Boot/shoe help needed

7:59 p.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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3 forum posts

Hi Everyone,


I possibly need a new shoe/boot for a 3 month backpacking trip through Europe. I say possibly as I already have a pair of Merrel Pulse light trail shoes which have served me well on previous trip, although they have been 98% suburban walking.

Here's the deal: I start in Turkey in their spring and go through Eastern Europe then across Scandinavia to Iceland. I predict that about 60% of my trip will still be surburban and the other 40% on light trails and cross country with potential for stream crossings and some easy to moderate rock hopping.

Temps should be moderate for the first two thirds of the trip (10C-25C) and possibly anywhere from 0-25 in Iceland. A lot of the countries Ill be visiting are known  for a wet spring season - so I will need something that can withstand prolonged heavy downpours.


I am travelling as light as possible (for a photographer) with a 35L pack - max 10kgs. Carrying two pairs is not an option so I kinda need a compromise between something that will be comfortable for sustained flat terrain walking (suburbs) and something that will keep my dry and offer some grip and stability going cross country.


With these in mind - would you reccomend a high cut light hiking boot, the trail shoes I already have - or something in between. I would also prefer something that is understated and possible to wear to a restaurant without looking too ridiculous - although this is the last consideration - comfort and function come first.



9:14 p.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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Forgot to add - something compatible with crampons for glacier walking would be helpful also.

10:44 a.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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223 forum posts

Man that's a tough order. I'll try to do my best. The biggest problem is that your asking for the perfect do it all footwear. A good boot for glacier travel is usually not the best choice fo walking in the suburbs. I would go with a pair of either the Baltoros or Rangers GTX from Lowa.  Both are plenty stable but not to rigid and will be perfect for when you will be out of the suburbs. The ranger will be hotter because of the goretex lining. It will also stay drier in prolonged in exposure to rain IMO. (were talking a day of rain min.) They'll also be ok with strap on crampons for light glacier travel. Plus they'll last you for years if you treat em well. They should look okay for the restaurant at night since there a simple brown leather exterior. You might find them stiff or hard soled for walking in the burbs. Personally I alway carry an extra pair of sandals/flipflops/lloafer when travelling to give my feet a break or just for being in the city. I love my Keen H2o newport for travelling because there so versatile and in the end dont weight that much once strapped to my bag. I just leave my boots where I'm staying when I put em on.

There are plenty of boots out there and I imagine everybody here will help you with their advice. In the end, look at all the models, compare em' with your needs, your budget, and personal taste. Afterwards, take your selection and try out the boots you like, and go for the most comfortable ones.

Have fun, your trip look's awesome.

9:54 p.m. on February 19, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks mate for the advice. Do the Lowas you mentioned take a while to break in?


I leave in mid April and would only be able to break in these boots for 2 days a week up until then.

Doing some further destination research it seems a lot of the trails I wanted to do will still be closed (or atleast the huts will be.)

SO my estimation of suburban walking to light hiking is now 80/20 instead of 60/40.


I will check out the Lowas online - the local shop here only stocks Scarpas and Meindl and a few of the Vasques. ANything in their line up that might fit my needs?

June 23, 2018
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