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Hiking Boots

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Hiking Boots

Postby passionforhiking » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:56 am

This is the Florida guy who is salivating at being able to come back to Colorado this summer for hopefully 2 months. I will be attempting to complete the Sawatch Range peaks. I was surprised there were no previous posts on hiking boots. I have had only 1pair of hiking boots, the light ankle height Merrell's (not waterproof) that have served me well for 3 summers of hiking. The only problem I had was getting them wet at times and small sand grains invading through the heel. So I'm looking at new boots.

Can someone tell me if mid height shoes prevent sand, small stones from becoming invasive and if the extra weight makes a significant difference on the legs (I'm 65). Also is waterproof the way to go? I'm planning on making at least 2 trips a week.

I've been looking at the REI products: Merrell Moab Waterproof ($110), Merrell Chameleon 4 Stretch ($125), Merrell Mid Waterproof ($120), and North Face Hedgehog III GTX XCR. I know Keen also has a shoe.

I'm assuming these are new shoes, but if anyone has input on these, on mid vs. ankle height, on waterproof benefit (real or not real) and a good moderately price shoe ($100-125), I would sincerely appreciate it.

Envious of all of you in Colorado as the humidity and heat is starting to rise here in Florida while you are looking at the mountain landscape (although the pool and ocean are a distant but good second). Looking forward to heading north at the end of June.

Re: Hiking Boots

Postby Bean » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:06 am

Light trail runners. Not water proof. Light weight ankle gaiter if you need something to keep dirt out.
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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:25 am

passionforhiking wrote:I was surprised there were no previous posts on hiking boots.

Try searching the forum for "boots" in the title (advanced search, start by clicking the little magnifying glass). It's been discussed a lot in the past.
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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby Cruiser » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:48 am

I have used the older version of these REI softshell gaiters for quite a few years to keep sand dirt, snow, and scree out of my boots. My main hiking partner has used a similar version in lightweight ripstop nylon for about as long. Lightweight low gaiters are great to have on hand whether you use boots or trail runners.
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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby Dex » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:17 am

I looked at the first two you posted - I don't like those type of shoes - soles to thin and not enough traction for me - also I don't run.

I like these.
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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby SurfNTurf » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:25 am

passionforhiking wrote:
I've been looking at the REI products: Merrell Moab Waterproof ($110), Merrell Chameleon 4 Stretch ($125), Merrell Mid Waterproof ($120), and North Face Hedgehog III GTX XCR. I know Keen also has a shoe.


I've used both the Merrell Moab and TNF Hedgehog, and the difference was downright disturbing. Go with the Merrells between those two options. I slipped all over the place in the Hedgehogs and they only lasted about 3/4 of a summer before falling apart. The Moabs are still wearable after three years of heavy use, though they've certainly seen better days.

That said, I agree with Bean. I've gravitated toward trail runners in the past year or so and I won't be going back.
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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby ameristrat » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:43 am

So this will be a cheaper / unexpected option, but here goes:

I bought a pair of Hi-Tec, Altitude IVs about 4 years ago. It's a high-ankle water proof hiking boot that retails for about $80 and can only be found at such prestigous establishments as the Sports Authority.

I absolutely love these things. I put 300+ miles, 40ish 13er and 14ers (Class 1 - Class 4), and who knows how many vertical feet on them. I never worried about grip (pretty much walked up the Homestretch on Longs, so at the very least, I call them average), no water seepage in snow or streams, and best of all, never even had a hot spot, let alone a blister.

If someone can convince me to look elsewhere for my next boot, maybe I'll consider it, but I'm due for a new summer boot this year and plan on getting the same thing.

Maybe it's just a perfect fit for my foot, but I adore the things. You should definitely try them on (I grew up in FL and bought my original pair at a Sports Authority in Boynton Beach). I can't say enough about this boot - maybe it'll work for you too.
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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby climbingaggie03 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:30 am

I like the salomon trail runners (I don't usually run in them, but they're good for hiking) I usually buy the gore tex shoes, but that's cause I use them in the winter/snow. Personally I'd probably go with the non gore-tex version for summer just to keep your feet cooler.

+1 on gaiters, they are just what the Dr ordered for keeping things out of your shoes. I usually use the old school light nylon low version. The softshell versions look interesting, but I've never used them.

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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby passionforhiking » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:10 pm

Thanks for your time in providing your responses. Very helpful

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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby colokeith » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:44 pm

A couple of things

A) I am really happy with my vasque breeze gtx from a comfort stand point. Their waterproof claim is crap.

B) If you can stand to wait a few months checking out the REI garage sale (especially on Sundays) can yield some great deals on boots. Footware is one if the most returned items at REI.
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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby summitstep » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:57 am

[quote="colokeith"]A couple of things

A) I am really happy with my vasque breeze gtx from a comfort stand point. Their waterproof claim is crap.


+1 on the Vasque Breeze. They comfortably and solidly got me up 4 peaks two summers ago in the Sawatch/Front Range. I am skeptical that there is such a thing as a waterproof boot. As a 'seasoned' climber (61) like yourself, I think the extra stability of a higher boot is better than the trail runners. I know I am no longer as flexible and quick to rebound as most on this forum, so I give myself a cushion of wisdom in my gear and actions. I CAN do a post climb beer with the best here, though! :lol: Good luck on your sawatch quest; plan to be back next summer for a shot at 4-5 more great climbs myself, so looking forward to hearing how your trip goes.
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Re: Hiking Boots

Postby JTOlson26 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:05 pm

Try the Kayland Zephyr boots. I was recommended these by someone around this time last year and used them pretty hard last summer and absolutely love them. It is true that no boots are really waterproof, but these worked better than most I have had in the past.

I probably put 200 miles on them from June-August last summer and they are still in great shape.

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/kaylan ... essed=true

In the beginning I had a hard time getting rid of some pressure points in my ankles but if you play with the lacing options enough, you will get it.

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