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Old 04-23-2015, 10:15 PM
ljcygnet ljcygnet is offline
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Can anyone recommend a good brand of hiking boots? I'm female, but they'll probably need to be men's boots, as I wear a woman's size twelve and they don't seem to make womans' twelves anymore in boots.

I have had some pretty sorry experiences with modern boots -- one pair I bought recently, I soaked them in water to break them in and then wore than around the house, and they blew a seam out before I ever hit the trail! (And I couldn't take them back because I got them wet and wore them in the mud ... *sigh*) The leather turned out to only be glued together in a critical place.

Aren't you actually supposed to be able, I don't know, get hiking boots wet and stomp around in the mud in them?

I have fond memories of buying a pair of hi tecs in high school in the 80's, and wearing those dang things for the next ten years, both on and off trail, through some pretty extreme conditions.

I haven't found a pair of army boots that fit well, unfortunately. They all seem to dig into my achilles tendon.
Old 04-23-2015, 10:22 PM
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My Lowa's are incredible boots.

They're not cheap, but boots are NOT something to skimp on. I paid just under $300 for mine.

The best hiking boots aren't made of leather.
Old 04-23-2015, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoods Alaskan View Post
My Lowa's are incredible boots.

They're not cheap, but boots are NOT something to skimp on. I paid just under $300 for mine.

The best hiking boots aren't made of leather.
I've always liked leather boots because we have a lot cactus here. Cholla spines will go right through synthetic uppers. Leather also gives you a bit more protection from rattlesnakes.

I'm not completely sold on leather uppers, but leather with a gore-tex liner is a preference I've developed. However, I will look at the brand you mentioned. Thanks for the suggestion!

The hi-tecs I mentioned cost almost $200 in 1988 or 89, so I'm not surprised a good pair would cost $300 now. It's money well spent if I can get several years use out of them.

(Good leather does need to be taken care of -- but I don't mind sitting down with a bar of saddle soap and some oil and maintaining my boots at the end of a hike.)
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:37 PM
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The reason I don't like leather hiking boots is they're heavy, they retain water if you get them wet, and they don't let your feet sweat.

Gore-Tex, in my experience, is junk too. That may be more of a personal preference though.

Leather work boots are great, I love them on the ranch or a job site. In the mountains though, no thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljcygnet View Post
I've always liked leather boots because we have a lot cactus here. Cholla spines will go right through synthetic uppers. Leather also gives you a bit more protection from rattlesnakes.

I'm not completely sold on leather uppers, but leather with a gore-tex liner is a preference I've developed. However, I will look at the brand you mentioned. Thanks for the suggestion!

(Good leather does need to be taken care of -- but I don't mind sitting down with a bar of saddle soap and some oil and maintaining my boots at the end of a hike.)
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljcygnet View Post
Can anyone recommend a good brand of hiking boots? I'm female, but they'll probably need to be men's boots, as I wear a woman's size twelve and they don't seem to make womans' twelves anymore in boots.

I have had some pretty sorry experiences with modern boots -- one pair I bought recently, I soaked them in water to break them in and then wore than around the house, and they blew a seam out before I ever hit the trail! (And I couldn't take them back because I got them wet and wore them in the mud ... *sigh*) The leather turned out to only be glued together in a critical place.

Aren't you actually supposed to be able, I don't know, get hiking boots wet and stomp around in the mud in them?

I have fond memories of buying a pair of hi tecs in high school in the 80's, and wearing those dang things for the next ten years, both on and off trail, through some pretty extreme conditions.

I haven't found a pair of army boots that fit well, unfortunately. They all seem to dig into my achilles tendon.
Look here: http://www.danner.com/product/milita...anner-dry.html
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:44 PM
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Hiking or backpacking?

I have Hanwag GTX's and love em..

...and I just bought a brand new, $384 pair of Hanwag Lasa boots on Ebay for $124 bucks!


Old 04-23-2015, 11:53 PM
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Rocky,5•11,Danner,anything that has a Gore-Tex type liner...wet socks suck
Old 04-24-2015, 12:00 AM
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These are my White Smoke Jumpers made for my feet in 1983. Wore them everyday for many years. Never a blister from them. Lots of back country work on survey crews. Wear a thick outer cushion sock with a thin inner wicking one. After break in seal the stitching with a seam sealer/lock treatment. A little mink oil every year at most to feed the leather then SnoSeal as required. Never dry by the fire or in an oven. I had a pair of Lowe's mountaineering boots that were stolen, they were good too.

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Old 04-24-2015, 12:05 AM
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Love my White's, the problem is they're simply not designed for hiking. They're heavy, don't provide ankle support in the same way good purpose built hiking boots do, and don't allow your feet to breathe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
These are my White Smoke Jumpers made for my feet in 1983. Wore them everyday for many years. Never a blister from them. Lots of back country work on survey crews. Wear a thick outer cushion sock with a thin inner wicking one. After break in seal the stitching with a seam sealer/lock treatment. A little mink oil every year at most to feed the leather then SnoSeal as required. Never dry by the fire or in an oven. I had a pair of Lowe's mountaineering boots that were stolen, they were good too.

Old 04-24-2015, 03:41 AM
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I'd so for something that's 6 inches (for ankle support). Gore-tex is a must. Keep the gore-tex as clean as possible. Danner or red wings would be my top brands.
Old 04-24-2015, 05:05 AM
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I use two pair. For light use, Columbia's, for heavy or extreme , Redwings. The Redwings are Much heavier than the Columbia's, but they are All Leather. The weight doesn't bother me, as I wear Redwing Steel Toe boots every day at work. I have only had the Redwing Hiking boots since January, but I'm Very Pleased with them.

My Redwing daily work boots are 6 years old and appear they will last at least that much longer. Yes I do clean and oil them, but with a good boot, I don't mind spending the time to care for them properly.

As mentioned, Proper Fit is a must, take the time to be measured and fitted to ensure the most comfortable fit, don't guess on the size.
Old 04-24-2015, 06:49 AM
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A few other leather boots to consider:

1) Zamberlan
2) Vasque
3) Scarpa
4) LaSportiva
5) Asolo
6) Aku

You might also consider a Limmer stock or custom leather boots:

http://www.limmercustomboot.com/cgi-...nfo&name=stock
Old 04-24-2015, 09:58 AM
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I highly recommend Zamberlan. First time I put on a pair was absolutely blissful. Two years ago I packed an elk out 5 miles with about 6 inches of snow on the ground, thought about shooting myself a few times to end the misery, but my feet never complained, even with a 150 lb pack on. Side hilling in the snow, never slipped once.

One thing to consider is ankle support, a higher boot doesn't mean better ankle support. Most hiking boots will do OK in most situations, but a quality backpacking boot will give you great support and last a long time.

Be prepared to spend $2-300 on a pair, I am hard on footwear, and for me, a $300 boot will last much longer than a $150 boot. A $150 boot for me is destroyed in less than 6 months, my Zamberlans are going on 3 years still feel great and are holding together.
Old 04-24-2015, 10:19 AM
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A quick review



From left to right

Merrel Moab - lightweight easy to just slip on I wouldn't try to use these to carry a heavy load. Great for a walk in the park with your dogs. ~$89

Wellco Hybrid Hiker - Moderately light weight but still on the heavy side very durable and rugged construction with a vibram sole. You can usually find these as cheap surplus so they make great beater boots. ~$89-150

Salomon XA PRO 3D Mid GTX - Feels like you're wearing trail running shoes very light, very easy to put on with the quick lace system. Sole is softer than most boots but makes you feel nimble. ~$169

Salmon Quest 4D GTX - Same sole as the XA Pro but with more stability since it laces higher. Can't say anything bad on this boot... I'd feel comfortable doing just about anything in it but if you're carrying a really heavy load you might want a stiffer shank in your boot. ~$220

Asolo Fugitive - If I were to pick a perfect boot this would be it. I haven't had anything else give me this level of ankle support. Stiff shank & sole capable of supporting a very heavy load. Walking over jagged rocks is fine with these your feet won't even feel it. ~$249
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:00 PM
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I'll second the Asolo Fugitives. I've had'em for about two years now and put plenty of miles on them. I use them for backpacking, bushcrafting, and hiking.

I heated the boots up with a hairdryer and liberally applied beeswax to both the leather and synthetic portions of the boot. They've been 100% waterproof thus far.

They're available for a good price (sub $200), and easily resoleable when you wear the sole out.

If I could get these boots in an AR670-1 configuration, I'd buy them in a heartbeat.

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Old 04-24-2015, 05:16 PM
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I have different boots for different types of activities. 8", waterproof Redwings with a Vibram sole for winter hikes and snowshoeing. Two pair of Vasque Breezes with Vibram soles for summer, one is waterproof, the other is not. If I'm going to be walking through a lot of wet grass and underbrush, the waterproof boots are terrific coupled with gaiters. For dry, summer hikes the ones that are not waterproof are a bit cooler. More and more I've been wearing barefoot Vibrams as it really helps my balance and arthritis. You just have to work up to them slowly and let the muscles in your feet and ankles get built up. But they allow you to feel the ground, are much quieter (if you're hunting or wildlife watching this is important) and weigh nothing. They're fine for groomed trails/easy woods and carrying light loads.

These boots are listed from heaviest to lightest, the heaviest being the Redwings at 8lbs, the Vasques at 4lbs, and the barefoot shoes at maybe a quarter lb.

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Old 04-24-2015, 05:32 PM
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For summer backpacking/hiking I purchased a pair of LOWA Tibet boots, they're expensive but I can walk more than 10 miles with a 50 pound pack and not have any problems.



Here is a good article on hiking boot brands.

http://www.hiking-trails-and-gear.co...ing-boots.html


You should also consider what type of socks you plan to wear.

A good pair of boots (i.e. expensive) will save your feet and your knees from aches and pains.
Old 04-24-2015, 08:08 PM
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Go with a quality brand that feels comfy. All top brands are good so I am sure you will fall in love with the one that feels the best. Lighter is better but I do like my solid leather ones for hiking in slop or lots of stream crossings

Solomon has made me happy but lots of other good brands out there
Old 04-24-2015, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljcygnet View Post

I have had some pretty sorry experiences with modern boots -- one pair I bought recently, I soaked them in water to break them in and then wore than around the house, and they blew a seam out before I ever hit the trail!
I buy army boots, the ones that are full leather, no synthetic parts.

I never soak them to break them in, I mean sooner or later they will get a bit wet anyway, sloshing through puddles, dew on the grass, but not to the extent as if you soaked them in a tub.
I wouldn't wear them for a three day hike or more brand new, I tend to wear them on short walks for a while and they get broken in gradually.
What helps is putting shoe polish on them, not that liquid stuff but the stuff in a tin which you apply with a brush. This softens the leather a fair bit.
Don't buff them, you are not in the army, put it on reasonably thick and leave it and it will soak into the leather.

For the rough country I sometimes traverse I wouldn't trust commercial hiking boots. Anything with a mesh breathable panel would make me nervous, too much chance of a stake coming through it, a snake could bite through it, a rock could bruise your foot through it.
Sure commercial hiking boots can be easier to walk in, but I traverse some rough country and I like to be confident that wherever I put my foot I wont suffer an injury.
Old 04-24-2015, 08:42 PM
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I have a set of Asolo classics, took me a while to break em in, even with the separate liner, I eneded up finally getting them setup and tuned in,if im going for less than a week I wear Danner ft lewis, if im going extended i take the Asolos......be warned though, the classics are a lil bit on the heavy side.
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