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TOPIC:   Women's hiking / backpacking boots? 


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SASHADIEKEN
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4/27/12 12:29 P

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That's fantastic! Good for you!



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
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4/27/12 11:22 A

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I recently bought a pair of Asolo Sharp GTX boots that I "didn't need" at REI because they were marked down so low. Yeah, I'm a sucker - I admit it!! I actually wasn't sure whether I'd like them because they were so stiff in the ankle but turns out they are fantastic! Very comfortable, very supportive, plenty of room in the toe area and so far not too hot on my feet! I have some other boots that make my feet sweat so badly in normal temperatures, I really can't wear them except in super-cold weather.

So I was really surprised about the Asolo boots and how comfortable they feel on my feet, right out of the box - turns out my bargain really WAS a bargain [I've seen them listed for as much as $275 but I got mine for.....tah-dah.....$39!! They were the last pair and Size 11, which is bigger than most women wear, so they marked them down three times to clear the shelf - I got there minutes after they did the last markdown so lucky me!]

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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CHOCLAHOLIC
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4/27/12 6:26 A

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I ended up buying the Vasque Breeze mid height boots for the backpacking trip.... Had to buy my size in "wide" because the "regular" was a bit too tight in the toe area.... The wide fits great right out of the box, and for the past month I've been hiking 7-8 miles a day 3-4 times a week & they feel great!

I also bought a pair of Keen Targhee mid high for "lighter hiking" outings... Love the Keens and they didn't need any breaking in at all (alternate my daily hikes between them and the Vasques so have already put a lot of miles on both styles of boots)


Just keep swimming!

Never give up!



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DEB_LEA
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4/26/12 11:13 P

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I've had a pair of the Vasque Breeze (low) for a couple of years and i love them. They fit so well. I've worn them to the top of Harney Peak,SD (highest point east of Rockies,) Zion and Bryce National Parks and on many other local trails. Most of the hiking was in warm weather. Not sure what conditions you'll face but hope you find a pair of boots that suits...


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Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson


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SASHADIEKEN
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4/1/12 12:26 A

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I have just replaced a pair of Zamberlan Civeta with an identical pair. The first pair I bought at REI years ago for around $200, but the ones I got this week I found on Amazon for $130 so I snapped them up! They are not lightweight boots, but full leather with rubber rands. They hold up well, are waterproof and protect my feet when we are hiking on scree or talus.

Update: I've been wearing my new boots on my daily 4 mi walks and they required very little break in. Yesterday I treated the leather and noticed that the rubber rands on the new ones extend higher than on the old pair. I love these boots!

Edited by: SASHADIEKEN at: 4/2/2012 (23:58)

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CHOCLAHOLIC
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3/19/12 6:35 A

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Yup, I've been to REI (love that store!) ... That's where I first tried on the Vasques! Only problem is that store is over an hour's drive away & with price of gas around here i dont drive that far very often! (the joy of living out in "the woods"... Have to drive quite a ways just to get to any store...not that I'd trade living out in the country ... Love it out here!)!

Haven't tried any men's boots, but I just might do that next time I go shopping... Toes pinching or rubbing have been an issue on some of the women's boots I've tried.


Just keep swimming!

Never give up!



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
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3/18/12 10:58 P

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Your feet sound EXACTLY like mine - no wonder we both found the Vasque boots the most comfy, haha! I often get men's shoes/boots, although most are sloppy in the heel - I've learned there are things to put in the shoes to narrow the heel, though - it drives me CRAZY that women's shoes and boots are POINTED - how many people, male or female, have you ever met with POINTED FEET??? Ai-yi-yi!! But men's shoes have plenty of room in the toe, which is what I want, Some women's boots do fit, tho - as I mentioned, I have two pair of Vasque boots and one Asolo that are high or mid-height plus several Merrill low-top shoes.

If you're planning to buy online, check out REI - they have good prices, also have the 'return any time' guarantee and occasionally have free shipping, esp if you pick it up at a store. I'm not sure where you live but they do have REI stores in many locations and it's a great store.

Good luck with your purchase - and be sure to keep me posted on what you decide AND how they work out!
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Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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CHOCLAHOLIC
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3/18/12 10:12 P

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Thanks Lynda....all good points to consider!!! I have gone to many of those review sites and reports, but like you said I do take comments with a grain of salt and realize that some are just promoting their store's brands...I definitely still plan on going with what ends up being the most "comfy and good fit" for my "goofy" feet... (low arches, narrow heels, wide at ball of feet and some "funky" toes that bend in "unusual" directions! Not "pretty" LOL!) I will take your advice and see if I can get some comments from the PCT and AT assoc folks (hadn't thought of those resources)

Our hiking plan involves 42 miles, some elevation, (Lots of up and down)... We're doing the Greenstone Trail on Isle Royale Nat'l Park..(it climbs to and follows the rocky "ridge" that runs the length of the island)....one or two days will involve 10 to 12 mile hikes, other days will be shorter with a possible layover in 1 or 2 of our camps (so maybe some day hikes or just hanging out).... We haven't made final plans yet but that's "kind of" what we're thinking of.

Trying a different outfitter store tomorrow, just to see what they have and what they recommend ...they have a pretty good reputation re "expertise", so I'll see what happens and will try on some more boots.... Not planning on buying yet, and if I do decide on the Vasques (which is still tops on my "wish list") I'll probably end up ordering them from backcountry.com (not the cheapest price compared to a few other sources, but still a good price, and I like the fact that they give a 100% guarantee and will exchange or replace a purchase no matter how long you've had it, even if its been used if you're not satisfied....not many other stores or web sites give that "strong" of a guarantee ....l And free shipping too... )

Anyway... Thanks again for sharing your ideas.... Always good to hear other views and suggestions! :-)




Just keep swimming!

Never give up!



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
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3/18/12 8:20 P

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Look at Backpacker Magazine gear reviews and see what they say about various boots - also read the reviews at REI, Amazon and various other sites where consumers post their thoughts and see if you can find any comments on the PCT Assn or Appalachian Trail assn - just realize that Backpacker reviewers get the gear for free and there is always the question about how much that might influence the comments - also, the 'consumer reviews' are not always honest or unbiased. In other words, take it all with a grain of salt and go with what feels best for you. The hikers on PCT and AT will post more honest comments but you have to remember that when it comes to shoes, each person's feet are different so what might be perfect for you might be the worst choice for me and vice versa.

Honestly, carrying 35-40 lbs is NOT THAT MUCH and for the length trip you're taking, it sounds like you will be hiking somewhat short segments daily unless you plan to do long days, make camp and then do day hikes. Either way, I don't think you need to worry THAT much about how sturdy the boots are - if you were going to Mt Everest and carrying 75 lb pack, etc, I might have a different idea - but for the backpack you're planning, comfort is going to be the most important issue and unless you have major foot problems, the Vasque boots you like will be more than 'good enough' for that trip. If you do have major foot problems, then probably none of the 'experts' in the stores will be able to advise you on your SPECIFIC situation anyway. Remember, too - they are probably on commission and may not be giving the most unbiased idea, either - some of that is influenced by manufacturer incentives or other issues.

An idea I should have mentioned before is to take your backpack [or a similar one] and bottles of water or books or whatever else will make it weigh 35-40 lbs and wear it while trying on the boots - walk around the store, go upstairs if they have them, use their boot ramp to see if the boots work on an incline - that should give you enough input to make your decision.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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CHOCLAHOLIC
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3/18/12 4:58 P

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Just got back from boot shopping and now I'm back to being "Confused" (a usual condition for me actually, LOL).... went to two different "locations" of the same outdoor outfitter store (Moosejaw) ... and got totally conflicting recommendations on what boot I should or should not buy for the type of backpacking I'm planning (so much for talking to the "experts", LOL).... needless to say, I didn't buy anything, but sure tried on a lot of different boots (adding to my confusion, LOL)

oh well.... back to researching online consumer reports and any other suggestions you all care to share with me (at least I think I'm narrowing down the choices, hopefully... still like the Vasque Breeze, very "comfy", just want to make sure if it's sturdy enough).... the store workers also suggested Merrell or Osolo boots... so I'm going to look into those too

Good thing my trip is at the end of the summer.... so I still have plenty of time to shop, LOL!


Just keep swimming!

Never give up!



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CHOCLAHOLIC
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3/18/12 11:55 A

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Thanks for the ideas everyone :-) I'm going out "boot shopping" again today, so I'll check out some of your suggestions.


Just keep swimming!

Never give up!



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HIKER6699
Posts: 1,923
3/18/12 8:25 A

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I've been wearing New Balance Multi Sports for the last year. They stood up well to all kinds of weather & terrain.


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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo Posts: 33,955
3/17/12 10:13 P

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I was going to suggest what I wear - Vasque!! Yep, mine are a little older but basically the same boot as you're looking at getting - in fact, if/when I get back into backpacking again, I may get another pair of Vasque and will look at whatever the going thing is at the time. I have two pairs of Vasque, one is leather and the other is gortex - I've backpacked in both and to tell the truth, I prefer the lighter ones. I only wear leather when I'm going into snow, esp if I may need to use snowshoes or spikes. I also have a new pair of Asolo boots I just bought on sale - still haven't come to any conclusions about them, mostly because I haven't even gotten them a little bit 'broken in' and haven't really taken them on a hike yet. Not sure why I got them except they were super-super-super marked down [$200 boots for $35!!] at a store going out of business and they were my size, fit my feet perfectly and I just couldn't turn down $35 boots, even though I don't 'need' them, haha! But - any REAL hiker will totally understand! I'll probably take one pair out to our place in Nevada and leave them there instead of dragging a pair back and forth.

Have a GREAT time on your trip - sounds wonderful!!

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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HOLISTIC5
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3/17/12 7:49 P

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I use a Merrills hiking shoe- my daughter that has hiked the Appalachian Trail 3 times uses a trail runner. And we have NEVER spent anythng close to $200 on a pair.

Anne - EST Nashua, New Hampshire

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To eat intelligently is an art.

PEACE- it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still BE CALM IN YOUR HEART.
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CHOCLAHOLIC
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3/17/12 7:27 P

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Hi all... I'm going to be doing a week long backpacking trip on Isle Royale National Park (Michigan) late summer... About 42 miles, carrying 35 to 40 pounds max (I hope!).... I'm looking for any recommendations / opinions re good quality women's hiking / backpacking boots... Would also like to keep the cost under $200 (could go a little bit higher, but not much!)

I currently have a very well broken in pair of mid high leather hiking boots (Montrail, Gortex)... But they weigh a little over 3 pounds and I was thinking of maybe getting something lighter, but still sturdy enough for this type of hiking... Plus unless I apply some preemptive bandages on some of my toes and the back of one heel, these old boots tend to give me blisters .... As long as I "prebandage" I'm ok though...(I have very "strange" feet, LOL)

Today I tried on some Vasque Breeze Gore-Tex® XCR® Hiking Boots... Just not really sure if they are good for a week of backpacking (of course the salespeople "said" they would work) .... Anyone on this team ever use that boot? (they did feel very comfy!)

Anyway... Any suggestions would be appreciated.... Thanks.... Choc


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