View Full Version : Boots shouldn't be expected to last more than 300 miles?

Little Frog
05-19-2005, 13:43
In the thread linked below over in Gear Talk, an email from a customer service rep from one of the top boot manufacturers states the following:

"300 miles is a great deal to put on boots, I am not sure of any pair on the market that will take that much of a beating on a trail especially the AT."

I'd be interested in hearing other hiker's opinions regarding expected longevity of their boots. What brand do you wear and how long do you expect them to last? If the soles fell off after 300 miles, would you just shrug and buy new boots or would you expect the manufacturer to replace them?

Link to discussion is here: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=8909

05-19-2005, 13:51
that is just a complete disgrace to their company and well i woulf fire them what are their boots for walking in the local park:datz my low top chuck talyors lasted longer than that:-? something wrong with that representive in my opinion how much were the boots?ky

Tha Wookie
05-19-2005, 13:53
I get 700 -1000 miles out of a pair of Chaco Sandals.

05-19-2005, 14:06
I get over 500 miles out of a pair of running sneakers... and they are designed to break down! I have had friends get over 300 miles out of a pair of $20 WalMart sneakers. You need to keep pushing the issue with this company - there is no reason that a pair of boots should not last 700 miles.

05-19-2005, 14:52
I guess it depends on the boots. I did my thru in one pair of Montrail AT hikers.
I had them resoled after 1,500 mi. They were shot at the end of my hike. ;)

05-19-2005, 15:12
I've been corresponding with a customer service rep at Vasque about appropriate footwear for a thru-hike. He said to go with an all leather boot, that my Sundowners were a minimum, and a mountaineering boot would be better. He also said that there have been cases where people have hiked the entire trail with on pair of Sundowners, but that was rare and I should expect to go through two pairs. I guess than means at least 1000 miles per pair. He also said that the AT is hard on boots and the biggest cause of footwear problems on the AT was the wrong choice of footwear to start with.

Little Frog
05-19-2005, 15:49
... there have been cases where people have hiked the entire trail with on pair of Sundowners, but that was rare and I should expect to go through two pairs. I guess than means at least 1000 miles per pair.
That's the general rule of thumb I've always heard, that thru-hikers should choose a high-quality boot, but still prepare/budget for the liklihood of having to replace them once during their thru, at roughly the halfway point on the trail. Some hikers might do it on one pair, and in some rare case, some folks might wear out 2 pairs, especially if there is a heavy load on them. But what I've heard is that most people will need 2 pairs for a thru.

Boots used for section-hiking should be expected to last longer than those used for a thru. They're usually stored, clean and dry in a closet between trips instead of staying wet for days/weeks and being hiked in nonstop.

The Solemates
05-19-2005, 16:31
i wore out 3 pair on my thru. they were lightweight (~2-2.5lbs) synthetic midcuts.

Pencil Pusher
05-19-2005, 18:03

05-19-2005, 18:09
Honu - Don't listen to that Vasque rep! Just because he or she works at a boot company, it doesn't mean they know a hill of beans about thru-hiking footware. Unless you have special foot needs or a very heavy pack, Sundowners should be a maximum! Mountaineering boots are an absurd choice! Way too heavy, too hot, too stiff, and too expensive for the vast majority of thru-hiker hopefuls. Do yourself a favor and check out lightweight boots, or better yet, trail runners. Your feet will thank you.

-- BookBurner

SGT Rock
05-19-2005, 18:29
Heck, don't trust anyone that answers a phone at some company. Just because they work there doesn't mean they even hike or have ever worn Asolo boots. To people like my in-laws 300 miles sounds like a long way to walk and they might make the sort of statement that 300 miles is a lot of miles to get out of a boot, but we hikers know that you are just getting something broken in at 300 miles. My guess is anyone that works at the company would know what you mean - BUT there is their side of this, how do they know you only walked 300 miles before they fell apart.

05-19-2005, 18:41
All I know for sure is this: after reading these two threads, when I do buy new boots, they won't be Asolo brand, and I WAS looking at one pair. I've been hiking in Scarpa boots for almost as long as I can remember, but they run a bit narrow, and I just got new orthotics and need a bit more volume. My old boots just don't have the room for my feet AND the orthotics to fit in comfortably. So it looks like a lot more shopping around.

05-19-2005, 18:51
I gotta believe that the Asolo rep either misspoke, or doesn't know what he/she is talking about. When it comes to hiking boots, 300 miles is barely broken in. I'd expect at least 1000 miles from a fabric and leather top hiking boot, probably more like 1200 to 1500 miles. I'd expect much less miles from trail running shoes like New Balance.

I think that runners may expect about 300 miles before a good running shoe starts to breakdown.

Now, some people are harder than others on boots. Certainly one thing that wears out boots is mud, and there's usually lots of it along the AT.

I'd like to know from Sargent Rock just how many miles the military expects from a pair of boots.

SGT Rock
05-19-2005, 18:59
I honestly have no clue how many they expect. I have some that a multiple years old, and a lot of people re-sole theirs. I usually have leather fail on the outside of my boots before the sole though. Give that we all wear the same boots, I have come to believe that even the same exact pair of boots will break down differently on different people based on their feet and how they walk.

Little Frog
05-19-2005, 19:00
how do they know you only walked 300 miles before they fell apart. They never debated that point. If they had, I could show them my trail journal that details each of my section hiking trips, complete with mileage. But it's a moot point. The Asolo rep's email said that one shouldn't expect boots to last 300 miles anyway...

05-19-2005, 21:46
I've got a pair of Montrail Hardrock trail runners that I used on my thru last year. I put over 1200 miles on those things before they blew out. Those are the best shoes I've ever had on my feet.

Tim Rich
05-20-2005, 15:17
My first Sundowners lasted about 1200 miles, and occasionally I still use them to work in mud and concrete. I have about 900 miles on my current pair and they're still in good shape - I don't see getting any less than 500 more miles on them.

I agree that they're on the heavy end for AT use.