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Old 04-03-2017, 07:50 AM   #1
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Need advise on Hiking Boots

My wife and I are getting prepared to start our next long trip. This is a 4 month trip out west from North Carolina. We have plans for a lot of stops that will involve a lot of walking. We are both in our mid-sixties and in fair health condition. We do not do a lot of hiking at this time but we do enjoy casual walking. We will be going places like Mt Rushmore, Glacier Bay, Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and as many of the NP's and SP's as we can find time for. We need to find some good hiking/walking boots that will protect our feet from the trail and from what you might find on the trail. We are looking for any advice on what type and style boot to look for. I would prefer a waterproof boot but I have no knowledge if this is a requirement. Thanks in advance for all of your comments and advice.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:36 AM   #2
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Need advise on Hiking Boots

When I was looking at hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon I went to Gander Mountain store

Went to their shoe department and they had hiking boots. Guy in the department was very knowledgeable and helped me pick out what I wanted. They probably had 10 different selections. Different boots for different type of hiking.

He also gave me instructions on what socks work well with sweating feet and such.

I bought a pair. Broke them in for 6 month and walked to the bottom of the canyon (7.2 mile) one day and back out the next day (9.6 mile). I never had any issues. Note: I had never done any real hiking before. And note I have not had those shoes on again. That was in 2014. Lol

So these outdoor stores are very knowledgeable in their respective departments.

Russell
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:48 AM   #3
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Don't want to recommend a specific brand, but get a good pair and if possible one where soles are sewed as well as glued. Many of the cheap imports use only glue on the soles and the separate after hard use. Once you have them break them in well. Have fun.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:58 AM   #4
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I'll attach a picture of the ones I bought. You can zoom in and see the brand. They served me well.

Now I've been to most of the places that you mentioned. And we have never wore anything but our well used tennis shoes.

I ve not been to Glacier Bay ? It could be rain and wet up there I guess.

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Old 04-03-2017, 09:09 AM   #5
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My current favorites are Merrils. Light, can get them in water proof decent priced and fairly comfortable. I have also worn Hitec, but lately they seem to all fall apart on me. You really really need to go try some on. No two feet are the same and what one person loves, the next can hate.
For all around walking and lite trails you want a light weight shoe, preferably water proof, with a good waffel tread for stability. I prefer ankle high.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:15 AM   #6
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Merrell's are good though I hiked the soles off of one pair in New Mexico. Took me four years to do it--which isn't too bad. I bought a replacement pair of Asolo boots since they looked more heavy duty. They were....but they were terribly uncomfortable to wear for more than a half hour. So it was back to Merrell. I did learn though that one should not try to use a Merrell boot to pound in the sharp anchor of a fence post.

No matter what, make sure that the shoes you purchase seem to fit well at the retailer. Wear them around the house for an hour or two. Repeat daily--unless there are problems in which case you might still be able to return them. Don't, under any circumstances, try to do a long hike in new boots. Alternatively, buy Dr. Scholl's moleskin. You'll probably need it!

Having been to most of the places you mention and being sixtyish, I suggest you also take a sturdy hiking stick. They sell good ones at the NPS shops and you can find neat little badges to stick on them if you want to proclaim your conquests!
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:17 AM   #7
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Make sure you get a stiff enough sole to ensure you do not feel the rocks as you walk. Some soles are so soft it is like wearing slippers. VIBRAM soles are good and found on many boots. I test by trying to twist the boot like a pretzel. Waterproof is very common either Gore-tex or the makers own brand. Fit is most important make sure toes do not hit front of boot on steep downhills. Stores usually have a small rock like test fixture to help you figure this out. There are so many brands. Expect to pay north of $125.00 for a good boot. I cannot emphasize how important it is to get a rugged boot (not necessarily a stiff boot) I like OBOZ, check them out. As previously stated most major outdoor stores have good help. REI will let you return boots for the first full year for any reason. So if you buy and they don't fit just take them back.

Good luck
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:19 AM   #8
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OH, on hiking sticks. I agree, sticks help a lot, especially on hills. I use just one as I want a free hand. I see Costco has 2 carbon fibre sticks for $30.00. Have purchased and used in the past. Good stuff.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:21 AM   #9
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the best pair of boots for you may not be the best pair of boots for me. FIT is the most important part.

There are many manfactures of lightweight waterproof boots that you can pick from these days. Go to a Gander Mountain, REI, Cabelas or any store like that. Try them on. Pick the pair that fits best.

also, $20-30 extra to keep your feet comfortable, dry and blister free on vacation is money well spent. if you love the cheapest pair, great, but don't make money the biggest factor

I have a pair of OBOZ that I have over a thousand miles. I love them, but i almost bought a pair of Merrells too.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:14 AM   #10
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I've worn out dozens of hiking boots in the Gila Wilderness (NM). I can't say I prefer one brand over the other.

What I can recommend is a lightweight boot, and it has to be comfortable when you first put it on. Also get thin liner socks and a good padded sock (not cotton) over that.

I have pretty much given up on expensive 'hiking boots' and prefer to backpack in sturdy tennis shoe versions with a thick sole. Pretty much like the light hiking boots.

Have fun!!!
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