Beating a dead horse, but.... Hiking boots?

Lichen

Explorer
Have you hiked very far in the Zamberlans? They seem really tight when I first put them on, but seem to grow as I hike. I don't know if it's the amazing footbed, but they really seem to conform to my foot after a short while.
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
Having a wider foot myself and not overly pleased with Keen in recent years I found myself in the same boat back in September, was looking for a solid but comfortable pair of hunting boots that were not camo so I could wear them in public without looking like a poser, stopped by our local Cabela's and came home with a pair of the Meindl's. I found the Meindl's to have a similar fit and comfort to the Keen's but much better quality. I wore them for hunting elk and have worn them for shoveling every snow storm so far this winter, also wore them in a situation where I was in standing water for 3 hours and my feet stayed perfectly dry and warm. They are a bit above your $200 price range but I feel are worth it, not to mention they are backed by a great warranty should you ever need it.
 

justbecause

perpetually lost
I am really hard on footwear and have tried numerous brands.

Keen, Chaco, and Vasque (in no particular order) Have all failed prematurely even by my standards. I consider myself lucky to get 1 year out of a pair of boots.


Asolo has been hands down the best for me and will probably be my go to for the foreseeable future.
 

joelbert

Adventurer
I have a pair of Danner Mountain Light, Red Wing, and older Vasque. The Vasque's I really love and have hiked miles with them, not sure the newer Vasques are to the same standard based on forum discusions. The Danner's I'm still breaking in, I think. The Red Wings were the most comfortable out of the gate. If I had a house fire though, I would grab the Vasque's and go though.
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
I have a pair of Danner Mountain Light, Red Wing, and older Vasque. The Vasque's I really love and have hiked miles with them, not sure the newer Vasques are to the same standard based on forum discusions. The Danner's I'm still breaking in, I think. The Red Wings were the most comfortable out of the gate. If I had a house fire though, I would grab the Vasque's and go though.
To be honest I also feel that Vasque has gone down a bit in quality, I had an older pair of the Vasque Gore-Tex GTX's that I wore the heck out of until the Gore-Tex membrane crumbled, went to look at a newer pair last year and the quality just wasn't there.
 

justbecause

perpetually lost


this is the Vasque ST. ELIAS GTX 6 months from purchase. I was not wearing that boot everyday.

At the same time I purchased the Vasque BREEZE 2.0 GTX. The breeze had similar failure, within months, where the sole and upper were separating but was much less sever than the St. Elias. They were falling apart but wearable. The midsole/shank broke and was pushing into the interior of the boot, if that failure had happened on the trail I am not sure I could have engineered anything to make it wearable.

Boots were purchased 9/16/15. St. Elias failed by 3/10/16 and the breeze had total failure December 16.
 

Kerensky97

Xterra101
I'm another cheap Hi-Tec wearer. They always work great for me as long as you're really careful to get the right fit.
There is a guy who does a ton of hiking, he hiked across Southern Utah from Nevada to Colorado in one trip, and I noticed he had the same Hi-Tec boots I did. It made me fell good that a guy doing the mileage and extreme terrain I would never do it still using a basic $60 boot.

Seems to confirm the consensus that #1 most important thing is fit.

 

RDK13

Observer
I think it depends on what your going to be doing. My all-around hikers are low cut Merrill's. I absolutely love them but, for backpacking I like something with more ankle support and all leather. There's nothing worse than bashing your toes or twisting your ankle with a backpack on. I've used all kinds over the years currently, I have a pair of Timberland's. They have served me well with no complaints. But the most important thing is that they are broken in and comfortable.
 

FJOE

Regular Dude
I have been wearing Asolo Fugitives since 2006. Every time I wear a pair out, I go buy a new set the next day. I love them. Worn them all over the world. Even stepped in the "Nigerian mudslide" a couple of times in them (diesel oil and human waste). They are comfortable, hold their lace position, and don't wear out that fast under normal conditions.
 

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