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tritonl
10-17-2007, 20:20
I donít want to use trail runners because I want the ankle support but I was wondering if I should bother with gortex hiking boots or go with something more breathable? Since boots, gortex or not will get wet if its raining, would it be a better idea to go with something breathable for faster drying and for use in warmer weather?

Appalachian Tater
10-17-2007, 20:23
If your feet sweat they will be wet all the time in waterproof boots. Better to go with something breathable. Every once in a while you step in water and then the waterproof shoes stay full of water, think squish, squish, squish. I have worn midrise hiking shoes and hated them compared to normal shoes. I didn't notice any ankle support but it did interfere with my ankle range of motion and made it harder to control where my foot went.

bkrownd
10-18-2007, 01:20
Wet boots/shoes do not dry out in the outdoors on any timescale you'll have patience for. Get something that won't get wet on the inside to begin with, and keep them dry inside like your life depends on it. Anything that's more "breathable" than goretex or its clones is going to get soaked by the first puddle or rain. Plus, soaked shoes/boots can deteriorate quickly.

SGT Rock
10-18-2007, 04:25
Don't get Goretex.

warraghiyagey
10-18-2007, 04:34
Wet boots/shoes do not dry out in the outdoors on any timescale you'll have patience for. Get something that won't get wet on the inside to begin with, and keep them dry inside like your life depends on it. Anything that's more "breathable" than goretex or its clones is going to get soaked by the first puddle or rain. Plus, soaked shoes/boots can deteriorate quickly.

Ummmm. . . when you're on the trail, you aren't as in charge of whether your shoes get wet as you may think. Regardless of your choice in footwear, the nature of the trail dictates just how dry your experience is, footwear and all.

gold bond
10-18-2007, 08:42
Isn't Gortex suppose to be the most breathable / water resistant product? I've used Gortex products for years and the only time I've had problems is when the toe box liner ripped. I feel it was because of my toenails but in either case the boots were replaced for free even though they were two years old! Gortex warrants their product for life! They didn't ask any questions they just replaced them.

Mocs123
10-18-2007, 08:50
Isn't Gortex suppose to be the most breathable / water resistant product?

Not anymore, eVent is much more breathable but it isn't easy to find in the US.

For boots on the AT I would NOT get waterproof boots. In my experiance Gore-Tex boots will not dry after your feet sweat in the high humidity of the east. If you feel you need some degree of waterproofness, get a pair of one piece leather boots. They can be waterproofed while drying quicker than Gore Tex

SGT Rock
10-18-2007, 08:52
If goretex is really that great then why don't they make clothing for you to wear all the time to hike in that is breathable yet would keep you dry and save you from having to have a separate set of clothing and rain suit?:-?

The answer is obvious - you will still sweat to death wearing it. Goretex does "breath" but the rate of transpiration is easily overcome if you sweat a lot, the outside is wetter than the inside (which happens a lot on the AT) or a combination of both. If this happens, "breathing" is a relative term. If you won't hike in your rain jacket and pants when it isn't raining, why do that to the sweatiest part of your body? Come on you Goretex lovers - lets see the whole set of Goretex clothing for every day use if it breathes so well :rolleyes:

Anyway, people will tell you they have used Goretex boots and they are great, etc etc etc. I've got about 5 pairs of them sitting in my closet and I won't use them unless I am forced to because it is the uniform for that day or I am actually going out to shovel snow or something like that. In all other cases I will use a pair of fabric sided boot that breaths or (more preferred) some sort of breathable trail runner.

Your feet will get wet when you hike either because you sweat or because it is wet. Get something that is comfortable, dries fast, weighs less, and doesn't cost a bunch of money. Goretex (in my experience with it) doesn't meet any of that criteria.

refreeman
10-18-2007, 09:02
Gortex does prevent small to medium amounts of moisture from entering a boot. My boots get wet if I step in water, like a stream for example. On very hot humid summer days my boot can become soaked from sweat. I can actually pour out the sweat from my boot and ring out my socks. Then I change to a dry pair of socks (smartwool). At this point the Gortex works against you by slowing down the rate at which the boot will dry. Moreover, Gortex keeps my feet wet longer making the skin on my feet soft and much more vulnerable to blisters.

I have a pair of Montrail Torre GTX. They are excellent hiking boots, however, they'd be perfect if they didn't have Gortex. I agree with Warraghiyagey, "when you're on the trail, you aren't as in charge of whether your shoes get wet as you may think." How fast a boot dries might be more important than how well, it prevents getting wet.

My ranking of boot qualities:

1. Fit
2. Support.
3. Traction.
4. Durability.
5. Drying Speed / Breathing
6. Moisture Repelling.
7. Break in Time
8. Weight
...
999. Appearance

JAK
10-18-2007, 09:05
How light weight can you go and still get some ankle support?
Also, how about a soft leather? How would it compare to synthetic?

taildragger
10-18-2007, 09:09
I think that goretex is great stuff, if used in the right way. I'll keep using it for hunting gear. When hunting, weight is not a real big issue, 3 lbs goretex suit, or 180lbs of deer, the suits weight doesn't matter. Also, I'm not really moving, so in that case it truly is breathable in that I will not be sweating like a hog (as I would under plastic) while staying dry.

For hiking, the trend seems to be getting the lighter weight boots/shoes/runners and just replacing more often. To me this is still a strange idea, I usually like to have gear that lasts a long time, but I'll be giving it a try this winter, and maybe getting another pair of leather boots for hiking in cold weather and for use with crampons.

JAK
10-18-2007, 09:19
I like leather because you can dry it with a fire.
The stitching is a tricky area though.

refreeman
10-18-2007, 09:26
How light weight can you go and still get some ankle support?
Also, how about a soft leather? How would it compare to synthetic?

If you need ankle support you will need to wear boots. Trail runners don't have direct ankle support like boots do. However, the rigidity of a shoes sole, the pronation and supernation supports of a shoe's foot bed, a sole with excellent traction and a snug but not tight fit will minimize ankle rolling.

Find a boot with all these qualities and your ankles will love you! Weight is not as big of a deal as all the hype makes it seem. Ultra light weight footwear always sacrifices some level of quality and performance to achieve the lower weight.

Old Grouse
10-18-2007, 10:29
I'm really skeptical of the ankle-supporting qualities of boots. A new ice skater will put on a pair of thick socks and then tie on some Wal-Mart special skates. They flop all over and then quit trying because they find they have "weak ankles." Dedicated figure skaters traditionally wear boots one or two sizes smaller than their feet, together with very thin socks. The boots are quite rigid and your ankle couldn't bend if it wanted to - that's how they manage to survive those jumps. (Of course it does violence to their feet over the years, but hey....)

So how much ankle support does the average boot really give, and what are you giving up to get it?

SGT Rock
10-18-2007, 10:36
Worst ankle turn I have ever gotten was wearing boots. I've turned an ankle when wearing shoes too - but the flexibility I got from not wearing the boot allowed me to rapidly recover during the turn and I was able to walk those off. The one with the boot got me physical therapy.

Ankle support is overrated. If you need some support for an ankle because of previous injury, get an ankle brace for that ankle. Two ankle braces and a pair of trail runners probably weigh less than a pair of boots anyway.

All that said, if I bushwack or do trail maintenance then I do wear boots for the protective value they provide when getting hit by logs, wait-a-minute vines, rocks, holes, etc.

rafe
10-18-2007, 10:37
I'm really skeptical of the ankle-supporting qualities of boots.

I absolutely agree. The only boots I own that give serious ankle support are my Lange ski boots. One's ankle needs complete freedom of movement in order to walk, and especially to hike -- and especially a rocky, rough trail like the A.T.

I still own a couple of pairs of old-fashioned, stiff leather (Asolo) hiking boots. There's no serious ankle support there, no more than in my New Balance trail runners.

LIhikers
10-18-2007, 11:02
I use Vasque Clarion boots, which have Gortex, because they fit my foot so well. If they made them in a non-gortex version I'd buy them in a heart beat. Boots with Gortex get wet eventually from rain running down your legs, or walking through miles of puddles on the trail, or any number of other reasons. And once they do they take a verrrrrrrrrrrry long time to dry out. This past summer mine got wet half way through a 2 week hike and never did dry out until we got home. And from being wet for such a long time they developed this stink that could make a dead man gag, I had to soak them in a bucket of soappy water to get rid of the smell. Next time I need boots I plan to try on other makes and models that do NOT have any kind of waterproof membrane or material in their construction.

Shutterbug
10-18-2007, 11:41
I donít want to use trail runners because I want the ankle support but I was wondering if I should bother with gortex hiking boots or go with something more breathable? Since boots, gortex or not will get wet if its raining, would it be a better idea to go with something breathable for faster drying and for use in warmer weather?

I have a closet full of hiking boots including some of the most expensive. After trying several different kinds, my favorites are from Wal-Mart. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4840910

At $29.95 you can afford to buy a pair and try them out. If you don't like them, what have you lost? I own six or seven pairs and wear them six days a week.

My feet tend to sweat, so I wear two pairs of wool socks. The socks wick the moisture out of the boots.

I live in the Northwest so I often hike in mud and snow. As long as I don't allow moisture to enter the boots from the top, my feet stay dry.

One of the things I like best about the Bandy II boots is that the soles are a little softer than the higher priced hiking boots. I have found that my more expensive boots tend to slip when I step on wet, slippery rocks. These Wal-Mart boots have a lot better traction.

gold bond
10-18-2007, 14:09
Thanks for all the great info! I have always used Gortex boots and paid the price! My feet as well sweat alot and my boots do stay wet. I assumed that the Gortex was doing it's job and "pulling" the moisture away from my foot.After reading this thread though I do agree that my boots do tend to stay wet for awhile and getting up in the morning and putting on wet boots suck!I wear and love my Montrails. Any suggestions on a model of Montrail that would be suffuicient less the Gortex. Again, thanks you guys are great!

Mocs123
10-18-2007, 14:39
Montrail used to make a non Gore Tex version of the Torre but I am not sure if they still do.

gold bond
10-19-2007, 09:13
Thanks Mocs I'll look into it!

dessertrat
10-19-2007, 11:02
I won't tell you not to use hiking boots; they have some utility. But I doubt I will use them again in warm weather. The "ankle support" is very little, unless they are laced so tight that they interfere with your ankle movement. That causes other problems.

Not twisting your ankle depends more upon a well balanced sole on your shoe, and a good cup around your ankle on the insole/inner part of the shoe. That's what keeps your foot from starting to twist. Once your foot starts that (almost always outward) flop, a tightly laced boot over your ankle won't do much to help you, and may hurt you.

However, I disclaim all responsibility if you take my advice and then break your ankle!

taildragger
10-19-2007, 11:39
Boots when its damn cold or on snow and ice, shoes will be tried elsewhere when time permits (aka whenever I get off my butt and buy me a pair of shoes)

Dakota Dan
10-19-2007, 12:28
Man, I can tell its been awhile since I've gone boot shopping. Just left REI and was checking out the boot section for JR some to wear. Whats with all the "MADE IN CHINA" boots, don't want any and if you get the European made ones they cost a small fortune. I also went on REI online and they had some Montrail's on sale in JR's size 9.5. BUT...Made in China...guess thats why the sale price. Has anybody got suggestions on a Euro made boots for around $200 or less?

rafe
10-19-2007, 14:23
DD, 90% of what Americans wear these days comes from China. The rest comes from sweatshops in Malaysia, Phillipines, Latin America, etc. They used to make shoes in sweatshops in the USA (eg. Lowell, MA) but those sweatshops have all been converted to condos now.

If you really want European-made boots, check out Scarpa or Asolo. I beleive some REI-branded (leather) boots are made in Italy. I haven't worn leather boots (for hiking) in ages. New Balance trail runners for me. Occasionally Dunhams. I never look at the "Made in..." label. I simply assume it's China.

take-a-knee
10-19-2007, 16:10
When it is raining steady, 40 degrees, and the uphill trail you are walking on is under 4 inches of water, gore tex boots are the ticket. If it is any warmer, they suck, I've gotten three times as many blisters with goretex boots. Rock once suggested Seal Skin socks with trail runners when it is cold and wet, I have yet to try that.

whitefoot_hp
10-19-2007, 17:51
you are going to get five hundred conflicting opinions. I use gore tex Vasque Breeze and they have not let me down, winter or summer in georiga.

whitefoot_hp
10-19-2007, 17:52
Man, I can tell its been awhile since I've gone boot shopping. Just left REI and was checking out the boot section for JR some to wear. Whats with all the "MADE IN CHINA" boots, don't want any and if you get the European made ones they cost a small fortune. I also went on REI online and they had some Montrail's on sale in JR's size 9.5. BUT...Made in China...guess thats why the sale price. Has anybody got suggestions on a Euro made boots for around $200 or less?

its called globalization. :welcome


just be glad that you are on the good end of it. :banana


you know, Hitler dreamed of the rest of the world sweating for German comfort... are we any different?

Just a Hiker
10-19-2007, 17:57
removed post

rumbler
10-19-2007, 22:31
The thing I prefer about boots over trail runners is the thicker soles. The bottoms of my feet take a pounding when I hike, giving me far more problems than blisters or any other issue.

Would love to find a pair of trail runners that protect my feet like boots do, but have not come across a pair that fits the bill yet.

Gore-tex for snow.

bkrownd
10-20-2007, 02:35
If you really want European-made boots, check out Scarpa or Asolo. I beleive some REI-branded (leather) boots are made in Italy. I haven't worn leather boots (for hiking) in ages.

Alico in Italy made some really nice leather boots. Don't know if they're still in business tho. I bought three pairs while I could still get them.

Lyle
10-20-2007, 10:06
I used to own a pair of Vasque Sundowners (leather, goretex lined) boots that I loved. I had had goretex jackets in the past and wasn't impressed. I did feel that the goretex boot liner did work, and was the one application of goretex that I liked. As long as you did not step into water that topped the boot, your feet stayed reasonable dry wicking through the socks. Once you got them wet, however, they did take longer to dry out.

All that being said, I now wear runners or cross-trainers with my lighter pack, with no goretex. Maybe I'm just following the crowd, but I do find them comfortable for reasonable mileage.

joeyyyy
10-20-2007, 17:07
check out the north face Plasma XCR Boa http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tnf/gear.jsp?site=NA&model=AH4X&language=en
they are fast to put on and take off, with smart wools i never had a problem with too much sweat

Cosmic Crusader
10-20-2007, 19:42
Man, I can tell its been awhile since I've gone boot shopping. Just left REI and was checking out the boot section for JR some to wear. Whats with all the "MADE IN CHINA" boots, don't want any and if you get the European made ones they cost a small fortune. I also went on REI online and they had some Montrail's on sale in JR's size 9.5. BUT...Made in China...guess thats why the sale price. Has anybody got suggestions on a Euro made boots for around $200 or less?


La Sportiva Men's Trango Trek GTX

Good boot for general backpacking if you like gortex.

Personal favorite La Sportiva Makalu

and I have to disagree about the ankle support others have stated. I have always hiked in mountaineering boots and often am not looking at where I am putting my feet (yes I have fallen on my azz several times):eek:
but never come close to a twist.