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 Post subject: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:45 pm 
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First, I want to say that I’m in huge shock to learn that Montrail is no longer making hiking and mountaineering boots. :shock: I’ve wore Montrail boots since my college days (mid 1990’s) and they are now only making trail running shoes.Image I’m very disappointed. Montrail was an excellent boot. I use to log up to 14 miles of hiking per day carrying a 40lb pack and never got a hot spot or blister. The boots were very well made and handled the extreme desert heat, river crossings, and the extreme high alpine mountaineering. I’m astounded. :banghead:

Moving on……. I don’t have a clue what boot to look at. I want a heavy duty trail boot that fits well, has a narrower last, and breaks in quickly, lightweight and has a durable outer sole. Let me know if anyone of you have suggestions. I’m aimless…… Image

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 12:19 am 
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Personally I like Lowa boots if you're looking for something with a narrower fit and good durability. I have a pair for my summer mountaineering boots. They're an Italian company with nice Italian styling and good craftsmanship. Merrell boots are pretty good as well. I had a pair of Phaser Peaks that lasted me 7 years and well over 2000 miles. I replaced them last year with a pair of Merrell wilderness boots.
Another important thing to consider is insoles. A good pair is critical if you're going to be spending a lot of time in them.
The best advice I can give is to really do your homework on the different materials. Gore-Tex is great, but it doesn't meet everyone's needs. Leather is usually the most durable, but it doesn't breath well and takes longer to break in. Find a good local store, I've even had good luck with REI, and get in touch with whoever is footwear expert/backpacking guru and spend a good hour talking to them.

REI is a great place to make the purchase too if you're a member. No questions asked return policy if something doesn't work out ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:10 am 
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Yeah, we are REI members. We were in the REI Santa Fe store last weekend at their “scratch and dent sale”, but it’s what they call a “medium” sized store. We’re going to the Albuquerque store this weekend in which they call an “extra-large” store, so it should have a good selection. I’ll try on the Lowa and Merrell boots in the store and see how they feel. In order to save boot weight, I’ll probably stick with a medium duty boot with a good shank and gortex. I try to keep my personal weight down to 168 lbs so I can keep myself in a lightweight boot. A mountaineering boot is just too much boot weight for my liking. Now if I were trying to summit Denali or some of the 19,000 foot volcanoes in Chile or Mexico, then I “might” reconsider a mountaineering boot.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:54 am 
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Idk if they make hiking boots but red wing makes a great boot. I have a pair for work and they are the most comfortable pair of boots I've ever worn. Even better than a pair of hiking boots I had. I'm on my feet 8 hours of the day walking a lot and climbing ladders all day and my feet never hurt. Hell, I could probably go hiking in these boots!! Lol

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:59 am 
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Most of my hiking footwear is almost all Merrill brand. I have a pair of heavier, sturdier hiking boots, and a couple of pairs of lighter weight boots/trail sneakers. They are comfortable, and seem to break in fast and easily.

I have one pair of REI rigid hiking boots... I've had them for a number of years now... I still can't manage to break them in. They always leave my feet hurting and sometimes blister - and that's regardless of the type of sock that I use. Now I just use those for when we go off-roading in muddier areas because I don't really care if they get destroyed.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Last year I bought a pair of waterproof Zamberlan's. Love them, no break in period, comfortable right out of the box. First time I've ever had a pair that fit this well. Paired them with some synthetic socks from Cabelas, and love the combo.

Used to swear by Vasque, but will never go back. Zamberlans are pricier than most boots, but for me they were worth the extra money.

Spend at least as much time choosing the socks you will be wearing, and buy them before you go try on boots. It really is a pairing, and different socks will make a difference. A good wicking medium hiker sock, either a wool blend or all synthetic based on your taste is a good start.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 4:52 pm 
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bugnout wrote:
Spend at least as much time choosing the socks you will be wearing, and buy them before you go try on boots. It really is a pairing, and different socks will make a difference. A good wicking medium hiker sock, either a wool blend or all synthetic based on your taste is a good start.


Excellent point! I won’t wear anything but Merino or Alpaca Wool. Although SMARTWOOL is a popular brand of the Merino Wool sock, there are other good brands. Back in the late 1990’s, SMARTWOOL was one of the few brands who made professional grade Merino Wool socks that were engineered for specific activities. I ran the outdoor 1500 meters, indoor 1600 meters, indoor and outdoor 5,000 meters, cross country 8,000 meters, and road raced the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, ½ marathon, and marathon in SMARTWOOL socks (called ultra-cushion) and never, let me repeat, NEVER developed a hot spot or blister. As an outdoor enthusiast, (backpacker, hunter, explorer, etc.) I have various types of merino wool socks for specific activities that fit the specific type of footwear that I’m wearing.

Not that anyone wants a detailed lesson, but since bugnout brought up a crucial point, I feel the need to expand on what he said. Merino wool comes in different strengths and/or thicknesses. Strong, also known as “broad” wool, is between 23 - 24.5 um. Medium wool is between 19.6 - 22.9 um. Fine wool is between 18.6 - 19.5 um. Superfine wool is between 15 - 18.5 um. And Ultra-fine is between 11.5 - 15 um. A synthetic sock (in my opinion) can’t begin to touch the performance of merino wool. Merino wool is naturally odor resistant; however, current synthetics do have anti-bacterial benefits. Merino naturally is anti-fungal and fights bacteria. Merino has the widest comfort range and has performance gains in every environment, especially being able to hold heat under extreme body temperature drop or outdoor temperature drop. They are very breathable (more so than synthetic) and can insulate even when wet. Merino does absorb moisture (which reduces problems with blisters) but slowly releases the moisture (which causes the sock to dry faster). The merino also remains lofty and doesn’t become matted or water bogged.

As soon as we get the hay barn built and the proper fencing completed, we are wanting to start a small Alpaca ranch. Merino wool (as a whole) seems to be a stronger more usable fiber, although, some people would disagree. We’ve been volunteering time on an Alpaca Ranch in Mora, New Mexico to learn more about Alpaca and their fiber. We have also been involved with their sheering process and learning how to separate the fibers according to their quality. Here’s their website: http://www.victoryranch.com/

Alpaca fiber is not considered wool, it’s considered a fiber. There are different thicknesses and qualities of fiber, and some fiber experts say that Alpaca fiber can be just as strong as merino. The debate becomes convoluted since there are different ways to blend fiber/wool and produce patterns of weaving. In general, I think merino is most used because it is cheaper than alpaca. There are a few companies who make Alpaca socks, underwear, etc. Alpaca advocates have bragging rights since the Alpaca fiber is hollow which make them a better insulator.

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Last edited by dieselenthusiast on Thu May 03, 2012 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 8:54 pm 
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La Sportiva "Glacier" boot.

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http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwear/mountain/glacier
http://www.backcountry.com/la-sportiva-glacier-mountaineering-boot-mens

Awesome mountaineering boot that will take a crampon. It doesn't have a welt, but has crampon grooves in the front and back. I had to order mine as mountaineering boots aren't popular in southern AZ. (Think I got mine from http://www.backcountry.com.) Just beware that there are two versions of the boot, one of which is for wildland fire fighters (WLF). You probably DON'T want that version. I think it's heavier and taller. Plus it's made in such a way to satisfy federal regulations for fire fighters.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Draco wrote:
La Sportiva "Glacier" boot.


Looks like a nice boot, I'll see if I can find one in Albuquerque. If Montrail had the technology in the 90's to cut weight and use a fiberboard shank, then why can't Sportiva? I also noticed that it has a 1/2" shank instead of a 3/4" shank. On a positive note, I do like the fact that it will accommodate a crampon. And I like the durable outer sole.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:31 pm 
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bugnout wrote:
Used to swear by Vasque, but will never go back. Zamberlans are pricier than most boots, but for me they were worth the extra money.


I've tried on Vasque boots on a few different occasions. The fit was never as snug as the Montrail and they seemed to require more of a break-in period.

To be honest with you, I'm not familiar with the Zamberlan. I did take a peek at their backpacking boots: http://www.zamberlan.com/catalog/index. ... at&idcat=2
I guess I need to add them to the list. Thanks for the recommendation.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:40 pm 
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cgass wrote:
Another important thing to consider is insoles. A good pair is critical if you're going to be spending a lot of time in them.


That’s so true. Sometimes a good boot comes with thicker insoles, so when the factory insoles start to wear out, then you can simply replace them without jeopardizing fit. Otherwise, it’s important to buy the insole and fit it before buying the boot.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Budke wrote:
Idk if they make hiking boots but red wing makes a great boot.


Red Wing primarily makes work boots; however, they do own Vasque, which is a well-known hiking boot. My Granddad always wore Red Wing boots on the farm. I've always been more of a rancher than a farmer, so I wear Wolverine work boots. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:52 pm 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
cgass wrote:
Another important thing to consider is insoles. A good pair is critical if you're going to be spending a lot of time in them.


That’s so true. Sometimes a good boot comes with thicker insoles, so when the factory insoles start to wear out, then you can simply replace them without jeopardizing fit. Otherwise, it’s important to buy the insole and fit it before buying the boot.

I always use super feet insoles so whenever I go boot shopping I make sure they have insoles there for me to put in the boots I'm trying. Lucky for me my bus stops right in front of the REI flagship.

Also, my brother highly recommends the Merrell Outbound Mid Gortex boot.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:19 pm 
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cgass wrote:
I always use super feet insoles so whenever I go boot shopping I make sure they have insoles there for me to put in the boots I'm trying.


I like any of their trim to fit insoles, but I don’t like their custom fit insoles. Hey, they even offer the woolywhite insoles which have merino wool for the top cover. :mrgreen:

cgass wrote:
Lucky for me my bus stops right in front of the REI flagship.


Very cool! 8)

We also order a lot of stuff from Sierra Trading Post

cgass wrote:
Also, my brother highly recommends the Merrell Outbound Mid Gortex boot.


Hmmm, I guess I'll add them to the list.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:42 am 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
Budke wrote:
Idk if they make hiking boots but red wing makes a great boot.


Red Wing primarily makes work boots; however, they do own Vasque, which is a well-known hiking boot. My Granddad always wore Red Wing boots on the farm. I've always been more of a rancher than a farmer, so I wear Wolverine work boots. :mrgreen:



I've had my Vasque boots since 1994. They've taken care of me through all sorts of adventures. Heck, I still wear them as my mowing and yardwork boots.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Here are pictures of my Glacier's taken today near Rincon Peak.

Image

Image

Note that in the second photo there's only one water bottle in my fanny pack. Dad-gummed Mountainsmith lumbar packs have shallow water bottle holsters. One of the water bottles fell out at the get-go and we only had 3L instead of 4L. I had an Osprey fanny pack that was perfect. But my wife took over it when she wanted a bigger pack and I got a new Mountainsmith.

Anyway, the Glacier is more boot than I would normally wear around here. I bought them for alpine hiking. My last 3-season mountaineering boot was a pair of leather Asolo Yukons. These are way more comfortable than those!

It is a big boot. Large, stable sole giving your ankle something to push against. Plus the high upper well above the ankle.

No wonder trekking poles are so popular these days. Because everybody's wearing bootlets with so little ankle support they need trekking poles just to keep from falling down. I'm not kidding. One reason trekking poles are so popular is noone wears real boots anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:47 am 
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Draco wrote:
Here are pictures of my Glacier's taken today near Rincon Peak.

Nice pics! I love the high desert.
Draco wrote:
Anyway, the Glacier is more boot than I would normally wear around here. I bought them for alpine hiking. My last 3-season mountaineering boot was a pair of leather Asolo Yukons. These are way more comfortable than those!

Yeah, I've always thought that the Asolo was overrated.
Draco wrote:
One reason trekking poles are so popular is noone wears real boots anymore.

There's certainly some truth to that. Good footwear allows the skeletal system to do the work whereas poor quality footwear leaves it to the muscular system to do all the work. In other words, cheap boots makes your body work harder. I think the other issue is how physically fit people are, or the lack of. There’s too many people (like myself) who have an office type of job and simply don’t get the exercise unless if it’s supplemental (planned) exercise. Let’s face it; there are a lot of people who are out of shape. I’ve seen people on trails that didn’t belong out there. At that point, hiking poles are used more so as a cane and/or crutch.

I've never owned poles or packed with poles, but I do plan on investing in a good set. They do come in handy on water crossings and steep rocky terrain.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 1:12 am 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
Draco wrote:
One reason trekking poles are so popular is noone wears real boots anymore.

There's certainly some truth to that. Good footwear allows the skeletal system to do the work whereas poor quality footwear leaves it to the muscular system to do all the work. In other words, cheap boots makes your body work harder. I think the other issue is how physically fit people are, or the lack of. There’s too many people (like myself) who have an office type of job and simply don’t get the exercise unless if it’s supplemental (planned) exercise. Let’s face it; there are a lot of people who are out of shape. I’ve seen people on trails that didn’t belong out there. At that point, hiking poles are used more so as a cane and/or crutch.

I've never owned poles or packed with poles, but I do plan on investing in a good set. They do come in handy on water crossings and steep rocky terrain.

Getting a little off topic, but I never owned poles until this past summer, and now that I've gotten used to them I never leave them behind. I always thought they were for old out of shape guys but I've found that they can be tremendously helpful. If your carrying a heavy pack they take some of the weight and help to keep your posture correct. If your fording a stream they can be both a judge of depth and provided much better stability than your feet alone. In camp they can be used for a clothesline, an emergency shelter, bear scares... etc.

They really are quite handy. Give them a try, I bet you'll love them.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:08 am 
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yellocoyote wrote:
Most of my hiking footwear is almost all Merrill brand. I have a pair of heavier, sturdier hiking boots, and a couple of pairs of lighter weight boots/trail sneakers. They are comfortable, and seem to break in fast and easily.

I have one pair of REI rigid hiking boots... I've had them for a number of years now... I still can't manage to break them in. They always leave my feet hurting and sometimes blister - and that's regardless of the type of sock that I use. Now I just use those for when we go off-roading in muddier areas because I don't really care if they get destroyed.



merrill's have been great for me. i really like their low top... gortex... hiking footwear. i have a narrower foot and their lacing systems seem to work the best for me. break in is quick and they are made to last. plus dry very quickly if they get wet (inside or out).

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a new hiking boot
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:08 pm 
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bugnout wrote:
Last year I bought a pair of waterproof Zamberlan's. Love them, no break in period, comfortable right out of the box. First time I've ever had a pair that fit this well. .


I decided on a new pair of boots today. Guess what brand? :mrgreen:

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