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    Default hiking boots

    I know there's a whole boots thread, but they are quite diverse.
    i have recently discovered that hiking in winter is awesome and a great way to get outside in cold temps when cycling is, as we all know if we're being honest, no longer fun.

    I would like a good hiking boots as I have some old EMS ones that have the cushion of poured concrete and hurt my feet. theyre also super heavy.

    As of now I have been hiking probably 4-9 miles , but would be game to try 12-20 mile hikes in catskills. For the occasional stream or rock scrambling, i think a high (rather than low/mid) boot is ideal. Also some waterproof ness.

    A lot of these "best hiking boot" tests are recommending the salomon quest GTX or something or other. scanning through Amazon, seems like durability of recent models is not up to previous. not sure if there are knock offs being sold on amazon, which would not remotely surprise me.

    They mention Merrell as well as a budget option. I don't really want something that wears like a running shoe or has to be tossed after 2-3 years (ideally).

    What else should I look at? Something decently robust would be nice. I would like 105 quality, I think. no need for dura ace.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    I can't recommend any specific brand, but perhaps some features.

    I hike year 'round in CT, once a week, so I have some experience.

    First, your complaint about your current boots, "they're also super heavy". Yeah well; you want a workout, don't you?! I've taken to adding ankle weights for additional effort.

    Get a boot with a steel shank. Plastic shanks break down and eventually you can feel every rock under foot, and there is a lack of support.

    If you have weak ankles, for a "high" boot I'd just get a work boot rather than a hiking boot since they're taller, or a military boot which usually fits more snug around the ankles. There are some good youtube videos which make suggestions for military boots. Otherwise, I would expect a standard over the ankle hiking boot (6"?) should be fine. It's what I use and I do have flimsy ankles.

    If you're going to hike in some snow or want the taller boots for that light ground cover, just use some gaiters, Kahtoola Microspikes for winter icy traction.

    GoreTex for waterproofness with some breathability (drier feet are warmer), then treat them with Aqua Seal.

    I have a pair of Vasque something or others; all leather, Aqua Seal treated, steel shank. Enough room for a sock liner and a thicker sock over it if I want.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    I’ll go in the opposite direction and say if you’re not lugging a pack on overnight trips then you should view hiking boots similarly to running shoes and treat them as somewhat consumable.

    We go on low key hikes roughly every other week and Five Ten approach shoes are more than fine for me. They also did the trick on a fairly recent two day trip to Joshua Tree and once or twice a year out to Shenandoah. I have some burlier Scarpa boots but mainly use those when strapping on my XC ski/shoes.
    my name is Matt

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Check out Schnee's in Bozeman, MT. Maybe not their pac boots, which are great for that LLBean style of boot, but their line of Italian hiking and hunting boots. I have both their pac boots and the other more conventional boots, which are along the lines that Matt describes above. They're comfortable like running shoes but rugged as heck, and you can get various heights, and also various weights of insulation, or no insulation. I bought mine for hunting in New Mexico. HTH, Tim

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    For light hiking I just use trail running shoes. Whites Boots make a Centennial that I use for a little rougher stuff. Whites Smoke Jumpers are great heavy stuff hikers (weigh around 5 lb each ) I also have a pair of Limmer boots that i love for winter hiking. Horses for courses, I like and use them all for different styles of use. Schnees does make a good product of Packer style boots.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    If you are really only day hiking, and not carrying a heavy back, then just get any number of the lighter weight walking boots.

    Asolo Falcon GTX Walking boot , salewa boot, Scarpa Mistral GTX...

    If you really want to slop in some water, then get a light gaiter. It just helps keeping the water and pebbles out of the boot.

    I'm like Robin and Moke, if I am only carrying a light pack, I prefer an approach shoe. I like my Boreals, but these are hard to find in the US. I've also used FiveTen, Salomon, and Asolo. I think most stuff is pretty good these days.

    For winter stuff, I had Salomon Super Mountain 9 Guides.
    These are great boots but sadly discontinued.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Polack View Post
    ...

    I have a pair of Vasque something or others; all leather, Aqua Seal treated, steel shank. Enough room for a sock liner and a thicker sock over it if I want.
    I'll bet that's the Sundowner. New England's favorite boot. They still make it. Great boot.
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    Default Re: hiking boots

    I was issued danner gortex boots for a 2-week exercise in Alaska in 2000, desert tan color. Too warm for anything but winter hiking, which honestly I've done infrequently since, but they are still great. At the time, danner was a storied name, no idea if that is still true, but they are tough and durable.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    wow, a lot to check out, thanks everyone.
    I have hiked in nike zooms and old running shoes.
    When you have to cross a body of water or scramble up some rocks, neither worked well.
    If I could find something that works well for backpacking, that would be great as I would be interested in trying a few multi day trips. Maybe it is horses for courses and you cant get everything.

    I dont mind the weight so much.
    I just noticed my boots are super inflexible and heavy duty, so my feet hurt something terrible after hiking 7 miles in them. never experienced that.

    I just dont know what a lightweight hiking shoe offers over a running shoe i already own...better traction?

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Quote Originally Posted by skouri1 View Post
    wow, a lot to check out, thanks everyone.

    If I could find something that works well for backpacking, that would be great as I would be interested in trying a few multi day trips. Maybe it is horses for courses and you cant get everything.


    I just dont know what a lightweight hiking shoe offers over a running shoe i already own...better traction?
    Three things- a slightly thicker sole, generally a toe rand for extra protection, and tougher abrasion resistant upper material.

    If you are actually traveling over rock and scree, your shoes suffer quite a bit of abrasion. A regular running shoe gets destroyed pretty fast in my opinion.
    FiveTen and Boreal use the same sticker rubber as the climbing shoe. If you are jamming your feet to climb anything, you want something a little tougher.


    For now, if you are hiking around the Catskills, it generally pretty much dirt trail with occasional granite. Sneakers are fine. Now if you want to do Devil's Path in a day, you may want a little more shoe.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Cool, yea the flexibility of running shoes seems bad to me.
    and ya, the devil's path was discussed with a friend recently and its something i do want to do !

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Zamberlan Vioz GTX RR boot will last you years. If you have a chance to try one on in your size, see what you think.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Quote Originally Posted by skouri1 View Post
    Maybe it is horses for courses and you cant get everything.
    Definitely. If you're doing winter hikes in the catskills, you definitely want something different than you might pick for summer hikes, or real backpacking.

    For day hikes, generally speaking, I like to wear my trail runners; good underfoot protection and light. Don't underestimate how much a heavier boot will slow you down and sap energy.

    If the hiking will not be too long, I've had good luck doing some challenging hikes in the catskills in traditional insulated logger boots. They take a little getting used to, but they are excellent.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Scarpa Kailash - lighter more flexible boot with good sole traction

    Asolo Falcon* - stiffer good ankle support boot, good for backpacking

    Lowa Renegade - nice day hiker to light backpacker with Achilles relieving cut-out back

    Zamberlan Vioz - great boot, solid backpacking boot, rigid sole, full leather upper

    If you are in Catskills, see Kenco Outfitters. Elsewhere, go to an REI and let someone fit you. They usually have good people. Or find that local dedicated shop with lots of fit experience.

    Donít forget socks. And donít discount the importance of socks. Especially if you start backpacking. Good boots are usually designed with use of some sort of hiking sock assumed.

    *Actually I just looked at the Falcon and thatís not the boot I remember. Itís been a while. The boot I remember is more like the Drifter or the Fugitive. A bit taller more structured boot. Oy - good luck!
    Last edited by j44ke; 01-09-2023 at 09:43 PM.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    I donít buy into the work boot for hiking boot recommendation. The fit is completely different for a reason. Work boots are for more sedentary use with high abuse factor, perhaps even danger from heavy things. Hiking is by definition more active for your feet - you are going places. Twists turns rocks holes etc. The kind of toe to foot to ankle support and coordination required just isnít the same for a hiking boot and a work boot. VSalon is full of hard men of course, so I am sure the advice is based on personal experience. But if you have regular feet, youíll do better with a real hiking boot that improves traction, balance and ankle protection plus padding for comfort and blister control.
    Last edited by j44ke; 01-09-2023 at 09:57 PM.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Iím enjoying a pair of Asolo Falcon GV boots for 1-4 hour hikes in fairly steep, rocky and rooty terrain.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    I've had two pairs of the Kailash GTX. They are good boots. But, as is mentioned above, hiking boots do need to be paired with good socks.

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcav View Post
    I was issued danner gortex boots for a 2-week exercise in Alaska in 2000, desert tan color. Too warm for anything but winter hiking, which honestly I've done infrequently since, but they are still great. At the time, danner was a storied name, no idea if that is still true, but they are tough and durable.
    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    Definitely. If you're doing winter hikes in the catskills, you definitely want something different than you might pick for summer hikes, or real backpacking.

    For day hikes, generally speaking, I like to wear my trail runners; good underfoot protection and light. Don't underestimate how much a heavier boot will slow you down and sap energy.

    If the hiking will not be too long, I've had good luck doing some challenging hikes in the catskills in traditional insulated logger boots. They take a little getting used to, but they are excellent.
    I don't consider myself a hiker because I never go out with hiking in mind. However, I do a bit of walking off tarmac with the dog on various terrains, for somewhere between 5 and 15 km. As such, here are my two pence, but take them with a pinch of salt.

    I have a 37 year old pair of leather boots that I keep saying, "This is probably the last year." They were sold to me as US Navy special ops (SEAL) artic mission standard issue slippers by a retailer in Boston. The odd thing is that the eyelets and hooks are nickel plated, which would be slightly awkward for military application. Steel shanks, metal toe caps, and some kind of interlining -- I'm guessing felt -- to keep warm although I happily wear them year round.

    If you didn't know about the supposed Navy link, you would describe them as logger boots. I don't recall seeing, or caring about, the maker's mark, but the design patent number stamped inside tells me that the patent owner was Chippewa Shoe Co (now called Chippewa Boots). Waterproofness has been maintained with the use of SnoSeal over the years. They are very heavy, but I go everywhere with it: blizzard, mud, sand, whatever. Superb ankle support, outstanding grip and puncture resistance with the high profile Vibram outsoles attached to leather midsoles, storm welted. They're tanks. So, yeah, I'm with Angry in the logger boots camp.

    There are some great boot makers in the US, still making some or all models in the US (with the remainder outsourced to China). Danner that Jim mentioned still make some models (hiking and logger, amongst others) domestically and so do Chippewa. And if you have a slightly difficult fit, White's are worth a looky.
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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    Default Re: hiking boots

    37 years - those Chippewas should be just about broken in now.

    If you want to go through the full process of break-in with a really nice pair of hiking boots, you could contact Peter Limmer and get a custom pair made. My father was a climber when he was younger, and he had a pair of Limmer boots made for him in the early 60's. He stopped climbing when my sister was born (contractual obligations to my mother) and put his boots in the closet. About 10 years later he pulled them out and sent them to Peter Limmer for rehab and they came back good as new. Finally killed them during a trip in Alaska about 15 years ago.

    They have a fancy new website, so I hope that's not a bad sign. Custom process is still labeled as "Peter Limmer" but they've also had a ready-made line for a quite a while. All good options for a traditional hiking boot.

    https://limmerboots.com

    You might also look at gaiters if you are going to do winter hiking in snow or snowshoeing. I've been very happy with my Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiters. You wouldn't think they were necessary, and maybe they aren't, but they are a heck of a lot better than having the ankle of your boot crammed full of snow. One of those "you don't know until you try them" things.

    Socks - Smartwool, Icebreaker, Darn Tough.

    Family soles. My wife's in back - Zamberlans ranging from Vioz to a lightweight model. She's had the left ones for about 5 years, the middle one for 15, and just got the right one this summer for an Icelandic trip. Mine are Lowa Renegade on left, Scarpa Kailash and Lowa Renegade All-Leather. The left ones are about 10 years old, Scarpas are about a year old and the All-Leather Renegades are new and in break-in. Same name as the other Lowa but different heavier (and taller) boot with all-leather construction. My wife rarely cleans her boots, so their longevity is a testament to Zamberlans' build quality.

    Last edited by j44ke; 01-10-2023 at 10:54 AM.
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    Default Re: hiking boots

    My recollection may be faulty, but I think the break-in period was very short.

    boots.jpg
    Chikashi Miyamoto

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