Hiking boots?

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
I love my boots better than any other available. I went to REI and asked to see every high end boot that they had in my size. They gave me 6 or 8 pairs. I kept going back to the same boot when I walked on their test rocks and while jumping around. You will also find one boot that just feels right so buy those. That's so much more important than style and reviews. If I had to visually pick or go off of reviews it would have been the last boot I would have picked.
 

yubert

Explorer
<snip>

At the risk of getting flamed to bits, I do have a few brands I think I would skip. Merrell and Keen top that list. They encorporate the least sophisticated designs and constructions. We see more failures of those two brands than any of the boots we sell combined.

Edit: Krisbarger has a great suggestion as well with Asolo, but everything they make will be way over that $150 mark. Nearly everything they offer now is well over $200. The Asolo Fugative is by far their most popular boot at $225.
Regarding Merrell and failures, I'd agree! Avoid them! I bought a pair of Merrell backpacking boots in 2001 which failed 6 years later in 2007. The heel separated from the sole. Luckily it was only a day trip. I hardly used the boots, mainly used then 2 or 3 times a year from 2001 to 2003.
 

SubAlpine

Ranger
I am a Park Ranger. That requires a boot that can hike, run, stay dry, grip on fiberglass, and be comfortable. I have had pretty good luck with Danner, but the boots in the $150 price range are not nearly as good as the high end ones(that I could never afford).
I am now in a pair of Altama, mountain hikers. Altama started and continues in the Combat Boot segment. The pair I have, the paradise mountain hikers, are goretex, and have tons of traction. They offer good support, and are holding up well. I wear them hard, seven days a week. And speaking of that, my brother, SGT in the US Army, swears by Altamas. The only boot that he has had that stood up to an entire 12 month deployment in Afghanistan.
I feel that what we do, expo style off roading, is basically, pretend army. So I gear up with Army spec stuff, most of the time.
This may not be as important on this site, with it's intercontinental membership, but made in the USA is important. To me.
Good luck.
 

keezer37

Explorer
I am a Park Ranger. That requires a boot that can hike, run, stay dry, grip on fiberglass, and be comfortable. I have had pretty good luck with Danner, but the boots in the $150 price range are not nearly as good as the high end ones(that I could never afford).
I am now in a pair of Altama, mountain hikers. Altama started and continues in the Combat Boot segment. The pair I have, the paradise mountain hikers, are goretex, and have tons of traction. They offer good support, and are holding up well. I wear them hard, seven days a week. And speaking of that, my brother, SGT in the US Army, swears by Altamas. The only boot that he has had that stood up to an entire 12 month deployment in Afghanistan.
I feel that what we do, expo style off roading, is basically, pretend army. So I gear up with Army spec stuff, most of the time.
This may not be as important on this site, with it's intercontinental membership, but made in the USA is important. To me.
Good luck.
I too wear Danners (Quarry's with a safety toe), courtesy of my employer. I do not like them for having to drive or having to walk where I am needing to step from rock to rock. I've gone through a good bit of Obenauf's trying to make them a bit more pliable but nothing can make them any lighter or provide flex to the sole. I think part of my problem is wearing a barefoot type shoe otherwise. Going from feeling what's under your foot too a heavy near numbness of these five and a half pound boots sucks. Having to have a safety toe limits my options but I think I will forgo the free Danners next go around.
 

summerprophet

Adventurer
Fit Fit Fit Fit Fit!

Brand names are nonsensical when asking for advice. Brand names will give you an idea of performance and lifespan, but who wants a boot with a long life if it doesn't fit well.

I am another unsatisfied Merrel customer. 21 days in a pair of approach shoes and they were done. Complaints to Merrel went without a responce... Never bought another pair.

Now for hikers, I actually spend a large amount of cash (Part time Mountain guide), but for my Work Boots (Full time Land Surveyor), I go cheap, and here is what I do:

1. Try out a large number of brands and models, to determine what fits your feet. Do this in the afternoon... as your feet swell during the day.
2. Settle on a model, and find the size that fits, ask for three pairs of the same size, as the really expensive italian handmade boots have varaince in sizes as well as the really cheaply made boots may have hard spots or bigger seams inside them to cause pain.
3. Mix and match to get the best fit for your feet.
4. Now cheap boots have ****ty arch support, so invest in a good pair of insoles. (I like Superfeet.... A LOT!)

My Mountaineering boots were $700 with $40 Superfeet insoles.
My Work boots were $68..... with $40 Superfeet insoles.

Now a disclaimer.... I have the worst feet for fitting in the world. Dropped Arches, Wide forefoot, narrow heels, 2 1/2 size difference between arch position and foot length.
I actually wear size 10.5 boots, and buy size 13 insoles and cut them down to fit. I suffered with foot pain for years before an outdoor store identified the arch problem. Feet are a joy now..... barefoot still sucks though.

I actually spent $300 bucks on high end heat molded insoles for my snowboard boots..... they were no better than $40 superfeet.
 

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Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
Now a disclaimer.... I have the worst feet for fitting in the world..
I was a certified boot fitter for ages and shaped ski boots, made custom footbeds, the whole nine yards. We used to say the hardest feet to fit are attached to a brain that doesn't want to be fitted. LOL. Not to say you're this guy, but anytime people would sit in my chair and say how hard their feet are to fit, I'd almost run away. I've had people with the most normal, healthy, easy to fit feet throw tantrums over how poorly their boots fit. I truly have met people that just can't be fitted and it has nothing to do with their actual feet.

Another interesting thing - I used to be somewhat particular about fit, then I started getting dozens of free media samples sent to me. Wouldn't you know it - free boots seem to fit pretty darn good every time! HA!
 

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
I was a certified boot fitter for ages and shaped ski boots, made custom footbeds, the whole nine yards. We used to say the hardest feet to fit are attached to a brain that doesn't want to be fitted. LOL. Not to say you're this guy, but anytime people would sit in my chair and say how hard their feet are to fit, I'd almost run away. I've had people with the most normal, healthy, easy to fit feet throw tantrums over how poorly their boots fit. I truly have met people that just can't be fitted and it has nothing to do with their actual feet.

Another interesting thing - I used to be somewhat particular about fit, then I started getting dozens of free media samples sent to me. Wouldn't you know it - free boots seem to fit pretty darn good every time! HA!
The problem with fit these days is that people have fat feet.
I know a guy that wears a 14 wide like I do. And 2XL-tall shirts like I do. But I'm 6'5" & athletic and he's 5'10" and 450 pounds. He's not a 14 wide; he needs a 10 6wide.

My feet aren't fat. Shoes tend to fit me either up front or in back; rarely both.
 
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