Looking for Work/Camp/Hike Boots

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murps

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Hello all,

This post could be place in a few spots so for any admin reading, place where you deem fit.

I’m in the market for some boots. Looking for breathable but would like to be somewhat water proof. Good ankle support is a big thing for me. I have had a pair of Caterpillar Second Shift Work Boots, for no joke, 20 years, and besides needing new laces and insole, they have been awesome. I’d like something along the same lines but something I can do a little hiking it too.

So my question for you all:

1. What do you wear
2. Where did you get it
3. What would you recommend?
4. What would you not recommend

Also, my lady needs a pair too.
 
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Steve

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I've worn Vasque Sundowner boots and Merrill shoes/boots for almost 30 years. Vasque has really gone downhill over the years, and my favorite Merrill's are no longer made. When we were at REI Seattle last fall, the old guy salesman said he'd been a Vasque man, too, but now swore by Solomon. I wasn't familiar with them for anything other than ski boots, but I was willing to try them on. Oh, my gosh were they wonderful! I bought the GoreTex X-Ultra Low GTX, and will be getting some mid-height ones at some point.

https://www.rei.com/product/881784/salomon-x-ultra-low-ii-gtx-hiking-shoes-mens





Here's the mid-height:

https://www.rei.com/product/881782/salomon-x-ultra-mid-ii-gtx-hiking-boots-mens


I didn't try the Quest, because I was specifically looking for a low hiker. Definitely try them on!
 
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Daniel Etter

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North Face Hedgehog
$130 online.
Pros: I've had mine for a year already and love them! They are light weight and have great ankle support. They dry quickly and are very breathable. The tread on the bottom is aggressive, haven't had any issues with traction. The sizing is pretty accurate so I have the right amount of room for my toes. They are gortex lined so they are very water resistant. The only time water got in them was when they were submerged for a prolonged period of time.
Cons: they took a little while to break in, especially in the heel cup/ ankle support. The tread is soft so it will wear a little faster.
Overall, I love these boots. They are great for hiking in many conditions and environments.



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mtbkr

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Not a hi-cut but I love my Salomons. This is what I've been wearing for years. Mine are low cuts now though but their hi-cut are good too. I started using the boots back in backpacking days. Back then, they have the conta-grip technology in their soles which is way better than the stiff vibrams when stepping on wet rocks. If money is not an object, check out the Asolo boots too. They have a very good fit after breaking in and the sole has good grip too on the trail. Also, check out Five Ten, famous for rock climbing shoes and now mtb shoes too. Their stealth technology in their sole is phenomenal. Both Salomon and Asolo is availBle at REI. I get most of my stuffs there, as a member, I get dividends from stuffs I buy. You can check out Five Ten here at www.fiveten.com



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roamingtimber

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I second @vegasjeepguy's Solomon recommendation. I picked a pair of those same boots the week before last years mule deer season when my tried and true Vasques wouldn't keep my feet dry anymore. With zero break in I hiked 30 miles in 3 days, most of it with 50lbs of gear, through the Cascade mountains with not so much as a hot spot or remotely sore feet. They're pretty darn light too. I have a pair of their goretex hiking shoes too that have stood up for a few years of abuse, they were the only shoes I took to New Zealand for 3 weeks, hiked 18 miles across the Tongariro Alpine Traverse and stood in for bike shoes while mountain biking on the same trip. I'm really impressed with Solomon footwear.
 
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mellowdave

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You know, boots are as personal as underwear, everyone's feet are different, everyone's usage is different, and everyone's environment is different. I have worn boots every single day for the last 22 years as part of my uniform, and depending on what I'm doing, my choice in boots has varied dramatically.

I have a pair of Danner Tanicus that I wear daily in the mostly office environment of the Ops SGM. For even non-military use, Danner is your go to for real work boots. They are pricey yes, but many are American made, and carry a crazy warranty. Danner also re manufactures boots once you've used them enough to wear something out. Not many other companies do that any more. I really like the Bull Run and the Workman for work boots. The ones in my picture, the Tanicus is a price leader kind of boot, glued and pressed rather than sewn, but for the office and light work, they are great, these fall squarely in the "work boot" category, roughly equivalent to the Iron Soft or the Crafter, with reasonable support, and protection, but not at all designed for heavy loads over a distance. They have a pretty flexible sole, and lots of padding, which is great for daily wear, however these would not be my first choice for the next yomp through RC East.
IMG_3877.JPG

For that I last used a pair of La Sportiva Trango Trek GTX.
trango-trek.jpg trango-trek-2.jpg
These things are proper rucking boots, with a rigid sole, and very protective vamp. I wouldn't hesitate a split second to walk literally anywhere in any environment in these. I've done 20 mile days with up to 90 lbs and my feet were NOT the limiting factor. If I were moving more quickly, with less weight, I'd want something more flexible, perhaps the Salomons mentioned above. I have a few Salomon trail runners that are very well built.

I have used Vasque Sundowners and a pair of La Sportiva AT (Sundowner clones) for years and years in lighter weight environments with very much success. Vasque and Merrill have both taken a nosedive in recent years however, victims of the "Urban Hiker" consumer. Not even Bear Grylls could save Merrill from some of the crap they have produced lately.

I have a good Garmont Lowtop that I wear for long movements with low weight, like travelling when I expect long walks, urban exploring, etc. They have a good rigid sole, but don't offer the ankle support of real backpacking boots.

For real backpacking you'd have a hard time topping the Asolo TPS 500 series (520 is current I believe) though they dont have the sexy modern materials look a lot of folks seem to go for these days, being full leather outers. I have a pair of these and they straight up match my Trangos for overall support and protection, they are a little warm, so I wouldn't recommend them for temperate use. Its exceedingly hard to find a good warm weather boot with solid support. I hear the Zamberlains are pretty amazing as well.
Asolo-GoretexTrekkingBoots.jpg

Boots are one of those areas it pays to get a good fitting, from someone who knows what they are looking at, and tailor them to your use. Its getting harder and harder to find someone knowledgeable as true hiking/backpacking stores are overtaken and closed out by the urban hiker crowd. You really need to know how different products work in order to pick a good boot from internet descriptions and wade your way through the Keen/Timberland/Born set to get to real boots. **Disclaimer, I never leave home without my Keen Water Shoes. :smirk:
 
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MidwestOverlanders

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Do you need a steel/composite toe for work?

I'm currently wearing the Keen Targhee II Mid and they've been great so far. I've only had them for about 6 months so far, but I've trekked through a lot of water crossing and I've put around 200 miles of hiking on them. Super comfortable.

I also have a pair of Ariat Workhogs that i've worn for the last 8 years. The side of the sole finally blew out on me last year, but I still wear them around.
 

Murphy Slaw

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Red Wings are my go to work boot. They just take a lickin and keep on tickin.
I wore Red Wings for many decades, but........

The last pair of Redwing Hikers I bought were made in China. They literally fell apart in under 2 years. I boxed them up and sent them back to Red Wing with a nasty letter.

They sent me a new pair.
 
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pl626

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For multipurpose, you can't go wrong with Merrills, though I have to admit, Doc Martins are more comfortable.


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chacon.jmc

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Having to wear osha/ansi approved boots for work, my take on the matter starts by asking you the following:

1-what do you do for work or by "work" do you mean a boot that you can wear around while doing some light duty/yard work around the house?

2-do you need toe protection or not?

If the boots you are looking for are not required by your employer then you can stick to the above mentioned by many members, but if you required ansi/osha approved then I'd say Danners, red wings, georgia boots, chippewa.. Can't go wrong with any of them.

I just think that asking a boot to do 3 tasks is too much.


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murps

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Having to wear osha/ansi approved boots for work, my take on the matter starts by asking you the following:

1-what do you do for work or by "work" do you mean a boot that you can wear around while doing some light duty/yard work around the house?

2-do you need toe protection or not?

If the boots you are looking for are not required by your employer then you can stick to the above mentioned by many members, but if you required ansi/osha approved then I'd say Danners, red wings, georgia boots, chippewa.. Can't go wrong with any of them.

I just think that asking a boot to do 3 tasks is too much.


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That's fair. I used to use the boots at an old job in metal fabrication but after leaving I was able to use the same pair of boots for hiking/outdoors. Since I now work in an office and the worst thing to fall on me would be a stapler, there is no need for steel toe.
 

Murphy Slaw

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I just think that asking a boot to do 3 tasks is too much.
The heavy, steel toe, heavy sole work boots are just too darned heavy for hikers. I have a pair of Wolverine steel toe that weigh 40 pounds.

Each..........

I force myself to wear them a few times a month just to make amends for bad deeds that I've done in the past.
 

murps

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Figured i'd close this thread now that I picked up some boots. I choose the Merrell Men's Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot. Work has been crazy so the first real hike will be this weekend! Really excited for these as I don't think I've researched something so much before buying it. Well, besides my jeep lol. You can never go cheep on your feet, that was the common theory I kept coming across.

Thank you guys for all the info, really helped point me in the right direction!
 
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