Newbie needs help on Boots

1:18 a.m. on August 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Hi,

 

I just moved 30 minutes from the Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington from NY and am going to start hiking. I'm in the market for a midcut boot.

 

I have a few questions that I hope can also help other newbies that read the forum:

I'm going to start off hiking and possibly go to backpacking.
After visting an REI store in Tacoma I noticed that they list hiking boots that are for example an Asolo 3 pounds 4 oz. However under backpacking they have boots that are even less weight such as the Zamberlan 310 Skill GT or Salomon Explorer or the REI backpacker.


I thought that hiking boots would be less weight than backpacking boots. These are all of comparable pricing. What's the difference between the two categories if they're similar weight. Would it be a mistake as a day hiker to pick one of the backpacking boots and should I practically ignore them. Statistically they look almost identical in some sneakers even under different categories. I'm aiming for some difficult trails and possibly move to backpacking.

 

Does anybody here vouch for a Zamberlan and what models? They're listed under backpacking. Why not hiking? Confusing and I can't find the answer elsewhere.

1:59 a.m. on August 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Hamshank welcome to Trailspace

As far as foot ware goes in my opinion its kind of like fitting a pack. The first part is proper fit & comfort the second part is support & durability. Every company will state there products are the best. Just because the tag states backpacking boot doesn't mean you cant ware it for hiking. As long as it fits good and is comfortable and will give you ample support it should work fine for you.

9:29 a.m. on August 10, 2009 (EDT)
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just make sure they fit.

any boot/shoe, that has to be modified (add extra stuff to) does not fit. it does not matter how cool they are, as long as they fit well. depending on your foot size & shape, look for boots that come in different sizes and widths. just because 2 different boots say they are the same size does not mean they fit the same.

try on both the left & right and wear them around the store for awhile, make sure they fit

2:12 p.m. on August 10, 2009 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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As has been said above, fit, fit, fit.

Generally, backpacking boots are heavier for bigger loads and rougher terrain, but it also comes down to personal hiking and backpacking style. Some people hike in sturdy leather boots, while others backpack similar trails in trail runners. So, first find trail shoes or hiking boots that fit you the best. Try on lots. Walk around a lot. Get the ones that fit you.

I don't know your area, but for hiking, I'd get a light to medium weight trail shoe or mid cut hiking boot (like you said) for your hikes. Some of this comes down to personal preference. If you go to a local shop they can help guide you to an appropriate model for the local terrain. As with lots of gear, usually one piece doesn't do everything perfectly. So get the boots/shoes that fit for what you'll be doing now (i.e. day hiking in certain terrain). You may want a different boot for backpacking later.

Here are some fit tips: http://www.trailspace.com/articles/boot-fitting.html

I haven't worn Zamberlans, but others have given them good reviews:

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/zamberlan/

If it's not a super heavy backpacking boot, don't worry about what it says on the tag. Just get the one that is comfortable for you.

Hope that helps some.

6:36 p.m. on August 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for all your replies and the fit tips

When I was in the REI store last week I thought I was being difficult, but it started to get apparent she was giving me the wrong shoes because they were out of stock with a lot of the good ones. She finally gave me a good pair of Asolos that fit great, surprisingly at a .5 size larger and wide which I never get. However when I looked up the Asolo online it got bad reviews and I know most of their shoes get good reviews. Going to look into it, thanks guys

12:57 a.m. on August 13, 2009 (EDT)
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Hi.

 

I'm wondering if this boot is too heavy for hiking.

http://www.zappos.com/product/7291241

http://www.rei.com/product/774690
3 lbs. 8 oz.

1:34 a.m. on August 13, 2009 (EDT)
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There is no set weight limit to anything gear wise and most experienced wilderness type people will tell you that comfort is worth a bit extra weight. So with you question in mind that is all up to you if there too heavy or not.

As Alicia said

Generally, backpacking boots are heavier for bigger loads and rougher terrain, but it also comes down to personal hiking and backpacking style. Some people hike in sturdy leather boots, while others backpack similar trails in trail runners. So, first find trail shoes or hiking boots that fit you the best. Try on lots. Walk around a lot. Get the ones that fit you.

Here are some fit tips: [url=http://www.trailspace.com/articles/boot-fitting.html]http://www.trailspace.com/articles/boot-fitting.html

But it still comes down to you and your feet & back. Yes poor fitting foot wear will make your back hurt as well as your feet not to mention that poor fitting foot ware, pack's, trekking poles etc will fatigue you faster and you wont have the enjoyable you would like to.

4:42 a.m. on August 13, 2009 (EDT)
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again thank you so much for this valuable information. It should have been common sense to me.

2:29 p.m. on August 24, 2009 (EDT)
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In the Olympic. I'd probably go with a Scarpa Kailash or a Vasque Clarion GTX which is what I wore the last few times I was up that way.

Beautiful place !

3:44 p.m. on August 25, 2009 (EDT)
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311 forum posts

just make sure they fit.

any boot/shoe, that has to be modified (add extra stuff to) does not fit. it does not matter how cool they are, as long as they fit well. depending on your foot size & shape, look for boots that come in different sizes and widths. just because 2 different boots say they are the same size does not mean they fit the same.

try on both the left & right and wear them around the store for awhile, make sure they fit

Have found that all insoles supplied with any brand of boot are cheap and non supportive at best.So i would suggest the purchase of a good quality insole be made also.I guess what iam saying is that the statement about modifying any boot is improper is really not true in itself.One thing i would suggest is put the insole you decide on into the boot to check for proper sizeing.Since switching to high quality insoles my walking has become much more comfortable and my trips more enjoyable.ymmv

10:24 p.m. on August 27, 2009 (EDT)
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if you take your boots home and only wear them inside you can wear them for several days just to make sure they fit.

skimanjohn is right about insoles, if you are going to wear them you have to have a pair when you try on the shoes.

if i remember right it was the 64 everst expedition that came up with the figure that 1 pound on your feet is the equivelent of 5 pounds on your back. that said the last thing you want to happen 15 miles from home is your shoes to blow out because they were to light weight.

i prefer a bob sole to a vibram. they won't last as long as a vibram, but because they self clean they work better in the mud and snow. being you are living in a rain forest i would check out the bob. if you aren't familar with a bob sole danner makes a few boots with them as do a few other companies. the boots that fit me the best don't come new with a bob sole, so when i get a new pair they first go to the shoemaker to get bobed.

when you try on your boots take the laces out and slide your foot as far forward as possible you should be able to put your finger between your heel and the back of the boot. this measurement makes sure that when you are walking down steep slopes with a load your foot won't slide forward with every step and bump into the toe of the boots.

and don't forget make sure they fit. good luck

August 31, 2014
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