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  • Hiking shoes

    Any brands folks recommend? Specifically I am looking for a cross training style hiking shoe, good arch support over rocky ground, good traction, light and dry quick for warmer season backpacking (going to give ultralight backpacking a try). I have always been a Merrel fan, but I am looking for real world advice on brands that are good quality in the $100 range that also look good. I don't like the hiking/backpacking forums as much because folks seem as biased about gear there as folks are about politics.
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  • #2
    Re: Hiking shoes

    Merrell is always a good bet. I've used their shoes on and off for a long time now. There are several other good brands to try out. Zamberlan, Teva, and Tecnica all make good cross training boots. Personally, I do enough hiking and rock climbing that my ankles and feet have adapted to being bent and crushed over time, so they're steel hard as a result. Here's my next pair of hiking shoes (and no, this isnt a joke):

    http://www.rei.com/product/798243

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    • #3
      Re: Hiking shoes

      I second Merrell.

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      • #4
        Re: Hiking shoes

        Third Merrell!
        |TG-X|Turkish

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        • #5
          Re: Hiking shoes

          Fourth on Merrill - those things are solid, they never wear out!




          "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. " - Albert Einstein

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          • #6
            Re: Hiking shoes

            Up until a few months ago, I never really had a solid pair of hiking boots. I always used work boots or LL Bean boots and it really killed me; I would always say I'd be better off walking barefoot.

            I went to the store and tried on about 5 pairs of Merrill and Keen boots. Not sure the specific boot I picked out, but I went with a Keen; it was aobut $150 I think? I got something with decent ankle support, as the tougher ones were clamping down on the top of my feet too much. I have incredibly flat feet, so have inserts that unfortunately sometimes raise my feet too far. The Keen boots fit perfectly.

            Just climbed Tuckerman's Ravine on Sunday in them for some late season snowboarding, and they felt great the whole hike over rough rocks and a few streams. Just wish I had crampons!
            Last edited by Anospa; 05-18-2010, 11:24 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Hiking shoes

              I haven't seen them yet, but Asolo offers some ultralight hiking boots/shoes. I'm on my second pair of boots, first the Fusion 95s, and now on the Fugitives. Excellent quality, VERY comfortable. I threw some Superfeet Green insoles in the Fugitives, great arch support, and they are probably the most comfortable thing I've had on my feet.

              The Fusion 95's are so awesome that they were used as footwear in ArmA 2 on specops soldiers. :)

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              • #8
                Re: Hiking shoes

                Thanks for the feedback folks! Looks like the concensus is to stay in my comfort zone, although REI is going to have a wicked sale on the North Face Hedghog on the 21st. I really have loved all my Merrel hiking boots though. Maybe they will have a sale on Merrels also!
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                • #9
                  Re: Hiking shoes

                  Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                  Here's my next pair of hiking shoes (and no, this isnt a joke):

                  http://www.rei.com/product/798243
                  I was looking at those the other day and the reviews for some of the other models are crazy good. Almost perfect reviews with the biggest con being that people look at your feet all the time and want to ask you about the shoes. But people say they are the best shoes they have bought. Check out the 55 reviews for their most common version : http://www.rei.com/product/798240

                  I know TG-X Pancho's girlfriend is a hardcore runner (marathons and stuff) and she bought a pair, but I never heard how she liked them.

                  You might want to hit like Barns And Noble bookstore or something because last month's issue of Backpacker Magizine was the annual Buyers Guide, and it always has tons of good info. Based on their buyer guide review back in 2000 I got a pair of Vasque Sundowner (Vasque Sundowner MX2 GTX) from my dad for graduation (I about croaked, couldn't believe I paid $200 for a pair of shoes). I bought them for backpacking after college, but then I started wearing them all the time I liked them so much. I ended up wearing them pretty much everyday for the next 5-6 years. My only other pair of shoes were flipflops. I still have them and they look in perfect shape as if they are only a few months old. The only reason I don't still wear them is the leather material in the heel dried out or something and I haven't gotten around to having them looked at at a repair shop. Damn, glad you started this thread. I need to go get that taken care of.

                  I know you aren't looking for a hard core boot, but based on how great these shoes were and the reviews on other Vasque, you might want to check out some of their options:
                  http://www.vasque.com/

                  LINKS

                  * *


                  Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                  -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hiking shoes

                    Shoes, like power tools, are an investment to me. If you don't plan on using them frequently and beating them up, don't go high end. For example, my biscuit joiner, used maybe once a year, is a midgrade one, however, my circular saw, is high end since I use it all the dang time. Likewise with shoes. In my case, backpacking and hiking shoes I go more mid level for now, especially since I may make a commitment to do this more frequently, or alternatively, decide my activity level is just not up to it. Now if I am going to decide to commit to 1 backpacking trip and one or two good hikes a month, I will then bump up to a higher quality. I work in an office, so I spend more on work shoes which get used and abused to no end, but I need the comfort and durability offered by better quality, which in the long run is cheaper than buying cheap shoes regularly. By next year, I will know if I am a vasque man or a hi-tec man :) Hopefully next year I will be starting a thread asking about high end shoes, especially since I am so active in scouting.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Hiking shoes

                      Originally posted by Bamboo View Post
                      I was looking at those the other day and the reviews for some of the other models are crazy good. Almost perfect reviews with the biggest con being that people look at your feet all the time and want to ask you about the shoes. But people say they are the best shoes they have bought. Check out the 55 reviews for their most common version : http://www.rei.com/product/798240

                      I know TG-X Pancho's girlfriend is a hardcore runner (marathons and stuff) and she bought a pair, but I never heard how she liked them.
                      I now own two pair. I have the KSO's and the KSO Treks after trying them both out at the store. I went for my first run in the KSO's today (the Treks are for hiking) and I have to say that these are without a doubt the best shoes I have ever run in. I've been running everything from 5ks to marathons for over 15 years and I've been through a lot of shoes. These just FEEL right. Its literally as close as you can get to running barefoot (which is an awesome way to run if you have the right terrain...dont try it on asphalt/concrete/treadmills/trails). I LOVE these things and would recommend them to anyone!

                      EDIT: Oh yeah! Almost forgot: if anyone is ordering ANYTHING from REI or going to a store before the 31st, they're having an anniversary sale: 20% off of your MOST expensive item. Only downside: you have to be an REI member to reap the rewards (one-time $20 membership fee). You can also apply your membership dividends to the purchase to make it even cheaper. More details here:
                      http://www.rei.com/promotions/annive...le-coupon.html
                      Last edited by Ferris Bueller; 05-21-2010, 01:26 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hiking shoes

                        I personally go with Lowa.

                        http://www.lowaboots.com/catalog/cho...TOKEN=52715235

                        Excellent boots in a variety of styles for various outdoor needs.

                        Any suggested brands in this thread are good-to-go, though.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hiking shoes

                          Been an REI member for like 10 years. Very worth it if you buy outdoor gear. And extremely worth it if you live near and REI.

                          LINKS

                          * *


                          Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                          -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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                          • #14
                            Re: Hiking shoes

                            Ressurecting this since it is applicable. I went to New Mexico last week and found an REI store while there. Tried on the Vibram KSO. Bought a pair. WOW! These things absolutely rock! Nearest REI is about an hour away from me in Asheville NC, but when they come out with a Trek version that is synthetic rather than that leather looking stuff, I am gonna have to get them. I just wish I could wear them to work! My wife says I look like a dork (she finds it cute how much I love em), but I am going to get her to buy a pair for herself. Went ahead and bought those injinji (spelling?) socks to go with them, and it is a great combination.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Hiking shoes

                              Men's Journal magazine has an awesome article this month about barefoot running and they talk about those shoes. The whole issue is great, but that article got me thinking about stride. I used to go everywhere barefoot. I looked for the article on their site, but it isn't there.

                              LINKS

                              * *


                              Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                              -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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