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The Best Hiking Shoes

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby wineguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:22 pm

Oh boy, I've been dying to vent about this. I bought a pair of Oboz in April on the recommendation of a salesperson at the Mountain Chalet in Colorado Springs. They have worn out faster than any shoes I've ever owned, the toes are tearing off in less than one season's use. Yeah yeah, I've been on a few class 3 & 4 climbs, but haven't worn them more than half a dozen times. On the other hand, my 5.10 shoes have been through hell and look great, like they were designed to take a beating and are better for having lived through it.
Life is a long lesson in humility. - James Barrie

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby benners » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:19 pm

I'm a huge fan of Five Ten hiking/approach shoes. I've gone through two pairs of Insights and have used a pair of Camp Fours almost to the end of their life. I use these for everything from backpacking to scrambling to approaching the crags to walking around town, and I feel they work great in every situation. They're shoes, not boots, so they have little ankle support and are at best water resistant, but for Colorado I've found them more than adequate. As soon as my current Camp Fours are dead I'll be purchasing another pair without bothering to even looking into alternatives.

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby laxcountrypiper » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:35 pm

Am I really the first one to support Asolo? I know many people use them. Mine held up pretty well this summer - Fugitive Gtx. This model does not have Vibram soles but many do and I think I would prefer a Vibram sole next time. Also, they make them in wide sizes.

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby MountainMedic » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:46 pm

I echo the La Sportiva fan base.

C-Lite trail runners: class 1-2. Extremely light and responsive. I feel every little bump in the trail, which I kind of like sometimes. Did lots of class 3-4 in these as well before I got my approach shoes. A couple complaints: hardly any support and soak up water like sponges. Tread wears thin very quickly. Great Sawatch, Front, and Ten-mile shoe.

Boulder X approach shoes: class 2-5. Still pretty light and not too stiff. Clings to wet or dry rock like nothing else I've ever seen and makes me feel like twice the climber on class 4-5.low. Great support, protection, and comfort. I don't know whether they're waterproof, but they certainly feel like it. Great Elk and Sangre shoe.

Haven't got a go-to spring/winter shoe, but the Trango boot sounds like my cup of tea - light and fast (well, for what it is at least). Viva la Sportiva!

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby wildlobo71 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:56 pm

MountainMedic wrote:I echo the La Sportiva fan base.


I was thinking you'd say fibreglass over plaster.
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby HikerGuy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:50 pm

laxcountrypiper wrote:Am I really the first one to support Asolo? I know many people use them. Mine held up pretty well this summer - Fugitive Gtx. This model does not have Vibram soles but many do and I think I would prefer a Vibram sole next time. Also, they make them in wide sizes.


I'm a fan, they fit my narrow feet well. My last four pairs of hiking boots have been Asolos. The first three where the FSN 95 GTX and the most recent the Fugitive GTX (prior model with Vibram sole). I absolutely loved the FSN 95s, perfect fit to my foot, but they wore out too fast. Therefore I tried the Fugitive most recently. Wears much better, but I will probably not buy them again, they are too heavy on the foot. I am warming up nicely to my new La Sportiva Raptor trail running shoes, the grip and braking on these are amazing. Had a beloved pair of Montrail Hardrocks (the older good ones), that finally gave out. I also throw out the insoles on everything I wear and replace them with green Superfeet.

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby nyker » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:49 am

I think any decent shoe with good grip (read, softer compound soles) have a limited sole life, I usually get a year, maybe two from my Trail shoes before needing to be replaced.
Longer for the boots I wear in Snow, since they get less worn out.

My favorites:

Trail hiking to class 3 area: TNF Hedgehog
Technical Approach - experimenting with Sportiva Boulder shoe, seems good so far.
VERY Rocky or muddy terrain: ASOLO Fugitive GTX
Snow climbing: LA SPORTIVA TRANGO S EVO GTX
Heavier/colder snow climbing: LA SPORTIVA NEPAL EVO GTX

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby jeffro » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:58 am

Voodoo302 wrote:I really support approach shoes with sticky rubber for almost all non-snow 14er outings. I have a pair of La Sportiva Exum Pros that are getting old and I'd replace them with a new pair in a second if they still made them.


Five Ten Exum Guide…still alive and well.

These are the heaviest, bulkiest, clumsiest rock shoes you can buy. They are also the lightest, flimsiest, least waterproof mountaineering boots you can buy. But they are both of those things, and they’re excellent hikers too.

I personally have felt very comfortable climbing the Holy Cross Couloir (with aluminum crampons) in them, and climbing rock up to 5.8 in them, and I’m just a hack. Oh yeah, did I mention they’re excellent hikers too?
Climb what you love and love what you climb!!

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby tippahdog » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:29 pm

You can not go wrong with Lowa.

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby rajz06 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:03 pm

wineguy wrote:Oh boy, I've been dying to vent about this. I bought a pair of Oboz in April on the recommendation of a salesperson at the Mountain Chalet in Colorado Springs. They have worn out faster than any shoes I've ever owned, the toes are tearing off in less than one season's use. Yeah yeah, I've been on a few class 3 & 4 climbs, but haven't worn them more than half a dozen times. On the other hand, my 5.10 shoes have been through hell and look great, like they were designed to take a beating and are better for having lived through it.

Hmm...I got sold a pair of Oboz by a saleswoman at the same store! I used them for a handul of trail runs and didn't care much for them. Switched to Vasque Mantra GTX (Vibram sole and Goretex) and they're now my favorite multi-purpose hiker/trail runner.

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby nyker » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:34 pm

Another rule of measure often used in running sneakers is to replace them every 300-400 miles.

Translating that life into hiking shoes, if you are hiking a lot that means 20-30 long hiking days. For some people, that could mean 5 yrs or it could mean 6 months. So, it's not time but usage amount and type that will determine wear which will determine when they should be replaced. I've taken measurable amounts of rubber of soles on some long scree slogs on descents.

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby Scotzman » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:52 pm

Beginning of the summer I picked up a pair of Merrells Moabs, waterproof version and loved the fit and comfort. I have found lately that Merrells fit my feet very well. Well I used them 4 or 5 times on some ADK and NH high peaks and found: being the lightest weight hiking boot I've worn and having the least amound of under foot protection, I felt everything I stepped on, not always a bad thing and that I liked the lighter weight and "less boot" feel compared to the heaver boots I had been using. But... my downside was that with that VERY limited use, the wear and tear on the upper had produced a small hole. I brought them back to EMS knowing their 100% satisfaction/return policy and was prepared to get a new pair, thinking these had a defect. While talking to the manager on duty they said that they get a lot of Moabs back in returns do to the fact that they are a lighter duty, and tend to wear faster than alot of other boots. So, on his suggestion and after trying them out for a while I ended up staying with a low cut but getting a little more sturdier of a shoe in Patagonia's Drifter. They feel like the fit really well and I know that Backpacker has done several write-ups on them recently and spoke quite solidly of them.
Question, anyone have any personal experience with them, and I was thinking of getting the A/C model vs the GTX gortex one since I would imagine the majority of summer hiking in Colorado wouldn't require the extra water protection, like I am used to in the Northeast. Any thoughts on that?
Scotzman
Every man dies, not every man really lives.
What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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