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Second Class

Good boots for hiking

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I'm re-thinking this whole topic lately.

 

I recently followed a discussion on another forum that I visit (camping but not scouting). Anyway, this guy just finished a rim to rim hike of the grand canyon...... something like his 4th or 5th time doing it. This time, he and his teenaged daughter did it wearing those Vibram 5-Fingers shoes.

 

I've never tried these things, but I understand that the idea is that it makes you walk in a more natural way, using your foot and legs as God designed them. I found a you-tube video that had side by side screen shots of someone running on a treadmill before and after some sort of coaching (nothing to do with the 5-fingers, she was wearing std running shoes). She was running differently to land on her forefoot and not her heel and I have to say that her whole body mechanics were noticeably better.

 

So this guy hiking the canyon said that he and his daughter felt great. Said in years past they would be hobbling around camp with aching feet (I've been there with the dogs barking!). This time they weren't at all.

 

He contends that it's all about conditioning and wearing these shoes to build these muscles in his feet and legs that never get used. I think there may be something to the modified walking style too.

 

Regardless, he said they felt stable on the trail, no ankle issues, etc..... and yes, they were wearing packs, and camped 2 nights along the trail.

The running shoe/hiking boot industry is filled with a bunch of BS about support and such that keep your feet from operating as designed. How else will they continue to get you to buy the new and improved models? That being said you will need to ease into minimalist footwear to avoid a lot of pain since you're not used to walking like you should be. I personally wouldn't go without a rock plate though.

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By the way, I'm moving to the "every gram counts" school of thought. Pack, pad, bag and tent at less than 8 pounds. It's going to be expensive, but so is knee surgery.
With that kind of base weight, why are you wearing boots?

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I have wide feet (but oddly have been wearing regular 11s in boots, instead of 11W)... anyway, I can't find a decent boot around 50.00... whats a good recommendation? I have CAT Second Shift Work boots but hear they suck as hiking boots.

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I have wide feet (but oddly have been wearing regular 11s in boots, instead of 11W)... anyway, I can't find a decent boot around 50.00... whats a good recommendation? I have CAT Second Shift Work boots but hear they suck as hiking boots.
14c. I haven't found anything serviceable for under $50. You can go to most discount shoe stores and find something close to that price. It may last a season.

 

I'm a big fan of Timberland.

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I have wide feet (but oddly have been wearing regular 11s in boots, instead of 11W)... anyway, I can't find a decent boot around 50.00... whats a good recommendation? I have CAT Second Shift Work boots but hear they suck as hiking boots.
Returns are often deeply discounted. At a REI yard sale, I scored a pair of returned Merrell Moab's for less than $13! Like you, I need wide and these were not, but it was the start of an interesting experiment. The fit was tight on the plus side it mitigated my plantar fasciitis pain so I could go the distance, on the negative side colder feet from constricted circulation and inability to wear thicker socks. YMMV.

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Well, after the Chinese made shoddy boots I had, I decided to buy American made boots. I like Bates footware, but for whatever reason it started huting in one particular spot an I returned them. Father-in-law said try Thorogood boots, and I have been wearing these, http://www.weinbrennerusa.com/dspNavCategory.cfm?rootid=1&catid=105&prodid=395 for almost a month now and am loving them. The look good, I wear them at the hospital, and am on my feet constantly now doing all kinds of tech set ups.

 

The ones I wanted were these, http://www.weinbrennerusa.com/dspNavCategory.cfm?rootid=1&catid=104&prodid=149 , but I needed new boots ASAP and could only afford the 6" sports hikers. No complaints so far, but we'll see how they hold up.

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I swear by Vasque Boots. My first pair lasted almost 30 years of monthly camping, as well as a lot of snow shoveling/blowing. The second pair is on about year 10 and still look like new.

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