Boots... Looking at Zamberlan but want suggestions.

5:47 p.m. on June 4, 2009 (EDT)
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How's it going everyone? Well, my first pair of boots met a premature death due to blow outs, fox tails, & a lace anchor popping off. One word of advice, stay away from Red Wing - Oxfords.... Pure garbage. Atleast my pair were.

I decoy for the SAR training team once or twice a week & I also have found an interest in hiking through doing that (along with riding quads, shooting & 4x4). I mostly day pack with an osprey 24L pack, just about 10-15 lbs max.

My problem is where I hike/decoy. It is INFESTED with fox tails which ruined my last pair of "boots". I live/hike in the central coast of California so fox tails are always here. My other problem is my feet like to sweat as does the rest of me so a cooler boot is definitely a plus, the boot will be worn every day or almost every day. I seem to like the mid top of the oxfords, never tried a high top.

I was favoring the one piece leather design of the zamberlan 310. But I'm extremely open to suggestions. Not sure on the Gore-tex. Last boots hadem, didn't bug me too much & it helped a few times with the dewey grass/puddles. SO if you have any suggestions please let me know. my price range is around $200USD but not over $260USD.

10:15 p.m. on June 4, 2009 (EDT)
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I'd also like to add that I was also wondering what you more seasoned guys go with and why?

I was looking at the asolo 535 as well, kinda worried about the laces, recomendations? I noticed my last boots made my left foot hurt a hell of a lot after that whole 3 miles with my pack on. I'm wondering if I'll need something more like the 535. not really interested in the goretex.

4:22 p.m. on June 6, 2009 (EDT)
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I bought a pair of Zamberlan Quito boots from Sierra Trading Post for $80. I took a chance on them. I've hiked numerous trials in the Smoky Mountains with them and I'm completeley satisfied. Before buying them, I read several reviews by people that owned them and they were completely satisfied too.

I've not had any blisters from them and have not got my feet wet in them when stepping through streams ankle high. When I bought them, I contacted the USA representative to see if I could get an extra pair of shoe strings from him. The rep. took my information. A couple of weeks later I received another set of shoe strings free of charge from Italy with a letter from the owner thanking me for purchasing the shoes. The boots are made in Italy the last time I heard.

Zamberlan has receieved high rankings in Backpacker Magazine as well.

5:35 p.m. on June 6, 2009 (EDT)
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Since you will be spending your time off-trail, you want boots with as few exposed stitches to be torn, hooks to be bent, and good protection for ankles, IMO. Gore-tex traps the heat, so avoiding Gore-tex is a good idea.

Single piece leather uppers are a safe bet. They are easy to keep waterproof and have no pores large enough to hold foxtails (I think). There are still a few US companies having such boots made. The Merrell Wilderness was made in Italy, I don't know if it still is --

The Limmer Midweight is excellent. It has the advantage of being leather-lined (the only way to go, IMO) so your feet stay cool and the boot forms itself to your feet. A pair of these might last twenty years. Made in Germany.


I avoid hooks and speed lacing as much as possible. Eyelets seldom let you down. However, few leather hiking boots are still made with eyelets. Here are two pair of Vasque that I enjoy (on the right) --

6:47 p.m. on June 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Even though my boots are Gore-tex, Zamberlan does make a leather boot, but they are expensive. The reviews that convinced me to take a chance with Zamberlan were hikers that had leather boots for over several years.

April 23, 2018
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