Hiking Boots

14 Aug 2013 14:21 #58068 by TehStranger
Replied by TehStranger on topic Hiking Boots
Hi all, thought I'd add my experience regarding hiking boots.

I picked up a pair of Wolverine Hawken boots on special a while back and even though they're designed for hunting (apparently) they're my hiking boot of choice. I've got around 250kms on them and they still look fairly new. They're not the lightest boots around (1.4kg for the pair) but I've used them on various day and overnight hikes in the Drakensburg, as well as many hunting trips right across South Africa (though nowadays I only "shoot" through my camera's lens ;) ).

They've handled river crossings quite well and are water proof enough that I've never experienced wet socks despite my fair share of wet conditions. The grip on rocks when wet isn't ideal but not as bad some other boots I've tried.

Comfort wise they are excellent, I've never had sore feet (nor blisters or any of the other issues one may experience) despite hiking in them for days on end with a decent sized pack. The best part of the boots by far is the ICS gel insert that changes the comfort of the boot with 4 different settings (Firm, comfort, inner and outer).

If this set ever gets to the point beyond reasonable repair I won't have any issue with replacing them with the same pair. :thumbsup:

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15 Aug 2013 09:46 #58078 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Hiking Boots
my Halite's are very light and the new version is R 1800 (I paid R 1400 3 year ago)

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16 Aug 2013 17:50 #58100 by Fitness
Replied by Fitness on topic Hiking Boots
On the hunt from a new pair of hiking boots, currently using HiTec and I can't fault them for comfort but they are not so waterproof, did a hike this last weekend and by the end of fridaynmy feet were sloshing around, has anyone had a pair of Patagonia Nomads? They look really nice, my other option is to break my bank and buy a pair of LaSportiva Tibets, read all the write ups on the Tibets, but some input on the Patagonias would be great.

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19 Aug 2013 05:45 - 19 Aug 2013 05:48 #58102 by Josh of the Bushveld
Replied by Josh of the Bushveld on topic Hiking Boots
Cape Union Mart have a special on Merrell Women's Mattertal Echo Gtx Boot (yes I wear ladies sizes) for R 1200. Anyone have any comment about this boot? They didn't have my size at the store I went to, so couldn't try them on.
Last edit: 19 Aug 2013 05:48 by Josh of the Bushveld.

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19 Aug 2013 09:57 #58105 by Captain
Replied by Captain on topic Hiking Boots
Have you tried the Salomon Cosmic/Quest 4D GTX? Most comfortable boot I've ever owned :-)

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20 Aug 2013 06:57 - 20 Aug 2013 06:57 #58126 by Josh of the Bushveld
Replied by Josh of the Bushveld on topic Hiking Boots
CUM (Rosebank) also have Merrell Avian Light Mid WP Waterproof boots on sale for R999. I tried them on yesterday and walked around for a bit and they felt very comfortable. Anybody have any experience with these boots? With Merrell in general?
The boots have a Vibram sole, are rated as waterproof (but not Goretex), and have pretty good reviews online.
Last edit: 20 Aug 2013 06:57 by Josh of the Bushveld.

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20 Aug 2013 11:25 #58127 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Hiking Boots
I know someone who has their lighter hiking shoes who is really happy with them. I also noticed that they are very popular in Chamonix for summer hiking in the Alps.

PS. I look at the link you send and the label on the boot says gore-tex?

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21 Aug 2013 14:16 #58159 by kbresler
Replied by kbresler on topic Hiking Boots
It seems Patagonia Boots will be hitting our local market in force again soon. Pretty exciting...
I saw the intended range last week and looks really good, as is to be expected.

I hear the future for Montrail hiking boots is non existent and since being bought out by Columbia the future will only be focussed on trail running shoes. Terrible shame...

Some of the new Columbia boots are pretty good and seems nice but the price keeps me away.

LaSportiva Tibets are amazing boots. Worth every cent in my humble opinion.

Does anyone here ever hike with approach shoes instead of boots?

Kobus Bresler

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22 Aug 2013 19:05 #58208 by Smurfatefrog
Replied by Smurfatefrog on topic Hiking Boots

Has anyone tried the new Hi-Tec SpHike lightweight/'sport hiking' range? I'd be interested if they're decent and lightweight.
(I've tended to stay away from Hi-Tec in the past)

Scott Ramsay's review of them

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02 Sep 2013 10:48 #58331 by hasamatt
Replied by hasamatt on topic Hiking Boots
After roughly 8 months of research into purchasing hiking books, I finally settled on, fitted and purchased the 'Vajolet' by La Sportiva. I used to own a pair of Makalu's, however I was hopelessly to hasty in buying them back in 1999. I was like a groupy with stars in my eyes, and didn't bother paying close attention to the fit - I just wanted a hardcore boot. This immature decision cost me dearly... money wise, and constant discomfort thereafter. I tried in vain for years to get used to them, and every time I would put them on I would think "maybe this time they will be better". Even on shorter day hikes, I would come away cursing myself, and limping back to camp. In utter frustration a 2 or 3 years back, I walked past one of the rangers at Royal Natal, and handed him the boots (still in good condition) instructing him to give them to one of his team that really needed a good set of mountain boots. His mouth dropped and questioned my sanity when I did this. I hope that my mistake turns out to be blessing for someone in need of good boots.

Anyhow, this time around I was far more thorough. I had to admit that I had my heart set on the Tibets from the word go. I was relying on online reviews and reviews from people who own a pair. By all counts, the reviews pointed to them being "great boots". In my research I also investigated the Zanskar by Boreal. I have to admit that I had seen the Vajolet's online, but never paid them all that much attention - mainly due to a lack of user reviews. The picture of them on MMO is infact an older model that what is currently available on the shelves in places like Drifters in Sandton, and CUM at selected stores - the heel of the boot has a different styling (with what they call the "impact brake system); La Sportiva's latest trekking boot called the 'Pamir' has roughly the same tread, sole and heel as the Vajolet.

Since I live in Mpumalanga, I don't really get all that much time to head to Joburg but I managed to pop into Drifters while on business in Joburg recently. I was aiming at a budget of R2500 or near enough. I wanted a goretex full leather hiking boot. (And yes, I wanted a reputable name brand). I dropped into Drifters and Bryce, the shop assistant quizzed me on what I was looking for, where I was going to use them etc. He measured my foot, and to my amazement told me that my foot is in fact a UK 8 and not a UK 7 according to their scale. I typically wear a UK 7 sneaker or trainer and thus assumed I was a 7. That being said, he pushed a pair of Vajolet's in front of me and we started there. I was still angling for the tibets. I indulged him and was pleasantly surprised about with the sturdy, stiff and comfortable feel of the boots. I then went on to try the Tibets. As much as I wanted them to fit, alas the heel box was just too wide for my heel. Also, the lacing system on the Tibets didnt impress me all that much. I was crushed... there goes by budget. The shoe I had been obsessing over for months just didn't fit my foot! Sanity prevailed, and I moved on to Boreal's Zanskar. Now this is quite amazing, but the boot had a sock-like feel to it, instantly moulding to my foot, but it came with a price - far less stiff and more flexible - especially where the foot articulates at the ball of the foot. A good boot nonetheless (I would recommend that my wife get a pair of these boots for their instant sock-like fit). The Zanskar was the same price as the Vajolets. So I opted for what I judged to be the better boot based on the criteria of the type of leather (vajolet: full grained. Zanskar: Nubuck); Support - Vajolet felt more sturdy and stiff, with adequate articulation on the ball of by foot, and lastly a better looking aggressive tread pattern (last point is my opinion). Both boots have protective rands all around, but again from an aesthetic point of view, I preferred the rand on the Vajolet in comparison to the Zanskar.

So crunch time... I decided to not let the desire for a cheaper boot (the Tibets) overide the poor fit. I tried on the vajolets, and this time Bryce had slipped in a pair of 'Pedag - VIVA Outdoor' insoles (Cost: R260). WOW! Now the boots fitted even better! My foot was cushioned well in the arch and at the heel... I took one more walk around the shop, phoned my wife (Very important step) and said to Bryce confidently "I'll take 'em". He also had chosen a leather cleaning product, as well as a leather waterproofing product (by nikwax - costing R120 combined). I also needed two emergency blankets as well. I had made peace with the fact that I was waaay over budget.

To my complete surprise, when they rang the goods up, I had been given a substantial discount. The additional items (well over R300) had literally been thrown in for free. Bargain! I ended up paying R506 over my budget. I can live with that.

A week later, I have been wearing the boots every day. I have been taking brisk walks around the neighbourhood with my 3 year old son on my back in the kid carrier, and I have been wearing them to work. The leather is starting to crease nicely, and there are no hot spots or chaffing points on my feet. I also went to buy synthetic inner socks over the weekend, and they make a great difference in comparison to cotton socks. The synthetic inners don't get clammy thus helping to minimise hotspots.

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