats most comfortable for you and what "technology" in the shoe you think you'll be needing.

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I work outdoors for a living, so this is a topic close to my heart. :anibad:


In my days of living in abject poverty in the past, I've tried the Wallyworld $30 specials on more than one occasion, and have been sorely disappointed. Even when I waterproofed the cheapie boots, they left me in the lurch... usually in a bad place like leaking at the seams walking through a swamp. Unfortunately you do get what you pay for.


Timberlands used to last me almost a year before they would blow out, but unfortunately the quality has gone downhill over the last few years. I wouldn't recommend them anymore.


Right now I've been wearing a pair of Cabela's Outfitter boots since last December, every day, for 9 hours a day, through all weather conditions. Haven't even had to re-waterproof them yet. I'm very impressed. I believe they were somewhere around $130. Cabela's is one of the few companies that makes decent boots for men and women.


If you have the cash to spend, the best I have ever seen are made by Filson. This is a company that has been around since the Gold Rush outfitting miners and foresters in the northwest and Alaska. Their products are of the best quality money can buy, and people end up passing their items down to their kids and then to the grandkids. That's how long their stuff lasts. If something blows out, you can send it back to Filson, and they will repair or replace it, in many cases without charge. In my line of work, I usually go through field backpacks in less than a year, even ones made by 'premium' brands. My husband splurged and bought me a $230 Filson backpack that is guaranteed for life. Since I was regularly spending $50-60 a year on backpacks that didn't last before, this isn't really a lot of money if it does last.


My husband has a pair of $350 Filson boots. The craftsmanship is amazing, and it is very likely that he will have this pair of boots for life, even if they have to be resoled along the line. It sounds like a lot of money to shell out, but if you can possibly have the same pair of boots for decades, in the long run it may be the true bargain to go for the quality. Unfortunately Filson does not currently make any products specifically for women, but the rumor on the street is that they may be doing so soon. I'll be the first in line when that becomes a reality.


Just my two cents! Good luckt o you... :wacko:



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Timberlands used to last me almost a year before they would blow out, but unfortunately the quality has gone downhill over the last few years. I wouldn't recommend them anymore.


That's true with all Tmberland shoes. At one time they were a small maker of very high quality footwear, but once they became urban chic they increased production and cut their quality drastically. My first pair of Timberland boat mocs lasted 9 years. Their visually identical replacement lasted nearly 2 and my final pair didn't last 3 months before all the grommets started falling out and seams became unstitched.


Same for Timberland work boots. I had my first pair for close to 12 years. The replacement pair's soles started coming off after a year.

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