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Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

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Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby susanjoypaul » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:22 am

After spoiling my soles in trailrunners all year, it was downright painful to go back to my hiking boots this weekend. The issue for me is the sole support. Even with my sock liners and best mountaineer-weight wool socks, it felt like I was walking on a rock. I headed over to the shoe and boot store, but every new boot I tried on felt just as uncomfortable on the soles of my feet, as my old boots did. I ended up with a new pair of Brooks PureGrits (which will soon be useless due to wintry conditions), and a pair of heat-moldable, Sole Signature EV Ultra footbeds, to stick in my current hiking boots and tide me over until I find what I'm really looking for, which is... a boot that feels more like a trailrunner.

I know there are a lot of trailrunners/mountaineers on this site. Has anyone found a hiking boot that's waterproof and will take a crampon or micro-spike, and has proper sole support? Or should I just buy the most comfortable boot I can find (I like Merrells and La Sportivas, as they fit my feet well) and rely on custom insoles for sole comfort and support?

Thanks for any advice...

PS: Yes, I already read the recent thread about the best hiking boots...

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby sunny1 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:35 am

Depends on what type of foot you have. You can get an analysis, if needed, at a good running store, such as Road Runner Sports or Runner's Roost.

From my experience, I get the boot or shoe that is most comfortable.
I need orthotics or custom insoles to make them usable/functional for me.
I'm an overpronator with bunions (whoa! sexy! :roll: ).
When my orthotics get flat, I have tight achilles, calves and hip pain. Feet ache.
Keep in mind that as we get more miles on the odometer (age :wink: ), our feet and their needs change, as well.

It's worth the $$ to get your feet taken care of. There is no perfect boot or shoe for me, I have to make it perfect with after-market insoles/orthotics.

Hope that helps! :-D
The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana.

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby VagabondSurveyor » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:00 am

I am 90% trail runner, maybe only 10% Mountaineer but I love the Oboz Yellowstone II. Microspikes fit well, and they work very nicely with snowshoes. I've ran down mountains a few times to escape lighting and I don't really have any complaints. With gators they work decent for deep snow, but I don't think I would do a cold overnight trip in the winter with them.

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby MuchosPixels » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:48 am

I use these: http://www.amazon.com/Salomon-3D-Fastpacker-Mid-Hiking/dp/B002NEFAPG

They are light, very comfortable and have nice support and good protection. I normally HATE hiking/backpacking boots but these are great. Generally Salomon's products are on the lighter side and they offer mid height trail running style boots. The cater more to the trail runner and light hikers. They dohave heavier more rugged options but generally their product line is more lightweight oriented.

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby susanjoypaul » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:06 am

sunny1 wrote:Depends on what type of foot you have. You can get an analysis, if needed, at a good running store, such as Road Runner Sports or Runner's Roost.

Good advice, thanks...

sunny1 wrote:Keep in mind that as we get more miles on the odometer (age :wink: ), our feet and their needs change, as well.

You HAD to bring that up! :-D

Thanks VagabondSurveyor and MuchosPixels, for the brand-specific recommendations. I've never worn Oboz or Salomons, but they look like good options! The description for the women's version of the Salomon - the 3D Fastpacker Mid GTX Fast Light Backpacking Boot - mentions exactly what I'm looking for: "This versatile GORE-TEX mid-cut boot has the base of a trail running shoe, making it light and stable for fast hiking." And one of the reviews mentions a wide toe-box, which I need as well. I should probably make a list and bring it with me the next time I'm headed to the boot store, then try some on. Boots are so pricey and my feet are so finicky - fat and flat, not to mention old - so it's important to me to get the right pair before I put a lot of miles on them.

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby mtnjim » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:22 am

I use trailrunners almost exclusively year 'round now unless I need a stiff sole for extended front pointing. If it's just hiking and doesn't require a mountaineering boot, they work fine. I use the waterproof versions for winter. Some manufacturers are making mid-height versions of trail runners. Might be worth looking into for your purposes. I've noticed that Montrail and Columbia have mid models of trail runners I've used. I prefer the lower height with OR Spandura gaiters. These work fine with microspikes and the Kahtoola running crampons. Much less well with my BD Contact strap-ons because the plastic strap on the front can compress the shoe's toe enough that they can get kinda cold. it'll still work for short bits but for me, it would be too cold for extended periods in the cold. Never a problem with either Kahtoola if I'm able to keep moving.

I find that a trail runner with a stiffer rock plate works a lot better for kicking into the snow, too. Both my older Montrail Hardrocks and my newer Columbia Master of faster have a stiffer forefoot and kick steps better. A stiff trailrunner is likely still a lot softer than most of hiking boots.

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby cory1223oh » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:16 pm

I have a pair of these Salomons in the link below and absolutely love them. They are basically a high top beefy trail runner. They have the same type of flexible eva midsole as Salomon's trail runners only slightly more stiff. Definitely worth a look.

http://www.backcountry.com/salomon-quest-4d-gtx-hiking-boot-mens

If you're wanting something lighter you could check these out as well.

http://www.backcountry.com/salomon-wings-sky-gtx-hiking-boot-mens
http://www.backcountry.com/salomon-cosmic-4d-2-gtx-backpacking-boots-mens

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby susanjoypaul » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:07 am

Thanks Cory and Jim, for the advice and recommendations. It looks like I do have some pretty good options for a light, comfortable, waterproof shoe/boot (with good sole cushioning) that I can use through the winter, on and off the trail. The notes on micro-spikes and gaiters are helpful, too, so thanks for mentioning that, Jim.

I hate shoe-shopping - actually, I hate shopping in general - so it really helps to have a well-researched list in hand before I head to the store, so I can get the absolute best item for me, and spend as little time in the store as possible!

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby MyFeetHurt » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:39 am

I've been searching for something similar to what you describe as well. I want a sole stiff enough that I can stand on pointy rocks, but some actual cushion and a lightweight top. This has fit the bill for me, and they come in high or low top which is nice. It has a real vibram sole but doesnt feel like you are standing on a board.

http://www.salewa.us/product/tech-approach/ws-alp-trainer-mid-gtx

Everything else I came across was just too flimsy in the soles and I could feel all the rocks right through the sole.

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby fahixson » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:09 pm



I've seen these on Steep and Cheep once or twice, but have never seen them in the store or heard others mention them on the forum. They list Bent Gate as a local Denver retailer (and a few others around the state) so it might be worth a visit to try them on.

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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby lurker » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:37 pm

I have a pair of the men's Alp Trainers High. I love the fit and feel and grippy comfort. But this is my second pair (since May 2012) and they are already starting to show more wear than they should (<100 miles and < 25,000').

Salewa has great customer service and replaced the first pair without any complaints. On the second pair I'm considering moving up to the Mountain Trainer as it has a rubber rand vs the Kevlar rand on the Alps, but the Mountain Trainer is built on a different "last" and Jax in Fort Collins doesn't carry my size.
salewa boots part 2 left top.JPG
salewa boots part 2 left top.JPG (162.72 KiB) Viewed 353 times
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Re: Boot that thinks it's a trailrunner?

Postby JDgreen » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:18 pm

I am a runner but more of a mountain hiker than moutaineer. Sometimes I wear my trailrunners Pearl Izumi Synchro Fuels or some 5 ten approach shoes but usually wear some light hiking boots that I wear everyday to farm in usually Sportivas. I tried these on in the store on impulse and wow, light and fit like a glove. If I didn't have some other boots to wear out I'd have bought them on the spot. Here is the men's version now on sale. Think they make a women's version and a low version also.
http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_La-Sportiva-Men-s-Boulder-X-Mid-GTX-Boot_10188494_10208_10000001_-1_?cm_mmc=Display-_-Remarketing-_-Criteo-_-La-Sportiva-Men-s-Boulder-X-Mid-GTX-Boot&ad_id=Remarketing
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