Shoes for day hikes and lightweight overnights

11:25 a.m. on December 11, 2007 (EST)
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This winter, I'm on a quest. I need to replace my low-cut light hiking shoes (currently using Columbia Sawtooth model). I have one initial requirement: the shoes need not be U.S. made, but they must not be made in China. Obviously, they must fit me, but at this point I'm not trying on anything made in China. I've been to a number of stores, REI, Moosejaw, Cabela's etc., with no luck.

Any suggestions?

9:26 p.m. on December 11, 2007 (EST)
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I have a pair of Asolo boots and they are made in Romania. Not sure about the rest of their line, but I'd look at them. What about Vasque or Merrell?

12:26 a.m. on December 12, 2007 (EST)
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I looked into all three brands. Asolo, in particular, sells several boots made in Romania, but I have not been able to find any low-cut hikers not made in China. Same with Merrell and Vasque.

I have a pair of Raichle boots made in Romania; they fit me well but I don't like using them when I'm day hiking on established trails. Hence, my quest to replace my Sawtooths (Sawteeth?).

I get interesting reactions in the various footwear departments. At first, the salespersons are enthusiastically certain they can find a pair not made in China; however, after pulling down half their stock, they get begin to realize that they won't, and the initial enthusiasm disappears completely.

Thanks for the suggestion.

1:32 p.m. on December 12, 2007 (EST)
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Pretty much every pair of athletic footwear I have seen in recent years is made in China, regardless of brand. None are made in the US or Western Europe as far as I know. You may find some made in VietNam, as they are competing with China for these kinds of products, but I'm not sure if they are making shoes.

A shoe is a much more sophisticated product than something simple like a tee-shirt or pair of pants, so I assume the investment cost is much higher than just buying a few cutting and sewing machines. China was the obvious place to go for low-cost labor,when it opened up to capitalism so they are far ahead of the game in terms of attracting Western business.

2:00 p.m. on December 12, 2007 (EST)
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the La Sportiva Sandstone GTX-XCR is made in Vietnam and is a good low cut.

9:37 p.m. on December 13, 2007 (EST)
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Seems like Garmonts are made in Europe.

I've got a pair of Garmmont Towers for summer mountaineering, and a low-cut Garmont shoe that I really like for hiking.

The brand is rather over-priced, but because I'm obviously so clever and highly experienced,, well-read, educated and smart, and my views are so incredibly and incontrovertably valuable, this is a manufacturer that you should consider...

9:48 p.m. on December 13, 2007 (EST)
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Thanks for the suggestions.

1:30 p.m. on March 5, 2008 (EST)
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Take a look at Danner. They're made on the west coast of good old USA. I have a heavier pair of backpacking boots (Mountain Light II) that I have had since 1995. A couple of soles later, they're still in use. Great company. they do make lighter weight trail shoes and boots as well.

12:01 a.m. on March 12, 2008 (EDT)
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I have converted to trail runners, Montrail Continental Divides. They weigh next to nothing and with my orthotics provides more than adequate support.

I have been venturing farther and harder with them, most recently on a New Hance-Grandview trek in Grand Canyon, including snow and icy trail conditions. No complaints.

The CDs have a plastic forefoot plate. This provides the stability and keeps my foot from feeling rocks.

10:24 a.m. on March 12, 2008 (EDT)
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la sportiva val di fiemme are made in italy
also kayland are good

12:16 a.m. on May 31, 2008 (EDT)
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I have some North Face low cut boots.

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