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Old 10-16-2019, 03:12 PM
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So I'm thinking about replacing my hiking shoes, but I'm on the fence on what to try out this time around. I'm currently wearing Keen Voyageurs, which I've loved so far, and I've previously worn through several pairs of Merrells. Not opposed to mid-height, but I want to stay as far under $100 as possible for budget reasons, while still getting good quality. Anyone got any good suggestions?
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:30 PM
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FOOTWEAR..
IF on a budget you have your choice of 2 out of 3

comfortable

rugged

cheap

Personally I would look to save money elsewhere but NEVER on the footwear. NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER do footwear on the cheap, because in the end you pay for it anyway.

Best bang for the buck I have found are Danner Vicious and depending on where you get them can be more but not by much.

For hiking bush Alaska I have some $300+ Salomons, and I got the Vicious for a back up pair for hiking... until I wore them in the bush. NOW I relegate the Salomons to back up status because I find the Danners more comfortable for bush hikes with a pack and so far they wear like iron.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=danner+vi...sl_xd4ipv553_b
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:32 PM
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I have been really happy with trail running shoes at the moment. I do an Asics brand.

They are low cut but I haven't noticed I roll an ankle any more in them than a high cut. And they weigh a lot less.
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:44 PM
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Not sure which model.

And the reason I got in to trail runners is a friend of mine did a kakoda challenge. And a lot of those guys were wearing sneakers.

https://amp.couriermail.com.au/quest...5f51fc50570e36

It really cemented this idea of sneakers, water, poles, rain jacket. And that is 100kms covered.
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontbuypotteryfromme View Post
Not sure which model.

And the reason I got in to trail runners is a friend of mine did a kakoda challenge. And a lot of those guys were wearing sneakers.

https://amp.couriermail.com.au/quest...5f51fc50570e36

It really cemented this idea of sneakers, water, poles, rain jacket. And that is 100kms covered.
Funny, I think I actually own a pair of those. Good shoes.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:00 PM
CPT_MOOSE1988 CPT_MOOSE1988 is offline
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i do lots of backpacking with packs as heavy as 50 lbs. solomon boots, specifically the quest gtx2 ( the third gen is basically identical) have been the most durable and comfortable boot ive ever worn. popular with certain teams in the military as well. check them out!
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:24 PM
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I bought a pair of Xiang Guan high top hiking boots for $80 from Amazon last spring. They held up really well through one season of moderate hiking and they're my daily wear most of the time.

I think buying these particular Chinese shoes are a crapshoot; either you get a well-made pair or you get a pair that were made on a day where the QA guy wasn't at work. In my case, I was lucky and got a great pair.

If you don't mind spending a hair over $100, I'm also a big fan of the Solomon Speedcross line.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:30 PM
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I spent summers on the survey crew in the steep mountains forest and desert, years on the highway department testing roads. I went to the White factory and had them measure my feet and make me 2 pair of Smoke Jumpers in 1983. I wore them everyday for many years. I wore them with my road bike for training while in college up to the 90's. After I lost my right leg about 8 years ago, they were the first shoes I learned how to walk again with. They are still good boots.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:47 PM
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I spent summers on the survey crew in the steep mountains forest and desert, years on the highway department testing roads. I went to the White factory and had them measure my feet and make me 2 pair of Smoke Jumpers in 1983. I wore them everyday for many years. I wore them with my road bike for training while in college up to the 90's. After I lost my right leg about 8 years ago, they were the first shoes I learned how to walk again with. They are still good boots.
My dad wore Whites, then after retiring, he sold and re-built them. Total fan.

But they are "slightly" over the $100 limit the OP mentioned.

The idea of wearing trail running shoes is great..unless you actually get off the trail and out into places where the land is actively trying to hurt you.

Cactus spines go right through the soles, and they simply aren't up to dealing with the scree, the burrs, even foxtails or the rest of what is out here.
I won't even wear running shoes to work in my yard.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ajole View Post
My dad wore Whites, then after retiring, he sold and re-built them. Total fan.

But they are "slightly" over the $100 limit the OP mentioned.

The idea of wearing trail running shoes is great..unless you actually get off the trail and out into places where the land is actively trying to hurt you.

Cactus spines go right through the soles, and they simply aren't up to dealing with the scree, the burrs, even foxtails or the rest of what is out here.
I won't even wear running shoes to work in my yard.

GOOD POINT..

I guess the question is what kind of terrain does the OP see himself transiting?

If all he is going to do is trod the path of the folks before him on the well worn paths of Jelleystone or or such, then I guess mixing with those ardent outdoors folks who think "floppies" are good bush shoes won't be an issue.

When in Alaska I tend to make my own trails and I never step off without my GOOD boots and GAITERS... ALWAYS with gaiters that repel all that hard pointy, sticky scratchy stuff that can really make life miserable once off the beaten path.

Tennis/running shoes would be good for about 5 seconds until something pierced them or drove a thorn into your ankle...

ALWAYS GAITERS.

but never cheap on the foot protection and comfort... unless you plan on someone else carrying you out.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajole View Post
My dad wore Whites, then after retiring, he sold and re-built them. Total fan.

But they are "slightly" over the $100 limit the OP mentioned.

The idea of wearing trail running shoes is great..unless you actually get off the trail and out into places where the land is actively trying to hurt you.

Cactus spines go right through the soles, and they simply aren't up to dealing with the scree, the burrs, even foxtails or the rest of what is out here.
I won't even wear running shoes to work in my yard.
Last week I wore my Xiang Guans (which aren't much more than trail runners) with gaiters while elk hunting. I've gone through a lot of rough country with no problems. My brother got me started on lightweight hiking boots with gaiters for elk hunting and I'm a fan of it. Just a few ounces saved makes a big difference after a day of hiking rough terrain.

I'll be the first to admit it could very well be that the cactus you're refering to is completely different from the tiny cactus we have up here though. Our idea of rough terrain is steep and rocky.

If it's cold or snowy I'll wear my Danner boots.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:28 PM
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When in Alaska I tend to make my own trails and I never step off without my GOOD boots and GAITERS... .........

ALWAYS GAITERS.

but never cheap on the foot protection and comfort... unless you plan on someone else carrying you out.
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...... lightweight hiking boots with gaiters for elk hunting and I'm a fan of it....
I also am a gaiter fan.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:53 PM
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When I saw under a hundred bucks I almost didn’t reply. Might be the best you can do and that’s fine, but when the blisters start and toenails start coming off you’ll wish you saved a little longer and bought better quality.
Everyone says don’t pay attention to name brands but instead get what feels best on your feet. There’s merit to that, some do feel better and don’t cost as much as others, just make sure they’re built to last long enough to get you out of the rocks.
Lots of people are going to trail runners now for lighter packs and day hiking, but NW GUY is absolutely correct...if you’re planning on going off trail and cross country you’ll regret not having the extra protection! I guess for well established trails and lighter packs you could make it with trail runners.
I will plug Salomons again. I’ve got about 180 miles on mine carrying a 40 pound pack and the lugs on the bottom still look pretty new. Of course I paid $289 for them, then saw them a week later on another site for $179! Still a little sore about that...
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:13 PM
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My son and I both have Asolo, different Asolos, that we like a lot. I have heard a lot of good things about Salomons. I have had Merrell and Keen walking shoes that I liked, but haven't tried the boots. Heard some good things about those also.

The truth above: you can have any two of comfortable, rugged, and cheap, but not all three.

Another factor is the OP's physical health. I have a bad ankle and two bad knees and so would go over built rather than under built and would not wear shoes (as opposed to boots) on anything but the most worn, established trails. YMMV.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:19 AM
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From my experience, and my backpacking friends agree, the bigger your feet are and the more you weigh, the faster a boot will break down and start rolling your ankle or leaking. Regardless of size, a given boot is make of the same materials, and the bigger the boot is the more stress that's applied to the materials that are used to make the boot.
If you're lucky enough to be a smaller person, you might not have to put as much money into a boot purchase. If you're 6'4" and weigh 240lbs, like I am, you can break down a boot in few weeks. I backpack and hunt with a guy who weighs around 220lbs and the same thing has happened to him. The boots will feel great until they've been on the AT for two weeks in the winter, then you feel like you're hiking in sandals.
I'm looking for a new pair of boots that are all leather because me and my hunting friend both bought Salomon Quest GTXs at the same time and they started leaking around the welt after two two-week trips on the AT last spring.
Several of my larger friends have recommended Asolo Power Matic 200s, which are real tanks that cost over $300. If anyone has tried them or can recommend a heavy boot that won't break down and leak if worn by a larger person, I'd appreciate any recommendations.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:58 AM
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From my experience, and my backpacking friends agree, the bigger your feet are and the more you weigh, the faster a boot will break down and start rolling your ankle or leaking. Regardless of size, a given boot is make of the same materials, and the bigger the boot is the more stress that's applied to the materials that are used to make the boot.
If you're lucky enough to be a smaller person, you might not have to put as much money into a boot purchase. If you're 6'4" and weigh 240lbs, like I am, you can break down a boot in few weeks. I backpack and hunt with a guy who weighs around 220lbs and the same thing has happened to him. The boots will feel great until they've been on the AT for two weeks in the winter, then you feel like you're hiking in sandals.
I'm looking for a new pair of boots that are all leather because me and my hunting friend both bought Salomon Quest GTXs at the same time and they started leaking around the welt after two two-week trips on the AT last spring.
Several of my larger friends have recommended Asolo Power Matic 200s, which are real tanks that cost over $300. If anyone has tried them or can recommend a heavy boot that won't break down and leak if worn by a larger person, I'd appreciate any recommendations.
I am 6'1" and 220 and as previously stated I love my Danner Vicious. For a boot under $200 I haven't worn anything that is as comfortable hiking AK. I have had a lot of good wear time on the Salomons but after wearing the Danners one day because of the bad weather and I wanted to not soak the Salomons my back up boots became the go to boots. Don't have hundreds of miles on them but I know I have at least 100 miles of Denali on them and all the varied terrain that encompasses.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:59 AM
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I have to have ankle support and protection here in Wyoming. I wear a size 9 EE width with a high arch so I'm a huge fan of the US MADE Danners.
Comfortable and rugged.
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:16 PM
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Hiking on certain parts of the AT require you to navigate lots of slippery rocks, especially in winter, and several people have rolled ankles, broken ankles and broken legs on the worst parts of the trail, so ankle support is mandatory. Stone bruises are also a problem, and no water intrusion is a given.
I"m going to see if I can find a place that sells the Danners and see what they feel like.
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
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GOOD POINT..

I guess the question is what kind of terrain does the OP see himself transiting?

If all he is going to do is trod the path of the folks before him on the well worn paths of Jelleystone or or such, then I guess mixing with those ardent outdoors folks who think "floppies" are good bush shoes won't be an issue.

When in Alaska I tend to make my own trails and I never step off without my GOOD boots and GAITERS... ALWAYS with gaiters that repel all that hard pointy, sticky scratchy stuff that can really make life miserable once off the beaten path.

Tennis/running shoes would be good for about 5 seconds until something pierced them or drove a thorn into your ankle...

ALWAYS GAITERS.

but never cheap on the foot protection and comfort... unless you plan on someone else carrying you out.
Terrain detail was probably a good idea from the start. I have a pic below for example. For the most part, it's rocky, sandy soil, mesquite and cactus. Not many established trails aside from lease roads, but I generally stay away from the roads due to oil field traffic. Some steeper climbs in a few areas, and I generally pack in full gear and a rifle.

For the physical fitness question, I'd say I'm reasonable fit for a guy with asthma (exercise-induced, of all things). I won't be running any 5Ks, but I do fine with hunting and tracking given breaks and such. Ankle support is a big plus, so I'm probably leaning toward mid-height at this point. I'm used to low rise hikers, but I'm not committed to them by any means.

Also, yes I know $100 is low for hikers. Normally I'd be looking higher, but for various circumstances I currently find myself in, I'm just looking at options at a lower cost and working up from there. I do appreciate the feedback, regardless of price range, though. Agree with the comments on price though. My shoes generally are picked like my optics. Get cheap stuff and often suffer the consequences. Can't stand cheap sneakers because they ALWAYS wreck my feet. But I was also curious on sub $100 hikers because the last few pairs I got for well under that were actually pretty good. Just wondered what else was out there. Hope that clarifies.
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:36 PM
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I wore my boots for about 2 weeks then I used a seam locker on the threads. I gave them a very light treatment with mink oil, then worked in warm SnoSeal. I re SnoSealed them as required and every other year or so I gave them a light treatment of the mink oil.

I never dried my boots by the fire or in the oven.

I made a gaiter 'ridge' on my prosthetic leg to hold it.
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