The Best Hiking Shoes

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

Postby geojed » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:41 am

About 2yrs ago I discovered that North Face Valence GTX XCR shoes were somehow made specifically for my wide, tailor's bunnion prone, feet. North Face stopped making that model so I was able to find them on clearance online and bought myself 6 more pairs of them before they were gone! :-D They have a Vibram sole that I wish would be a little thicker and thus last longer but they are my go to hiking/climbing shoes. If I know that I'll be doing a lot of off-trail talus hopping then I'll wear my Asolo Sasslong Wide boots for foot protection.
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Jeff Valliere
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby Jeff Valliere » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:24 am

Personally, I have found medium weight trail running shoes (9-12oz range) to be the best for just about all my needs in the mountains. I have different pairs for different purposes, but only use boots if I plan to use crampons for an extended period or when it is really cold and snowy (but still often times use trail runners for those times as well).

Everyones foot/preferences are different and advancements in footwear are a constant, so finding just the right shoe will be a constantly evolving process. Fit and comfort are paramount, support, rock protection and traction are key too. Keep an eye on sales and if you find a pair you just love, buy a few pairs. Steep and Cheap has some good deals from time to time, along with REI and your local running store. Good luck!
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby Duffus Kentucky Climber » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:59 am

We met a guy on Antero this year wearing a pair of those minimalist, barefoot running shoes that had less sole material than my bedroom slippers, and even they were worn thin. He had hiked the entire Baldwin Jeep road in those to summit. Meanwhile, I was wearing boots that could go to the moon. He didn't seem too uncomfortable. I'm such a wuss.
It looks like the ridge is just right up there!
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby SnowAlien » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:59 am

I need the ankle support so I like Vasque Breeze Gore-Tex XCR for summer hiking in Colorado. They last about 40 14ers and they don't like getting wet! But they are extremely comfy, breathable and have great traction. I will be getting my 3rd pair soon.
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby painless4u2 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:18 pm

Backpacker magazine had reviewed Teva Forge Pro Mid eVent Leather and was favorably impressed, so I tried a pair this summer during a week of 14ers. I found them to be very light, comfortable, waterproof, have good traction ("Spider 365 Rubber"), and really breathable, thanks to the eVent liner. I felt like I didn't want out of them at the end of a hike, which says a lot. Downsides? The rubber rand at the toe is beginning to lose contact with the leather, so a little glue is in order. I'd buy these again, however.
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby kaiman » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:45 pm

+1 on the La Sportiva Boulder X. I have used mine for general hiking, climbing 14ers/13ers, Class 3-4 scrambling and canyoneering and they work great. I especially love how well they work when hiking on slick rock in the desert or when scrambling up loose talus or scree slopes.

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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby climbingaggie03 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:56 pm

I love the salomon XA trail runners, they have a goretex and a non gore tex version so there's flexibility there. I find I can do alot in winter with the goretex shoes.
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby TeamTayberry » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:08 pm

Another vote for the hoka one one stinson evo's.
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Tory Wells
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:23 pm

This question always comes up but the truth is, everyone has different anatomy and different desires, so everyone will want a different shoe. It's kinda like asking what toothpaste is the best. The best shoe is the one that works the best for you. Or maybe it's a boot. Do your research , ask around at REI or Boulder Running or Bent Gate. Also know that the high peaks are very tough on footwear so don't expect any shoe to last forever.

I will say that La Sportiva makes good shoes/boots that are made for the alpine. But of course they may not be right for you.
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby bandofbrothersomaha » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:24 pm

+1 for the Solomon XA Pro trail runner. Lightweight yet rugged. Gortex and lacing system is a plus. Great traction. I will not go back to a boot for hiking 14ers.
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby Corn » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:42 pm

I know i don't have the check marks like many of the others here, but i put many sub alpine miles on my Salomon XA 3D ultra's. On my 4th pair now and will continue with my 2 year purchase cycle of these great shoes!
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Re: The Best Hiking Shoes

Postby broncotw » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:54 pm

Good luck so far with Lowa.....
Ted from TEXAS!

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