Need New Hiking Boots

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by dryflylarry, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Thank you ImperialStoutRun. And, thank you everyone. I ended up purchasing the Vasque Wasatch GTX! They feel really great! I hope I can say that on the trail again. All of the input was valuable to me. Once I put a few miles on these I'll see if I can remember to report back with how I like them.
     
  2. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Glad to hear you found boots that fit. I hope you'll be as happy with yours as I was with mine.

    Several thoughts: First, although they have vapor permeable GTX liners, it's still not a bad idea to treat the leather outers with a leather preservative like mink oil to keep them supple and prevent cracking.

    Second, the earlier point about footbed inserts is a good one. Plantar fasciitis is not fun and is often caused by walking in shoes that don't provide enough footbed support. A pair of good off the shelf orthotics like Superfeet will go a long ways towards keeping your feet happier than the flimsy, flat inserts that come with most boots.

    Finally, keep an eye on the seam where the molded soles are bonded to the body of the boot. Small hairline separations are the first sign that the sole is getting ready to let go and your warning that it's time for either some corrective action or to start shopping for replacements. By the time took a hard look at my Wasatch GTX's, the front 3-4" on one boot was flapping in the breeze with every step. Unfortunately, boot technology these days means that replacing soles is usually a one and done operation. I miss the old Goodyear welts that could be resoled an almost infinite number of times. Sigh.

    K
     
  3. MT_Flyfisher

    MT_Flyfisher Active Member

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    I have several different Danner model boots.

    Here's probably my favorite for moderate hiking (I am gettting a bit on the older side myself, but use them on daily 3 miles summer hikes at 5,000' elevation @ 4 mph pace on gravel surface, and appreciate their light weight, and overall ankle support: (They also fit your price range)

    Danner® Radical 452 GTX® Hiker

    This is the time-tested design that helped to re-establish Danner® as one of the premier hiking boot makers in the world. Based on the advanced Terra Force technology, the Radical 452 GTX is as light as it is tough. While internal and external nylon shanks provide uncompromising stability and responsiveness, a super-soft polyurethane midsole and sturdy footplate provide comfort without sacrificing security. And with the trusted, 100% waterproof protection of GORE- TEX®, your feet will be as dry as they are comfortable.

    John
     
  4. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Thanks for the tip on the 'new' Danner boots. It was a pleasure to look through their product offerings and see that someone is still making a stitched, replaceable mid- and outer-sole design boot, like http://www.danner.com/boots/mountain-lighttm-ii-mens-womens-hiking-boots.html

    In reading through the reviews though, it reminded me of one more cautionary about hiking boots which I learned the hard way since my earlier post in this thread.

    The other day I happened to look closely at the soles on the Keen Targhees I was raving about earlier. To my dismay, I found that the lugs on the outside rear of each heel (thanks to my pronating stride) were so worn that the the midsole is now exposed leaving no heel lugs left and thus much less traction on irregular surfaces.

    Why the rapid wear I wondered?

    The easy answer is that I wear them every morning for my 2-3 mile neighborhood walks with the dog. Since my weekday walks are usually on pavement, the harder surface quickly abrades the soft soles that were designed for maximum traction on trails, not sidewalks.

    The cautionary: if your boots fit so well that you're tempted to wear them in your daily routine (especially if they're waterproof), the softer outer soles intended for hiking and backpacking will wear out quickly when you wear them on pavement. Soles intended for regular pavement use are much harder than those used on hiking boots, and thus last far longer.

    K
     
  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I still have my old Vasque Sundowner, goretex lined boots. While they are a classic and I'd wear them for really rugged hiking, I got a lighter pair of the Keen boots Kent mentions above a couple seasons ago. They are super light and goretex lined also, and no break in required. But there was info in the packaging that the soles are a softer material and smaller lugs, so they won't last so long. They are definitely an investment in comfort over longevity, and should not be used for daily casual dog walking unless you want to buy frequent replacements.

    Sg
     
  6. 5shot

    5shot Member

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    If you go with Danner (I have had and do have Danner Boots) you really need to check the label. My guess is that they make way more stuff in China than they do in the US. They were bought out by LaCross and it has been all down hill. At one of the trade shows I went to a couple of years ago, they had something like 30 different models of boots on display, and every one was made in China.
     
  7. LD

    LD Active Member

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  8. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I've looked hard at Asolos over the years. Their build quality and detailing is among the best in the market. But Asolos are built on narrower lasts than other brands and my poor, wide feet howl in protest whenever I try them on so I've never pulled the trigger on them. For those with narrow feet though, they're probably the brand of choice.

    The very first sentence above hits the nail square on the head: since everyone's feet are different, what works for one might not for others. I've got wide feet; LD likely has narrow ones. The best advice in this thread is to try on as many pairs as you can and spend time walking around in them in the store before pulling out your money.

    K
     
  9. LD

    LD Active Member

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    As far as the Aslo's, I wear a medium. A wide foot would not make it though.
     
  10. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Guess I should have said 'narrower'! Compared with my swim fins, most other feet are narrow. Glad to hear you love your Asolos though. They have a great reputation.

    K
     
  11. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    good choice on the Vasques. I love mine - great fit and lightweight.
     
  12. Dan Nelson

    Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

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    Yes, they do make many boots overseas, but having touring their NEW Portland factory less than 2 months ago, I can assure you that virtually all of their all-leather boots are made right there in Portlandia. In fact, after the merger, LaCrosse moved all its domestic production out of the mid-west and into the Portland complex, too.

    That said, many of the fabric/leather models in the hiking line are made in SE Asia. But then again, virtually every boot in that category, regardless of the brand, is made in SE Asia today.
     
  13. 5shot

    5shot Member

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    Good to hear that they are keeping the jobs in Portland (I lived in Vancouver for 15 year and shopped at the Danner Store often).

    I don't know that I agree with the "Virtually all" portion though. I have seen many all leather boots with the China tag on them at stores such as Joe's Sporting Goods, Warehouse Sports, Sportman's Warehouse, etc.

    I hope that they choose to bring more back to Portland. When I was looking to replace my Rain Forrests, I couldn't find a similar boot made in the US at local stores.
     
  14. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    So, if you read this again Ken, do you know how the Superfeet inserts will affect my size and fit that I purchased? Will I need to change to a larger size or ....? Thanks.
     
  15. 5shot

    5shot Member

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    It depends - on my danners, I would need to go to a wider width to account for the extra bulk of the Super Feet.