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?
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by hikerdw » Oct 28 2013 2:22 pm

pair of Salomon's that the guy told me were like tanks and would not fall apart so easily
The good thing about Salomon's is that they stand behind their products, 2 year warranty on footwear. I wear the Quest 4D's in the cooler months and did have a pair where the sole tore after about a year and a half of use so I contacted Salomon directly, sent them a picture of the tear, 2 weeks later I had a new pair of boots delivered to the front door.

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by friendofThundergod » Oct 28 2013 2:33 pm

@hikerdw
Nice! I always wondered if I would have done that if Aslo would have sent me refund directly?? The REI folks were honestly no help...but thanks for the tip, I might use that strategy if they go bad early..

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by te_wa » Nov 12 2013 3:55 pm

i wear the Salomon xa pro and have had 3 pair now. although, a new kid has piqued my attention and is becoming a "cult" shoe of sorts.. http://www.altrazerodrop.com/fitness/en ... ak-15-mens
:D

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Barrett
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by Barrett » Nov 12 2013 8:35 pm

I'm on my second pair of Merrell Moab Ventilator Lows, and the first pair lasted forever. However this second pair had a lug come loose after just a few months. I've noticed in this thread that a number of other members have had the same problem. I glued it back on with Shoe Goo, and will see how that holds up. If not they go back to REI.
Otherwise, they are great. I've never sprained an ankle so I stick with low tops to save weight. I replace the insoles with Superfeet Greens, which add some arch, and cup rather than pad the heel. The Superfeet also are made of partially rigid plastic, so a day spent walking on pointy rocks is easier on the feet.
I also swear by low gaiters. I have a pair of Rocky Mountain's that I have replaced the arch strap with 1/16" stainless steel wire (available at Lowes or Home Depot). The nylon straps gaiters come with are shredded in no time walking on tuff, etc.
They weigh next to nothing and I can't remember the last time I had to stop for a rock in my shoe. They also help keep out burrs and critters when plowing off trail.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by Sun_Ray » Nov 13 2013 5:06 pm

@Barrett
Merrill Moeb Ventilator lows are also my choice. Also use Superfeet -green in them. For me I start to get some ball of the foot pain at about 8 miles but a rarely go over that distance and I'm a big guy...225 lbs. I'm on my third pair.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azbackpackr » Nov 14 2013 6:35 am

Sun Ray wrote:@Barrett
Merrill Moab Ventilator lows are also my choice. Also use Superfeet -green in them. For me I start to get some ball of the foot pain at about 8 miles but a rarely go over that distance and I'm a big guy...225 lbs. I'm on my third pair.
Funny, that was absolutely the worst shoe for my foot I have ever tried to wear. Ultra-ultra wide, so I had to wear a super thick insole, and every time I stepped on a rock my foot would twist around INSIDE the shoe, that is how wide they were on me. After wearing them about 4 X (I got them for free via my search and rescue group) I sent them to the Goodwill in disgust.

I have received my Men's La Sportive Boulder-X shoes, have not hiked in them yet--I had them sent here to California, and I finally did get here yesterday morning. Haven't had a chance to try them out.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by Sun_Ray » Nov 14 2013 7:36 am

@azbackpackr
My foot is ultra-ultra wide....makes sense why they work for me :D
Brian
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azbackpackr » Nov 14 2013 8:31 am

Sun Ray wrote:@azbackpackr
My foot is ultra-ultra wide....makes sense why they work for me :D
Although people with very wide feet sometimes have trouble finding shoes and boots, it is nothing compared to someone who has a shoe size that simply is not manufactured by any company!
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by Jim_H » Nov 14 2013 8:38 am

It's no different if you have flat feet, as the raised heel almost all shoes have is painful after a while. I'm glad there are a few shoes I can wear that are flat and either minimal which is fine for around town and short hikes, or padded like My Altra Zero drop shoes. Won't do much for work shoes, but there must be some outlet for a leather shoe or boot that is flat.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by Barrett » Nov 14 2013 6:47 pm

I failed to mention the most important aspect of shoe selection - fit.
As most of you know, try hiking boots on later in the day, when your feet are larger to simulate what they will be on a hike. Also wear similar volume socks, walk on uneven terrain (REI has a fake rock), and kick a few things if possible with your toe to make sure you have decent protection against toe injury.
There are also a number of different ways to lace, which can dramatically alter the fit.
http://sectionhiker.com/hiking-boot-lacing-techniques/
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by CannondaleKid » Nov 16 2013 5:46 pm

Barrett wrote:As most of you know, try hiking boots on later in the day, when your feet are larger to simulate what they will be on a hike.
While I've believed the same thing for years and that statement seems to be accurate for a few pairs of shoes I have, the leather boots I've been wearing for 3-4 months stretch more than my feet swell over the course of a hike.
Even though I tried them on with two pairs of socks (one thin & one thick) late in the day when I bought them, they stretch enough I've resorted to even thicker socks. Each time I right after I put them on they feel tight but within a few minutes of walking they feel just right. But I still have to stop and pull the laces tighter every so often while hiking and by the end of a long hike the ties have big loops.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by joebartels » Nov 16 2013 5:56 pm

What are the recent waffle stompers you've been wearing Mark? They look pretty gnarly with the wide toe area.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by CannondaleKid » Nov 16 2013 6:15 pm

@joe bartels I had to spend a bundle but they were well worth it: Danner Quarry Work Boots. Waterproof full grain leather boot with GoreTex lining.

I was giving Danner another chance as the soles of my Danner Pronghorn boots were wearing way too fast but before that happened, then right boot somehow gaining a raised lump in the insole so I could no longer wear them. But again, I'm very happy with these, even at twice the price of the Pronghorns.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by AZLumberjack » Jul 26 2014 5:51 am

Just read this article that's making me have second thoughts about my next purchase.... some interesting perspectives in here especially for the backpacking crowds.

http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/gear ... 9OiEPldUgg

What's your thoughts? I have notoriously weak ankles and have stuck to the taller (mid height) boot to provide the ankle support I need.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 26 2014 5:57 am

Most people have switched to low-cut hiking shoes. I've done some serious off-trail 4 and 5-day backpacking trips in Grand Canyon with people who were basically wearing sneakers, albeit "hiking" sneakers. Unfortunately I have never found a pair to fit my weird feet, or I'd probably have three or four pairs of them. I wear Lowa boots.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by hikerdw » Jul 26 2014 3:48 pm

If the shoe/boot fits, wear it, and if it really fits well buy multiple pairs because the chance of that shoe/boot being available in a year or two when that pair wears out, or not modified in some fashion where it no longer fits the same, is very probable.

I also prefer boots that support the ankles and that have a stiffer sole than most trail shoes, especially if doing any off-trail or canyon hiking. Although still heavier than a trail shoe, there are a lot of hiking boots lower in weight but still offering the support found in the older heavier boots of years past, Salomon is a prime example.

For low-cut trail shoes I like the Ahnu brand which has pretty decent under foot protection. The uppers wear out before the soles do. For hiking boots I have been wearing the Salomon Quest 4D's, although I just picked up a pair of the new 4th generation Danner Pronghorn hunting boots :o It was like the boot was molded for my feet so I couldn't past them up. Weight wise they are real close to the Salomon, which one boot weighs in at 1lb 7oz and the Pronghorn weighs in at 1lb 11oz (size 12's). Once I get some miles under the new Pronghorn's, if they perform like I think they will, I will be ordering at least one additional pair, maybe two.

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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by nonot » Jul 28 2014 8:09 pm

use whatever shoes you find comfortable to hike in. For me, that isn't heavy boots, at least not in Arizona. Boots have their place, but for me it would be extended snow travel only.
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by outdoor_lover » Jul 29 2014 10:39 pm

I'm switching from a stiff, mid, Canyoneer Boot to a low Water Shoe...We'll see how that goes...I'm sick of my Feet being miserable, numb and full of Hot Spots after a Trip...I will miss that C4 Rubber though I'll bet.... ;) We'll see....
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by CannondaleKid » Jul 30 2014 7:45 am

hikerdw wrote:The uppers wear out before the soles do.
No matter what brand or type I have always worn out the soles before the uppers. So with that in mind, the last boots I bought are Danner Quarry with Vibram soles that could be re-soled.

Only problem with that is getting a quality re-sole... it took a year to wear the soles smooth (wearing them on probably 75% of my hikes) before getting them re-soled. After some research I came up with two places with the highest ratings. Unfortunately when I walked into the first place I found they not only specialize in cowboy boots, that's ALL they do.

So I went to the second choice, which was A 2 Z Shoe Repair where I figured $65 for another Vibram sole was reasonable. But <2 months & the right heel started peeling so I brought it back. They fixed it but are maybe ten hikes both soles have a small gap all around so it probably won't be long before they separate. Based on how much they chewed up the original part of the boots on the re-sole, there's no way they can be fixed again.
](*,)
Although the uppers are still in great shape and they are the best fitting/feeling boots I've ever hiked with it doesn't do much good if I can't get more use out of them. As good as they were I'm not going to spend $250 for another pair if I can only get a year of use.

So I'll be looking for something else to try soon... Since my previous boots were Danner Pronghorns that lasted less than 6 months (buckling up under the insole under the ball caused a stress fracture) so I'm definitely not going back there.

My current hiking foot gear include:
1. Teva Terra-Fi = Well-defined trails/light off-trail. I wore Teva's everywhere but deep cracking in the heels (more with age) and of course filthy feet.
2. Salomon Trail Runner (Gore-Tex) = Same use as above except for when I don't want my feet to get so filthy. I've had these 8 years but rarely use them
3. Merrell Chameleon = Good for absolutely flat trails only as they roll ankles too easily
4. Merrell ? ($9 @ Goodwill) = Good for easy trails, more stable than the Chameleons but you feel every rock through the thin soles
5. RedHead Trekker III = Good for keeping fox-tails and other debris from getting into boots, good for climbing but bad when traversing across steep slopes. (Too rounded inside so feet can twist sideways easily)
6. Danner Quarry = Good on every kind of terrain, flat, steep climbing, steep traverses, good grip on smooth & rough rock alike... if they were 1/2 the price they'd continue to be my favorite. Yes, at 1 pound 12 oz each they are not light, but I suppose being so comfortable I never felt the weight while hiking. (In fact it seems I trip way more often with the Salomon's or Merrell's.)
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Re: hiking shoe/boot/sandal recommendations thread

Post by hikerdw » Jul 30 2014 8:41 am

CannondaleKid wrote:Since my previous boots were Danner Pronghorns that lasted less than 6 months (buckling up under the insole under the ball caused a stress fracture) so I'm definitely not going back there.

Hopefully Danner fixed this issue with the new Pronghorn's. I guess I will know soon enough.

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