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Old 04-14-2015, 12:45 PM   #1
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Hiking Boots

Not quite sure if this is the best place to post this, but my son is going on a very long and difficult hike. He's been researching the best affordable hiking boots he can buy. I'm not a very experienced hiker so I can't offer much help to him, so I thought I'd ask the members here.

Anyone have any opinions on Hi-Tec Altitude V Waterproof hiking boots ? They are priced at $100.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:56 PM   #2
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Probably not the right subforum, but I will give my experience.

First, get ones that fit and go hiking several times, with full load, before starting the big trip!! BLISTERS SUCK!

If it is truly a long and difficult hike, especially if carrying a load, I would say boots should cost $150 to $250. Skimp on everything else before skimping on boots.

Again if it is truly difficult and especially if carrying a load, get full grain leather uppers, no fabric or split grain. Also need some kind of reinforced shank. This is for stability.

Lastly, spend another $30 on Superfeet insoles. Even expensive boots can be improved with Superfeet.

And no, I doubt any HiTec brand one is suitable (just my opinion based on never buying that brand...)
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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I had a pair of their Logan Waterproof. They lasted for a weekend of hiking before the seams started coming apart.

Had good results with a pair of these. They lasted about a year and aren't that much more expensive. This year I will be trying these so I don't have a real opinion yet but they seem to be high quality. Only time will tell though.

I can also second that you don't skimp on footwear when you plan on hiking.

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Old 04-14-2015, 01:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by zdc1775 View Post
I had a pair of their Logan Waterproof. They lasted for a weekend of hiking before the seams started coming apart.

Had good results with a pair of these. They lasted about a year and aren't that much more expensive. This year I will be trying these so I don't have a real opinion yet but they seem to be high quality. Only time will tell though.

I can also second that you don't skimp on footwear when you plan on hiking.
+1 on the Merrills. Just retired mine to yard work after 3 or 4 years. DON'T skimp on boots.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:25 PM   #5
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I think Hi-Tecs are cheaply made. Another vote for not skimping on boots. It also depends on his feet and getting a good fit. Take him to REI, or a mountaineering store to get a proper fitting. There is nothing more miserable than being on a long hike and having shitty boots. My leather Asolo mountaineering boots were almost $200. I also have Keen boots and Merrell boots that are considerably less expensive, but I view them as day hikers and not appropriate for long hikes or backpacking. Well, maybe for a weekend. Like with motorcycle gear, to a large extent you get what you pay for with boots. And another thumbs up for Superfeet. Most importantly, make sure the boots are well broken in before going on the trip. As in hiked in, not just worn around the house.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:41 PM   #6
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A friend recently purchased a cheaper pair of day hikers and inquired about how to break them in. We went on a 9 mile hike in mud and deep water crossings. They are broke in now. Seriously if you can, saturate the boots and walk in them till they dry. Leather boots will form around your foot with a secret mixture of sweat and water. YMMV

Socks are just as important, love the Smart Wool line.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:06 PM   #7
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I'm going to guess and ass-u-me he's going on something like the Appalachian Trail, I agree with the others, don't cheap out on footwear. Now that I've said that, my go-to footwear for (dry) hikes are a pair of Desert Storm light weight combat boots with fabric uppers, for cooler/cold wet hikes I have some current issue Wellco Gor-tex combat boots, I also have some Wolverine steel toe "hiking boots" that I sometimes grab. My best footwear for mild to hot conditions...Teva sandals. (if nothing else get the Tevas for camp wear, his feet will thank him.)
I've always been a bit of a boot whore, none of the expensive stuff ever worked well for me.
I'd stay away from most of the Hi-Tech stuff.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:16 PM   #8
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Yep, I'm gonna agree with everyone else who didn't answer the question.

You get what you pay for.

I put a pair of these through the ringer, in the worst conditions, on several continents. They lasted a couple of years too. Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:26 PM   #9
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After wearing out my Montrail Moraines (13 years ??) I sought out some more good boots. After much searching I found Scarpa Activ SL for $200. great outta the box with little break-in needed. Spend the money on boots if you're going distance. And personally I avoid gore-tex footwear. Once the bootie gets dirty it ceases to breath and you get wet feet anyway.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gitana View Post
I think Hi-Tecs are cheaply made.

Look like boots, but the similarities end there. They are made like sneakers.
I've had great luck with Vasque boots for 40 years. I've tried many top brands of boots and just have to give it to Vasque.

Like others said, don't skimp on boots.

Hope he has a great time.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2000RSV View Post
DON'T skimp on boots.
DO NOT skimp ! x 1000...good boots are the foundation of a hike trip.

brands have come and gone...I had a set of Raichle that took me to the Arctic Circle on Baffin Island over a decade ago....not sure how they rate today

My wife loves her Asolos...she has 2 pair...I bought some of their mid weights...

buy discount and best boot you can afford at

depending on terrain and rock crossings, rubber toe cap is key....I don't do waterproof....dirty goretex sucks...and foot sweat sucks...change socks and keep the leather oiled or mixwaxed

spend double your budget on good boots....take care of them...oil them....and have them for a decade
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:03 PM   #12
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Good advice so far, here are a couple of points that are worth keeping in mind.

Waterproof or not? IMO if it's mild weather (above 50F) then no need to bother with waterproof. Better to go the other direction and get something breathable and accept that your feet will get wet and dry out.

How much of a load will he be carrying? 'Hiking' and 'Backpacking' are two totally different endeavors. Backpacking (carrying sleeping shelter, food, water, extra clothes) requires taller more sturdy boots for support when you're carrying extra weight. Hiking (carrying water and snacks for half a day) you want the lightest you can get while still keeping a sole sturdy enough to deal with rocks etc.

If it's a hike-only situation and you're athletic (reasonable weight, strong core and legs) then you can get away with a lot cheaper boot. Leather boots are best IMO, but break in time is critical.

Right now I have a pair of Scarpa Terra GTX. Roughly $200 boot that I was able to find on sale I think for $150.
Prior to that I had a way cheaper pair of synthetic textile Timberlands that I got sort of short notice that were retail around $130. We had a chance to go hiking, but my son didn't have his gear so I gave him my boots, bought those Timberlands local where we were and then climbed two mountains (3500' and 5200') on the next two consecutive days in them. I made it, didn't have any problems and considered myself lucky since I didn't have any break-in time.
The performance and longevity of those two boots are way more than $30 difference.

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Old 04-14-2015, 03:17 PM   #13
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You need to go to a place that specializes in "outdoor stuff" and have them help you find the right pair.

For what it's worth, I did a NOLS semester in Asolo boots and had them for years after.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:18 PM   #14
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Fit, fit fit fit. No matter what they cost, if they don't fit, they suck.

That being said, for short trips with light weight, lighter weight boots are acceptable, but for serious loads and long trips, a more substantial boot will pay off - I took a couple of treks in Nepal and did them in leather boots with wool socks - carry moleskin and put it on before you have a blister - I feel that no boot is broken in as much as the foot get used to the shoe..but it's both really.

And they must be broken in before any long trip to avoid much misery.

I've reached the age when shoes have to be a bit more substantial, I just dropped like $300 for a pair of USA made Red Wing boots because I can't wear the Moab's all day every day. They will probably be serviceable walking shoes this summer, but they are in no way long distance hiking shoes.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:50 PM   #15
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Bought a pair of Merrell Wilderness boots this Spring ($300). I am planning on doing some backpacking and alpine climbing this summer in the Cascades.

The boots are "old school" '70's style, leather/vibram made in Italy. Very well constructed and can be rebuilt.

I put a pair of Spenco insoles into them and went to breaking them in.

After 20 miles they fit me perfectly. My only issue was that I had not worn a 6" leather upper in some time and I chaffed a bit on my shins, but the uppers soften up and my shins toughened up.

I would highly recommend them.

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