Almost Over the Hill Hikers
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    #175505 - 03/03/13 09:40 AM new old guy here needs new shoes
    redbelly Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 03/03/13
    Posts: 1
    Loc: Tidewater Virginia
    Hello All, I am a new old guy to this forum and thought this subforum would be just the pale to ask my first question.

    In days long gone I hiked , camped, backpacked , and generally enjoyed alot of varied outdoor adventures but as the demands of work and family increased I got away from most of it and my gear became old, outdated, and worn out.

    So now I am trying to gear back up starting with a good pair of hiking shoes.

    The last pair I bought were a big disappointment...Merrel Goretex Moabs, they just plain wore out with not that much use. What I would like to find out is what you all would recommend as a good durable hiking shoe, with a big emphasis on durability, to be worn for day hikes mostly and for everyday knocking around.

    Thanks a bunch , this is a very good site and I have already learned a lot.

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    #175506 - 03/03/13 10:43 AM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: redbelly]
    Pika Offline
    member

    Registered: 12/08/05
    Posts: 1726
    Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
    One of the problems with recommending hiking shoes is the rate of model turnover. As soon as one makes a recommendation, it seems as though the manufacturer discontinues that model and then offers a "new and improved" version that is most often change without much progress.

    Shoes are very much a personal matter and fit is the primary criterium. I am still mourning the discontinuance of the pre-2008 Montrail Hardrock shoes; for me they seemed almost custom made. I now use Merrill Moab Ventilators and have had pretty good service from them.

    I don't like Gortex in my shoes: it makes the shoe hard to dry after it gets wet and also makes my feet sweat.

    I have also had good service from several of the New Balance trail running shoes but watch out for glued in sole inserts, I have had them come unglued to become a foot snagging protrusion.

    If you choose to wear trail shoes currently being made, you do have to expect a shorter life for them than one expects from the more traditional boots; it's just the nature of disposable shoes. I generally get about one to two seasons from a pair of shoes, with luck (and duct tape).


    Edited by Pika (03/03/13 10:46 AM)
    _________________________
    May I walk in beauty.

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    #175508 - 03/03/13 11:22 AM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: redbelly]
    PerryMK Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/18/02
    Posts: 1153
    Loc: Florida panhandle
    I like New Balance because of the variety of widths (EE, EEEE). However not all New Balance fit the same.

    An extra thing to consider with any shoe is buying aftermarket insoles. I am partial to Superfeet. They can make a lower end shoe feel higher end. Doesn't do much for durability but does wonders for comfort and foot care.

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    #175510 - 03/03/13 12:48 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: redbelly]
    aimless Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 02/05/03
    Posts: 2838
    Loc: Portland, OR
    Unfortunately, durability and weight often go together, in that a thicker sole and heavier lugs weigh more. The same holds true for the uppers, where more leather and less fabric makes for a heavier shoe.

    I will add that it's my understanding that the Moab model was designed for use in desert-like conditions and therefore is an extremely lightweight hiking shoe. Being on the far end of the lightweight spectrum undoubtedly was a contributing factor to its early demise. Try something that has more heft and looks like it was designed for heavier duty.

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    #175511 - 03/03/13 02:00 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: redbelly]
    billstephenson Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 02/07/07
    Posts: 3865
    Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
    All great replies so far. I'll add that to what aimless said about durability and weight. One of the tradeoffs is breaking in a durable boot.

    The lightweight hikers, like some of the Merrells, can be worn right out of the box on a long trip because they don't need to be broken in. Boots that last for years and years and can be resoled generally need some breaking in, and that can take some time.

    I've taken heavy duty work boots and spent an hour beating them with a rubber mallet to help speed the process of breaking them in because they were tearing my feet up. Like you, my hiking boots are the same shoes I wear all day most every day.

    I'll end up with this; I've been wearing Merrells for 10-12 years now, and the last few pairs I've bought I wasn't very impressed with either. The next time I go to buy some hiking boots I will take PerryMK's advice and buy a much less expensive pair of boots and some good aftermarket insoles instead. I'm not recommending that for you, but I'm going to try it just to see how it works out.
    _________________________
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    "You want to go where?"



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    #175518 - 03/03/13 04:49 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: redbelly]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6372
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    I switched from boots to trail running shoes some years ago. I was kicking and screaming at the idea, but I couldn't find any women's boots that weren't Goretex lined. Lo and behold, I found that my feet were far more stable in trail runners and that hiking was so much easier in lighter footwear. I have not had a turned ankle since the switch, although I did turn my ankles frequently in the boots. I wanted to get away from Goretex linings because my feet were basically in a sauna inside, with resulting blisters, and once the boots got wet inside the liner, they took days to dry, even out in the hot sun. With lighter shoes, I can just splash through a stream ford. Yes, they get wet, but I can walk them dry in an hour. I don't have to carry stream fording shoes, nor do I need to take camp shoes--I just loosen the laces of my trail runners when I get to camp.

    Like Pika, I'm still mourning the demise of the pre-2008 Montrail Hardrock, which for me was the perfect fitting shoe. I've boycotted Columbia Sportswear since they discontinued the pre-2008 shoe last. However, I can also get a perfect fit in New Balance's SL-2 last, which I hope they keep for a while longer. I actually still have one pair of Montrail Hardrocks in my closet, that I'll probably bring out this summer.

    I won't recommend brands because no two feet are alike, and what I like probably won't fit you at all. I suggest finding a really good running shoe store and trying on all the trail runners they have. Regular road running shoes may be OK too, if there's enough traction in the sole. Some models have slick soles not suitable for trail shoes.

    Once you have found what for you is the perfect shoe (hike in them a month first to be sure), then I strongly recommend you buy several pair. It's as sure as death and taxes that the manufacturer will change the model, including the last, next year, and you'll have to start your search all over again. However, don't get a lifetime supply, even if they're available and you have the cash, because feet do change over the years. But at least you can postpone another search for a few years.

    Most thru-hikers doing the long trails (Appalachian, Pacific Crest, etc.) expect to go through several pairs of trail runners during their hikes. They seem to get 500-800 miles per pair.

    My Goretex lined boots are still in my closet, but I haven't worn them since I first tried the trail runners. They are now in a box I'm getting ready for Goodwill.


    Edited by OregonMouse (03/03/13 05:11 PM)
    _________________________
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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    #175522 - 03/03/13 07:31 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: OregonMouse]
    lori Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/22/08
    Posts: 2801
    I buy a new pair of treksta low tops every year at labor day. I have winter boots for snow, am reviewing a pair of chaco leather boots that will be paired with the SAR pack as they have been good for stomping through brush, and the no-goretex trekstas for everything else. i get around 700 miles out of them before the tread is shot and the last starts to hurt my feet.
    _________________________
    "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

    http://hikeandbackpack.com

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    #175559 - 03/05/13 02:00 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: aimless]
    wandering_daisy Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/06
    Posts: 2742
    Loc: California
    Weight of shoes also is dependent on the total weight stress that is put on the shoe. Small light-weight people who carry light packs can get by with lighter shoes. I am with OM on "ankle support" is not necessarily a function of stiff high top shoes. Good quality trail running shoes offer good ankle support by supporting that part of your foot just below the ankle.

    Shoes, insoles and socks are a system. You cannot really evaluate shoes unless you have the right socks. I would NEVER buy shoes without taking the socks I will use with me when I go shopping. I am a long-time user of the thicker Smartwool socks. Whatever shoe I buy I also replace the insole with the green Superfeet insole. Yes, that is expensive! I also take the inserts with me when I shop for shoes.

    Even after all the trying on shoes, etc, the only real test is a 50+ mile trip. I have had some real disappointments (and a few nearly new shoes that sit in the back of my closet).

    Yes, very frustrating - you just find the perfect shoe and the stupid manufacturer discontinue them!

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    #175561 - 03/05/13 02:59 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: wandering_daisy]
    BrianLe Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/26/07
    Posts: 1144
    Loc: Washington State, King County
    Quote:
    "Even after all the trying on shoes, etc, the only real test is a 50+ mile trip. I have had some real disappointments (and a few nearly new shoes that sit in the back of my closet).

    Yes, very frustrating - you just find the perfect shoe and the stupid manufacturer discontinue them!"


    Both of these observations are so very true, at least for me too.

    The nice thing about "nearly new shoes that sit in the back of the closet" is that they can be used quite a lot for local trips. Of late I've been using these "don't work for long backpacking trip" shoes for running and local walking. Because it's around the 50 mile mark for me too where trouble occurs with shoes that (in my case) aren't *quite* wide enough in the toe box. But doing local walks in single digits and low double digit distances doesn't generally cause a problem. It'll take me some years, but I'll use these up.
    _________________________
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    #176595 - 04/19/13 02:05 AM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: redbelly]
    djtrekker Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/02/13
    Posts: 43
    Loc: Virginia
    one of those "hot" topics; very dependent on personal taste and use.
    I like leather. I tried gore tex and they were fine I suppose, but i didn't like the feel. I went to Limmers and I'll never look back. Heavier (I know the arguments about weight, but with a few thousand miles under my belt I guess I can give myself permission to say they are heavenly to wear, and they are my trail companions, my comfort zone). Unlike some models, Limmers will likely endure far into the future.
    That said, I also got a pair of Fivefinger KSO treks. Talk about the other end of the spectrum....feather light and nothing to them. It truly is like walking barefoot. I use them on 90% of my day hikes, limiting the Limmers to only backpacks where I'm carrying more than 30 pounds on my back - concern being foot/ankle support. Then I take my fivefingers along as camp shoes.
    Limmers and fivefingers are expensive, to say the very least. Fivefingers are going on 2 or 3 years (I can't remember within a year.....senior moment.....) now and show no appreciable wear. Limmers going on 8 years and they will last a lifetime (I'm 60, so they will outlast me). Limmers take a considerable bit to break-in, but for me = worth it.
    Asolos has a very nice boot I looked at before I purchased the Limmers, and I see that REI still carries the same model, so apparently it is a winner line (Asolo TPS 520) year after year. They fit me like a glove and would have been the choice if I did not have the budget to indulge myself.

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    #177775 - 06/12/13 10:29 AM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: redbelly]
    lostagain Offline
    member

    Registered: 04/09/12
    Posts: 48
    Loc: DFW, Texas
    Just started reading in this sub-forum. (58, but can't get the 25 attitude to go away). When I started back in to this wonderful and nearly forgotten aspect of outdoorsiness, I was carting around about 40 odd pounds of stuff wearing a pair of hiking boots I'd bought for day-to-day walks. They weighed about 3 pounds each, took (as I recall) about a month to break in and just were not all that comfotable. So I switched to my old tried and true combat boots. Not much of an improvement, but somewhat better.

    Now, I wear one of two boots when I go for short or long hikes. In summer I wear a pair of Converse (now Reebok) 8" desert combat boots and in the winter, a pair of Bates 8" tactical boots. They both fit great, and feel like a pair of tennis shoes. each weighs about around a pound and 8 or 9 oz. Theyve got a side zipper so on/off is a breeze and I only have to tighten up the laces about every 25 miles or so. I use both on more or less a daily basis and will swear by them. I'm even loooking ot get a pair of 5 or 6" boots for summer wear (though I am considering trail shoes for the daily walks).

    The great ting about tactical boots is they're designed for people who are on their feet most or all day in all types of terrain. Mine work great for me as they are both breathable, wear well with the socks I hike in and are extremely comfortable on my feet.

    I'm with everyone else though who has suggested going to a sprots specific shoe store or big box sporting goods store and look at what is being offered in the hiking/walking section. Try on several different manufacturers and before buying, google (or Bing) search for reviews of those particular shoes. That should answer any durability questions you have.
    _________________________
    Awwww...go take a hike!

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    #177784 - 06/12/13 03:48 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: BrianLe]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6372
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    I've also found shoes that either didn't work for longer trips or that fight well but have passed their usefulness to be very useful for such tasks as mowing the lawn or other grubby pursuits. As long as the tread is still good, they work fine.

    I found with my plantar fasciitis episode last year that eventually with wear and age the cusioning aspects of the shoe deteriorate. The shoes should be replaced yearly even if they still look fine from outside. At least that's what the podiatrist told me.

    With plenty of stretching before and after exercise and the use of green superfeet in my shoes, my feet are just fine this year! The stretching is the most important!


    Edited by OregonMouse (06/12/13 03:49 PM)
    _________________________
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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    #179632 - 09/08/13 11:31 AM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: redbelly]
    D Lee Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 07/12/13
    Posts: 10
    I have had good luck with all things Danner. A pair of light, low cut Merrel trail shoes were fine. Keens feel good and I have had good wear from them.

    When I was a young guy I spent all day walking in the woods, laying out timber sales, recovering survey corners and so on. I wore eight and ten inch heavy duty logging boots and loved them. High tops are nice for keeping mud, dust and rock out of your boots. They are not necessary for support and stability, in my opinion.

    Increasingly, boots and shoes look alike to me. I recently saw a pair of medium weight hikers in Walmart for $16. They looked about like the expensive made in China hikers, fit fine. So far so good.

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    #179634 - 09/08/13 04:29 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: D Lee]
    PerryMK Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/18/02
    Posts: 1153
    Loc: Florida panhandle
    Originally Posted By D Lee
    They are not necessary for support and stability, in my opinion.

    I've found the extra support of something reaching or covering my ankles helps me, especially after 10 miles. It's not a matter of twisting or rolling, just how sore I am at the end. But then my history and your history are probably different and that's why different types of footwear are sold.

    Originally Posted By D Lee
    Increasingly, boots and shoes look alike to me. I recently saw a pair of medium weight hikers in Walmart for $16. They looked about like the expensive made in China hikers, fit fine. So far so good.

    I'm just about convinced that some foreign factories that make footwear for the big names (New Balance, Merrell, etc.) will make very similar or identical generic brand footwear also. I'm on the lookout for American made footwear but nothing is sold locally. Footwear is an item I prefer to purchase in person. What I have seen online is simply heavy. Probably long lasting, but heavy and unfortunately not available locally so I can't see how they fit.

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    #179870 - 09/25/13 03:19 PM Re: new old guy here needs new shoes [Re: PerryMK]
    lostagain Offline
    member

    Registered: 04/09/12
    Posts: 48
    Loc: DFW, Texas
    Originally Posted By PerryMK

    I'm just about convinced that some foreign factories that make footwear for the big names (New Balance, Merrell, etc.) will make very similar or identical generic brand footwear also. I'm on the lookout for American made footwear but nothing is sold locally. Footwear is an item I prefer to purchase in person. What I have seen online is simply heavy. Probably long lasting, but heavy and unfortunately not available locally so I can't see how they fit.


    This made me smile. I used to do golf club assembly, repair and fitting. During the course of doing business, I discovered that all the "clones" or "knockoffs" were made by the same four foundrys that made the name brand club heads. Guess what? The foundrys would simply not break the mold as required by contract, but would in fact copy the mold prior to breaking and then use those copies to produce the clone heads. Although the branding on the club heads was similar, the specs were extremely close. Don't know to this day why suit wasn't filed, but apparently winning such a case in China was a losing proposition. That was a few years ago and things may well have changed, however I wouldn't bet the house on it and I'd say the same thing happens in all things manufactured in China for name-brand anything. Aside from lowering manufacture costs here in the States, I'm sure that's another reason why more and more major manufacturers are bringing products back to the States.
    _________________________
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