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View Full Version : good internet source, who has expert advice, to buy AT hiking shoes ????



Crazy_Al
01-03-2009, 11:19
Who is a good internet source, who has expert advice, to buy AT hiking shoes ????

bullseye
01-03-2009, 11:27
Unless you know your size in a specific brand (I buy New Balance from Zappos) do yourself a favor and find an outfitter with a staff experienced in fitting boots. Your feet will thank you.

garlic08
01-03-2009, 11:29
You'll probably need to figure out for yourself what shoe works for you. They're all so different, as are our feet. Some shoes are torture, some feel like bedroom slippers. For me it took five different pairs and 2000 miles along the PCT to finally figure out that New Balance 8XX series in the EE width is my perfect shoe, and has been for five years. My hiking partner got lucky with his first pair (same shoe, D width).

My partner also has a wise saying, that you can hike 15 miles in almost anything. After 15 miles, it really starts to make a difference. You can't walk up and down a fancy ramp in REI and know you have the right shoe. It'll be trial and error on many long days. Good luck.

garlic08
01-03-2009, 11:31
...do yourself a favor and find an outfitter with a staff experienced in fitting boots. Your feet will thank you.

Yes, absolutely. I heard a hiker on the AT this year rave about an outfitter who customized some off-the-shelf Superfeet insoles for him and solved a lifetime of painful walking.

Wise Old Owl
01-03-2009, 11:35
AL What you are asking for is at a local Outfitter, A one on one with a boot salesman, .... I honestly do not think that is the best way, but try a few stores. EMS, Cabellas, REI, not Dick Sporting Goods. If we knew your town & state others might be able to suggest better places.

KG4FAM
01-03-2009, 11:45
AL What you are asking for is at a local Outfitter, A one on one with a boot salesman, .... I honestly do not think that is the best way, but try a few stores. EMS, Cabellas, REI, not Dick Sporting Goods. If we knew your town & state others might be able to suggest better places.The smaller the store the better. Small local outfitters seem to know what they are doing. I used to sell shoes at JCPenney in high school and we didn't know jack about them. People would walk in wanting to know what was a good shoe for running or walking and we would just hand them a popular shoe that had the highest price that they looked like they could afford so we could get as much commission as possible. We had no idea was a good shoe looked like. A good shoe to us was one with a high price tag. It wasn't that we didn't care about what made a good shoe, it was just the extent of our training was how to work the cash register.

Blissful
01-03-2009, 16:19
A running shop or a shop like New Balance is also a good place for Trail Runners.

Pickleodeon
01-05-2009, 11:36
REI has a great return policy, you can wear the shoes for a couple miles, and if they rip your feet apart, take em back. I cleaned them off a little and I wouldnt wear them through miles of mud and then take them back.

Tagless
01-05-2009, 12:00
In support of the good advice given above - shoe fitting will go better on-site with an experienced outfitter.

Two years ago an employee at an Atlanta REI worked with me very patiently and at length as I tried at least ten different hiking/trail shoes on. He knew was he was doing and offered great advice. I finally selected in on Montrail Hard Rocks trail runners, a shoe that I continue to use today. Accomplishing the same trial and error through mail order would have been very frustrating.

Once I knew what would work for me, I could have saved a few bucks purchasing these on-line. I have no problem, however, paying a few extra bucks - supporting an outfitting store that devotes this level of customer assistance.

Tinker
01-05-2009, 12:23
Look for a place that has an inclined board which you can stand on to see if your toes hit the front of the shoes/boots. If they don't have one, lace on the most comfortable pair you can find (forget about size - there's virtually no standardization - try on what the Brannock device says is the size you should take, see how they feel, and if they are very irritating anywhere on your foot, the model probably isn't right for you. If there's only one spot, try the next size up or try a different width. Make sure you're wearing the socks you'll be hiking with.
Lace the chosen shoes tightly, and hit the inclined board, or kick a wall to see if the shoes hold your feet securely. Many people hit the trail with shoes that feel like slippers because they don't lace them tightly enough, and end up with fit problems when the rough terrain hits.
Lastly, generally, if the shoe's shape doesn't bear any resemblance to your foot, it probably (not definitely, but probably) isn't "the one".
Oftentimes, people shop for footwear by features or recommendations from others. You sometimes have to throw all that information out the window to get what's right for you.
Happy hunting :).