Author Topic: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman  (Read 952 times)

John Galt incarnate!

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Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« on: April 23, 2020, 11:34:43 AM »
Greetings Mu$tachian$,

I want to buy SO some ankle-high hiking boots.

Most of the time she'll be walking on dirt roads and paths through the woods.

And a little bit of walking  on paved roads too.

I've read some reviews  but I'd rather rely on Mu$tachian$' recommendations.

I want to get her nice boots.

I don't care what they cost.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 07:43:53 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

ShastaFire

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2020, 11:49:36 AM »
As an avid hiker myself and given the terrain you mentioned, I would recommend just tennis shoes, or perhaps a low cut hiking shoe if you want something more robust.  Is there a particular reason for the focus on having ankle-high boots? 

Reasons for a lower cut shoe - they dry out more quickly (wet boots and socks can lead to blisters), are lighter weight (which means less leg fatigue) and enable someone to strengthen their feet and ankles naturally, which can lead to better balance.   

This is a prevalent approach in the hiking/backpacking community, but ymmv, of course. 

Low cut hiking shoes that I like:  Oboz Sawtooth II (non-waterproofed) and Salomon Ultra version.  Otherwise, I hike in brooks running shoes.

Dogastrophe

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2020, 11:51:02 AM »
My wife bought a pair of Oboz boots a year or so ago.  I've bamboozled lied to her on the conditions of a couple of short hikes but mainly she is on gravel paths and easy forest trails.  She finds the boots very comfortable.

I tend to stick to low cut hiking shoes for all conditions.  I prefer non-Gortex shoes as they dry faster and feet don't sweat much in them. 
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 11:53:57 AM by Dogastrophe »

better late

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2020, 12:21:21 PM »
ptf.
Hiking shoes are on my list

Malcat

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2020, 01:02:45 PM »
I would also recommend hiking shoes instead of boots. I have Keens and I only wear them in brutal Canadian winter conditions because my ankles need protection from the violence that is the air and ground. A decent pair of shoes with some hefty sole grips would be more than enough for what she's looking for and a hell of a lot more comfortable than full on boots.

We're big Salomon fans here, DH wears his goretex shoes all winter with gators instead of resorting to boots because he likes to stay nimble, which I totally get because my Keens really do slow me down.

ElleFiji

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2020, 01:12:06 PM »
You can't buy hiking boots without trying them on, can you?

soily

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2020, 01:14:30 PM »
+1 to hiking shoes. I prefer trail runners. Backpackers like to cite an old army study that states a pound on your foot is worth 5 on your back.

dot

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2020, 01:21:22 PM »
Altra Lone Peaks.
It's a trail running shoe, but is also the most popular footwear among Appalachian Trail through hikers, so they have street cred (trail cred?). They're lightweight, foot-shaped, and extremely comfortable. Also available in ankle height and goretex versions if you're into that kind of thing. I've been wearing them for years and they're my favorite trail shoe.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2020, 01:26:01 PM »
Is there a particular reason for the focus on having ankle-high boots? 




Yes.

Some sections  of the paths on my property are very narrow with boulders on each side.

I've been thinking of ankle-high boots to protect SO's ankles from being skinned if they contact  the boulders.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 01:29:48 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

Dogastrophe

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2020, 01:28:21 PM »
Quote from: Malkynn
We're big Salomon fans here, DH wears his goretex shoes all winter with gators instead of resorting to boots because he likes to stay nimble, which I totally get because my Keens really do slow me down.

I owned a pair of Salomon's trail runners for about 3 hours.  They felt good in the store but when I wore them around the house I quickly discovered that they put a lot of pressure on the top of my foot (they were 1/2 size large).  I've been on the lookout for Altra Lonepeaks but haven't found anyone local with them in stock.

Quote from: ElleFiji
You can't buy hiking boots without trying them on, can you?

+1 Footwear needs tried on to find something that fits well.  Many of the hiking boots / shoes I've come across don't fit me well - most are too narrow and or too shallow for my feet

Kris

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2020, 01:59:51 PM »
I really think its an individual thing. But I will echo others that shoes might be better than boots.

I had ankle-high boots for a while, and I found they really hurt my ankles after a couple of hours. Mostly because the ankle-height was rubbing and pushing against my leg at the ankle and causing bruising and pain. So much so that on the second day of a hiking trip, I was modifying my stride to avoid the sensitive parts. Not ideal.

I now have Keen hiking shoes, and I like the much better

NotJen

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2020, 02:17:38 PM »
Hiking shoes are a very personal thing.

I prefer ankle-high boots for hiking.  I hiked for a few years in low-cut Salomons (for all the reasons mentioned by previous posters), but I just didn't like them that much - felt like I could feel every rock underfoot, which fatigued my feet.  I switched to a Lowa Renegade Mid, which I enjoyed, but found to be too heavy once I started going on longer hikes (like 12+ miles).  Now I have the Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi which I currently enjoy wearing, and they definitely feel lighter.

We found out that my BF *cannot* wear waterproof boots.  His feet sweat profusely while hiking, and he ended up with blisters no matter what mitigation options he tried.  Breathable shoes have been a game changer.

I like the reviews at Outdoor Gear Lab : https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/

chaskavitch

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2020, 03:13:43 PM »
My only recommendation is to buy from a place with a liberal return policy. 

I got some boots from REI (maybe Asolos?) - my husband LOVED the male version, my SIL loved her boots that were the previous rev of the same style.  I got blisters on every single hike for 2 years, thinking "Oh, I just need to break them in a little more.  Oh, these socks were weird.  Oh, it was just a really long hike." and so on.  I returned them, got some different boots (Salomons, I think), and it was like a miracle. 

No matter how comfy they are in the store, you can NEVER be sure until you wear them a few times.  It totally depends on your feet.

Dee18

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2020, 04:24:58 PM »
I love Vasque Mantra 2.0.  How much do I love them?  I have already bought another pair to have when my current ones wear out.  They do not cover the ankles however.  They do have Vibram soles.  Some years ago I decided to try something besides Vasque.  I bought Oboz boots after the store clerk assured me that the soles were as slip resistant as Vibram.  The first day I wore them my feet went out from under me on a wet rock....and I broke my wrist (and had to have surgery with a titanium plate installed).  I know it's just anecdotal, but after the accident I realized the heel of the Oboz model I had was sort of undercut.  And I will only hike with Vibram soles....but where I live it rains a lot.  If you are on dry terrain, that may not matter.

mspym

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2020, 06:28:18 PM »
Another vote for trying them on whether it's boots or shoes. For example- I have wide, high, brick feet with narrow heels, my sister has the same size feet but her's are narrow. We can't wear the same shoes.

I have Keens hiking boots (love them) and Merrell hiking shoes (love them) but boy every pair of hiking sandals I have tried on have destroyed my feet no matter how long I try to break them in (Keens, merrell, chacos)

StarBright

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2020, 06:49:36 PM »
I've had a pair of Merrel Moabs for years and they have held up really well. We are weekend hikers in our family (No major back country trips that put significant mileage on them) and I think I'll get another several years out of them. I like Keen walking shoes as well.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 10:47:30 AM by StarBright »

ShastaFire

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2020, 09:27:27 PM »
Is there a particular reason for the focus on having ankle-high boots? 
Yes.

Some sections  of the paths on my property are very narrow with boulders on each side.

I've been thinking of ankle-high boots to protect SO's ankles from being skinned if they contact  the boulders.

I see, sounds like beautiful, slightly hazardous hiking :-) 

I would probably pair low cut hiking shoes with a pair of gaiters, which come up above the ankle, as @Malkynn mentioned earlier.  They are easy to slip on and off as needed, keep the dirt out of the shoes and protect the ankle area.  Your SO could just take them off when she is not in need of further protection. Tall socks can help too.

A thought - sometimes one version can't meet all the requirements.  If this is the case, perhaps buy two pairs of shoes: a pair of ankle boots and a pair of low cut; wear whichever best fits that day's hiking terrain and weather.

Lots of good comments in the thread, and boot/shoe fit really is personal.  If she can figure out a way to try on a bunch, that would probably be illuminating.

elaine amj

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2020, 12:13:30 AM »
I have had two pairs of Adidas Terrex hiking shoes and have liked them. They are lightweight, breathable and yet have gore-tex so are waterproof (I really enjoy my feet staying dry). Would have been happy to try other brands but both times got them on clearance so it worked out for me. The mid-rise ankle height works fine when there's only a bit of snow on the ground too. However, I don't think I've ever hiked in terrain where I ever worried about my ankles getting skinned so my 2 cents may not be worth much.

I also have some trail running shoes I really like. Very versatile and smaller so easier to travel with. That said, if I hiked more in rocky areas, I'd probably buy shoes with more protection in the soles. On my last trip to Colorado, I got pretty fed up of my feet feeling every rock on the trail!

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« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 12:19:07 AM by elaine amj »

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2020, 10:27:50 AM »
The weight of opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of  shoes  so she will try them first instead of ankle-high boots.

Thanks to all for your experienced input.


Lady SA

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2020, 01:48:15 PM »
another vote for hiking shoes! And each manufacturer uses a different foot model (solomon I believe has a kind of narrow foot model, others may have wider/taller/etc). So when you find a brand that fits your feet, that's a winner! My feet tend to like Solomon shoes, so when my Solomon hiking shoes wear out I just get another pair and I haven't had any issues.

One thing that I'm trying to find more of is wider toe-box shoes, especially for walking. Supposedly it's good for your feet, and I have noticed a positive difference after wearing wider toe-box shoes as my office shoe for the last few months. Solomon doesn't really have that feature, so when my current hiking shoes wear out I may be venturing out into the great unknown and trying to find a different foot model manufacturer.

lentil

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2020, 02:03:51 PM »
@Lady SA - Altra trail runners have pretty wide toe boxes, and are nice & light besides. I have extra-wide toes, and Altra is the best shoe I've found so far for hiking & all-purpose wear. One downside of Altras is that they wear out relatively quickly. Lots of people also recommend Keens for wide feet (too narrow for me across the toes, and not narrow enough at the heel, so YMMV!).

big_owl

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2020, 03:35:10 PM »
I don't really have an opinion on shoes VS boots... Well I guess I do, I would choose boots just because nowadays you can get really lightweight boots which are more flexible than shoes and can be used for more substantial outings like mountain hiking or backpacking....

But whatever you get, get gore-tex or whatever manufacturer's equivalent they're selling.  Nothing is worse than cold wet feet when hiking and modern waterproof membranes are awesome.   

I do a fair bit of backpacking a real mountain climbing, I've settled on Asolo hikers for day to day type stuff. I also love LA Sportiva for mountain climbing boots and even hiking shoes.  But I have narrow feet which favors the French brand. YMMV.

When I buy I just find whatever I think I want and order from zappos. I order my presumed size and then up and down one half size.  Zappos has free return shipping so it's easy to pick what you want and send the rest back.

Aegishjalmur

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2020, 06:57:57 PM »
The best shoe or boot for hiking is the one she can wear :) The one piece I would add is if you're in an area with a lot of snakes, she may want to invest in snake gaitors(These also would protect from scrapes if hiking in shorts through brambles, ect).

herbgeek

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2020, 04:54:10 AM »
I bought LL Bean low cut hiking shoes, because they were the only option I could find that had a wide feet version.  Most other manufacturers only came in the "B" width, but LL Bean had ones that were a "D" width.  Comfortable from day one, no break in needed. 

Janie

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2020, 07:00:02 AM »
@Lady SA - Altra trail runners have pretty wide toe boxes, and are nice & light besides. I have extra-wide toes, and Altra is the best shoe I've found so far for hiking & all-purpose wear. One downside of Altras is that they wear out relatively quickly. Lots of people also recommend Keens for wide feet (too narrow for me across the toes, and not narrow enough at the heel, so YMMV!).

Agree with the suggestion of Altras. Also check out Topo Athletic. Also agree with the previous poster about avoiding waterproof generally https://andrewskurka.com/why-waterproof-shoes-will-not-keep-your-feet-dry/

mountain mustache

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2020, 08:04:48 AM »
I have always hiked in trail runners, and I've hiked a lot of big, steep and rocky mountain trails and never had a problem. I love the Hoka Speedgoat shoes, but I specifically like a lot of cushion, these shoes have honestly changed my life.  I use small gaiters over them to keep little rocks out, and knee high gaiters in the winter to *attempt* to keep the snow out. Not everyone likes the low ankle, but I find I get a lot less blisters that way, and gaiters pretty much take care of the debris problem. Ankle rolling is always a concern, but I never found ankle high hiking boots to help me much with that anyway, because I'm just really clumsy.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Need Advice On Hiking Boots For A Woman
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2020, 08:08:54 PM »
The best shoe or boot for hiking is the one she can wear :) The one piece I would add is if you're in an area with a lot of snakes, she may want to invest in snake gaitors(These also would protect from scrapes if hiking in shorts through brambles, ect).

I see rattlesnakes on my property 2-3X per year.

Usually in the spring and summer.