Need light but sturdy boots
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John Tunnicliffe
(BenWaller)

Locale: Northern California
light boots on 08/26/2009 23:00:58 MDT Print View

You might also consider the Merrell Evo Chameleon mid's. A little pricey in my view but I've had good results the past year with this design, both the mid's and the lows. The lows are GoreTex, the mids are not.

Very supportive design, though I always use SuperFeet Green insoles in all my footwear so maybe the great results I'm getting from this boot is partially attributable to the insoles. Whatever, it's a "system" that works for me. Good grip on lightly snotted rocks, too.

Check 'em out if you can find 'em. A little north of $100.

John

Dan U
(danno141) - F

Locale: North Central Texas
Thanks everyone on 08/27/2009 17:40:57 MDT Print View

Since I started this thread I would like to thank all the posters for their advice. I'm more lost than ever, but I'll fight to the death for your right to confuse me. So far it seems the best tip is to go to a store, try on different boots, and walk around with some weight on my back. There is an REI that's not too far away, so I will try to do that next week. Again, thanks for the posts and keep it up.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Thanks everyone on 08/28/2009 02:14:56 MDT Print View

Dan,

Since you are still confused, perhaps we should start over :)

How much will your pack weigh fully loaded? From there you might get more help.

Also, I am 59 and wore leather boots for over 40 years until a couple years ago. I have switched to very light shoes, but my total pack weight with food and water is usually under 17 lbs, often under 10lbs. That makes a difference in footwear.

Dan U
(danno141) - F

Locale: North Central Texas
Base weight on 08/28/2009 17:01:55 MDT Print View

You have a point Nick (just let your hair grow and maybe it won't show.) I plan on several 2 - 4 day trips this fall. My weight w/o food and water will be around 12 lbs. However I don't plan on purchasing a filter until spring so I might carry all my water with aquamira as a backup. I don't trust the water in the areas I plan to pack in. My concern isn't the weight I carry, I'm 6' 2" and 230 lbs in good shape. The problem has always been bruising of the soles of my feet when hiking in thinner soled shoes/boots on rocky terrain. Since I'm going to the Ouachita area, Palo Duro canyon and possibly Big Bend this fall, rocky terrain is the issue. Also I mentioned before a high ankle sprain, don't want to live through that again. I don't know if I want to go with cheaper boots and expect to buy again soon, or more expensive. It seems quality isn't what it was in the old Vasque Italian made full-leather days.
Hope that gives you an idea of what I'm looking for, and thanks for the input Nick.

Dan U
(danno141) - F

Locale: North Central Texas
13+ on 09/06/2009 18:58:16 MDT Print View

I've read the post on 13+ shoes, might I mention that I am also 13+. Many of you have made good suggestions, but i've yet to find a good fit. Like the 13+ poster I have a narrow heel and wide toes. I'll just have to keep looking.

William Puckett
(Beep) - F

Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
"Need light but sturdy boots" on 09/06/2009 20:01:03 MDT Print View

I'm 6'5", 215 lbs, and I wear a size 14 running shoe (street size 13). FWIW, I'm nearly 64 and based on my "education" from the BPL community decided to try an alternative to my well-tested and well-loved Limmer Midweights (about as traditional a hiking boot as there is!). Bottom line, my Limmers have a place of honor in my closet, but there they stay. I'm a convert to trail runners...AND...I'm a believer in the concept that a well-designed heel on a trail runner is a prime ingredient in preventing ankle turns. Plus, in a trail runner, I'm more likely to use my forefoot (rather than heel) as initial ground contact (think more like barefoot style walking) with the result of less risk of ankle inversion/eversion.

Now, a caveat...fit trumps almost everthing! No matter how well-reviewed a shoe, fit/comfort matters most. Translation: you have to actually try shoes to know if they fit.

This year, I've hiked in Keen Voyageur, Merrell Chameleon, Montrail Hardrock (low, 2008 model), Inov8 305 and lastly...the reigning champion...Asic Gel Trabuco WR (not the GoreTex one).

The fit (for me) is superb and the gel inserts work marvelously well to smooth the rough trail. The forefoot rock "plate" protection is very effective (second only the Montrail Hardrock) but in combination with the gel in the forefoot means I end the day with tired BUT NOT SORE feet.
They dry relatively fast after wetting and breath well to keep my feet from overheating. Like most non-membrane breathable shoes, a dusty trail will leave your feet very dirty, but that's a small price to pay for all-day comfort...and no need for extra camp shoes.

FWIW, I use the Superfeet Orange inserts in them and like the combination very much. YMMV, but for a large size trail runner, this shoe really works for me.