Adventure Boots

SWbySWesty

Fauxverland Extraodinaire
So I have had a pair of generic Timberlands for 8 or so years now. They've never really broken in and always give a blister so to the donation box they went.
(unless someone here wants them for free - size 9 or 10)

What would be a good hiking boot for a more temperate climate? I'm usually out in the desert or mountains but it's usually pretty warm so something with good breathability. Just looking for ideas here.

PS: Can we try to keep price under $200?
 

Photog

Explorer
How much protection do you need, from the terrain?
Do you just want something breathable, with a good foot-bed?
 

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john101477

Photographer in the Wild
Merrell Reflex from cabelas would be my pick for a hiker. I tried a pair of Danners 2 years ago and hated them. wearing Merrells lighter weight Moab XCR mid now. they are ok for a summer shoe. prefer the reflex. for heavy duty tall boots Cabelas has some great light weight boots I have used off and on for hunting.

I also just bought a pair of Carolina boots for work. they seem to be great so far even though they are steel toe and a little heavy.
 

Toyotero

Explorer
My favorite pair of boots that I've ever had were Lowa brand. They felt like they were broken in from the first day.

I bought them 6 years ago, and I still have them and wear them often although they are getting kind of old. After a LOT of miles, the liner inside is worn out behind the heel, but everything else is holding up great and they are still the most comfortable shoe/boot I've ever had. They feel like they were made for my feet specifically.

I bought a pair of Merrels about a year ago because I found them on sale at a retailer. They definitely aren't my favorite boots... they haven't broken well in yet (after a year of frequent use) and a tread block recently broke off the sole.. I doubt that is typical for most buyers.

When I shop for boots, I stick to brands that offer Vibram soles, mostly because the Lowas had them and they held up excellently.
 

Photog

Explorer
Every company's boots are made on a different shaped set of lasts (foot molds).

Go to REI or Cabela's, and have them pull out 10 pairs of boots, in your size.

Pull out the insole, insert your own set of Superfeet, put on your normal hiking socks, and try on each set of boots. You will find that one brand will tend to fit your foot shape the best. I did this with my mountaineering boots, and ended up with Asolo boots; something I had never had before. They have been my best pair of boots for technical climbs.

I have a bad ankle, and I find that there are no boots short of the plastic mountaineering boots, that will protect my ankles. They will all let your ankle lay over far enough to sprain it.

My latest pair of hiking "shoes" are the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Salomon-Mens-Techamphibian-Water-Shoe/dp/B0032UWTW2/ref=pd_sbs_shoe_3"]Solomon Tech Amphibians[/ame]. I got this idea from the Ultralight Backpacking crowd. These things really work great; but you must use something like a Superfeet insole. I have used them for backpacking, driving, daily wear, etc. Never one problem. Your feet can get wet, but they also dry out in about 15 minutes.

 
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john101477

Photographer in the Wild
My favorite pair of boots that I've ever had were Lowa brand. They felt like they were broken in from the first day.
I bought a pair of Merrels about a year ago because I found them on sale at a retailer. They definitely aren't my favorite boots... they haven't broken well in yet (after a year of frequent use) and a tread block recently broke off the sole.. I doubt that is typical for most buyers.

When I shop for boots, I stick to brands that offer Vibram soles, mostly because the Lowas had them and they held up excellently.
1 pair of boots lasted 6 years? thats incredible. Sadly it is not the vibram sole that kept them on your feet that long. Many boot makers use Vibram, including Merrell, Rocky, Carolina, Danner, etc etc etc. many house brands use vibram as well such as cabelas, and basspro. not that there is anything wrong with Vibram soles almost every pair of work boots I have had in the last 10+ years has had vibram soles.

dang near every hiking boot brand and model is going to have a different feel. Such as the 2 I mentioned. each feel different on my feet. I prefer the reflex and as I stated I hated my Danner gtx hikers.

Another company you might check out is Meindl's. I know Cabelas has been having them make some shoes for them and I have heard a lot of good things about them. I have a very wide foot so finding sizes in any brand can be a PITA.
 

cnynrat

Expedition Leader
8 years with blisters! Ouch! :eek:

I've made that kind of mistake in the past where I ended up with boot that just didn't work on my feet, but I gave up on them pretty quickly.

Photog's suggestion is right on target, it's all about what fits your feet. I've generally found the salespeople at REI are helpful and will take the time to find a boot that fits your feet. If you know what type of foot you have (for example I need a big toe box), let them know that and they can usually point you to the models with the right characteristics as a starting point.

I had a pair of Lowas that I used for many years for kicking around outdoors and casual hiking. Finally wore the soles out and am now enjoying a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilators. I also have a pair of Zamberlans that are a more stout hiking boot that I use for longer hikes and backpacking. But as I said, that's just what works for my feet.
 

mtnbike28

Expedition Leader
In the same boat...

I am needing new boots (for year round use) both for work and play.

I have a pair of Timberland Hikers for the last 8 years and just took them in get their third sole glued on.... my heel is also worn out and I am now looking.

I heard such great things about the Merrils on here I tried them.... they hate my feet, so the search continues.... or maybe it's back to a new set of Timberlands

keep the suggestions coming....
 

KSJeep

Explorer
I agree with Brian, all boots fit differently. Go to your local REI, Bass Pro, etc, and try on all the different name brands until you find the right one. Vasque works best for me.
 

john101477

Photographer in the Wild
I agree with Brian, all boots fit differently. Go to your local REI, Bass Pro, etc, and try on all the different name brands until you find the right one. Vasque works best for me.
x3 on what Brian said about trying different pairs. also besides the try on test, do your research first. all of the stated retailers have online stores that you can read reviews on. you can generally get a good idea of how durable a boot is that way.
One thing to consider when talking to people about their footwear experiences, is everyone uses their shoes/boots different. I generally buy 1 pair to use constantly unless like now I am required to wear a specialty boot with a steel toe. some people have 3-4 pairs that they wear interspersed. maybe a pair of sandals they wear 80% of the time, runners 10% and then split time with 2 different hiking boots. that in itself can be the difference between a well broken in boot. Generally for me it is 40% sandals 60% hikers that I use for work as well. Because I use them for work I also prefer a lot stiffer footbed.
 

X-Roop

Observer
That just shows the difference in feet. I know one said he hated his danner gtxs but i love mine and have had them for 3+ years. no problem at all. My family has owned a shoe store for 35+ years that i have managed for the past 8 (saldy went out of business last month, making me unemployed!) so i had a pretty good run at whatever i wanted as far as brand we carried. and the danner just happened to fit my feet better than any other hiker we had there.
 

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