View Full Version : Lightweight Boots

08-16-2004, 06:34
OK, I know this question has been asked alot, and I have done a search for various postings on it, but I thought I'd ask again since there's always new stuff coming out-

I'm trying to compile a short list of lightweight boots, gore-tex, that can handle a 35lb. load. I'm not a UL'er yet, but am trying to cut weight. I know when it comes to boots fit is paramount, but I'd at least like to get some good reviews from you guys so I have someplace to start. The only 2 I have on the list so far are the Nike Tallac and the Asolo FSN 95.

I'm looking for BOOTS, not trail runners. I am a trail runner, and I want boots for BPing- with 35lb loads, I need the extra ankle support.

Thanks for taking the time!

Uncle Wayne
08-16-2004, 07:48
They are not gore tex, but I've had very good luck with Hi Tek boots. The pair I'm using now are Nova Lites. Here's a link to the Campmor page.

I don't think I'll ever buy another pair of boots with gore tex lining. Once they get wet / soaked they are heavy and take forever to dry out. The Hi Tek boots will get just as soaked but dry out while you're wearing them, something I've never been able to do with gore tex boots. They are very comfortable and provide adequate ankle support for me. My pack usually weighs 30 to 33 pounds. Good luck with your search.

08-16-2004, 09:02
Limmer makes an ultralight for a couple hundred--I spoke with "Seeker" a thru-hiker about a week ago who is on his third pair for his hike--he is probably in the 100 mile wilderness now--his first pair lasted him til Kent and his second pair had problems they replaced free of charge. He seemed happy with them, clearly they are no where near as durable as the other Limmers, but are well-constructed, non-goretex and reasonably water-proof.

08-16-2004, 11:10
Just finished my first bp with the Vasque Breeze (not GoreTex) and I'm pretty enthused. But this is the first time I've backpacked with anything else other than medium to heavy leather boots -- so you need to read my enthusiasm with that in mind. Also, my pack was less than 25lbs total at the start and was real close to 20 at the end. Temps were in the 90s and humidity near single digit (this is, afterall, the Northern Rockies!).

The trail condition was OK with lots of rocks and finely powdered dirt. Elevation gain was about 2300' in four miles so there was lots of opportunity to test ankle support/stability and 'stickyness' going up and down on the rocks and gravel.

The boots are great! Worn with a liner sock and Smartwool hikers they were extremely comfortable, cool and dry. The cool and dry was what I was really looking for, having had way too much trouble with sweat and blisters the last couple times out. No problems this time. I slipped/rolled on the loose gravel many times and the boots always braced my ankles seemingly as well as my heavy boots which are double the Breeze's 40oz/pr. Traction/stickyness was as good or better than anything else I've worn (medium Vasque/heavy Scarpa/assorted everyday boots like HiTecs).

Earlier local walks showed the boots are from wet proof. The mesh on the uppers easily let in moisture from rain or wet grass. But they just as easily dry out. Similarly, they let in dirt. The powdered dirt from last week's trail not only came through the uppers' mesh but through the two pairs of socks as well. My feet had a nice Breeze-like dirt tatoo at the end of the day. As I said, this was finely powdered stuff. I never knew this was happening so it wasn't a comfort issue.

Bottom line -- I'm really happy with this first, light-weight boot experience and I won't be using anything but the Vasque Breeze for three-season outings for a long time.


08-25-2004, 19:50
L.L. Bean makes great boots, & their "day hiker" can handle 35 lbs (though admitedly I prefer full leathers for backpacking) w/o a problem. They require 0 break-in time & are a steal @ $80. I consider them equivalent to the $110 range of Vasques & Merrills.......

09-01-2004, 07:33
Check out the Montrail stratos xcr on montrail's website in the fusion category, they may be just what you're looking for. I just purchased a pr from Eastern Mtn Sports, not on their website yet, but in their stores. Light (2lb 8oz a pr, men's 9 1/2) very breathable and waterproof, surprisingly stiff torsionally, fairly well cushioned (given their weight), traction on dry was very good, haven't tested on wet yet. As a fellow runner, you may appreciate their "running shoe" type fit. They are also an understated grey and black as opposed to the air tallacs bumblebee cosmetics.

Rain Man
09-01-2004, 10:44
I went from ancient, wonderful, heavy, full-leather Vasque (27 years old) to modern Lowa Renegades, which feel like light tennis shoes by comparison. I love the feel, however, they lack the sole and ankle support of my old Vasques, sob. But they surely are comfortable.

Also, as Uncle Wayne mentioned, I too will not get Gor-Tex again.

Rain Man


09-01-2004, 21:09
LL Bean also makes something called the "Ridge Runner Hiker", which looks to be a hybrid like the Montrail Stratos. I loved my old LL Bean Knife Edges, so these should be worth a look. On caveat: I'm not sure of the weight; I called LL Bean and they said "4 lbs for a size 11", but that can't possibly be correct...

Also saw an EMS pair called "Twin Mountain Boot", at 2 lbs 4 oz...might be worth a look. I hear EMS also carries the Stratos in their stores now, so I'll probably go check both of those out.