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New Balance 1201

rated 4 of 5 stars

The 1201 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best hiking boots for 2023.

photo: New Balance 1201 hiking boot

This is all about fit. After a period of gross weight gain, and then loss, the width of my feet changed. Had to give away two pair of high top boots and one low cut. Tried unsuccessfully to find others boots for over a year until finding New Balance 1201s.

It's the toe box. There is a lot of room and that's what I needed. And, the benefit of different widths. The problem was not having a really wide foot, it's where the width was in relation to standard boot lasts. These fit.

They are much lighter than I'm used to. They are some sort of mesh but supposedly waterproofed by using Goretex. I kind of doubt they will repel serious water, but probably good enough for drizzle, sloshing through the occasional puddle and events like that.

I have my doubts about the construction and how long the boots will hold up. Will write more as I get more mileage on these. My normal day to day hiking is on trails in the local hills, usually covered with miscellaneous rocks, pebbles, tree bits, pine cones and branches. I walk or hike in the hills about 4 days a week. These boots simply feel wonderful.

Just for drill I decided to wear them all day for several days, during which I did vegetable garden digging, climbing up and down ladders while painting, driving my manual shift pickup, and walking sidewalks for walks of 4 or 5 miles. All I can say is comfort, comfort, comfort. I figure that I've put at least 100 miles on them by now, and I actually enjoy wearing them.

Another problem to deal with is a condition I have called "peripheral neuropathy", which, among other things, causes an odd numbness in the feet. That means I'm often unaware of what I'm walking on or what's happening to my feet unless I look directly at them. This boot has been more than adequate at protecting my feet from harm.

One good thing about New Balance is they tell you which last was used to construct any particular piece of footwear. Once you know the last number code, you can search on their website for other shoes and boots that also use that last, opening the door to other comfortable footwear.

In conclusion, I recommend these, especially for problem feet, as a light weight hiker. I don't think I'd want to carry a lot of weight with them, or use them to hike the AT or anything like that.

Materials: gore-tex leather
Use: dayhikes
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $120

love this shoes. wear them all the time when home. use them when mowing, garden work, out hunting and walking around. good and comfortable.

too bad they don't have more of a aggressive tread, for ice and snow. be nice if they made this with 1200g of insulation, or 12 inches tall.

good hiking boot.

Price Paid: about $130

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