Hiking Shoes/Boots

4:31 a.m. on February 9, 2010 (EST)
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Hey im looking into getting a new pair of hiking shoes/boots, I will be hiking in the northwest mostly and so will need some shoes that can be used during the summer but will be pushed into the spring and fall a bit as well. I plan to hike upwards of 7 days but only will have about 30-35 pounds with lightweight packing as well as dividing of the loads. As far as ankles ive got about 10 years of soccer and backpacking going for me and teenage legs/ankles so im not too worried about their durability.

im not sure whether to get some gore tex hiking shoes, or just stick with some lightweight mid level boots. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. have been wearing some Merrel mid level boots and they do a decent job but im thinking of getting lower cut light shoes. recommendations on this or shoes to try on/look into would be greatly appreciated.

4:43 p.m. on February 9, 2010 (EST)
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i use a pair of merrell low trail shoes for training and day hikes. they are gore tex, though they have begun leaking after over a year of abuse. very comfortable, really good support and sole for a lightweight shoe. if you like merrell, try on some other shoes and see what you like. fit is crucial.

6:45 p.m. on February 9, 2010 (EST)
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I personally am an Asolo fan. It all depends on what fits your foot. Different manufacturers use different lasts and boots are cut different(Zamberlans may fit better than Garmonts.) Like leadbelly has stated fit is crucial. As far as gore-tex goes there are so many different opinions I would not know where to begin. I personally have found that it is better suited for a boot w/a synthetic upper. I have 2 pair of Asolo FGLs both of which are gore-tex lined. Breath-ability is a question to me at times. I also have a pair of Merrel Outbounds that I just purchased and they breathe fairly well. It depends on body chemistry, climates, what type of socks you use, if you use liners, etc. My best suggestion is to go to a shop, try a bunch of boots on and walk around in them. I have even taken my pack(with weights in it) to the shop and tried boots out for 15-30 min while wearing it. As far as I am concerned, boots are a serious investment and so are my feet.

As a suggestion, when going to try on footwear wear the socks(or combination of liners/socks) you plan on wearing in the field and compensate for your feet swelling as they will. Also if you are using aftermarket insoles(originals are usually throw aways) take them w/you and put them in the boot prior to trying them on. This may alter the fit a bit.

If I were to get a low cut shoe I would definitely get something w/gore-tex. Combined w/a pair of gaiters you should not have a problem as far as getting wet feet...unless of course you are swimming unintentionally. Hope this helps.

4:14 p.m. on February 10, 2010 (EST)
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that is what i was thinking as well rick, getting a lower cut shoe/trail runner that has gore tex and pairing it with a pair of gators, i am thinking of just getting the outdoor research crocodiles since i could then use them snowshoeing as well...not sure on which shoe to look into but ill be looking around.

4:54 p.m. on February 10, 2010 (EST)
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I didn't realize it but Merrel makes a gore-tex version of the chameleon stretch. I have the non-gore version an I love them. Good traction, pretty durable, easy on/off, and fit like a slipper. I always wished that Merrel made a gore-tex version of this model. Surprise, surprise. They do....and they have Vibram soles that stick well and are very durable. I have had mine for over 2yrs and they have taken a beating. No problems what so ever. I am soon adding the gore-tex model to my collection.


Through Merrel. (gore-tex stretch) so I know they are out there. I am sure for cheaper....


These are the wraps. I am still lookin for the stretch version on-line(for a price cheaper than Merrel direct.) Still a great "low-topper."


4:58 p.m. on February 10, 2010 (EST)
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Oh and the Crocodiles are great(IMO of course.)

6:03 p.m. on February 10, 2010 (EST)
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Ah yes the age old question of what boot is best.Many posts on this one and i know i can not add anything new but i do have simple advice.Get what works for your foot,trying many in different stores and brands,then check out the reviews.Still remember that what i think is the best thing since toast may not be yours so be cautious of the reviews you read as well.Also remember that the insoles that come with your boots is junk.Check out some good insoles and also check out Bestinsoles.com for good prices,much better and wider selection than most camping stores.

12:26 a.m. on February 11, 2010 (EST)
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will do all of these things and thank you a ton rick for pointing out those, so far merrell have fit me pretty well so i will look into those.

and i know this isnt too relevant to my post at all but skimanjohn i notice u have climbed Mt Hood many times and was curious if you had any recommended hikes in Oregon since im going 2 school here and dont have much experience here. (and where is that picture that you have posted located...park ridge) would love to go to that place it looks beautiful.

June 20, 2018
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