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Thread: boots for actually going hiking reccomendations?

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    Varsity Member evanparker's Avatar
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    boots for actually going hiking reccomendations?

    I need a boot for hiking, and not like some men's fashion boots, or any work boots, as I have those already and they're horrible for hiking.

    I haven't owned a hiking boot since the mid 1990's, and I was kind of glad to rid myself of them then, as they were part of some kind of wear-hiking-boots-all-the-time trend that I really wish i could forget about.

    Do you guys have any recommendations for modern brands or models for any sort of semi technical hiking boots? For mild to moderate hiking up small hills or trails around MA. Could be $200 or so? but wouldn't have to be.

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    I'm a fan of Asolo's, and currently have Danner's. I did roughly 71 miles backpacking through New Mexico with Asolo's and they held up great. I'd highly recommend going to REI to try them on and putting them through their paces (they have a little "course" to try stuff out). To me hiking boots are not something you really want to purchase online. I tend to love full leather too. I know the composites are popular for their weight reductions but there is something to me about a nice leather boot that I've always liked since my Eagle Scout days. I'd make sure whatever boots I get had vibram soles. They are good quality, hold up and I love the traction. They are a company not a model (e.g., xerox).

    Also full leather boots are nice for being able to wear them into town etc and not be fully in hike clothing.

    I had a pair of merrell's that people seem to love but mine fell apart very quickly.

    Just as important are the right socks to include liner socks.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    Unless you are involved in technical climbing or mountaineering, the general trend is away from the traditional heavy, inflexible hiking boots that were probably common when you were last in the market, and toward lighter weight trail shoes - basically sneakers with a more aggressive outsole, a protective toe cap, sometimes a waterproof membrane (like Gore-Tex), and often a steel or composite shank to protect your soles from rocks/punctures. There are tons of brands to look at... Vasque, Asolo, La Sportiva, Salomon, Merrell, Keen, Oboz. Your best bet is to hit up a sporting goods store and try stuff on until you find something comfortable.

    There are also more fashion- or athletic-oriented brands like New Balance that make "heritage" hiking shoes/boots that are a little more style-conscious but will get the job done on most trails.

    Another thing to remember is not to wait until right before a long trek to break them in. You want your shoes well broken-in and tested for comfort before taking them long distances.
    Ben

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    I went to REI and it definitely helped. I wanted to like a pair of Keen made in USA, but they just didn't work for my feet.

    I have a pair of Vasque St Elias and Salomon Quest 4d 2. Both are good, but find myself reaching for the Salomon more (especially for longer distances).

    I have heard good things about Danner, but have not tried them.

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    Like @LesserBlackDog said, you probably want some lightweight trail shoes. Go to REI or a similar store and try on a bunch and buy what feels good. For "mild to moderate hiking up small hills or trails", you could realistically get by with a pair of sneakers, so long as they have some outdoor-appropriate tread. And you might actually want to consider hiking in a pair of sneakers a few times to see if you even need dedicated hiking shoes. For easy trails, you can hike in pretty much anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evanparker View Post
    I need a boot for hiking, and not like some men's fashion boots, or any work boots, as I have those already and they're horrible for hiking.

    I haven't owned a hiking boot since the mid 1990's, and I was kind of glad to rid myself of them then, as they were part of some kind of wear-hiking-boots-all-the-time trend that I really wish i could forget about.

    Do you guys have any recommendations for modern brands or models for any sort of semi technical hiking boots? For mild to moderate hiking up small hills or trails around MA. Could be $200 or so? but wouldn't have to be.
    Do you have weaker knees or ankles?

    If you have weak knees, then trail runners or hiking shoes should be more than sufficient for the hiking you describe.

    If you have weak ankles or just prefer boots there are a number of good options out there. I have these and like them quote a bit. I've also been eyeing these as a not quite as technical looking option.

    The key will be fit. There are a lot of good manufactures out there. Outdoorgearlab.com has soom good reviews as do other sites.

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    @evanparker

    This is going to depend highly on the type of hiking involved.

    Up here in the northeast, my hikes include a lot of rock scrambling so I went with this pair of Salomons. The grip on these are phenomenal on rocks and ledges.

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    Varsity Member Nandyn's Avatar
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    Go lightweight, you really don't need too much boot. I backpack a lot and rarely ever wear waterproof/full boots. Almost always I'm in neutral trail runners ( my favorite are Altra lone peak 2.0 or superior 1.5.. They performed perfectly when I did the Wonderland Trail). Especially with waterproof ones, which will get wet, they'll take forever to dry when on the trail. With my trail runners, I just walk right through streams, creeks, etc and just keep on hiking. They drain and dry while continuing on. Just get some gaiters like Dirty Girl gaiters for trail running shoes and that'll keep the rocks/grit out.

    Check out backpackinglight.com, probably the best source for hiking/backpacking info. It's what got me into ultra/lightweight backpacking

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    Quote Originally Posted by 77Pat View Post
    I went to REI and it definitely helped. I wanted to like a pair of Keen made in USA, but they just didn't work for my feet.

    I have a pair of Vasque St Elias and Salomon Quest 4d 2. Both are good, but find myself reaching for the Salomon more (especially for longer distances).

    I have heard good things about Danner, but have not tried them.
    I have a pair of Salomon Quest 4d 2, as well. They are great, but I find them a little too extreme sometimes. For serious backpacking and camping, I highly recommend them. I did a 5 day/4 night trip in Yosemite backcountry, and I deeply regretted not taking them. I would also recommend them for day hikes on very rocky or uneven terrain.

    If you're just doing day hikes on trails with minimal gear--i.e. less than 10 pounds--I think you will be fine with a trail running shoe like others have recommended. The pair recommended by @ImagePree are what I would suggest, as well. Last weekend, I went on a ~8-9 mile day hike on pretty defined trails with about 10 pounds in my pack. I felt like the Salomon Quest 4d 2 was overkill for that mission. But if you have weak ankles or ankles prone to turning, you may want something with more support and stability than a trail shoe.

    As everyone has said, definitely try them on before you buy them, because what works for one person may not work for others. Also, sizing can be a bit weird, and you want to make sure they fit. For serious hiking boots, I think they should be a little big, because you'll be wearing wool socks and your feet will swell, and you want to prevent your toes from being jammed up in the toebox when going downhill.

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    I like lightweight mid boots for this sort of thing, finding the extra ankle support to be worth it.

    LBD's point about REI is spot on. There are lots of good choices available, so try them on and see which fits best. For my most recent pair I probably tried on 7 or 8 boots, and selected the Oboz Sawtooth, which I have been very happy with. I will need to replace them this year due to normal wear and tear, and will probably get another pair of the same.


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    Matt Dalton

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