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Hiking boots


Ohio_82
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With my wife and I planning a big trip out west to grand Teton and Yellowstone. We are starting to collect gear. I have a set of redhead hiking boots that I bought about 6 years ago from bass pro, but I never wore them. They seem to fit ok and all but they are heavy and kinda clunky. I'm questioning weather I need boots that are waterproof. We will be going the end of September. This will in all likely hood our only trip out west at least for several years. 99% of our hikes will be in Ohio. So do I need to spend good money and buy a set of oboz or keen or can I get away with Wal-Mart/ cabelas specials? If spend that kind of money on them I want to be able to wear them pretty much everyday. Thanks for any and all input. Anthony

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The most important thing about footwear is comfort, so you need to make sure whatever you wear fits well, is comfortable, and is something your feet are used to. Your old boots may be fine. Wear them every day for the next week or two and if they don't make your feet hurt, you're good.

I no longer buy the idea from the old how to backpack books that you have to wear heavy boots "for support." I only wear boots these days if I'm hiking in snow or on a crosscut saw team. Trail runners are so much more comfortable, forgiving, and inexpensive. And I avoid waterproof membranes because they tend to keep moisture inside the shoe, and there aren't that many circumstances where they work to keep water out (it usually gets in from the hole in the top where you put your foot).

I am a proponent of really grippy tread. Running shoes that you are used to would work in lots of cases, but you may need more protection for your feet if going on rough trails with full packs. I'd give the old boots a good wear and see how they feel.

Edited by toejam
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Aaron Zagrodnick

Would agree with @toejam in regards to the comfort factor - I'm a bit further south but will likely be on the trail in breathable (non-waterproof) trail runners around that time, but a bit later and / or if there's significant snow I'll switch to something waterproof. Have a great trip!

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Comfort is indeed #1.  Nothing worse than finding out a day into a several day trip that the boots that felt great in the store are trying to remove portions of your feet.  I'm also a big proponent of very aggressive soles.  Next to comfort, the 2nd worst potential characteristic is a boot that skis down-trail, like you're on marbles.  The old, original Vibram soles like these are still some of the best.

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=vibram+soles&fr=mcafee&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.frankfordleather.com%2Fimages%2F132_l.gif#id=0&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.frankfordleather.com%2Fimages%2F132_l.gif&action=click

I typically use a mid height, light weight boot rather than trail shoes and most of mine do have gore-tex membranes.  Whether or not that is desirable depends a lot on where and when you are on the trail.

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