Shoes/Boots - which should I get?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by jtb33, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. jtb33

    jtb33 Tracker

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    So I am undecided. One of my [somewhat odd] benefits from work is that I get reimbursed for up to $300 (total) for one or two pairs of "athletic shoes" each year. The only restrictions is that they must be for me (not even my wife), and they must be "athletic" shoes. Anyhow, I am an outdoor enthusiast - I go camping about once every month, I love backpacking (a la Havasupai, Grand Canyon, etc) and occasional mountain biking (I don't use clipless pedals).

    So I currently have a pair of Merrill Moab Ventillator shoes that I like, but because of this benefit, I can take a step upwards in quality. If it matters, I'm looking for a general purpose outdoor shoe (or two). I'm 6'2" about 210lbs and when I do go backpacking, I usually carry a lot of weight in a pack - I am not a hyperlight backpacker. I do get blisters fairly easily after about 10 miles of hiking/backpacking. I usually end up duct-taping each toe individually if I know I am going on long hikes, which "fixes" the issue. I am also aware of the tenet about every one pound on your feet being equal to 5 pounds on your back. So, that said, here are a few pairs I've got on my list. I've read reviews. I like the style of them, and I am not concerned about longevity of the shoes, really, so approach shoes are OK with me.

    Any thoughts or feedback from owners of these shoes?

    Scarpa Zen Pro
    Asolo Agent GV
    Salomon XA PRO 3D
    Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX (boot)
     
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  2. Makarov

    Makarov Scout

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    Just a general observation, good boots that fit your foot are better than great boots that don't quite fit. I would go with boots over shoes one twisted ankle can mess you up for years, wear somthing with ankle support and prevent a lot of trouble in the future.
     
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  3. Jasonacraft

    Jasonacraft Scout Bushclass I

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    Before all the trail runners jump in....I love my quests and wear them year round!
     
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  4. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    hello jtb33,
    I quite like the Scarpa Zen Pro as I've worn variations of Scarpa brand & they have Vibram soles good wearing & reliable for grip. If you understand where your feet hotspots are have a read at this blog on blister prevention & prep your feet before your adventure & check them on a regular basis don't wait for the 10 mile tyre kick foot service. :(https://www.blisterprevention.com.au/blister-blog/taping-for-blister-prevention IMO ditch the duct tape for your feet, that's OK for emergency use. Best of luck with your choice of footwear. ;)
    Regards
    David
     
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  5. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I'm still wearing an 8 year old pair of Merrill Moab Ventilators... can't imagine they actually make something "better".

    As far as above ankle vs below ankle, there's a case to be made that ankle support actually weakens your ankles... Roman soldiers marched 20-30 miles a day with heavy packs (75-100lbs) wearing sandals. I personally subscribe to the below-ankle theory (but do like the fact that you get less junk in your shoes when bushwhacking with higher shoes.)
     
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  6. funkja

    funkja Scout

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    I'm your size, a bit heavier but I've gone through a few pairs of 'trail shoes' and so far my favorite have been the Salewa Wildfire GTX. I do love Salomon Quests also but the Salewa's for me fit a bit better (I have wide feet) and they also come with different insoles to change the size of the footbox. Vibram rubber sole holds up but will wear out eventually. I got about 150 trail miles + uncounted daily miles with mine before i had to retire them.

    SALEWA Wildfire S GTX®
     
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  7. crewhead05

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

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    I have a pair of Salomon Quest 4D and love them. For me the perfect balance between support and weight. Not as heavy as most dedicated backpacking boots, but way more stable than the ultra lights.
     
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  8. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Best hikers I ever owned were Asolo.
     
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  9. jtb33

    jtb33 Tracker

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    Appreciate all the feedback. Not sure if you're making this easy, or hard. Since I still need to use my 2016 benefits, and I have 2017 coming up, I guess I can burn $600 on 4 pairs of shoes. :p

    So leaning towards getting the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX boots in January. I'd take a step "up" for $30 more and get the Salomon Quest Origins 2 GTX, but they don't have them in 12.5, apparently.
     
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  10. wade

    wade Tracker

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    I had a pair of Merrel Moab mid hikers and liked them a lot. They wore out after 2 years and many miles and I replaced them with Salomon Quest 4D . Wont go back to Merrels now.

    Sent from my LG-D852 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. boisdarc

    boisdarc Scout

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    I've worn a pair of puma walking shoes for hundreds of miles. On trails, on roads, everywhere. You break your shoes to your feet, but you also break your feet to your shoes. Some trail shoes are hyped up unjustly.
     
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  12. Max Capacity

    Max Capacity Supporter Supporter

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  13. Edgeman

    Edgeman Scout

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    Good info! Thanks!
     
  14. jtb33

    jtb33 Tracker

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    Really helpful info - thank you. I've decided that I'm going to go ahead with getting the Scarpa Zen Pro approach shoes and also the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX in January. Also will end up getting some "darn tough" socks and want to try something that someone else pointed out for blisters - the Injinji 2.0 Liner Toesocks.
     
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  15. stuff

    stuff Scout Bushclass I

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    Here you go. This should help. 2 years later and a few hundred more miles. Wet dry. High and low. Trail runners all the way. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
  16. themadindian

    themadindian Supporter Supporter

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    I've got the Salomon Quest 4D 2's and they are a fantastic all day boot and I don't get any hot spots or blisters in them and I'm 6'4" 240lbs and carry a 30lb pack and do 10mi trips. The only issue I've had with them is that if they get wet inside they stay wet unless you've got some way or something to dry them out. So now i carry some newspaper or handwarmers just in case
     
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  17. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Lifetime Supporter

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    Scarpa zen pro
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  18. Odie

    Odie Scout

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    Old thread, but still relevant, so here's my input:

    I've owned Merrill in the past, to include a pair of Moab mids. I've owned a pair of Scarpa Zen. I currently own a pair of Salomon Quest 4D GTX, a pair of Scarpa Mojito and a pair of Merrill barefoot trail runners.

    I use my trail runners for running. I wear my Salomon Quest 4D GTX if I'm going to be carrying a load or dealing with particularly rough terrain. They seriously blow Merrill boots out of the water. I wear my Scarpa shoes everyday and for light to moderate hiking.

    My point should be pretty obvious... The right tools for the job. People use this saying so often regarding knives, saws, axes and machetes, but it applies to footwear, too.

    I will say one of my favorite things about the Scarpa shoes (Zen or Mojito) is that they also look good as casual footwear. Great for when you travel and can only take one pair of shoes. You can hit the trails, do some sightseeing, clean up and go to dinner all with the same shoes, without looking weird. It's a big plus in counties where appearance matters. I will continue to keep a pair of Scarpa shoes in my arsenal for that reason. But you really need to replace the crap insoles they come with. I have a pair of Sof Sole insoles in mine, and they work perfectly. (Scarpa also makes a Zen mid GTX, if you're convinced you need mids and goretex.)

    I hope this is helpful.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  19. Ninety0ne

    Ninety0ne Tracker

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    Salomon all the way, easily the most comfy hiking boot I’ve ever worn. Great support and stiffness, good sticky soles for scrambling, it’s like pilot super sports for your feet ( Im guessing the same French rubber research firm develops the sole material butnhats a wholly speculative guess)
     
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  20. perrymk

    perrymk Supporter Supporter

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    I like Allegiance Footwear boots. Made in USA and I have hundreds of trail miles on mine with little wear. I replaced the insoles with heat moldable Sole insoles.

    For your toes I suggest Injinji toe socks. They have socks made for hiking and the individual wrapped toes replace your duct tape.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  21. Iron Oak Bushcraft

    Iron Oak Bushcraft Sage Historian

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    I think the Salomon Quest 2 is the best/most comfortable boot I have ever owned. I dont know of local places that carry them, other than REI, but they are amazing boots. They have been super durable and are extremely comfortable to wear for long periods. They also have plenty of grip and support for backpacking. I dont think you can go wrong with Salomon
     
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