Adventure Travel Boot Redux

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
#1
Christophe just wrote this piece:
http://expeditionportal.com/fall-boot-and-shoe-roundup/

A couple of years ago we had this lively discussion that never ended.
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/34842-The-best-adventure-travel-boots

I find it interesting how the criteria for footwear varies between members of our very broad demographic.

My choice always depends on where I'll be and the weather I'll be likely to encounter. And that's after the basic necessity that the shoe must fit the foot, in my case that's a 14-wide. And not a fat wide, a wide wide. With little bodyfat around the ankle and calf.
Which leaves me blessed few choices.

So, in other words, there's nothing on Christophe's list that I'd even begin to consider.

Here's what I'm wearing these days.

If I don't know what to expect, I go to the Blackhawk. http://www.blackhawk.com/Products/Apparel/Footwear/Boots/Desert-Ops-Boots.aspx
8" high so that rattlers will have a bit more of a challenge and mud won't suck them off. Not too hot, not too cool. Flexible enough to feel the clutch.
I found mine for $45. Wish I had bought a second pair.

If I'm going to hike more than drive, the Keen Durand. http://www.keenfootwear.com/product...gclid=CJeg2I-Co88CFUKUfgodOq8GPw&gclsrc=aw.ds
Waterproof, made in 'Merica, wide and foot-shaped interior, very hard to kill. Not as good a feel on the clutch as I'd want for technical driving but not horrible like a boot for very cold weather is.

If the weather is dry and the hike will likely be less than 10 miles, there's another Keen called the Saltzman that's light and fast. http://www.keenfootwear.com/product/shoes/men/saltzman
Better on the clutch than the Durand but not as tough. Rock bruising happens if the trail is rocky and long.

And if it's cold, Uggs makes this: http://www.ugg.com/men-boots/hannen-tl/1008139.html?dwvar_1008139_color=BLK
I also have a pair of their classic boot for back-at-camp. Yeah, the one your niece wears. Your niece is smart; these things are comfortable. Got the Classic for $40 at BJ's, btw.

I'd like to find more minimalist footwear but I can't find any that fits and is tough. It's really a challenge.
 
Last edited:

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
#2
Bill, Uggs? Gone all ghetto fabulous on us? ha ha ha. Since where I live it rains pretty well every day, I will pick my footwear based on waterproofness first, and footbed second. Right now, my salomon xa pro 3d GTX are my round about of choice. They work great for day hiking...they are comfortable when I am down in the shop, they are comfortable out around town. If I need more support I pull on my trusty timberland Thorton mid Gore. and in the snow, my columbia Bugabootoo XTRs. All other just lounging around goes to sanuks and crocs.
 

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
#3
I still wear Lems all week to work and on weekends if I'm not overlanding or hiking. Lems represents 90% of my lifestyle...

But the Uggs are the bomb when it's cold out. Luxury, sweet luxury. The boot that I linked doesn't look like a 12 year-old girl owns them too; they're discreet and work bootish.

Still wish there was a hiker/workboot with a tough but minimal sole and wide toebox. Something rugged but flexible. And waterproof.
 
#4
I bought those blackhawk! Boots a few years ago. A couple of stiches gave out right away but the separation hasn't gotten any worse since then. They feel like a nice comfortable sneaker compared to the issued army boots which felt like rocks strapped to the feet.
 

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
#5
I bought those blackhawk! Boots a few years ago. A couple of stiches gave out right away but the separation hasn't gotten any worse since then. They feel like a nice comfortable sneaker compared to the issued army boots which felt like rocks strapped to the feet.
That's my impression too. You can actually run in them and not curse the almighty. And you can feel the clutch; that's important. So many boots, especially duty boots, have no tactile feel at all.
That's why I'd love to get a nice flexible Vibram sole on the bottom of a sturdy but supple boot. I've reached out to Lems a couple of times but they haven't decided it's all that marketable yet. If you read the other thread you'll see that I tried to have a pair of custom boots made like that but the company failed miserably.
 
#7
I've been wearing Lowa Renegades for years now. They make a Gortex version and a leather lined version. High and low. I get about a year and a half out of them wearing them everyday for work/play. They are not cheap, but they are very light weight and don't hurt my feet!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

CSG

Explorer
#8
I've liked Merrill Moabs in recent years. I get the mid-ankle version in Gortex. I don't do too much that requires more. They're sneaker comfy, great for hiking, great for driving, and reasonably priced. My current pair is 3-4 years old and is holding up well. It's my go to winter boot as well as hiking boot.
 
#9
Y'all can have those flexible soles, I prefer stiff, stiffer the better. For me rocker soles are the best thing since pockets on pants
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
#10
Every now and then I admit a get a bit bored with all the typical products the overland audience is told they should like. The reality is, the overland demographic is more and more intermixed with enthusiasts from other segments. As such, we're seeing a greater, and much welcomed, bit of diversification in the things we find suitable for our collective pursuits.

My list on the home page was intended to represent only new items, or relatively new. And of a wide mix of styles and applications from shoe to boot, technical to somewhat old school.

But, I have to admit, every time I compile one of these lists, I always look for the Bill-factor, and as you know, few companies make footwear in your Yeti size.
 

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
#11
...
But, I have to admit, every time I compile one of these lists, I always look for the Bill-factor, and as you know, few companies make footwear in your Yeti size.
It's a dang conspiracy I tell ya, Flounder!
I was so hopeful that Russel Moccasin would make me the perfect boot. After speaking with the owner on the phone I was so confident. And then the boot showed up two sizes too long and two sizes too narrow. And the eyes touched each other around the shin when I laced them. They totally didn't get it. They also refused to try and remedy it, refunded my money less $50 for some reason. I'll admit that the boots they sent were wonderfully made ---- the leather was soft, supple, waterproof, and the sole was exactly what I wanted.


Y'all can have those flexible soles, I prefer stiff, stiffer the better. For me rocker soles are the best thing since pockets on pants
I feel so much more sure-footed when I can feel the Earth, her curves, her angles.
Plus, there's that clutch. If the road gets technical on me and I have to finesse things, I can't do it in clod-hoppers.


I've liked Merrill Moabs in recent years. I get the mid-ankle version in Gortex. I don't do too much that requires more. They're sneaker comfy, great for hiking, great for driving, and reasonably priced. My current pair is 3-4 years old and is holding up well. It's my go to winter boot as well as hiking boot.
I've had several pairs of Moabs in the past and never had a pair make it past a couple months of heavy hiking. They seem to me to be made in a very inexpensive way...
I had Keen Voyagers too and they blew apart after a couple of brief hikes in New Mexico. Thank goodness for REI back then.


I've been wearing Lowa Renegades for years now. They make a Gortex version and a leather lined version. High and low. I get about a year and a half out of them wearing them everyday for work/play. They are not cheap, but they are very light weight and don't hurt my feet!
I had a pair of Lowas that lasted me a full year. They weren't foot-shaped as I prefer but were pretty comfy non-the-less. I didn't think they were worth the price considering they only lasted a year.
My Keen Durands broke-in perfectly and are still looking good after more than a year of heavy hiking. They're much more foot-shaped than anything in the segment.


Bill can you explain zero drop? Is it like the foot bed in my sanuks?
"Drop" is how much lower the toe is from the heel. "Zero drop" means the soles are flat, like a LEMS. I've never really looked hard at a Sanuk but I think they're flat and flexible too.
I have a pair of Topo runners that I do fast/easy trails in. They are a 5mm drop and that's about as much as I like.
 
#12
If you ever end up struggling thru a neuroma your whole idea of acceptable minimalism will change. Hoka One One is about as minimal as I go these days.
 
#13
Hiking: what you do when your truck breaks down.

Although not a long as Bill's foot, I have very wide feet (basically cinder block shaped) and have been happy with my asolos and vasques. However, for driving there are terrible. I suppose the missions are mutually exclusive, but a boot I could comfortably drive in would be great.
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
#14
Hiking: what you do when your truck breaks down.
Hahaha. I'm the opposite. I "overland" to get to the start of my hike, bike, ski, backpack, climb.... I enjoy the journey to that point in the vehicle, but if that's all I did I would go nuts. As much as I love wheels, all wheels, I've had a great year on foot. Trekked to Everest base camp, 18,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes, to the summit of Mt. Washington and half a dozen 14ers, and I'm going to cap off the year with a quick romp down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Feels good to walk sometimes. If you can, you should, at least that's my opinion.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
#15
Hahaha. I'm the opposite. I "overland" to get to the start of my hike, bike, ski, backpack, climb.... I enjoy the journey to that point in the vehicle, but if that's all I did I would go nuts. As much as I love wheels, all wheels, I've had a great year on foot. Trekked to Everest base camp, 18,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes, to the summit of Mt. Washington and half a dozen 14ers, and I'm going to cap off the year with a quick romp down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Feels good to walk sometimes. If you can, you should, at least that's my opinion.
Heck yes! My thoughts exactly Chris. Lol!

I wear the low version of Merrill Moabs as my everyday wear and for light hiking.

I'm on my third pair of Vasque Breeze in 2 1/2 years but I do a ton of day hikes. They are super comfortable right out of the box, I kinda wish the sole was a bit more durable but... I'm satisfied enough to keep buying them.

I'd like to try something with a bit stiffer sole for backpacking. Did 50+ miles in the Grand Canyon this year with a 20 to 30+ lb pack. The combination of downhill, rocks, and the added weight really chews up the sole on the Vasque Breeze. In their defense they don't really market that model as a backpacking boot.