View Full Version : boots

03-13-2007, 21:46
I am thinking of trading out my heavy 3+lb boots for light weight trail runners. I like the support but not the weight. I am unclear about what features to look for. Too many choices! Suggestions, recommendations?

03-13-2007, 23:12
They make 2 lbs boots. Don't give up comfort and support for a few ounces. If you keep the weight down on everything else like you usually would, 8-10 ounces of extra footwear won't doom your hike.

03-14-2007, 01:39
I left Katahdin certain that my Vasque boots would be one of the more reliable aspects of my gear. By the time they had 100 miles on them I was look for glue.
Between my experience and the people I met on the trail I won't be going back to boots or any Vasque product. I met people who got more trail miles in sneakers and didn't seem any the worse for wear than me.
I also feel that while the extra boot weight wasn't a burden to my shoulders and back - it seems that after two months that lighter shoes would have made for lighter footfalls and would definitely have lightened the jarring to the knees and leg muscles.
This year I'll be wearing trail runners and stepping more lightly. I thought the boots would give my legs and feet more support. It seems that they only made it less comfortable in the big picture.
So this year I'll be using trail runners with medium ankle support - and sock liners which were a wonder for avoiding blisters.:) :)

03-14-2007, 02:18
I've never really gotten into this arguement before as I dont think this is something other people should really tell you about as its such an individual to individual thing. I personally lean towards trail running sneaker types. I wear salomon's for both my backpacking/hiking shoes and for my canoeing/stream running shoes. Hold up well and they arent as heavy as boots. My pair seems to be fairly water resistant and fast drying. Just a thought to look into Salomon.

Mr. Clean
03-15-2007, 04:31
Above all, buy what is comfortable for you. Try some sneakers on a multi day hike before you start the AT or a section. As someone else posted, there are a lot of mid-weights at around 2 lbs which would be a compromise. I wear light to mid weights, but I hike in NH and the Mahoosucs. When you try them on at the store, wear them a long time, and try to buy near the end of the day when your feet are swollen.

03-15-2007, 09:39
You might also check out one of the Garmont boots, which I'd characterize as a cross between traditional mid-top hiking boots and trail runners. They're reasonably light at 30 ounces for the pair, offer good support (although I had to put in orthotics for my arches), and provide a rigid toe rand to keep away biting rocks. I have the Eclipse XCR (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?memberId=12500226&productId=39231666) version, but I'd rather go without Gore-tex as it takes forever to dry. There is a new variant called the Nova (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=39231654&memberId=12500226&storeId=226&catalogId=40000000226&langId=-1) that you might check out.

gold bond
03-15-2007, 11:40
Asolo has a very light weight boot GSM95, or GTX95, I think....not sure of the model number but I have been looking at them for a few weeks now and have actually tried on a pair and they have good arch support as well as good padding.They as well have rubber over the toe and high on the back heal. They are Gortex lined. I feel water proof is important! I do have to agree with Rev Bob, talking about boots is a personal thing. I looked at the trail runners and the only one I liked did not come in a wide. I like the ankle support of a high boot. No matter what you decide on have them properly fitted by someone who knows what they are doing. If they don't feel good in the store they really wont on the trail!

04-09-2007, 14:11
I have a pair of Garmont Flash XCR (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=39142195&memberId=12500226&storeId=226&catalogId=40000000226&langId=-1) that is the higher topped version of the Eclipse and I swear by them. I've owned 2 pair now and they are great boots. I may pick up a pair of the Eclipses just to try them out since they have the lower cut.

04-09-2007, 16:41
ive put way over 100 miles on my vasque breezes...

04-09-2007, 17:39
After 500 miles I switched to New Balance 806's which were much better on my feet--blisters stopped, better ventilation, no more pain, highly recommended. As long as you're carrying a fairly light weight pack (under 30 pounds) you can easily switch to shoes. To answer your question, I'd recommend getting a size larger than you'd normally wear in a running shoe because your feet will swell and flatten with a pack. Good luck!

04-09-2007, 17:53
I am thinking of trading out my heavy 3+lb boots for light weight trail runners. I like the support but not the weight. I am unclear about what features to look for. Too many choices! Suggestions, recommendations?


The single most important feature to look for in a trail runner (to be used for hiking) is the OUTSOLE. You want something relatively stiff with a lugged sole.

Second to that would be the material used for the upper. Gortex lined shoes get mixed reviews. Depends a lot on where/when your hiking. The shoes lined with Gortex take considerably longer to dry out once they get soaked.

Lots of good ones out there. Take a look at the New Balance line. The 809's are a good light weight shoe with a rugged outsole.


04-09-2007, 18:08
I guess most hikers are aware by now that an extra pound of shoe weight is the equivalent of carrying an extra five pounds on your back. I switched from boots to mid-height lightweight boots to trail running shoes over a span of time and will never go back to boots again. Granted, my pack weight has also lowered drastically, too. Base weight for shoulder seasons is under ten pounds and closer to seven pounds in the summer. I personally am now using Inov-8 Roclite 315's.