I live an an area that does not have alot of backpacking available. Therefore, we do not have outdoor sporting goods stores other than sports authority.
We do have one in town - but when I went in for a visit I found they have a strict "No Refunds" policy. This makes me leary.
My husband and I both have good boots - but my 14yr old son does not (he's currently in a men's size 13 shoe. We need to purchase something for him for our upcoming trip to the grand canyon as well as summer hiking and jrotc raiders this summer.
We have a wonderful running store in town that guarentee's there products and your comfort that they will refund your money if you are not happy. I've brought shoes back that were 6 weeks old and had 160 miles on them that were still giving me blisters that they returned and re-fitted me with new shoes.
My hiking boots purchased at an outfitters in NC offered me a similar guarentee - even from out of town - they would have honored a return via mail if I was not happy.
I'm not sure what to do for my son's needs. We don't have a trip to NC planned prior to our GC trip. So we have to get something more local.
Any tips on finding a great fitting hiking boot on the first try or from a mass market store like Sport Authority or Bass Pro Shop - or should I risk it with the local no returns shop?
I would consider getting him a pair of trail running shoes rather than boots; you might want to consider this for yourself as well. A lot of the folks posting on this forum use nothing else for both on trail travel as well as a lot of off-trail travel. They are generally lighter and much more comfortable than boots and usually don't cost as much either. I use Montrail Hardrocks but New Balance and other running shoe manufacturers have a line of trail runners as well. For me, the only drawback is that your toes get dirty.
I too prefer trail runners to boots. They can sometimes get beat up when going offtrail, and if there's a lot of underbrush you end up emptying out leaves & twigs once in a while, but the hiking experience is better with trail shoes than with boots in my opinion. Like the name says, they're especially good for trail use. Hiking boots do have better ankle support, though, which might matter with heavier loads.
Cruzenbye, you might look into a common brand that makes trail runners like New Balance. At the very least you'll have more choices to try.
Both Bass Pro and Sports Authority have a good selection of Trail Runners. You might also see if there is an Academy in your area. I agree with the Trail Runners, but also will add that Bass Pro and Sports Author also have good boots.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
Actually - in addition to my merrell light weight boot, I have 2 pair of NB trail runners. I finally threw out my nike trail runners after they fell apart on me on the trail last summer. The thing I've found (especially with nike brand) thr trail runners just aren't durable and when they get wet they fall apart.
I have used trail shoes for some time but have always felt a little out of place on the trail. I get all kinds of looks when I bound past people in their rigid sole boots. Basically from what you guys are saying, don't worry about it, rock on with the trail shoes! COOL, I guess I needed to hear that from someone else.
I'm one o'the guys on the other side o'the fence on this one. I won't even wear "trailrunners" in my backyard because of the steep rock. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />If you plan to get far off trail you have to consider how well your footgear will stick to rock and a good way to ruin a trip is to get on slippery rock in the wrong shoe. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />If it where me - I'd wear the merrils.
I mean theres a reason they are not called "off-trail-runners" <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />YMMV Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
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