Best hiking boots

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Hawkce541, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Hawkce541

    Hawkce541 Tracker

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    I know this will be a question that will bring many opinions, but what are the best hiking boots in your opinion?

    Hawk
     
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  2. Cascadian

    Cascadian Guide

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    Perhaps more specifics would help.

    Terrain?
    Pack weight?
    Distance?
     
  3. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Man my Lowa's just died, whole sole delamination on a rocky rooty trail near Lake Superior. I did make it back to the car ok. They were over 15 years old but what am I gonna get now???

    P1090038.JPG P1090039.JPG P1090043.JPG

    I've sent an inquiry to Lowa complete with photos to see about a re sole.......I think the leather is still good but well see what the experts say.......

    Once I hear word I may get another pair of Lowa's Rangers or Renegades. Might get Kenetrek Hardscrabble's.

    My daily wear are Danner 453's. I like something a little heavier if terrain or pack weight necessitate.


    Good luck finding a boot to your liking!
     
  4. Hardtack

    Hardtack Supporter Supporter

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    On My 3rd pair of Rocky S2V`s ,supper light and comfortable for me,
    and when these are done I`m sure to get another pair.
     
  5. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Lifetime Supporter Supporter

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    Solomon Quest 4D 3 GTX boots. I normally avoid gortex for hikers but I have yet to find another boot that is as light, stable, and comfortable as these are for my feet.
     
  6. Noddy

    Noddy Scout

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    Get some glue in there, man :) There's another 500k in them :lol:

    The lasts determine nearly all your choices in this. Some are narrow, some are wide, so I am on Meindls and Zamberlans in winter ... mainly because of fit. Though I do like the rocker on Zambies

    Brashers are nice and light. More or less leather trainers, and maybe made by Merrill (don't hold me to that)

    Haglofs make good approach shoes that fit me. Made by Asics ... so if Asics fit, the Haglofs may too

    Mainly I wear trail runners now, though, zerodrop - Altra, Inov-8 etc. So, maybe look at fabric boots for lightness and airiness in general.

    I have been eyeing Lundhags as my next winter buy. Got to try them on though.
     
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  7. Manzi1

    Manzi1 Scout

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    Limmers. Had a few pairs of boots delaminate, prefer something with a welt.
     
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  8. Kerri

    Kerri úlfheðnar Bushclass I

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    Ive been looking for the best boot for a while. Ive had good experiences with asolos and have worn many different styles from them in some pretty nasty terrain and have worn solomons woth good results too, except they will not last very long no matter what terrain. Ive been doing research on boots for a while and came across crispi boots. They are marketed for hunters, but they are geared towards people doing backpack hunts which sounds to me a lot like backpacking and hiking. While being capable of being comfortable for lots of miles and able to handle heavy loads if need be while still being very light for what they are. I picked up a pair of their summits and after just a week of regular wear they are now my favorite boots ive ever worn. They are at crispius.com and are also sold at a bunch of different outfitters. I would absolutely stay away from merrels if you want them to last more than a few months
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  9. Hawkce541

    Hawkce541 Tracker

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    Terrain: woods with roots and rocks. Mainly limestone.

    Pack weight: about 15lbs

    Distance: less than 10 miles.

    Just getting back into hiking and camping. I have to rebuild the whole kit. My last long hike was in the Alps in '95. Since then children, knee and ankle surgeries have kept me indoors, but I'm finding more free time now.
     
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  10. blind & lost

    blind & lost LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I bought a pair of Chukkas from Wiggy's. Great boots, can be re-soled, limited sizes left, mine needed no break-in.
     
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  11. Noddy

    Noddy Scout

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    Knees, ankles and hips are a pest. They should be removed at birth and replaced with expanding titanium gimbals ... lower back and shoulders while they are at it
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  12. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Lifetime Supporter Supporter

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    Another option from a brand that is new to me is the Hoka one one TOR ultra light. Dont ask me what most of those words mean. They are built like a running shoe on steroids. Medium ankle support, soft sole, no shank. So they stick to rocks that would be slick with a hard sole boot but you can feel it a lot more if you step on a sharp rock. Very comfy, minimal break in, but a little warm on summer days. Only had them a few month so no feedback on longevity.

    E4D86A8B-780E-4B6C-B763-F0950AEAA682.jpeg
     
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  13. Papa Tac

    Papa Tac Guide

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    Zamberlan makes a sweet boot...
     
  14. Calicoast

    Calicoast Supporter Supporter

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  15. BradGad

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    Not saying they are the best, but after having worn Vasques, Danners, and Merrells, I have been perfectly pleased with my Timberland White Ledge boots.

    Modestly priced, just the right duty class for your use, very comfortable. I have had mine for about 11 years. Still going strong.
     
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  16. Cascadian

    Cascadian Guide

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    Boots that fit.
     
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  17. wolffire99

    wolffire99 Scout

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    We are issued these at work. They are amazing.
     
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  18. blue333

    blue333 “O’l Slickboots” Supporter

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    Picked up a pair of these Danner boots last year. Did a ton of research and found these to fit the bill for a good, long wear hiking boot. I especially like the Vibram soles!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Big Flounder

    Big Flounder Supporter Supporter

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    I'm the odd man out and try as I might to change over to a more expensive "better" hiking boot, I just can't find anything that fits my feet as well and feels as good as the Merrell Moabs. I don't backpack or hike as much as I would like, nor am I hiking rocky or mountainous terrain, but they do me just fine here in Indiana or on my trips up to Michigan.
     
  20. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I've got a pair of Low Renegade GTX that are my everyday wear outside of work. (I wear issued boots there). They're probably 4 years old now. I love them enough to have bought a 2nd pair in advance. The only thing they've needed is one pair of new insoles. That said, only you can pick what works for you as far as comfort and needs.
     
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  21. leghog

    leghog Guide

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    Keen. Wide foot boxes.
     
  22. Robert Schmidt

    Robert Schmidt Tracker

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    Hi,

    My suggestion (what I wear for years and truly love): Hanwag Lhasa

    Not sure about availability in the US, but these are the best “allrounders“ I have had so far.

    Best Regards,
    Robert
     
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  23. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper

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    Merrill Moabs, the most comfortable for me! ;):dblthumb:
    Dominick ...........
     
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  24. pacificcoastbushcraft

    pacificcoastbushcraft Tinder Gatherer

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    I second that. Chosen with the socks you plan to wear.

    Now that I’m in my mid-50s, I tend to need a larger shoe size in the summer vs the winter.

    Steve
     
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  25. Sigmalite

    Sigmalite Scout

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    Just personal preference, but I usually go light. I’ve been using Merrell boots for about 15 years now and have gone with the various iterations of the Moab Mid, most recently the Gore-Tex version. It’s four-season use even in the snow with lightweight gaiters. Vibram soles so great grip. Feels good even with ice spikes.
     
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  26. Ithica

    Ithica Tracker

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    You might consider trail runners. I currently have two pair of Altra Lone Peak 4’s. Pro’s: light weight, dry quick, near zero break in period, reasonable price, very popular with thru hikers, and lots of toe room. Con’s: low cut, no ankle support, soles wear quickly, ~500 mile life, cannot edge when rock scrambling. Another option would be approach shoes such as the Five-Ten Tennie. Pro’s: great traction for rock scrambling, soles stiff enough for edging. Con’s: fatiguing to wear more than eight to 10 miles, and split leather upper which is slow to dry.
     
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  27. TrailbreakerOutdoors

    TrailbreakerOutdoors Tracker

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    https://www.hanwag.com/hanwag-mens-grunten-marone-chestnut-h1113/

    I second the vote on Hanwags. They are built incredibly well, double stitched, can be resoled, just great old school leather boots. They had no wear in period at all when I first got them.

    I have heard great things about Lundhags: https://www.lundhags.com/se/kangor/herr/vandringskangor/vandra-ii-ms-high/?code=7318731822840

    As for Danner, I have had two pairs of Danner boots. One tore at the stitches, the other rusted all over the hardware. I love how they look, but I would be hesitant about buying them. On the upside, they have great customer service.
     
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  28. Robert Schmidt

    Robert Schmidt Tracker

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    Hi,

    Absolutely agreed, the build and leather quality of the Hanwag Lhasa is actually quite crazy at this price. Not cheap, but 100% worth it and an investment for many many years to come.

    In addition, as Hawk mentioned he is not really trained and has some knee & ankle issues, they should give great comfort and support.

    Best Regards,
    Robert
     
  29. Hawkce541

    Hawkce541 Tracker

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    It looks like I'm going to have go with the Merrels for now and save up for (and work up to) the Hanwag Lhasa. Thank you all for all of your input.
     
  30. Trojan

    Trojan Tracker

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    My Under Armour SF boots (used) best boots I have had - bought them off a forum
     
  31. Yknpdlr

    Yknpdlr Scout

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    Limmers, absolutely the best fitting most comfortable driest yet breathable boot I have ever owned. Long known for custom fitting hard to fit feet (with a very long waiting period to get them), in recent years they have made standard sizes for everyone else.
    http://www.limmerboot.com
     
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  32. NJStricker

    NJStricker Supporter Supporter

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    While I like Keens for their weight and fit, the soles on mine are delaminating after 18 months. And I haven’t taken them on any hard terrain.
     
  33. leghog

    leghog Guide

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    I've owned several pair and have put many miles on them. Currently own three and have never experience that. I'd try return them..
     
  34. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    Ya I like them as well.
     
  35. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    They admittedly had some issues with delamination. I have 6 or 7 pairs and had 1 start to come apart after a pretty hard hike up a mountain. Brought them back to the store and they replaced. The replacement pair I have abused much worse and have held up fine. Currently rotating between 3 pairs.
     
  36. TrailbreakerOutdoors

    TrailbreakerOutdoors Tracker

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    Buy the best and cry once man. But Hanwag Grunten are what I use. I would get the Tashi though if I could.
     
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  37. LFowler

    LFowler Scout

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    There are 3 key factors in my mind:
    1) fit
    2) performance
    3) quality

    #1 is the most important and you won't get much help on the internet, scheduling a good chunk of time at a local store with a good selection will go a long way.
    #2 comes down to preference; how much weight you will tolerate, how much stiffness and support you like, how much waterproofing vs. breathability you want, you can find a lot about this online, but if you don't narrow it down people will often just throw out their favorite boot without describing why.
    #3 is pretty temporal, companies take a nose dive on quality fairly often and it usually takes a year or two for the word to get out. reputation counts for a lot but if folks are singing the praises of 10 year old boots the company might have changed hands or off-shored in the meantime. Also most brands have different lines that vary widely in quality, so good reviews on a brands premium offerings may or may not transfer to their other boots and shoes.
     
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  38. Hawkce541

    Hawkce541 Tracker

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    I wear waterproof steel toed boots during the week. So, anything less than that will feel light. lol
     
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  39. Glenn Rowe

    Glenn Rowe aka Ventura Knife Guy Supporter

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    Engineers and other tech-types almost always begin answering such a question with these two words: "It depends." :D

    Besides the obvious things like fit and comfort, there are many factors to consider. Among them are the "surfaces" over which you'll be hiking (prepared trail, bushwhacking, rocks, etc), the weight you'll be carrying, the climate and weather, etc. You wouldn't want to be wearing desert boots during the winter in Alaska, nor arctic boots on a summer day in southern Arizona.

    Now, with that said, I have three types of boots for hiking. The first is a pair of 15-year-old uninsulated 8-inch Danner Acadias for the heavy work. The second is a pair of 8-year-old Vasque Breeze III GTX (Gore-Tex) boots. The third is an almost-new pair of New Balance 1400 boots for light stuff, and for the uneven cobblestones/ paving stones of European "old city" areas. (Note the progression from heavy to light -- age is beginning to catch up with me.)

    I also have two pairs of Skechers walking shoes (13 EE) for everyday use. They're great for city streets or the mall, and also prepared trails when carrying a light daypack. Their wide heels provide ankle stability that regular shoes usually don't.
     
  40. GoodPhotos

    GoodPhotos Father, Husband, Patriot, Entrepreneur Supporter

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    Limmers (Standards unless you want to wait a few years for a Custom pair.)
    I live about 40 minutes from the Intervale, NH workshop. It's a magickal place!
    I bought my first pair in 1984 for a month long hiking trip in the Badlands, Wind Rivers and Tetons. (It was EPIC.) I wore them in Uniform while enlisted in Alaska in preference over the Army 'Mountain Boots' I was issued. I wore them getting my College Degree....many many many hunting trips and pretty much daily until 3 years ago. I can still wear them but the leather got really too rough to be presentable. They are shit kickers now.
    I bought my second (last) pair 3 years ago to replace the first. This is the pair I will likely be wearing when I die as a very old man. :)
    Up front they seem costly, but they are a better investment than I've ever made in any other clothing/gear in my entire life.
     
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  41. Jmac603

    Jmac603 Scout

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    Scarpa Kinesis Pro GTX for me up here in The Whites of NH. I am ok with a bit of a weight penalty for the support and durability they provide.

    Jason
     
  42. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    @GoodPhotos Thanks for the link! looks like Limmers will be my next boot purchase.
     
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  43. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    I've had good luck with LL Bean Crestas as a shoulder season/colder weather hiking boot. For warm weather I have an older pair of Vasque Breeze GTX that I've been real happy with, although reviews on the two subsequent model changes haven't been too stellar, so I may have to look elsewhere when they're ready to retire. If I had the bucks I definitely be looking real hard at the Limmers.
     
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  44. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    Good thought.

    I have Altra Lone Peak 4s too.

    When the weather is good (dry) they can’t be beat.

    But, for protection and sure footedness... I wear my Timberlands 8 times out of 10.
     
  45. KSCoffeeman

    KSCoffeeman Supporter Supporter

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    Zamberlan was my big discovery this year. Now that I have the right size I’m in love. Still have a pair of 11.5 with 10 miles on them if anybody wants to give them a go.
     
  46. La\\//inci

    La\\//inci Tracker

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    Which boots are American made with a vibram sole?????
    Especially a lite weight, mid height boot with good range of motion in the ankle?????
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  47. GoodPhotos

    GoodPhotos Father, Husband, Patriot, Entrepreneur Supporter

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    The Limmers that several of us have spoken about here are the 'Custom' fit/hand made boots crafted in the small barn workshop in Intervale, NH by 'Peter Limmer & Sons' or are hand made in the 'off the rack sizes' boots called the 'Standard' in Limmer family workshop in Bavaria, Germany. Customs can cost nearly $700 and the wait list is usually several years, Standards are about half that cost and you can be fitted and walk out with a pair today. (usually.) I get Standards, but over the years have had them tweaked to work better with my absolutely flat feet and resoled (vibram soles, true Norwegian Welt, etc...) They are a much more classic 'heavy boot' design. Limmer DOES make lighter weight boots, but I don't where they are made nor can I speak to the longevity. I do have a pair of their 'Oxford' shoes as well, and they are fantastic also though, so the lighter weight hiking boots are likely as nicely built.
     
  48. La\\//inci

    La\\//inci Tracker

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    Yes, the Limmers look like a classic Alpine Hiking boot... very retro. Reminds me of the LL Bean Cresta GTX boots... only $259 a pair. A japanese colleague has had his LLB Cresta GTX for over 15 years. He cares for them meticulously. The Alpine leather boots are very heavy, (4+ lbs/pair) by today' standards. I would like something USA made, Vibram outer sole, under 3lbs/pair, the less they weigh, the better. Something flexible in the ankle, re: front to back motion... I'm a big fan the Garmont BIFEDA T8's... just wondering if there is anything out there, that is USA made??? I think I know the answer, No. but someone on here may have found A PAIR.......
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  49. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    I am completely frustrated with the delaminating of supposedly good shoes and boots. I will no longer buy Asolo, Keen, Vasque boots. There is not much excuse for such. Interestingly, I’ve had less issue with cheaper shoes. I’ve had delamination with that second pair I’ve bought of favorites that weren’t even worn, to speak of. But not with cheapies.

    Maybe I should buy Limmers.
     
  50. Pinnah

    Pinnah Scout

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    New England
    Norwegian welted boots like the Limmers and Hanwags can also delaminate. The most common location is between the midsole and the outer sole. The Merrell Wilderness have their own variant as the foam rubber they use can, itself, delaminate.

    @Hawkce541: I think you're on the right track with the Merrells. Not because I think Merrells are awesome (and actually, I do) but because I don't think it matters much what you wear right now given the relatively low miles you're doing and the relatively light weight you're carrying. The most important thing right now is to get out as often as you can and, as you're doing that, to pay attention to what your body is telling you about what works and what doesn't.

    Once you've racked up some miles (literally), I think it makes sense to return to the question.

    But, I would change the question to "What is the best style or category of boot for what I'm doing?"

    Matching a style or category of boot to a type of hiking is something that we can collectively talk about with some amount of group agreement. The leather Norwegian welted boots that have been discussed a bit in this thread are awesome.... if you're on very, very rocky terrain or hike in snow regularly. They are way overkill and actually an hinderance on moderate terrain and light loads. The Limmers are insanely great boots. So are the Fabinao Rias that I own (about to be resoled) as were the old Asolo tele boots I used to ski in. But the best boot in a class or category of boot is terrible if that class of boot doesn't work for your intended purposes. Pick the class of boot first, imo.

    Lastly, within a class of boot, reject peoples's recommendations for particular brands. The only thing that matters within a class of boot is fit, fit, and fit. For casual/light hiking wear, I could care less about the great experiences people have with Keens. They aggravate a foot injury I have and Merrell Moabs make my feet smile. And the fact that I like Merrells says nothing to anybody, particularly if they have a Keen shaped foot.

    1) Gain experience with what you have.
    2) Later, pick the class of boot that makes the most sense for the hiking you're doing.
    3) Try on everything you can in that class of boot and buy on fit.
     
    Sawdustdave likes this.

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