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Michael Wetter
(MWetter) - F
Boots Advice on 07/06/2006 14:13:50 MDT Print View

Hi All,

I am getting ready for a JMT trip this August / September and am on the market for new shoes or boots. I haven't done much LD hiking since my thru hike of the PCT in 1980, when I alternated between leather clunkers and Converse low tops, both of which were awful for their own unique reasons. What are people using these days? I am 46, 6' 4" 210 pounds and have sprained ankles (trail running) in the past, so I don't want to risk the running shoe route. I thought maybe something like a Montrail Comp might be a good in-between. I should be carrying between 15 and 25 pounds. Any advice?

David Bonn
(david_bonn) - F

Locale: North Cascades
Re: Boots Advice on 07/06/2006 15:04:14 MDT Print View

Inov8, Montrail, Salomon, Lowa, Garmont, New Balance, NIke, and Hi-Tech all make excellent trail shoes. More important than any other factor is how well they fit you. And I don't have your feet to try out and tell you what shoes would work for you.

I'd recommend sizing your shoes about a half-size too big for city wear and taking a spare pair or two of socks that are all shaped differently. Your feet will swell up on a long trip (you know that) and having thinner socks to give you more room can be a tripsaver.

Try your shoes out on shorter trips and for goofing around in the park before taking them on a serious trip. One nice thing about trail shoes is that a pair that won't work for the trail probably is still fine for wearing back home. Kind of a multi-use item in life.

Michael Wetter
(MWetter) - F
Re: Re: Boots Advice on 07/06/2006 15:33:16 MDT Print View

Thanks David, I am most interested in feedback on weight or beefiness of the boots and shoes people are using for this purpose. I know some long distance hikers are wearing low top trail shoes, but I don't think I want to do that. Are people wearing mid weight leather hiking boots or are they just a remnant of the old 65 pound pack days?

David Bonn
(david_bonn) - F

Locale: North Cascades
Re: Re: Re: Boots Advice on 07/06/2006 17:27:04 MDT Print View

I think full-on leather boots are a dying breed, at least for backpacking.

A friend of mine who worked for Raichle commented that it was harder and harder to get a big piece of leather without defects to make a boot. He speculated that this was because most cows aren't range-fed anymore and many are fed lots of antibiotics. What I do know is that the price point for a leather boot doesn't fit well with mid-range boot prices.

For the record, I like

this Trango boot..

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Boots Advice on 07/06/2006 17:36:47 MDT Print View

Hi Michael,
While you're checking out La Sportiva boots, you might take a look at the Trango Guide. It has a lot of lateral stability(good for those with ankle problems) and is pretty light(~2#8oz/pair of size 9.5's). They are a combination of leather and synthetic and are at the high end of the mid-top range, giving additional ankle support.