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Another "Looking for Boots" thread

9:14 p.m. on June 12, 2012 (EDT)
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I've read a bunch on here, and wanted to get direct advice, based on my situation.

I'm a wildlife ecologist, tracking forest mesocarnivores year-round across all mountainous areas in northern California.  I also backpack and hike - a LOT.  I've gone through big name brands and can't find anything that will last.  I hike over and through everything.  Creeks, swamps, scree, talus slopes, cut banks, debris choked forests, basalt ridges, ice, snow - you name it, I go through it.  My footwear is my most basic and requisite need.  

I finally bit the bullet and did some research and thought I had settled on Danner's.  I tried the Explorer, two pairs.  Both had the heel shank shatter in a matter of weeks.  Maybe it's the way I walk, maybe I have funny feet.  I don't know.  I was able to return them to the place of purchase and thought I would try a shorter boot and go with the Mountain Light II. They're working, for now, but they're not going to survive more than a full year of my work, let alone extra hiking duties weekly.

I've looked at Limmer's, and I get a mixed reaction.  Their customer service has been really helpful.  I know some members on here have had bad experiences with the boots themselves and with the service.

My needs are:  

LONG LASTING, DURABLE

ergo, resoleable

break in period is not a consequence, I've got method and tools 

relatively light (hopefully sub-3.5lbs)

Preferably less than $400

Other than that I'm open to thoughts and suggestions.

thanks in advance!

-Rob

8:09 a.m. on June 13, 2012 (EDT)
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Rob,

You might look at the Lowa Baffin Pro - https://webstore.technologyservicesmanagementgroup.com/stores/nicksboots/Browse_Item_Details.asp?HSD=1&Item_ID=257 - which is one of the few that still has a leather lining in your price range. The Nylon shank is 5mm, so it might work for you. Nubuk leather is a scam - they just abrade the surface in order to hide defects; however, it might stand up okay.

Viberg has a custom-made boot almost in your price range - http://www.workboot.com/hiking-boots/viberg-68-pachena-bay.html

I would prefer eyelets to hooks and D-rings, they are more dependable IMO.

Good luck,

Reed

8:53 a.m. on June 13, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey Rob, welcome to Trailspace. I have to say I really like my Scarpa SL M3s alot. They handle the rocks here in Pennsyltucky surprisingly well. I have had many a boot die after a few trips.

062.jpg
Granted they have their share of scrapes after multiple week long slogs here in all seasons but if I had to do it all over again I would buy another pair at the drop of a hat.

Now granted they fit me. As you are probably aware of this may not be the case for others being everyones feet are different.

Very burly boot. No gtx, 2.9mm silicone impregnated leather and pretty stiff. They definitely can handle multiple resoles no problem. This was also confirmed by the folks at Scarpa who have told me that they have customers who are on their 4th resole and just can't seem to kill them. 

I have worn them with crampons and they work well and they handle 70lbs+ loads without much problem.

I treat them with Obenhauf's and my feet have yet to get wet in them and I have subjected them to quite a bit of wet weather.

I am really fond of the Vibram M3 sole. 

004.jpg
Some say traction on wet rock is sketchy but I have yet to have any trouble. Then again I don't take many chances being I am solo 99.9% of the time and pay a great deal of attention to what I am doing at all times. 

Here is a link for the reviews of them here on the site:

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/scarpa/sl-m3/

Happy hiking-Rick

Oh on a side note Scarpa is coming out with another version of this boot around fall 2012 called the SL Activ:


New-Scarpa-SL.jpg

Still a non GTX boot. 


9:21 a.m. on June 13, 2012 (EDT)
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I don't have these, but, they are more in line with a traditional backpacking boot and resoleable.

http://www.danner.com/boots/mountain-lighttm-ii-mens-womens-hiking-boots.html

9:22 a.m. on June 13, 2012 (EDT)
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rob5073 said:

I don't have these, but, they are more in line with a traditional backpacking boot and resoleable.

http://www.danner.com/boots/mountain-lighttm-ii-mens-womens-hiking-boots.html

 rob, those are the boots the op is currently using. 

2:43 p.m. on June 13, 2012 (EDT)
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The most indestructible boots Ive seen are Hanwegs (Yukon, Alaska, Special Forces, and the Crack Safety for mountaineering), used by police, EMTs, SARs, and military special forces all over the world. They are also incredibly comfortable once broken in, the kind of boot you don't want to take off after a long day of hiking.

Not cheap (they're in that $400 price range) and they can be re-soled. I know people who've worn theirs everyday for 15 years.

8:06 a.m. on June 14, 2012 (EDT)
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I have found I wear out the tops of boots as fast as the soles (rock cuts, abraded seam stiches), so the resoling requirement is moot.  I used to do similar activities in my boots as you described in N.Cal, but did not log the time in field you state.  But if I did, I don’t think any boot would meet your expectations.  You are subjecting them to the most harsh use possible; do you know anyone who can back up claims they get better longevity from boots under similar use?  I don’t.  Even SAR/military types are not daily subjecting their footwear to the rigors your describe.

Ed

5:27 p.m. on June 14, 2012 (EDT)
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can't speak for anyone else, but this member has used a pair of limmer lightweights for a number of years, and it has been an outstanding boot for me.  my feet are a little more difficult than average to fit - wide at the ball of the foot and virtually no arch, so i use hard plastic orthotics.  with the foot tracing & volume measurements i sent, they steered me to the right size. 

other than the initial purchase, i haven't needed any service because the boots have held up well.  i reviewed the boots on trailspace close to five years ago, and i still have the same pair.   

it ultimately depends on what feels comfortable on your feet. 

11:09 p.m. on June 14, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for the suggestions, that gives me some more things to think about and try out.  I did go to a different cobbler and he did some measurements and thinks I may also be using an insole (superfeet green) that has too much heel volume for my foot and way I walk.  

Ed, I hear you.  I wonder if I'm being unrealistic and maybe I should get a less expensive work boot that will do the job and then a more expensive hiking boot to last me years.  

I'm off to try some boots and I'll post up with anything I've found.

Thanks again guys!

-Rob

12:22 a.m. on June 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Hey Rob, welcome to Trailspace. I have to say I really like my Scarpa SL M3s alot. They handle the rocks here in Pennsyltucky surprisingly well. I have had many a boot die after a few trips.


Some say traction on wet rock is sketchy but I have yet to have any trouble. Then again I don't take many chances being I am solo 99.9% of the time and pay a great deal of attention to what I am doing at all times. 

Here is a link for the reviews of them here on the site:

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/scarpa/sl-m3/

Happy hiking-Rick

 



 

Campsaver is having an anniversary sale right now, at least for the next couple days. $174.- free shipping and if they don't fit they pay the return shipping and shipping on the next size you want to try.

Been scoping these for a while so couldn't resist that price. Click the link in Ricks post and go to campsaver through the link there.

12:39 a.m. on June 15, 2012 (EDT)
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I bought mine for $175(Moosejaw)on sale. As far as I am concerned they are worth every penny. If and when I need another pair(after resoles) I will be buying the same boot.

Retail on them is $270 and they are still being made in Italy.

2:13 a.m. on June 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I bought mine for $175(Moosejaw)on sale. As far as I am concerned they are worth every penny. If and when I need another pair(after resoles) I will be buying the same boot.

Retail on them is $270 and they are still being made in Italy.

 

Ha! Beat ya by a dollar! :)

Ever had yours re-soled? Just wondering, guess they get sent back to Scarpa? Any idea what it costs?

Yes, I'm very happy they are made in Italy still. Except for the GTX I've liked my Vasque Summits (made in Cheaper) a lot but they squeak something awful with every step, year and a half or so and still no better. Not worn out yet but I've been itching for a pair of Scarpa's for a while now. Just hope they fit my feet, aint no place around here to try em on.

PS. Thanks to you I gave Obenaufs a try... Freakin awesome stuff.

2:36 a.m. on June 15, 2012 (EDT)
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JerseyWreckDiver said:

Ha! Beat ya by a dollar! :)

Ever had yours re-soled? Just wondering, guess they get sent back to Scarpa? Any idea what it costs?

Haven't had them resoled yet(only about 500 miles on mine) but I would think that the work would be best performed by someone who specializes in this and not the actual manufacturer. I don't even know if a company such as Scarpa would even do the work. My gut tells me that they would outsource that type of thing from prior experience.

If you look at his price set($50-$75) I would think that the SL would be at the latter end at around $70(don't quote me on that.)

I have had experience w/Dave Page on some of my footwear and honestly in the continental US I wouldn't let anyone else work on any of my footwear. 

He is authorized to do work on footwear by quite a few companies(Scarpa included.)

Here is a link:

http://www.davepagecobbler.com/

If he can't do the necessary work I will buy new boots. That is how much faith I have in his work. 

Yes, I'm very happy they are made in Italy still. Except for the GTX I've liked my Vasque Summits (made in Cheaper) a lot but they squeak something awful with every step, year and a half or so and still no better. Not worn out yet but I've been itching for a pair of Scarpa's for a while now. Just hope they fit my feet, aint no place around here to try em on.

I have actually had my Scarpas on walking into a REI while on the way to the trail to pick up a few last minute things and a few employees asked me what they were....

I told them boots. Duh. :) I did tell them what brand and model after a bit of fun. 

PS. Thanks to you I gave Obenaufs a try... Freakin awesome stuff.

I swear by the stuff. Been using it for sometime now and if there is something on the market that is better I have yet to find it but am open to suggestions. 

Just a heads up.

I noticed when I treated the black portion of the SLs with the Obenhauf's it had a tendency to pull the black off and turn it to a weird blueish grey color.  Kinda reminded me of the color of paint my grandfather used in the basement growin up as a kid. 

No big deal, just a cosmetic thing. A bit of black polish gets them back to normal. Not saying this is going to happen to yours but just wanted to mention it and don't be alarmed if it does. 

I did hear that the Scarpa HS12 creme works well too although I have yet to use it.

Here is a link:

http://www.georgefisher.co.uk/bootcare/pid21623/cid1581/scarpa-hs12-footwear-proofing-cream.asp

I tend to stick with what works and Obenhauf's does it for me. 

10:49 a.m. on June 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

rob5073 said:

I don't have these, but, they are more in line with a traditional backpacking boot and resoleable.

http://www.danner.com/boots/mountain-lighttm-ii-mens-womens-hiking-boots.html

 rob, those are the boots the op is currently using. 

 Oh man I went back an re-read the post and then I noticed it.  Argh!  Old age is gettin me!  Sorry OP!

1:39 p.m. on June 15, 2012 (EDT)
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rob5073 said:

 Oh man I went back an re-read the post and then I noticed it.  Argh!  Old age is gettin me!  Sorry OP!

 Lol, it happens man. trust me I am guilty of it quite often. 

7:24 p.m. on June 15, 2012 (EDT)
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JerseyWreckDiver said:

PS. Thanks to you I gave Obenaufs a try... Freakin awesome stuff.

 That stuff is the best, I agree completely.  Good price, the big tub lasts forever, and it doesn't dry the leather or build up.

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