hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

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azdesertfather
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hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azdesertfather » Apr 04 2009 9:54 am

Thought I'd start a thread that we can post to over time and give people recommendations on good hiking shoes/boots/sandals (whatever). I had a couple of pair that lasted me for a really long time, I guess I got spoiled. But I've had some bad luck with hiking boots my last three tries, maybe you've had similar experiences.

Finally in frustration I started digging around online for recommendations, and found a site called consumersearch that combines reviews from Backpacker Magazine, Cabelas, Buzzillions, GearReview, Zappos, REI, and others. Here's what the recommended:

• Lightweight hiking shoes: Hi-Tec V-Lite Radar II Event Low
• Mid-cut hiking shoes for more ankle support: Keen Targhee II Mid
• Lightweight hiking boots: Timberland Cadion Waterproof Mid Gore-Tex XCR
• Heavy-duty leather backpacking boots: Kayland Vertigo High
• Women's hiking boots: Lowa Banff Lady

Have been looking online for some Keen Targhee IIs, and OUCH! LITTLE pricey...

Thinking at this point to go Teva, which still aren't on the cheaper side, but I understand will be a good investment?
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by trekkin_gecko » Dec 10 2009 6:24 pm

thinking it's aspen sports, right down the street from babbit's

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azbackpackr » Dec 10 2009 6:53 pm

Oh, yeah, Aspen Sports. That's the place where I spent 45 minutes trying on backpacks, emptying stuffing all over the floor, filling the packs with sandbags, walking around the store with them on, and NO ONE ASKED ME IF I NEEDED ANY HELP. I found one I liked, and went home and bought it on the internet for $30 less.

ARE YOU LISTENING ASPEN SPORTS???

That still galls me...

Babbitt's is the place where, when I asked the clerk if they carried Clifshots, he made a face and said "YUUUCK! Why do you want those? YUUUUCK!!!" Great customer service, yeah...

Dipshits all. I shop the internet. Mom n Pop stores are in business because of customer service. If they won't provide it, let them fail.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by fricknaley » Dec 10 2009 8:26 pm

yeah i've got 250+ hard miles on 'em so far...so good
hi

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azdesertfather » Apr 12 2010 9:55 pm

big_load wrote:I currently wear some lightweight Danners, the EXO Edge mid. They're very light, but theyr'e tougher than anything else I've found in that weight range. I have super high-volume feet and wear custom orthotics.
te-wa wrote:I dont know how they compile the evidence, but imho the companies Timberland and Hi-Tec (and Merrell, owned by Wolverine) dont make what I would call cutting edge. Mediocre, maybe If i can be so harsh...

for lifelong boots - Danner, Zamberlain, la sportiva
Hey te-wa & big_load (and others who have used Danners), have you still been pleased with the durability of the Danners? I go through boots so quickly. I have looked for the EXO Edge mids, and only Cabela's carries them now.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by big_load » Apr 12 2010 10:58 pm

The ones I wear have EVA midsoles (like running shoes), so they have a lifespan of about 400 miles. Within that context, they're as durable as expected. My second pair is nearing the end of its life and I'm seriously considering getting another pair. I may also switch to something with PU midsoles that would last much longer, but it would also be heavier and less cushiony, which may be more penalty than I'd accept for a longer useful life.

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azdesertfather » Sep 30 2010 9:02 pm

Update to this thread: Backpacker magazine in August field tested 9 different pair of shoes in the Grand Canyon and gave 5 recommendations:

• Best all-around: Asolo TPS 520 GV - http://www.asolo.com
• Best bargain: KEEN Pyrenees - http://www.keenfootwear.com
• Best protection: LOWA Baffin Pro/Baffin Pro Lady - http://www.lowaboots.com
• Light & fast: Lafuma XMotion Mid Leather - http://www.lafumausa.com
• Lightweight stability: Salomon Quest 4D GTX - http://www.salomonsports.com
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azdesertfather » Sep 30 2010 9:13 pm

Does anyone know the details of REI's shoe return policy? Their website isn't very specific. I understand Cabela's will take any of their shoes back if they are even worn out and provide a gift card for the original purchase amount...
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by joebartels » Sep 30 2010 9:23 pm

After all the great things I'd heard about returns to REI they practically spit in my face when I took my Salomon X Wings back three months later. I mainly buy on line now. Bruce has practically made a living on Cabela's ten dollar shoe insurance.

I figure my Teva's have over nine hundred rough miles on 'em. Only recently did I start tracking my shoes. Almost depressing as my NB813 are basically trashed after 180 miles.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by big_load » Sep 30 2010 9:34 pm

My latest are Garmont Flash 3. They're a little heavier than my old Danners, but the PU midsole should have a lot more miles in it.

I don't have any specific objections to Backpacker's picks, but nothing matters as much as fit. A good rating doesn't matter if it's not the right match for your foot.

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by The_Eagle » Sep 30 2010 10:37 pm

joe bartels wrote:Bruce has practically made a living on Cabela's ten dollar shoe insurance.
:y: Bought my first pair of Merill's for $80 + $9.99 insurance policy. The next 3 pairs cost me $9.99 each! 400 :) - 450 miles per pair. This until I walked into a 19.99 Sale on the shoes and bought 2 pairs! I'm set for another 700 miles or so.....
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azdesertfather » Sep 30 2010 11:00 pm

From Trails.com:

Most Comfortable Hiking Boots

Kayland's Vertigo Light
The winner of Outdoor magazine's 2009 Gear of the Year award, Kayland's Vertigo Light hiking boots are some seriously comfy footwear. Whether it be from sweat or from rains and crossing streams, wet feet are a misery on the trail. On the inside, this boots' breathable Cocona lining keeps your feet dry under even the hottest, sweatiest conditions. On the outside, the materials made it the driest boot Outdoor magazine tested in 2009. Kayland's Vertigo Light also offer excellent ankle support for mid-cut boots that weigh only 20 oz. However, note that these boots will fit best on narrow-to-medium volume feet. If you have wide feet, these won't be comfortable boots even with all their excellent qualities.

Keen Voyageurs
Keen is perhaps best known as the maker of durable, closed-toe sandals, but they also make rugged and comfortable hiking boots. The Voyageur line comes in both hiking shoe and mid-cut boot models. These Keen boots are lightweight and topped with nylon mesh. That means they are not waterproof, but they are very breathable and will keep your feet dry in hot and sweaty conditions. Plus, the thick, padded mesh construction makes these boots so light and comfortable that you will be tempted to wear them as street shoes, according to Consumer Search hiking boot reviews. The "rocker" sole in particular does a good job of reducing wear and tear on your feet over the long haul.

Raichle Mountain Trekker
These are heavily built boots for rugged conditions, and they look it. These are long-distance hiking shoes, and like most leather boots, they require breaking in before they become comfortable. However, once you have these boots broken in, they will be kind to your feet on hikes where you need to go long distances day after day, according to Galt Buying Guides. In addition, they have all the features one would expect from a heavy-duty pair of leather hiking boots, like steel lacing rings and good water-resistance performance. That said, these boots will probably be too much shoe for a day hiker.


Read more at Trails.com: Most Comfortable Hiking Boots | Trails.com http://www.trails.com/list_27954_comfor ... z1156RNTZX
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by MtnBart01 » Sep 30 2010 11:30 pm

Sierra Trading Post will take virtually anything back anytime. After a certain period they give you store credit. You know your spending too much money when they buy You a 1 year subscription to backpacker magazine. :D
The best Hikers are made by Vibram. Never had a blister have 200 hiking miles and 4-600 walking/ running miles on them since 12/09. They probably were not a model backpacker, outside, or trails.com tested :sl:
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 01 2010 3:47 am

big_load wrote:
I don't have any specific objections to Backpacker's picks, but nothing matters as much as fit. A good rating doesn't matter if it's not the right match for your foot.
Bingo.

I FINALLY (after years of talk ;) ) got myself to Tucson in August. I went straight to Summit Hut and was properly fitted (by a TRAINED boot-fitter) with a great pair of strong but light leather boots, Lowa Renegade GTX Mid, which have a big sign on the box that says "NARROW." I also tried on some light shoes, I am pretty sure were Salomons, but did not have enough money for both. They were not specifically narrow, but they sure fit that way--fit very well. I wrote the name of them down somewhere, can't find it right now.

The Merrell Moab Ventilators are hands-down the worst pair of shoes I have ever owned, primarily because they are incredibly wide, and I had to stuff them with a very thick insole, and lace them very tightly, and still they are too wide, and so they started rolling over on me pretty quick.

I meant to get myself to REI in Tucson but I never did. But I am keeping my business with Summit Hut if I go back there. One thing I had heard is that their prices are about the same, maybe some items a little higher, some a little lower. So, I would rather support the local place rather than the big corporation.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by nathandale87 » Jan 30 2011 6:21 am

Hi guys just new here.

Hiking is not my type but after I've watched 127 hours it move me. So I decide to follow my family sports. Thanks.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 30 2011 8:29 am

nathandale87 wrote:Hi guys just new here.

Hiking is not my type but after I've watched 127 hours it move me. So I decide to follow my family sports. Thanks.
:sl:

Dude, it move me!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 30 2011 9:18 am

azbackpackr wrote:
nathandale87 wrote:Hi guys just new here.

Hiking is not my type but after I've watched 127 hours it move me. So I decide to follow my family sports. Thanks.
:sl:

Dude, it move me!
Now now Liz, not everyone can have perfect grammar.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 30 2011 9:23 am

PageRob wrote:
azbackpackr wrote:
nathandale87 wrote:Hi guys just new here.

Hiking is not my type but after I've watched 127 hours it move me. So I decide to follow my family sports. Thanks.
:sl:

Dude, it move me!
Now now Liz, not everyone can have perfect grammar.
Yeah, especially not a spammer from Pakistan (who wishes, God knows why, that he was in Orlando)! ;)
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 30 2011 9:50 am

I certainly don't want to be in Orlando, that's for sure.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 28 2013 3:48 am

Some of my hiking pals know the trials and tribulations I've had with hiking boots and shoes over the years. PLC9249385923859478594795, rob_del_desierto, bknorby, jnorb, ray_hiker, mikehikes, raywing, and others too numerous to mention. Not to mention the rants I've posted here. My feet are super narrow, and there are only two companies that claim to make narrow boots for women, Lowa, and (maybe) Vasque. I have a pair of each. They are too wide, and they are too short, in the longest size made for women. I lost all my toenails with the Lowas on the Pt. Huitzil/Royal Arch/Tonto/S. Bass loop a couple of years ago. Then I found the Vasque Breeze, which worked well for a couple of backpacking trips, until they got broken in, then I just could not hike in them without my toes jamming the fronts. I also own an old pair of Vasque Wasatch clodhoppers. These fit me very well but they weigh about 3 lbs. EACH. So, I do keep them around. Also, my old Lowas work well for wading hikes along Black River and Aravaipa--as long as I don't have to go down any steep slopes they are okay.

So, very long story short, I tried on some shoes, men's La Sportiva Boulder X, at REI, last spring. They seemed to fit really well. You can lace them tight, down to the toes. I finally ordered a pair, when I finally found the little piece of paper with the name of the shoes written on it. I had lost it. So, we shall see. I had them sent to California where I'll be living. I don't have them yet. Any hikes I may post in the next week or so, I'll be wearing my old sneakers.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by friendofThundergod » Oct 28 2013 11:45 am

@joe bartels
Ya right? I tried taking my Aslo's back to REI and I had like a 19 year old kid who has probably done S. Mountain and Camelback tell me that he didn't see anything past regular wear, the holes in bottom he said were a product of the way I hiked..lol I guess he was the authority on returning boots, so no dice there, I guess four months was the shelf-life on those boots...A little worried now after reading your post, I just dropped way too much on a pair of Salomon's that the guy told me were like tanks and would not fall apart so easily..we will see I guess.

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