Hiking boots for long photo hikes
/forum/topic/1161289/1

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khurram1
Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Total Posts: 3933
Country: Canada

TheWengler wrote:
What does this have to do with photography? Not trying to be an ass, but I'm sure there are plenty of hiking forums.

Never been to, or have any interest in going to a hiking forum. I hike because of my interest in photography, not hiking in itself, to me, my hiking boots are part of my gear - just like bags, photography vests, bags and gloves that allow you to handle camera controls are.

You don't need to click the link if it doesn't interest you.



khurram1
Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Total Posts: 3933
Country: Canada

84FJ60 wrote:
No matter how much advice I get from my friends concerning hiking boots, I've found it best to pay a visit to my local REI store and try on a bunch of pairs to see what feels best on my feet. Sorry that I don't have a magic answer for you...

David - a Colorado Nikonian

Agreed - need to try on multiple boots. The issue I had in the past, is that the boots that may seem the most comfortable in the store, may not be the best choice. That's why, I'm looking for feedback on boots people find are a good choice for long hikes with a heavy load. I do plan on trying out the suggestions to see which ones fit my foot best and is best suited for my own support/stiffness needs - otherwise you are at the mercy of a salesperson, who may just be interested in selling you something that may not be best suited for your needs.



khurram1
Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Total Posts: 3933
Country: Canada

TheWengler wrote:
I clicked because this thread seemed out of place. If I hike deep into the woods carrying 50lbs of lenses or 50lbs of rocks it really doesn't make much of a difference to my feet does it? Maybe a thread about waders for shooting in a stream or gloves that don't interfere with using the buttons on the camera, but shoes for walking while you're carrying heavy stuff?


The first hiking boots I purchased were suggested by a salesperson who said the boots would be suitable for heavy loads for long day hikes. THose boots lasted me a total of 5 hikes, before I got advice from a fellow photographer to give the Montrails a try. I used those boots for 8 years. One of the salespersons at MEC told me I should carry less gear - clearly not getting the point of my hikes.



15Bit
Registered: Jan 27, 2008
Total Posts: 3884
Country: Norway

My recommendation would be to ignore the badge on the boots and just buy whichever pair fit properly. If you are walking long distances with a heavy load then comfort is everything. If you get a blister after 5 miles the following 50 will be damned unpleasant no matter how good your boots are in other respects. Spend the time trying on many pairs and if none fit absolutely perfectly don't buy any and go to the next shop.

Personally i like my Meindl's as they fit my feet perfectly, unlike any boots i have had before. Lundhags are also well regarded over here, though i don't know if they are available in the US.



anakha
Registered: Nov 06, 2011
Total Posts: 238
Country: Australia

In my opinion, Superfeet insoles are definitely a worthwhile investment for hiking boots. Of course the boot that best fits your particular feet at the price you can afford is the one you should buy. Whether your feet are wider or narrower is a big influence on which boots will best fit you. Taking good woollen hiking socks with you when you are trying boots on is definitely worthwhile - I'm quite partial to the smart wool varieties.

Anakha



TheWengler
Registered: Jul 15, 2009
Total Posts: 372
Country: United States

khurram1 wrote:The first hiking boots I purchased were suggested by a salesperson who said the boots would be suitable for heavy loads for long day hikes. THose boots lasted me a total of 5 hikes, before I got advice from a fellow photographer to give the Montrails a try. I used those boots for 8 years. One of the salespersons at MEC told me I should carry less gear - clearly not getting the point of my hikes.

I stand corrected! Clearly lenses wear out shoes faster than other types of weight. If shoes count as photo gear than you're saying this is a forum not for photography, but for random crap to be discussed by people who own cameras. Food? Underwear? Chapstick? Sounds like you're too lazy to ask the question in the right place. Anyway carry on! Next time I have a dumb question unrelated to photography, I know this is the place for it!



plubbry
Registered: Mar 31, 2009
Total Posts: 728
Country: United States

Whether or not this topic really 'fits' in the general gear forum aside...

I'd echo some of the thoughts already shared. Find a couple of pairs of boots that fit your feet and feel comfortable. Who cares what brand/model. I would imagine you'd be looking at boots that are designed for either backpacking or heavy hiking. Wear the kind of heavier socks you'd normally wear when hiking. Wander the store for a while wearing the boots laced up. Visit the backpack section and try on a backpack with some weight thrown in. Wander the store some more w/backpack and weight.

Once you've got a couple of pairs that seem like they'll work research them online. At this point you can determine if there are any you should avoid due to brand quality issues or even more specifically any quality/durability issues with the specific model.

In my experience the best kind of advice to take from a knowlegable sales person would be the following: what type of activity a boot is designed for (backpacking, heavy hiking, like hiking, etc.), how a particular brand fits (narrow heel, wide toebox, etc.), or their personal experience with a brand and its relative durability. I don't give much weight to subjective opinions as to how comfortable a boot is. Feet differ too much for these kinds of statements to apply to everyone.

Good luck. Boot buying can be quite a process.



Javier Munoz
Registered: Nov 10, 2007
Total Posts: 536
Country: United States

TheWengler wrote:
Not trying to be an ass


I am afraid you failed



TheWengler
Registered: Jul 15, 2009
Total Posts: 372
Country: United States

Javier Munoz wrote:
TheWengler wrote:
Not trying to be an ass


I am afraid you failed


Haha, at the time it was true



Imagemaster
Registered: Feb 23, 2004
Total Posts: 35365
Country: Canada

TheWengler wrote:
Not trying to be an ass, .


Just comes naturally?



biggbird
Registered: Jan 14, 2010
Total Posts: 157
Country: Australia

I'll pitch in for the Scarpa SL M3s also, have a pair and love them! Certainly weren't forgiving on my heels for the first couple of walks, but since then are very comfortable and quite supportive. Only downside to them is how heavy they are! Unfortunately that's something you get with buying one piece leather and a tough sole I guess. I actually thought it would bother me more than it has at the end of a long day, but I think by that stage I'm just so tired that I wouldn't notice if they were lighter anyway.

As for people saying this thread doesn't belong here, who cares? Certainly doesn't affect you negatively, and doesn't seem to happen all that often. Having said that, it probably is worth searching some of the bushwalking (hiking just doesn't sound right to me...) forums, as there will be plenty of topics on the same issue already started, which likely will have answered a lot of your questions.

Here are a couple of threads from a forum I frequent:

1

2

Scarpa SL M3 thoughts

As others have said though, and you suggested yourself, it really is about what suits you best. Unfortunately even trying them on in the shop can't always tell you how they'll fare on the track at first though!

All the best with it anyway, hope you find something to suit you



nick53097
Registered: Apr 19, 2008
Total Posts: 1766
Country: United States

I have used Ecco bootes for many years and found them exceptional, better than anything else.
Highly recommended!



cohenfive
Registered: Sep 13, 2004
Total Posts: 2948
Country: United States

garmont or vasque are my favorites...i have garmont in a low model and a full boot, depending on the type and duration of hike i'm going on. they tend to have a wide toe box which is great for me, but if you have a narrow foot there might be better brands out there. i also like the fit of salomon boots, although i only have their trail runners at the moment.



TheWengler
Registered: Jul 15, 2009
Total Posts: 372
Country: United States

Imagemaster wrote:
TheWengler wrote:
Not trying to be an ass, .


Just comes naturally?


Actually it does given the right company



Roland W
Registered: Apr 23, 2004
Total Posts: 1959
Country: United States

Get to an REI store if you can for good selection and knowledgable sales people that are not at all on commission. Their stores usually have a sloped surface to get a better idea of the feel and fit when going up or down. Find a boot that accepts a Superfeet insert, and REI normally has trial inserts you can use to check out the boot with it in. REI also has a liberal satisifaction policy that you possibly might need to use. And keep in mind the rebate they offer when you compare prices.

I have been happy with Merrell boots over the last 5 years. I have both a light weight pair and a heavy duty pair, and they serve me well.



RoySussex
Registered: Jul 12, 2011
Total Posts: 121
Country: United Kingdom

This one's easy - for the UK anyway. Alt-Berg.
http://www.altberg.co.uk/
Fit is everything! I don't know any other manufacturer who can supply 5 different width fittings in the usual range of half sizes for a variety of different models. They are traditional style leather, which may not suit everyone - personally I also use Asolo fabric boots and Scarpa low-cut approach shoes. Of course you need to be able to visit a dealer who carries the range of fittings, and these are not plentiful even in UK (although the boots are manufactured in Italy.) Really superbly made boots.
I also use the Superfeet (Supa?) foot-beds and transfer them between different footwear. I'm not sure whether they really make much difference although they are certainly much better constructed than manufacturers' own versions.
Roy
Edit: I'll just add that getting the boots fitted by someone who understands what they're doing is vital, even if you're already an experienced hiker, er, I mean photographer. When I bought my Alt-Bergs the guy in the store (Peglers boot shop in Arundel; free plug - great shop) took a lot of time measuring my feet carefully. They also had a range of different weight socks available to try when fitting the boots. When I first went in I specified a different manufacturer (which they also stock, amongst others) but the assistant immediately identified them as a brand which were generally a wide fitting and not too suitable for my narrow feet.



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