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Need footwear advice for Mt Rainier hike


Kidfixer
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New to hiking and have a trip to Mt Rainier Sept 5-10.  Going to be staying on the groomed trails for the most part, and probably not going up very high.  I have never been to the area before, and I wanted advice on the best shoes for terrain and potential wet conditions.  I currently have a pair of OBOZ Firebrand II low hiking shoes that served me very well in Sedona.  However, there were NO wet trails during our trip.

My question is...do I need a taller hiking boot for the conditions in Washington, or can I go with my low hiking shoe??  I found a pair of of Asolo boots that were super comfortable, but I didn't want to drop an additional $250 if it wasn't necessary.

Any advice is greatly appreciated (the folks at REI in Dallas weren't much help).

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Aren't the Oboz Firebrand II hiking shoes waterproof?

If they are, and they are comfortable, and you won't be carrying a hugely heavy backpack, I would probably stick with what you already have.

A pair of rain pants, possibly some inexpensive gaiters and you should be good to go. 

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The Firebrand ARE waterproof, just didn't know if a boot was a better choice for Washington climate.  If you only could have one pair (low or high), which would you choose?  I was thinkIng about returning the OBOZ and just getting boots, but I've never used gaiters.

Edited by Kidfixer
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Will you be carrying a heavy pack (+35lbs)? 

I prefer a higher boot when carrying a heavy pack for the ankle support, but if your pack will be lighter and if you are mostly on groomed trails, your current Oboz shoes should do the trick.

Forget my recommendation for gaiters as I would be more concerned if you have rain pants and whether they cover the top of your shoes. If they do, you should be ok with your current shoes. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you are carrying a pack, I'd go for a boot, as Paul suggests, because of ankle support. On my walk across the Mojave I used Merrell Moab boots and they were superb. But I obviously encountered very little water and no rain.

I have a pair of Vasque Sundowners that are waterproof and have held up very well in a variety of conditions for many years. The sole did come unglued once but it was an easy fix. Duct tape in the field and glue back home.

Gaiters are easy to use and work well, too. I know some people who won't leave home without them. Even Colin Fletcher used a low top pair to keep weeds and stickers from getting into his shoes on easy day hikes.

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