Recommend Good non-gortex boots

8:36 p.m. on January 28, 2009 (EST)
26 reviewer rep
119 forum posts

Looking for some new boots. I've come very close to ordering gortex about 6 times now. My limiting factor is i don't want to spend more the $150 and it seems my best bet might have a gortex lining. Say it isn't so?

3:01 a.m. on January 29, 2009 (EST)
2,571 reviewer rep
1,403 forum posts

Must they be new? If not, with a little time and patience you could find a great deal on E-bay on a pair of all leather Lowa Banff's, or Scarpa SL M3's. Or, if you're really patient, a great old pair of Pivetta's. I've seen beautiful all leather, Italian-made Pivetta's go for $40 on E-bay.

6:54 a.m. on January 29, 2009 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
693 forum posts

It isn't so.

As pillowthread mentioned, ebay has many fine boots - I have purchased brand new, never worn, thirty-year-old Danner 6490's - the original Mountain Light - on ebay; as well as new Pivettas (which haven't been made since the 1980's).

craigslist for your area is another good source. I bought a brand new pair of all-leather Vasques in my absurd shoe size for twelve dollars last week from craigslist. These are really comfortable boots.

You might even try for your area.

In shopping without trying them on, you need to know the dimensions of your proper foot size, the length of outsole, the maximum width of outsole, and the length of insole. The stated shoe size is not a good indication of fit. Then just allow for any overhang because of welting and "Bob's your uncle."


3:00 p.m. on January 29, 2009 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,139 forum posts

I have a pair by Asolo and I like them a lot.

The cost is $200 which is more than you want to spend. However, REI will have sales from time to time. Next month if you are an REI member there will be a dividend coupon for 20% off one item and that knocks the cost down to $160.

6:25 p.m. on January 29, 2009 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
693 forum posts


Let's say you are a 10 medium (these mean little between different boot makers) you might buy Vasque Men's 10 1/2 and put a nice insole in to take up the 1/2 size up.

Or you could buy These really stout Scarpas

Either way, you would have a solid boot, good for many years, for probably less than $50.00.

Of course, don't go by shoe size, as I mentioned earlier.

6:33 p.m. on January 29, 2009 (EST)
2,571 reviewer rep
1,403 forum posts

Wow. Those are two VERY good looking pairs of boots. If I didn't already have a pair of Lowa Banff's that serve me well, I would jump all over those Scarpas.

9:55 a.m. on January 30, 2009 (EST)
26 reviewer rep
119 forum posts

Thanks. I'm a 10.5 or 11. Do most people buy a half size larger when buying boots to assure room for thick socks?

2:50 p.m. on January 30, 2009 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
693 forum posts


I don't know what others do. When I buy boots made thirty years ago, I realize that they will usually have only 1/16" leather insoles - only to cover the stitching. Those boots, if made by Pivetta or Vasque, would have a nice arch built into the boot, some rocker, etc. and I don't need insoles with them so I buy them for my real foot size (again, using measurements from a boot that fits well, not the stated boot size). But, if I really want the boot model and it is an 1/8" too wide, I will use an insole to raise my foot and take up the slack.

Consider, however, that I have little sensation in my feet (neuropathy) so I may find the lack of insoles comfortable, even though I should be experiencing pain. :) Others may be more reliable witnesses.

8:56 p.m. on January 30, 2009 (EST)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Simply put, I would recommend the non Goretex boots that will serve your needs and fit your feet well.

That's not much help I know, but I really do think that a good pair of boots is a very personal thing.
Every ones feet are different and the fit you get with one brand may differ from another.
Your feet are your only source of mobility when hiking/backpacking, it is wise to spend a little $$$ on a pair of boots with the help of a good boot fitter, (not the guy/gal who works summers at the camping store) but someone with real fitting experience.

If you get boots that don't fit well your feet may get sore, develop blisters, you can loose toenails, plus you can do long term damage to your feet if you continue to wear ill fitting boots.

This is not the place to try and save money, that is not to say you have to spend a fortune either. The quality of footwear you need also depends on how far you hike (2 miles vs. 200 miles) and the conditions you should expect to encounter.
Do you hike long or short distances, do you stay on well maintained trails or do you hike in steep or rugged terrain?

If you hike shorter distances on nice trails you can get decent boots for the $150 you wish to spend.

I do get boots a 1/2 size larger for summer and a full size larger for winter. I also use Superfeet insoles (Google it)because they are good quality and hold up much better than the cheaper gel insoles you can get at the drug store, ect.
I carry moleskin, duct tape, and closed cell foam scraps ranging from 1/8 to 3/8 in thickness to customize my fit especially on my first couple of backpacking trips even if the boots are well broken in.
I use the materials to take up any loose spots in the boot that allow too much movement or any areas that feel like I might develop a blister. My feet have a funny shape and I have found this necessary.

It has been my experience that you will not know exactly how the boots fit until you are actually out on the trail with a pack. I like to do a couple short hikes with a pack even if I don't need the pack, just to see how the boots are going to do. Walking around town in your boots will not tell you how they will fit after several days of backpacking.
After a good day or two on the trail (or off trail) my feet swell some, downhills have caused problems with fit in the toe box, uphills have caused problems with fit in the heel cup area, and I must change socks at least twice a day or my feet get too moist/soft and then I get blisters, this is the part that is MUCH worse with Goretex. IMO

I have gotten good fits with Asolo, Scarpa, Vasque, and Alicosport. All in full grain leather, no Goretex, and I don't have problems with them leaking in the areas I go to, not much snow but lots of streams, rain, sleet, ect.

Your feet may be different, your climate may be different, you may find you have better fit with a completely different brand than someone else.
So it's a very subjective topic, you can shop (gamble) on Ebay or spend a little $$$ on getting a pair of boots fitted properly to your feet.
That's not to say getting a pair can always be accomplished with a trip to just one store.
Neither is it to say that after you find the right boot(s) you can't go on Ebay or other discount sites and order a second pair at a later date and save money.
My last pair of Scarpas were purchased at half price online, but I knew what size to order.

Then again, I'm very picky about footwear!

8:19 p.m. on February 3, 2009 (EST)
26 reviewer rep
119 forum posts

What do you guys think about these? They Seem to have great reviews.

6:04 a.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
131 reviewer rep
37 forum posts

They look fantastic compared to the stuff that fills the gear shops in the UK. It is really difficult to find good italian boots like that over here.

Another thing I miss is the army surplus stores, with good value boots that won't fall apart.

I wear a half size larger in winter boots, though it is really just a case of trying on winter boots with a winter sock and summer boots with a summer sock, as all boots are different.

6:36 a.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts


I currently use a pair of Alico Summits, they make a very solid old school boot!

Not the best money can buy, but excellent bang for the buck, mine are quite sweet and offer excellent support in rough terrain.These are not fall apart boots!

11:17 a.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,139 forum posts

I've looked at the Alico's several times and they appear to be the real deal.

11:53 a.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
4,404 reviewer rep
6,005 forum posts

What do you guys think about these? They Seem to have great reviews.

Sierra Trading Post frequently has good gear at great prices. But, since they sell discontinued, overstock, and remainders, they usually have a very small supply. So you have to spot the item and order it within the first week or so. If you are relying on their mailers, I have found it is often too late. One of their shops is in Reno, not far from the Donner Pass area where I give a number of my courses and workshops, so I sometimes make the side trip to check out what's in stock.

Of course, like any outlet store, you have to know exactly what the product is, or better, go into the store and actually handle it. This is difficult, since they only have a couple of brick and mortar locations, convenient only if you are in Reno or Cheyenne.

Boots are a special case - it really is imperative that you try them on and work with an experienced fitter. STP has (or used to have - haven't checked lately) a good return policy.

12:52 p.m. on February 4, 2009 (EST)
26 reviewer rep
119 forum posts

Thanks, yes I'm fully aware of the above. I'm planning of ordering a size 11D and seeing where that goes. Then send them back if the fit is subpar. I'm not going by the mailer but from the website -I plan on calling to check the availability before placing the order.

April 26, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Good Wicking Shirts At Bottom Dollar Newer: New Gear Questionaire
All forums: Older: New forum editor interface Newer: Backpacking Rules/Regulations per State