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Hiking Boots
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Leslie Erickson
Hiking Boots on 02/18/2013 15:01:40 MST Print View

I'm looking to replace my hiking boots before the summer's planned 500 miles of hiking.

I thought about trail shoes, but I pronate severely and worry about reinjuring myself with a shoe that would break down sooner and offer less support at the start.

I'm looking for a low boot that is light weight and offers good support. I plan to hike in the canyon country in southern Utah, the forests, mountains, and coastlines of Washington state and then finish the summer on the JMT.

I have a pair of Lowas with about 500 miles on them that I really like, but I've started to get problems with planter faciitus and believe I've broken them down enough to have caused or exacerbated this. Plus, I'd like to go lighter if possible.

Any suggestions?


jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Hiking Boots" on 02/18/2013 15:54:26 MST Print View

I'm looking at the Vasque Breeze/or Taku. Really light for a high top with great ankle support. But I haven't worn them yet, except in store. The Breeze in particular get great reviews.

I'm also looking for suggestions though!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Hiking Boots on 02/18/2013 16:11:30 MST Print View


I think a large section of the member here wear trail running shoes instead of boots. So a lot of us will have a hard time making a recommendation.

I would try trail running shoes. Like most people, I thought I needed a boot to protect my feet. When I made the switch, I couldn't believe how much better it was. Its been my most important gear change.

If you want to try trail running shoes, the Roclite and Trailroc series of Inov-8 have been my favorites. Others find others that they really like. I would avoid waterproof shoes. Regardless, I would try a pair of light shoes before buying a new pair of heavy boots. If they don't suit in your trial hikes, they are always great to just kick around in.

I didn't exactly answer your question, but hope my response might be helpful.

Edited by alexdrewreed on 02/18/2013 16:12:17 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Hiking Boots on 02/18/2013 16:15:15 MST Print View

> but I pronate severely
Sigh. Again.
How YOUR foot works is how it WORKS. Trying to 'correct' (ie change to some strange concept which marketing may have) your natural motion is going to cause you more, worse, and longer term, problems all the way up to your hips and back.

A nice flat inner sole is far far better. That, plus get your ankles, knees etc into a reasonable state of fitness.


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Hiking Boots on 02/18/2013 16:19:12 MST Print View

Apparently I over pronate. I remember wearing orthodics in school. Whenever I put myself in stiff boots or shoes, I get leg pain. Now I only wear very flexible minimalist shoes and my feet feel great.

Ross L
(Ross) - MLife

Locale: Beautiful BC
Hiking boots on 02/18/2013 22:05:11 MST Print View


Have a look at the Cabelas Women's "Perfekt" Walking Shoes by Meindl. The natural cork insoles are extremely comfortable. (I have the mens 7" mid height Perfekts).
Another shoe worth looking at is the Merrell Womens Moab low or mid height.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 02/18/2013 23:34:30 MST Print View

I dont have anymore knee pain after I switched to minimal shoes.

If you want something thats a hybrid, check out the Merrel mix master mid.

mix master

Leslie Erickson
Thanks for the suggestions on 02/19/2013 07:53:07 MST Print View

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

I understand those of you who feel I shouldn't consider the pronation, but if I wear shoes without support I suffer - usually in form of planter faciitus which takes months to heal. I don't have the luxury of testing it out once again, so I'll go with the way my body seems to require artificial arch support for its flat feet and leg bones connecting too far inside my foot. :)

I'll take a closer look at the trail running shoes. My other hesitation there is I hope to log about 500 miles this summer, and I really don't want to have to break in a new pair of shoes in the middle of those miles. I understand trail running shoes don't last more than about 200 - 300 miles.

I will also check some of the boot models y'all have suggested.

Thanks again!!

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Brooks Cascadia on 02/19/2013 07:56:42 MST Print View

A lot of trail runners can last that long. Brooks makes some with a gel insole layer instead of pure foam, so it doesn't flatten out as fast as most sneakers. IIRC...

The Brooks Cascadia models have good correction for incorrect steps, while still being sliiiiightly minimalist to promote good foot health. I know it sounds scary to think about using less when your body says it needs more, but the other forum members are right. Minimalist shoes are a godsend. I have a Size 10.5 D-width left foot and a Size 8 EE-width right foot with slightly curved tarsals. I wear minimalist shoes and eliminated problems I had for years. Now, I've gone full zero drop with no cushioning and my feet have never been happier.

The Brooks Cascadia's 2013 rebrand is the Pure Grit and Pure Grit 2.

Edited by mdilthey on 02/19/2013 07:58:54 MST.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Brooks Cascadia on 02/19/2013 08:09:15 MST Print View

@Max: the Brooks Cascadia and Pure Grit are totally different shoes. The Cascadias are a fairly traditional cushioned running shoe, and the Pure Grit are more minimalist with a low heel drop.

There's a new version of the Cascadias for 2013--they haven't been discontinued as far as I know.

(Yes, I've been doing a lot of trail runner shopping the last few weeks.)

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Hiking Boots" on 02/19/2013 10:13:37 MST Print View

Leslie: good call going with what you know works for you. A lot of people on this forum are pretty zealous about the Wonders of Trail Runners. It's great that they work for them, but they don't work for everybody. As a backpacker that needs a very supportive boot(structural issues that exercise alone can't fix)I do have high hopes for the Vasque Breeze because of how lightweight they are for such a robust boot. Happy trails.

Leslie Erickson
Hiking Boots on 02/19/2013 13:14:41 MST Print View

I'll check out both the Brooks (I wear their running shoe) and the Vasque Breeze. I do think I'll stay with the support, at least this time around, that I get from a boot.

Jeffrey, thanks for the suggestion of the Vasque - when I bought my Lowas, I considered Vasque seriously. I have a narrow foot, so that's another consideration, and Vasque seemed to work with that.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Thanks for the suggestions on 02/19/2013 13:56:00 MST Print View

> I understand trail running shoes don't last more than about 200 - 300 miles.
gee, I dunno, but one pair of trail runenrs lasts me for 2 full month walking in limestone country. That's closer to 1000 km.

The latest New Balance shoes have Vibram soles. Very reliable.


Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Hiking Boots on 02/19/2013 13:57:30 MST Print View

I have a history of plantar faciitis as well and know full well how crippling that can be if not treated or cared for. Best advice I received from a podiatrist was to use Spenco Crosstrainer insoles and the problem disappeared in about a week. Fred Meyers recently stopped carrying those insoles so I switched to the green Superfeet for the past six months with great success. I consider these insoles the reason I don't have a problem with plantar faciitis any more.

I over pronate as well. While I'm phasing them out for hiking, the previous generation of this hiking boot still serves me well for other endeavors like hunting, SAR, etc:

This appears to be a women's version of the same concept:

Only ding I can give them is the weight vs trail runners and that the eyelets are rough on boot laces. The tread and stability has been outstanding.

Stick with what you are comfortable with but if you have a specialty shoe store in your area which will fit you with a pair of trail runners and you are willing to give it a try, I find that it's worth a couple extra bucks to have them analyze your gait. Albeit not a trail shoe, my current pair of NB 990s help tremendously with my over pronation.

Edit: re-read your OP and realize you are looking for a low cut boot. Disregard my last.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 02/19/2013 14:00:59 MST.

Leslie Erickson
Re: Re: Hiking Boots on 02/19/2013 14:14:56 MST Print View

Ian, I'll check those out even though they aren't real low cut. I have custom orthotics I use in all my shoes/boots which help tremendously. I checked a few models at and they seem to have about four pair that might work that are less than two pounds per pair. The Lowas I currently wear and some Merrell models are among those. I'll recheck that and see if that model is one of them.

I have a good independent shoe store where I live and buy my Brooks there. They do have a few trail runners, so I'll check them out.


(jpovs) - F

Locale: Arrowhead
Re: Re: Re: Hiking Boots on 02/19/2013 14:37:14 MST Print View


Edited by jpovs on 06/27/2014 22:26:25 MDT.

Leslie Erickson
Re: Re: Re: Re: Hiking Boots on 02/19/2013 15:53:46 MST Print View

I'll check those too Josh. Thanks.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"Mid" boots on 02/19/2013 16:10:56 MST Print View


I have both Merril Moab Gore-Tex mid boots and Moab Ventilator shoes and I think they are very comfortable - the best I've ever used.

The GTX Moab Mids are mainly to protect my ankles in rough environments where I expectr lots of rocks or where I expect rain or snow.

Buy some thin heat mouldable insoles and you will have a footbed that fits only you but fits so well I doubt you will ever have any foot sole blisters. (See REI's selection.) Heat 'em up in teh oven, insert them in your boots. get in, lace up and stand there for about 10 minutes. VPILA! custom moulded insoles.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: "Hiking Boots" on 02/19/2013 17:38:45 MST Print View

"Leslie: good call going with what you know works for you. A lot of people on this forum are pretty zealous about the Wonders of Trail Runners. It's great that they work for them, but they don't work for everybody."

A huge +1

Somebody needed to say it, and you said it well. Presenting information is all to the good, but presenting it as gospel is another story entirely.