Author Topic: Boots recommendation - can't believe I'm having to do this so soon.  (Read 2651 times)

tetheredgoat

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I'm looking for some recommendations for boots. I am currently using some Arc'Teryx Acrux TR GTX boots, which I bought in July. I really like them, but the side has just split and now they're not waterproof. I will take this up with the supplier, but in the meantime I need a recommendation as I'm not going to buy the Arc'Teryx again.


I realise that the first question is what I use them for. I live in Snowdonia and walk at least a few miles every day. It's wet here so I need a boot that is entirely waterproof. Most walking is on slate or earth paths but there is a bit of tarmac too. There's also some scrambling on rock, but I won't be climbing in them. I can be out all day but distances aren't huge, maybe 10-12 miles, there's a lot of up and down. I don't climb up mountains in the winter so don't need to attach crampons. I had a pair of Scarpa Terra before for years and they were super comfortable but not very grippy. Ideally I don't want something that's going to take a season to break in.


I am happy to pay more if I can have something that lasts a few years. Any obvious brands you would recommend as a starting point? Rest of my kit is a mix of ArcTeryx, Haglofs and Berghaus.


Simon

sussamb

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I have a pair of Salomon Quest 4D boots that are now 2 years old and still waterproof, plus a pair of leather Meindl Bhutans.  If you like fabric boots try the Salomon ones.
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tetheredgoat

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Thanks for replying


Of those the Meindl Bhutan's look preferable. What's the grip like? Just a bit worried they might be a bit inflexible.


Simon

gunwharfman

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I buy Berghaus Superlights because they are and I'm confident they are designed specifically for my feet! They are waterproof, well at least the three pairs I have bought have all stayed waterproof for 2 years and with one pair, in particular, a bit more. They serve as my colder and wetter months boots, I know I may only be in such an area as yours for only a day or two but they will easily cope with the landscape you describe, except they are not good on slippery surfaces. I know this so I'm always careful. And they are cheap, I tend to find that I always pay less than 100, I just look around on the internet and I've always been lucky.

I've been very unlucky with 'fabric' boots, all of mine have leaked. I have a pair of Salomon Ulta X's at the moment and so far not a problem, that's because I've only worn them three times so far, in the dry.

I think the point I am trying to make is that you pay your money and takes your chances. I've found my boot of choice so will stick with them.

sussamb

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@tetheredgoat

Grips fine, they aren't as flexible as my Salomons but they aren't rigid either.
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daisie678

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I recently bought Haglofs Duality it comes with dual soles and each sole has a different purpose it's so comfortable for city walked and hiking in tough conditions.

kinkyboots

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Not surprisingly my thoughts are slightly different. What possessed you to choose an Arc'Teryx boot because they're not exactly well known for their boots are they? They are far better known for their clothing range and their marketing department is highly skilled at fleecing gullible customers with more money than sense into paying extortionate prices for the Arc'Teryx "brand" name.   

If your main priority is to have waterproof boots which will stay waterproof don't buy fabric boots. If you want boots which will last more than 6 months to 2 years and want boots which can be resoled if and when required don't buy fabric boots.

My advice would be for you to buy full leather boots which will remain waterproof even when the waterproof liners have failed (and they all do) provided they are regularly cleaned and maintained they should last 5+ years and combine these with the use of good quality Gore-Tex or eVent walking gaiters in wet conditions. The price for this longevity is the added weight due to the better quality, longer lasting materials used in their manufacture.

Personally unless you want to be continually going back to the retailer seeking replacements I would avoid Salomon boots at all costs as they have an atrocious record for leaking after a very short period of time. Perhaps sussamb's boots are the exception to the rule but you will find many tales of woe regarding leaking Solomon boots on every walking related forum you visit.

I would also be very cautious about buying Meindl these days without doing a great deal of research for recent independant reviews. From what I've seen Meindl are not the bombproof option they were not that long ago. I believe they have slightly changed the sole composition/manufacture recently and are developing a reputation for the heels/soles being very fast wearing.

I would suggest that you consider adding the following Altberg boots to your shortlist of possible options

2-3 Season Boots
Altberg Fremington Men's 1412g RRP 184.99 (standard last with 5 width fittings) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/5-width-fitting-boots/fremington-men
Altberg Malham Men's 1344g RRP 189.99 (A-Forme last with 1 medium width fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/aforme-boots13/malham

3 Season Boots
Altberg Tethera Men's 1472g RRP 229.99 (standard last with 5 width fittings) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/5-width-fitting-boots/tethera-men
Altberg Nordkapp Unisex 1460g RRP 234.99 (A-Forme last with 1 medium width fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/aforme-boots13/nordkapp

Altberg's standard last is available in 5 width fittings from Extra Narrow to Extra Wide. If the model of a boot made on the standard last doesn't quite fit or suit your particular foot shape, width and volume it's a fairly safe be that a boot made on the A-Forme or G-Fit lasts will. All Altberg boots can be resoled if and when the need arises wheras most fabric/leather combination boots cannot be resoled due to the way they are constructed.

The cheapest place to buy Altberg boots online is usually Taunton Leisure https://www.tauntonleisure.com/altberg/boots although I would strongly recommend that you should visit a retailer to get properly measured and try before you buy. You can find your nearest stockists here https://www.altberg.co.uk/stockists

Given your location The Outdoor Shop, High Street, Llanberis, LL55 4SU may be worth a visit when Covid restrictions are lifted. They should at least be able to measure your feet using Altberg's own measuring system although not being an Altberg Premier Retailer they may not have a wide range of Altberg boots for you to try on. If that's the case they may be able to order specific models and sizes of Altberg boots in for you to try or you will unfortunately have to travel further afield.

https://www.altberg.co.uk/stockists/id/1/the-outdoor-shopbr-llanberis/



watershed

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Not surprisingly my thoughts are slightly different. What possessed you to choose an Arc'Teryx boot because they're not exactly well known for their boots are they? They are far better known for their clothing range and their marketing department is highly skilled at fleecing gullible customers with more money than sense into paying extortionate prices for the Arc'Teryx "brand" name.   

If your main priority is to have waterproof boots which will stay waterproof don't buy fabric boots. If you want boots which will last more than 6 months to 2 years and want boots which can be resoled if and when required don't buy fabric boots.

My advice would be for you to buy full leather boots which will remain waterproof even when the waterproof liners have failed (and they all do) provided they are regularly cleaned and maintained they should last 5+ years and combine these with the use of good quality Gore-Tex or eVent walking gaiters in wet conditions. The price for this longevity is the added weight due to the better quality, longer lasting materials used in their manufacture.

Personally unless you want to be continually going back to the retailer seeking replacements I would avoid Salomon boots at all costs as they have an atrocious record for leaking after a very short period of time. Perhaps sussamb's boots are the exception to the rule but you will find many tales of woe regarding leaking Solomon boots on every walking related forum you visit.

I would also be very cautious about buying Meindl these days without doing a great deal of research for recent independant reviews. From what I've seen Meindl are not the bombproof option they were not that long ago. I believe they have slightly changed the sole composition/manufacture recently and are developing a reputation for the heels/soles being very fast wearing.

I would suggest that you consider adding the following Altberg boots to your shortlist of possible options

2-3 Season Boots
Altberg Fremington Men's 1412g RRP 184.99 (standard last with 5 width fittings) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/5-width-fitting-boots/fremington-men
Altberg Malham Men's 1344g RRP 189.99 (A-Forme last with 1 medium width fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/aforme-boots13/malham

3 Season Boots
Altberg Tethera Men's 1472g RRP 229.99 (standard last with 5 width fittings) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/5-width-fitting-boots/tethera-men
Altberg Nordkapp Unisex 1460g RRP 234.99 (A-Forme last with 1 medium width fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/aforme-boots13/nordkapp

Altberg's standard last is available in 5 width fittings from Extra Narrow to Extra Wide. If the model of a boot made on the standard last doesn't quite fit or suit your particular foot shape, width and volume it's a fairly safe be that a boot made on the A-Forme or G-Fit lasts will. All Altberg boots can be resoled if and when the need arises wheras most fabric/leather combination boots cannot be resoled due to the way they are constructed.

The cheapest place to buy Altberg boots online is usually Taunton Leisure https://www.tauntonleisure.com/altberg/boots although I would strongly recommend that you should visit a retailer to get properly measured and try before you buy. You can find your nearest stockists here https://www.altberg.co.uk/stockists

Given your location The Outdoor Shop, High Street, Llanberis, LL55 4SU may be worth a visit when Covid restrictions are lifted. They should at least be able to measure your feet using Altberg's own measuring system although not being an Altberg Premier Retailer they may not have a wide range of Altberg boots for you to try on. If that's the case they may be able to order specific models and sizes of Altberg boots in for you to try or you will unfortunately have to travel further afield.

https://www.altberg.co.uk/stockists/id/1/the-outdoor-shopbr-llanberis/


Wow Kinkyboots I didn't know they still made boots as heavy as that anymore!
It must be the overkill design of having a Gortex liner in boots that are "waterproof without it". They clearly don't need it so it just adds unnecessary weight. I hate over engineering, it shows a lack of confidence in their product.
Thethergoat I did find a pair of boots that are also designed for the wet but they do weigh slightly more:)



richardh1905

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I've had a couple of pairs of Berghaus boots within the last 5 years - eyelet fell off the first pair before I used them in anger, so took them back for a refund. Bought another pair a couple of years later - leather split after a year.
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kinkyboots

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Wow Kinkyboots I didn't know they still made boots as heavy as that anymore!
It must be the overkill design of having a Gortex liner in boots that are "waterproof without it". They clearly don't need it so it just adds unnecessary weight. I hate over engineering, it shows a lack of confidence in their product.

We've had this discussion before http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=41446.0 and to avoid any confusion the weights I quoted for the Altberg boots are per pair in a UK Size 9. By today's standards they are not heavy for what they are.  ;)

I think we all know that Gore-Tex or similar waterproof liners are very rarely actually needed in full leather boots as the full thickness of the leather is very rarely if ever fully soaked through provided the boot has been well maintained. I think the trend started with Gore-Tex paying certain manufacturers to use their product in their boots and refusing to supply the smaller manufacturers at all. This ultimately led to the proliferation of the use of alternative waterproof liners by the smaller manufacturers and before you know it most marketing departments were using it as a major selling point and putting it in almost all boots regardless of what the users actually wanted.

Obviously a Gore-Tex or similar waterproof liner is essential in fabric boots otherwise the boots would be totally useless.

Very few manufacuturers now offer full leather boots without the inclusion of some type of waterproof liner in them.

WhitstableDave

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Always a fascinating subject and one on which views vary considerably.

If water doesn't pass through a leather upper that has been well maintained, then won't sweat be trapped inside the boot?

If leather boots really are extremely waterproof, then what happens when water does get in - perhaps through the top opening? On soggy moors, it's entirely possible for the whole foot to be submerged without warning, or water can work its way down a sock and into the boot. How long does a leather boot that's been soaked inside take to dry out - either while still walking or camping or back at home?

I certainly believe that boots have their place - such as when walking on snow-covered hills - simply to avoid having freezing feet. But in the great majority of cases, I'd much prefer footwear that's light, flexible, grippy, cool and that dries quickly. My thinking is that having wet feet will occasionally be inevitable (whatever footwear is chosen) and what really matters is that my feet dry quickly.

sussamb

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I'd rather occasionally have wet feet if per chance a foot is submerged in water rather than accept wet feet more often on the basis the footwear will dry more quickly. Even if a boot is soaked on the inside a quick sock replacement generally gets your feet dry and warm again. I also wear gaiters and find with those I hardly ever get wet feet even if occasionally they are fully submerged, the trick is to move quickly so water doesn't have time to get up under the gaiter and then down into the boot  O0
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WhitstableDave

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Talking about the weight of footwear...

I believe there's an old adage credited to Sir Edmund Hillary, which has been verified by studies, that says: "...one pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back".

The leather boots mentioned above tend to weigh around one whole pound more each boot than the last trail shoes I bought. So, as I understand it, wearing those boots rather than the trail shoes would be the equivalent (in terms of fatigue) to adding ten pounds of weight to my backpack. Just a thought...  ;)

richardh1905

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Very few manufacuturers now offer full leather boots without the inclusion of some type of waterproof liner in them.


Probably cheaper to use a fraction of a square metre of mass produced waterproof fabric than to line the boots with fine leather.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

kinkyboots

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If water doesn't pass through a leather upper that has been well maintained, then won't sweat be trapped inside the boot?
No different to a fabric boot? Leather is breathable to a certain extent with or without a waterproof liner. Breathability reduces if water no longer beads off the outer surface and the outer starts to hold water regardless of whether it's a fabric or a leather boot.

How long does a leather boot that's been soaked inside take to dry out - either while still walking or camping or back at home?
Assuming the boot has a waterproof liner drying time varies with the ambient temperature and level of airflow in my experience to be fully dry usually takes somewhere between 3 and 5 days. Drying time will be considerably quicker for a leather boot with no waterproof liner which is one reason the Altberg Defender military boot has no waterproof liner - it usually needs to be dry and ready to wear the next day.

But in the great majority of cases, I'd much prefer footwear that's light, flexible, grippy, cool and that dries quickly.
The one thing missing from your description is support. Adequate ankle support is something lacking in most trail shoes and whilst trail shoes may suit you they may not suit the vast majority of walkers particularly on rougher terrain. 

On soggy moors, it's entirely possible for the whole foot to be submerged without warning, or water can work its way down a sock and into the boot.
As sussamb points out that's what walking gaiters are for although I will concede that unexpected accidents can and do occasionally happen.

As you suggest it's horses for courses and everyone's requirements, needs and choices are different. What suits one person will almost certainly not suit another and no one choice will suit everyone. Weight is a subjective issue as what feels heavy to one person is light to another particularly if they've never known any different. Weight has only been a serious consideration to some people since the gram counters pre-occupation with it came on the scene.

The bottom line is that whatever footwear you end up choosing it's always a compromise.  ;)