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Stiff sole hiking boots, or not

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Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 05, 2014 07:12AM
Hi all,

What is your preference and why? I had Dunhams, soles were stiff, but not as comfortable as the Tactical Research boots I have now. On the other hand, with the TR boots, I can "feel" the shape of rocks, or other things on the trail, where the Dunhams I could not. Wonder what you prefer, comments welcome :-)
Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 05, 2014 05:05PM
Hard sole shoes. Rocks of Mist Trail, Clouds Rest, etc. can
be tough on the feet.

They will be heavier, but your feet/ankles will thank you.
Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 06, 2014 06:57AM
I wear only trail shoes. Replace them every year, but heavy boots bruise my ankles, hurt my feet, and make them sweat - no thanks.
avatar Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 06, 2014 10:56AM
Stiff soled hiking boots may be fine for long distance on-trail hiking
When going off trail some will prefer wearing long pants to protect the legs and softer more flexable soled such as a trail approach shoes
Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 16, 2014 03:31PM
I agree with AlmostThere.
Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 09, 2014 12:41PM
Have always used pricy heavy duty boots though have tried lighter weight models. Usually carry a huge weight backpacking and hefty view camera day hiking spending considerable time offtrail especially in rocky areas. So need a sole that is not going to feel rocks and wants something to punish the offtrail landscape. Last 2 or 3 years have been wearing the Vasque Bitterroot, a bombproof waterproof boot that kicks the s#!& out of anything in its way. Not a comfortable boot in the beginning but at this point it has molded to my feet or the other way around.



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2014 12:42PM by DavidSenesac.
Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 10, 2014 09:03PM
Fugitive Asolos work for me. Definitely not the lightest but they are a lot less weighty than my big leathers. I like the stiffness and support.
Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 11, 2014 07:11AM
Great points, thx. No doubt when the hydration pack is full, impact to the bottom of the feet will be more. I've leaned to a warm weather boot, not waterproof. Interesting reading the marketing on waterproof boots, some say "waterproof/breathable performance". W/O researching, I don't get how they can be both.
Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 11, 2014 07:09PM
They can't. I never buy Goretex. Once the bootie in the shoe starts to leak you have the worst of both worlds - water comes in, doesn't dry out.

A breathable shoe plus some light breathable gaiters to keep your feet clean spells comfort.
Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 16, 2014 05:37PM
Again, I agree with AlmostThere. Only GoreTex (or other waterproof breathable) shoes I use are mids for snowshoes. In warmer months (like our balmy high of 48 in TM last weekend), I walk through the water and keep walking, feet dry as I walk. If it's constant in and out of water, I make sure to dry them out fully before bed and use dry socks ("sacred" socks) for sleeping. I use BodyGlide on feet and have not had any maceration issues even when continually crossing creeks on 18-30 mile days. And I'm generally blister-prone with ill fitting shoes/boots. Good shoes + good socks + BodyGlide + short gaiters = very happy feet for me. And my current favorite trail runner for backpacking: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor. Great stick, stiff sole, great underfoot protection. Good upper. The Wildcats drain better, but are a little less sticky, and are now my "know for sure I'm dousing my feet" shoes.
avatar Re: Stiff sole hiking boots, or not
May 12, 2014 08:53AM
I use trail runners (Solomon goretex work well for me). While I wear out a couple of pair of shoes per year, I have an old pair of aftermarket hard insoles that I switch from the old shoes to the new. The heavy duty insoles give me a little more footbed protection, with a very comfortable shoe. And when I get to camp, I usually take the insoles out and then the shoes feel almost like slippers....giving me what, to my feet, feels like two pair of shoes for the weight of one (plus the insoles). Only issue is if the shoes get soaked, I have no spare, but that is rarely an issue for me.
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