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The Toninator isnt 25 anymore

The Toninator

Muffin
Jul 6, 2001
5,440
16
High(ts) Htown
I have to come to this realization. I’m planning a hiking trip. Last time I went it went horribly. Mostly because of too much and too heavy of a pack and gear. 10 years ago I was able to pick up a $60 pair of Nike hiking boots stuff 60lbs of crap in a bag and hit the trail. Those days are over. So I’ve lightened my pack way down, way BUT if found my footwear inadequate.

Recommend me some light stiff probably gore-tex mid-length hiker boot that is good for 5 days on trail in the Smokeys (hard/soft pack trail, loamy trail and some rocky terrain) under $200.
If it helps I’m going to REI and I’m looking in the Asolo and Vesques(sp) direction.
 

spincrazy

I love to climb
Jul 19, 2001
1,529
0
Brooklyn
I've always had great luck with Merrill boots - the mid weights. Waterproof and very comfortable right away. Very minimal break in. (also not 25 anymore...)
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,305
3,854
In a van.... down by the river
Vasque, Merrell, and Asolo have historically made excellent boots. Of course, I've been out of the boot-buying market for over a decade so that may have changed.

I would recommend that you get a boot that is solid leather and that does *not* have a separate tongue (be sure it's integrated). And if you're interested in keeping them a LOOONG time get ones that have a Norwegian welt and Vibram soles.
 

bean

Turbo Monkey
Feb 16, 2004
1,338
0
Boulder
I wouldn't worry about the brand so much as the fit. Vasque, La Sportiva, Asolo, etc. all make great boots. But the best boot is the one that fits your foot. I happen to like Vasque and Salomon because they fit my feet really well. Find yourself a good boot fitter, they'll know what foot shapes different boots are designed for. The folks at REI are hit and miss. The smaller local shops are generally better.

I second the recommendation on a full leather boot with an integrated tongue. If you've got a well built leather boot you don't need GoreTex. With a coating of Nikwax they're close enough to waterproof as they are and more breathable. That GoreTex membrane will hold sweat in the boot just about as well as it keeps water out, especially if the outside of the membrane gets wet.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,305
3,854
In a van.... down by the river
<snip>

I second the recommendation on a full leather boot with an integrated tongue. If you've got a well built leather boot you don't need GoreTex. With a coating of Nikwax they're close enough to waterproof as they are and more breathable. That GoreTex membrane will hold sweat in the boot just about as well as it keeps water out, especially if the outside of the membrane gets wet.
Yeah - I think the GoreTex is more suited to the boots that aren't full leather.... I've personally never had GoreTex on any hiking boots.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
37,603
4,454
Sleazattle
My GARMONT boots kind of disapointed me. They pretty much fell apart after equivalent of 25 trail days with a heavy pack. The conditions were pretty rough but I would have expected them to last longer.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,305
3,854
In a van.... down by the river
My Vasque boots kind of disapointed me. They pretty much fell apart after equivalent of 25 trail days with a heavy pack. The conditions were pretty rough but I would have expected them to last longer.
That's kind of what I was afraid of. They used to be considered well built boots which would last a long time. :disgust: Did you have a all leather model?
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
37,603
4,454
Sleazattle
That's kind of what I was afraid of. They used to be considered well built boots which would last a long time. :disgust: Did you have a all leather model?
I actually have two pair. One lightweight nylon/kevlar/goretex for regular hikes and a heavyweight full leather backpacking pair. The lightweight ones stopped being waterproof after two hikes and started coming apart at the seams after a year or two. I only wear them hiking so I expect them to last a lot longer than that. The heavyweight ones just started to break in and feel comfy and the sole started falling off and I kept pulling eyelets out. I got it repaired a few times but after my last trip I had to spend three days with a boot that wouldn't tie up nicely because of a missing eyelet I've decided to get a new pair. I'm thinking Asolo.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,305
3,854
In a van.... down by the river
<snip> I got it repaired a few times but after my last trip I had to spend three days with a boot that wouldn't tie up nicely because of a missing eyelet I've decided to get a new pair. I'm thinking Asolo.
Bummer. The Sundowner was considered a classic back in the 90's. I see they're still making 'em. Is that what you have?

I've got a pair of OneSport Moraines that are still running strong since.... 1995? Although I don't think OneSport exists as a company any more.

Have you tried getting Vasque to replace them outright? They might do that - I had delam issues with my first pair of Moraines and they simply shipped me a new pair.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
37,603
4,454
Sleazattle
Bummer. The Sundowner was considered a classic back in the 90's. I see they're still making 'em. Is that what you have?

I've got a pair of OneSport Moraines that are still running strong since.... 1995? Although I don't think OneSport exists as a company any more.

Have you tried getting Vasque to replace them outright? They might do that - I had delam issues with my first pair of Moraines and they simply shipped me a new pair.
D'oh I am an idiot. The sucky boots I have are Garmonts. I will edit the above posts.
 

The Toninator

Muffin
Jul 6, 2001
5,440
16
High(ts) Htown
I actually have two pair. One lightweight nylon/kevlar/goretex for regular hikes and a heavyweight full leather backpacking pair. The lightweight ones stopped being waterproof after two hikes and started coming apart at the seams after a year or two. I only wear them hiking so I expect them to last a lot longer than that. The heavyweight ones just started to break in and feel comfy and the sole started falling off and I kept pulling eyelets out. I got it repaired a few times but after my last trip I had to spend three days with a boot that wouldn't tie up nicely because of a missing eyelet I've decided to get a new pair. I'm thinking Asolo.
http://www.rei.com/product/706762?cm_ven=email&cm_cat=gm&cm_pla=na&cm_ite=04_06_v1_gm&id=pic
 

DNA

The human raccoon
Jan 31, 2003
1,443
0
NH
I have a pair of Sundowners that are 15 years old now (they've been re-soled once). I've worn them for weeks while doing fieldwork, but never more than 2 or 3 days with a pack. They have given me blisters the last two backpacking trips but I can't tell if that is because the last has shrunk or that I don't wear them enough.

So, the Sundowner gets a qualified :thumb:... high on durability but maybe not so great on comfort.
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
As with most things, fit is most important. I've grown less fond of Gore-Tex these days. I find that it doesn't last, doesn't hold water out on really wet days, increases drying time and makes your feet hotter and sweatier. I have a pair of Vasque Clarion GTXs that have lasted well over the years except for the waterproofing. Sundowners are a solid bet, as are most any of the full leather offerings from the major brands. Another good bet is the Asolo Fugitive, which is a leather/fabric mix w/Gore Tex. Some people like the Garmont Flash, which comes in a Gore Tex version and is one of the lightest boots available. They didn't fit me particularly well, but I liked the weight and construction. Some people have had issues with the sole chunking a bit, but I haven't personally seen that.

How light is your pack right now? Have you considered getting a considerably lighter boot or perhaps moving to a low cut boot or trail running shoes? I've had good luck so far backpacking in trail runners and even sandals. I haven't done more than 2 days straight on them yet, but I don't forsee any real issues.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,305
3,854
In a van.... down by the river
<snip>
How light is your pack right now? Have you considered getting a considerably lighter boot or perhaps moving to a low cut boot or trail running shoes? I've had good luck so far backpacking in trail runners and even sandals. I haven't done more than 2 days straight on them yet, but I don't forsee any real issues.
This is good advice - with a light pack trail shoes would be soooo much nicer than full on boots.
 

bean

Turbo Monkey
Feb 16, 2004
1,338
0
Boulder
How light is your pack right now? Have you considered getting a considerably lighter boot or perhaps moving to a low cut boot or trail running shoes? I've had good luck so far backpacking in trail runners and even sandals. I haven't done more than 2 days straight on them yet, but I don't forsee any real issues.
That's also a good plan. I've gone four or five days with a 30-35 pound pack on 5.10 Mountain Masters. It destroyed the shoes, but my feet were fine, and then 5.10 gave me new ones.
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
That's also a good plan. I've gone four or five days with a 30-35 pound pack on 5.10 Mountain Masters. It destroyed the shoes, but my feet were fine, and then 5.10 gave me new ones.
Although your experience was probably more extreme, there is a downside to using trailrunners- durability. Good boots last for years and years, while good trail runners will last only a fraction of that and you can't resole them. The foam in them starts breaking down quick. I decided to switch from my leather boots to trail runners and (when needed) low gaiters and waterproof socks.

One big advantage I've found is that if you're backpacking all day and it's raining, your feet are going to get soaked eventually- my boots take days to dry and, on the trail in damp areas, may not dry at all. Shoes don't protect you as well, but they dry way faster.

Like I said, I've worn sandals too. On a long trip last summer, I would often put on my Chacos instead of boots, or I'd switch part way through the day. Sandals are great in that they are comfortable, don't get heavy when wet and they let your feet dry out. I'm not sure if I'd recommend them for extended trips, but it's an idea...
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
ASOLO Fsn GTX (at least I think that's what they are). They released new models this year, but I selected the boots I got 4 years ago for the fit and stiff support (they've saved my ankles numerous times). I thought many boots were too weak laterally at the ankle. Waterproof and not too sweaty. Pretty light as far as tough boots go. I *heart* my boots.
 

BuddhaRoadkill

I suck at Tool
Feb 15, 2004
989
0
Chintimini Bog
How light is your pack right now? Have you considered getting a considerably lighter boot or perhaps moving to a low cut boot or trail running shoes? I've had good luck so far backpacking in trail runners and even sandals. I haven't done more than 2 days straight on them yet, but I don't forsee any real issues.
:thumb: Ditched the beefcake boots a long time ago. Trail shoes won't last as long but they are sooo much nicer. The light shoe factor really does make a difference.
 

rainbow_smoke

Monkey
Sep 19, 2003
266
0
Bellingham, WA
my husband and i have 5.10 Mountain master as well, they are great, super grippy sole and seem to have lasted pretty well so far, if they had ankle support they would be perfect, also i prefer my teva's on many shorter hikes but the protection offered in a shoe is nice sometimes. fit is most important!
 

The Toninator

Muffin
Jul 6, 2001
5,440
16
High(ts) Htown
Hey, Toninator has a birthday in a couple of days! I wonder who'll start a birthday thread. I ain't doing it.
AH to late!
Thanks. I really just wanted to sit around my apt and do nothing this weekend (drove 8 hours to arkansas last weekend to do a race) but i have to get with the fam tonight (binlaws bday and neices) and i have to go into the office tomorrow.
but hey i'm going to get a new pair of boots at a really nice homeboi hookup price :)
 

The Toninator

Muffin
Jul 6, 2001
5,440
16
High(ts) Htown
i tried really really hard to hate the ones on sale and like the really expensive ones. I walked around the little store for about an hour trying on 5 different boots. Most were vesques mostly the sundowner. the fit was ok but it had 2 really bad points (that youd never no if you bought them online)
#1 - the heal strike came like 2mm's sooner than i expected with each stride and therefore hit hard and uncomfortablely. the boot also wobbled because of it
#2 - i have a boney protruberation on the top of my right foot and the hard leather tongue really really hurt.
Tried but hated all the full leather vasgues.
I ended up with the asolo fugitive because the tongue is more flexable and soft. It being on sale only made the deal that much better but wasnt the reason i bought it. I put it on and it just fit.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
28,201
2,525
cool, good choice. my leather asolos have held up well, outlasting many an insole and shoelace. :D
 

ALEXIS_DH

Tirelessly Awesome
Jan 30, 2003
5,440
234
Lima, Peru, Peru
merell.

i dont use "boots" much, but regular trail shoes or low-cut boots. i wear merells almost everyday, and they kick so much ass. so good, am in the 3rd pair of the very same shoe by now.
the fit is amazing.