Are Kodiak Boots bad?

Posted by: HikingChump

Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/05/12 10:48 PM

Hi, I did a good search on this and only found them in what sounded like a negative context but no reviews.

I found them at Costco for $29. They are ankle high hiking boots. Seem nice, but I know nothing. Should I stay away? Thanks.
Posted by: aimless

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/05/12 11:14 PM

The first and by far the most important factor in choosing a boot is how well it fits your own foot and how comfortable it is over the course of your hikes. Brand name and cost are negligible factors compared to that.

Cheap boots are somewhat less likely to last well over time and under the sort of abuse a trail can dish out, but you should expect that. Unless the construction is truly shoddy, a boot ought to last several hundred miles at least.

The fit is what you need to concentrate on most. Try the boots on with the socks you expect to wear with them and check for a cramped toe box, chafing, or pressure points, and so on. Find out the return policy. You can wear new boots around the house for hours and get a better idea of their comfort, without making them unreturnable.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/05/12 11:52 PM

Some of Costco's stuff is pretty good! Last time I was there (I'm not a member, doesn't pay for a single person) with my DIL, I saw quite a few interesting things including a $70 down jacket (getting a lot of attention nation-wide) with high-fill down and plenty of technical info on the label. Andrew Skurka on his blog mentioned finding a pair of carbon fiber trekking poles for $27 at Costco for his fiancee that he thought were quite good. I picked up some pretty good merino wool socks (I wear them all the time, not just for hiking) and a bed for my dog (no, definitely not for backpacking, but every dog bed I've gotten there has lasted 3 years, while one I got at Petco for the same price wore out in less than a year).

As Aimless said, with footwear it's all about fit, fit, fit. All I can do is repeat his recommendation: If they fit you well enough for you to want to take them home, once you get there put on the shoes, put on a pack and hike around the house for several hours. Boring, yes, but you'll be able to return them if they don't fit. Contrary to folklore, you should not have to break them in; they should fit you to start with. If you can rig up a ramp so you can walk sloping downhill, so much the better. Oh, and always try on shoes late in the day when your feet are swollen if they are going to swell. In fact, you might want to go for a nice long dayhike and stop at Costco for a try-on on your way home!
Posted by: HikingChump

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/05/12 11:57 PM


How can I know for sure they are fitting correctly. I mean if they don't hurt, is that good enough?
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/05/12 11:58 PM

You'll know, after you've walked in them a bit carrying a pack (or weights). As I mentioned, if you can set up a ramp (board, maybe) to simulate walking downhill, that will help.

I didn't have much luck finding them on google. Are these hiking boots or steel-toed work boots? You definitely do NOT want the latter for hiking. The military has found that every extra pound on your feet is like carrying an extra 5 lbs. on your back!
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/06/12 06:54 AM

They won't hurt in the store unless they are a terrible fit. This is where you have a problem with shopping , at big boxes like Costco. Like others, I am impressed with the value of a wide variety of products I have bought there. But there is no customer service. Your boot should fit snugly, especially in the heel area, with more room in front of the toes. Be sure you are wearing the right socks....

That is an insanely cheap price, but boots are hugely important, so it might be worthwhile and go to a specialized outlet, like REI,where you can get help in fitting.

OM, I once hiked fifteen miles in my steel toed work boots. The key word in that phrase is 'once.' Never again!
Posted by: Gershon

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/06/12 10:01 AM

If they have a picture of a bear's face on the tag, you may have stumbled on a good boot for a cheap price. Maybe they got them through some factory closeout.

If not, for the price, they are worth taking a chance on if they are comfortable.

The right socks make a big difference. I like Smartwool and Thorlos socks. Be sure to try on the boots with the socks you will be wearing.

Posted by: HikingChump

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/06/12 10:40 AM

Here is a link to photos of the boots:

Posted by: lori

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/06/12 10:50 AM

Remember that costco has a great return policy for most things. And you're not paying a lot for the boots anyway. If nothing else you could wear them around town if they don't work for hiking.

I know shoes or boots fit by feel, which is a skill you develop after a while. You kind of know if they'll work for you once you've figured out a shoe that works. I had a tough time finding a good fit - heel to toe blisters on my first pair of shoes after 8 miles or so of backpacking.... The boots should have plenty of room in the toe box, and the heel shouldn't pop out of the boot as you walk/hike. It shouldn't rub or chafe the sides of the feet, bang the toes or require you to tape up or slap on moleskin to use them.

I'd dayhike with them with a full pack and see how it goes.
Posted by: TomD

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/06/12 02:35 PM

Pretty much. I know that sounds simple, but really, that's it. I used to wear HiTec boots for work. They were cheap, didn't last long (about 6 months or so if I was working a lot), but were really comfortable. They took a lot of abuse-heat, sand, water, mud, so I wasn't disappointed at their short lifespan. They never came apart as I recall, just got worn down and ugly, but I doubt a much more expensive pair would have lasted longer. They were low cut mesh, not a full leather boot, which would last longer, but which would have been heavier and hotter-I have an old pair of Asolo full leathers and a full leather boot will take a lot more abuse than a "modern" trail runner style boot.

For $30, you can't go too wrong. If they are comfortable and don't come apart, that's about all you can ask. If they start to bother you because the insole is worn (the inner cushion), get a pair of Dr.Scholl's or Superfeet insoles and replace them. They make those in different styles depending on your foot shape. I have flat feet, so I get one with a flatter arch, because a high arch insole does bother me.

FYI, I've had $500 ski boots that didn't fit right, so it isn't about price.
Posted by: HikingChump

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/06/12 09:33 PM

I ended up taking them back. Thanks to you guys I knew they didn't fit and weren't of the quality I needed. Mostly though, because they didn't fit. They slipped and weren't long enough in the toe.

They were called "pathfinder," should anyone happen upon this thread.

I'm looking at others that run more narrow, from various hiking boot manufacturers. That an external frame backpacks smile.
Posted by: lori

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/07/12 05:48 PM

Asolo FSN might be to your liking. You can get them at Sierra Trading Post at decent discounts most of the time, especially if you sign up for the Deal Flyer. The 85 are non-goretex and the FSN 95s are goretex.

I have a pair of 85s - they are a tad narrow for me, but otherwise they are decent compromises between the trail shoe and a full-on boot.
Posted by: HikingChump

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/09/12 10:35 PM

Thanks. I was looking at Teva as well as they run narrow. I saw the ones you mentioned. They were incredibly high, but maybe the last a good ten years smile.

edit: I looked up the asolo 85 for men. They seem quite reasonable. Do they tend to run narrow? I saw somewhere that said yes. I need narrow.
Posted by: TomD

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/10/12 02:41 AM

Asolos run narrow, so give them a try.
Posted by: Gershon

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/10/12 07:49 AM

Originally Posted By HikingChump
That an external frame backpacks smile.

Campmour is the only source I know for new external frame backpacks. Unfortunately, the ones they have are either for youth or they are too heavy.

World Famous external frame backpacks were popular back in the 80's. They are about a pound lighter than the Jansport and other brands. There are three types. The Everest, Northface and Mont Blanc. Essentially, they are all the same pack except for the belt. Be sure to get one with the big waistbelt.

You can usually find them on Ebay or Craigslist.

If you do buy new, be real careful to look at the torso size. Some of them are too short. Also be real careful to look at the weight. Around 4 1/2 pounds is reasonable for an external frame pack.

In my opinion, the pack should be selected first, but not purchased. In the case of used, buying first is not so bad because you can always sell it for about the same price.

Then select the gear to fill the pack. The reason I say this is the size of the pack will drive a couple of your purchase decisions. Mostly the tent and the sleeping bag. The smaller your pack, the more you will need to spend on these so they fit.

This advice goes against conventional wisdom of buying the pack last so the gear fits.

The most important item in your pack is the sleeping bag. If you can afford it, spend a lot here. If you have to go cheap, the Alpine 20 from Sports Authority will work down to the high 20's. Going cheap forces you to have a bigger pack.

To get a tent that doesn't leak you will have to spend some money too. Walmart tents are great, until it rains.

In my opinion, the cheapest and most efficient way to buy the first round of gear is to make a list of gear you want from REI or someplace. Decide what things you have that you can use - like clothes. Then make a plan to purchase your first dream pack overtime rather than all at once.

Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Are Kodiak Boots bad? - 10/10/12 01:56 PM

Depending on your price range and the weight you intend to carry, you might look at the Osprey Atmos and Exos series packs. I'm not trying to start an argument about whether they are internal or external frame packs, but having tried them I found they blended some of the features of both: the ride was more like an external, in that it stands away from your back (you are in contact with a mesh trampoline); the loading and pack bag design is definitely internal.

These may very well not be what you're looking for, but at least give them a quick look. They're nice packs.