Author Topic: Boots recommendation - can't believe I'm having to do this so soon.  (Read 2652 times)

pdstsp

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The horses for courses outlook is spot on in my opinion.  I suffer with achilles issues and have been advised to wear boots for most of my walking.  I use Salomon 4d for local stuff, I find them lightweight, exceptionally comfortable and, so far (eight months), waterproof.  However, when I go to the hills I prefer my Bhutans - personal preference.  And I know many people love their trail shoes, but I have turned my ankle on a few occasions and suspect would have resulted in a sprain without the support of boots.  Maybe I'm just clumsy.  I don't suffer with overheating feet in boots, and I don't really notice the weight over my usual walking distances. 

WhitstableDave

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...
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. 
...

Yes, ankle support is often mentioned in walking magazines and this forum. But whether it's important to the "vast majority of walkers" might be a matter of debate.

I frequently feel that there's an assumption by many that the activity of walking takes place primarily on the rougher terrain you talk about, where rocky paths wind their way up and down barren hills. While care is always needed everywhere, I think it's worth reminding some that a great many people enjoy walking in less rocky, barren areas - for example, through woods and across farmland and chalky downs - and where it's rarely icy and almost never snows. Who knows? Perhaps the vast majority of walkers in the UK actually do most of their walking in places where ankle support isn't such a priority?

I totally agree that we all have our own requirements. Few here talk about wanting to move quickly - indeed, some have come close to reprimanding me for liking to go at a brisk pace. Again, assumptions are being made. Boots are not conducive to moving quickly, and allow for minimal or no 'feel' for the ground below. Some would argue that trail shoes provide a tactile connection with the ground that boots lack, and are therefore safer in certain circumstances.

While I'm here, I must take issue with your claim that weight is subjective. Of course some will cope with carrying an extra pound of weight on each foot better than others, but everyone - without exception - will be able to walk further and more quickly when carrying less weight.

kinkyboots

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While I'm here, I must take issue with your claim that weight is subjective. Of course some will cope with carrying an extra pound of weight on each foot better than others, but everyone - without exception - will be able to walk further and more quickly when carrying less weight.

No arguments with that statement although perhaps I need to remind you that apart from the limited few for the vast majority of people walking is a pleasurable passtime. It is most definitely not a race or a challenge where increasing speed and walking further and faster is even considered. What matters most is completing the walk at a comfortable pace, safely and most importantly without injury.  ;)

tetheredgoat

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Wow this thread certainly took off. I'm new here but I'm not new to forums and I'm well aware that there is usually one more answer than the number of people in the room.


@kinkyboots - Thanks for the full reply. To answer your first question, I bought Arc'teryx because I bought a jacket from them a few years ago to handle the wet weather up here and it remains one of the best things I own. I also have a mid-layer from then which is also excellent. It's hard to make choices, especially in the current climate, so we rely on online reviews and recommendations as best we can.


I am leaning towards a leather boot. I had a pair of simple Scarpa Terra's for a few years before and whilst they eventually leaked, they lasted a good while and were cheap to start with. I also think that weight is important. But it's hard to know how much difference makes a real difference. The Acrux's are quite light - they are 1190g in a size 10, so 200-300g lighter than the Altbergs. Am I actually going to notice that?


I had been looking at the Meindl Bhutan's but they're heavier again, perhaps 1600g for the pair. Maybe the Berghaus hillmaster's are a reasonable compromise (on price and weight) - how would you rate these against the Altberg's as price is similar?


Finally I should say, in case it changes anything, I don't like to wear thick socks with any boot (hot feet). I do wear gaiters when heading across country and it is not uncommon around here to step off a rock and lose half of your leg in mud.


Thanks for all the replies.. still trying to decide. Need to do something soon though as no longer waterproof and have cleaned the Arcteryx ready to send them back.





shortwalker

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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.
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.
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. 
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.  ;)


So in this post you except that there are other options. Yet in your first post on this subject you said  "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."
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richardh1905

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


I know that we all like to champion our favourite footwear (or whatever) on the forum, but bear in mind that tetheredgoat lives in Snowdonia, not Kent, and with all respect the terrain is rather more challenging there, even if tetheredgoat does not go fellwalking in winter conditions.
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richardh1905

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I had been looking at the Meindl Bhutan's but they're heavier again, perhaps 1600g for the pair. Maybe the Berghaus hillmaster's are a reasonable compromise (on price and weight) - how would you rate these against the Altberg's as price is similar?


I had a pair of Hillmasters and the leather on one of them appeared to be sub-standard - the leather developed some deep cracks and the side of the boot split open after a year of use. Strangely, the other boot was OK. I wouldn't buy them again.


PS  - welcome to the forum. I lived in Snowdonia for 17 years, loved it.
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WhitstableDave

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No arguments with that statement although perhaps I need to remind you that apart from the limited few for the vast majority of people walking is a pleasurable passtime. It is most definitely not a race or a challenge where increasing speed and walking further and faster is even considered. What matters most is completing the walk at a comfortable pace, safely and most importantly without injury.  ;)
Once again I'll have to comment on your assumptions...

You appear to suggest that treating walking as a challenge, a sport, or exercise beyond one's comfort zone can't be classed as pleasurable. I strongly disagree!

I only began walking as a combined leisure and fitness activity less than 5 years ago. I still remember clearly the huge elation I felt when I arrived home after my first 20 mile walk - with aching legs and blisters. Runners' high is a real thing and walkers' high is just as real; I've always felt fantastic after going further or faster than I've ever done before. And why not?

You claim that walking is: "...definitely not a race or a challenge...". But as it happens, the first organisation I joined and the first forum to which I contributed, was the LDWA. I'm sure some will know that the Long Distance Walkers' Association is very much all about racing and challenges! In fact, it wasn't until I started subscribing to Country Walking Magazine that I realised that walking 1000 miles in a year was considered a challenge by many.

Unlike some, I believe that country walking has a lot in common with trail running. But whereas runners seem to readily accept that regular training and pushing their distance and speed makes them able to run further and faster without actually working any harder, most walkers seem to me to ignore or even deny that possibility. That is, of course, entirely and properly up to them - just as enjoying challenging myself is entirely up to me!  ;)



tetheredgoat

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I had a pair of Hillmasters and the leather on one of them appeared to be sub-standard


Thanks for this.


Can I try and pull this thread back on track a little? If you were choosing a leather boot brand, do you have a top three?

WhitstableDave

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I know that we all like to champion our favourite footwear (or whatever) on the forum, but bear in mind that tetheredgoat lives in Snowdonia, not Kent, and with all respect the terrain is rather more challenging there, even if tetheredgoat does not go fellwalking in winter conditions.

I totally and utterly disagree with the generalisation that the terrain in Snowdonia is more challenging than the terrain in Kent. The terrain is just different and provides different challenges. If anything, I've found walking in Snowdonia to be relatively straightforward.

I'd be more than happy to elaborate if required...  ;)

WhitstableDave

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I won a pair of Berghaus Hillmaster II boots. I tried them on four occasions (weeks apart) and each time blisters started to appear after about 4 miles. I gave up and they're sitting smugly and almost brand new in my front porch.

ninthace

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Thanks for this.


Can I try and pull this thread back on track a little? If you were choosing a leather boot brand, do you have a top three?
Altberg for me.  I have worked my way through various brands but these are the ones I have stuck with in recent years.  I have had one pair that were resoled once and I bought a second pair after that which will also be resoled in due course.  My wife also had her first pair of Altbergs resoled and is now setting out on her secomd pair.  She absolutely swears by them, perferring them to trainers,  I have Tetheras and she has Lady Fremingtons.  When circumstances require, combined with gaiters, they are virtually bombproof.  The only time i ever got a wet foot was when I slipped into a bog and the water went over my knee!
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kinkyboots

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Wow this thread certainly took off. I'm new here but I'm not new to forums and I'm well aware that there is usually one more answer than the number of people in the room.


@kinkyboots - Thanks for the full reply. To answer your first question, I bought Arc'teryx because I bought a jacket from them a few years ago to handle the wet weather up here and it remains one of the best things I own. I also have a mid-layer from then which is also excellent. It's hard to make choices, especially in the current climate, so we rely on online reviews and recommendations as best we can.


I am leaning towards a leather boot. I had a pair of simple Scarpa Terra's for a few years before and whilst they eventually leaked, they lasted a good while and were cheap to start with. I also think that weight is important. But it's hard to know how much difference makes a real difference. The Acrux's are quite light - they are 1190g in a size 10, so 200-300g lighter than the Altbergs. Am I actually going to notice that?


I had been looking at the Meindl Bhutan's but they're heavier again, perhaps 1600g for the pair. Maybe the Berghaus hillmaster's are a reasonable compromise (on price and weight) - how would you rate these against the Altberg's as price is similar?


Finally I should say, in case it changes anything, I don't like to wear thick socks with any boot (hot feet). I do wear gaiters when heading across country and it is not uncommon around here to step off a rock and lose half of your leg in mud.


Thanks for all the replies.. still trying to decide. Need to do something soon though as no longer waterproof and have cleaned the Arcteryx ready to send them back.

I believe the Scarpa Terra is a lightweight 2-3 season boot and I have seen a number of complaints posted re people being able to feel stones and pebbles through the sole.

Unless you have wide high volume feet I would probably suggest that you cross the Berghaus Hillmaster off your list although they are very widely available if you wanted to try some on. In my opinion the build quality is nowhere near as good as that of the Altberg boots.

Only you can answer the question about whether you would notice the weight difference between the Arc'Teryx boot and the Altberg boots by trying some on. As mentioned previously if you want a full leather boot the additional weight is the penalty you pay for the better quality longer lasting materials. Getting properly measured is key to getting the right size and width fitting in an Altberg boot - guessing is not an option.

So in this post you except that there are other options. Yet in your first post on this subject you said  "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."

There are always other options available but not if you want your boots to meet the three specific criteria mentioned. At the end of the day it's the buyer's decision to make after weighing all the pros and cons.

If you were choosing a leather boot brand, do you have a top three?

You have my 4 Altberg options to choose from. Of those options only 2 will suit your feet the best. 1 of the 2-3 Season boots and 1 of the 3 Season boots.

If I was to throw a third option into the mix it would be a choice between the Hanwag Tatra II GTX Boots or the Hanwag Lhasa II Yak Leather Lined Boots depending on whether you prefer a Gore-Tex lined boot or a leather lined boot with no waterproof liner. I should say that I own the Hanwag Lhasa II Yak Leather Lined Boots and I am very impressed with them.


@WhitstableDave
It would appear that you are now arguing for arguing's sake. You are of course entitled to your opinion and nobody is doubting the reasons why you walk or that you get enjoyment from it but you probably need to understand and accept that your view is in the minority and it's not an opinion shared by the majority. It's an argument you cannot win.  ;)

richardh1905

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Thanks for this.

Can I try and pull this thread back on track a little? If you were choosing a leather boot brand, do you have a top three?


I'm going to dodge that question I'm afraid, as there are so many brands out there. My latest boots are a budget pair (~100) from HiTec - full leather of course - can't say that I am overwhelmed by them but I have been up on the hills with them as much as lockdown has allowed (including in fresh snow), and they have performed OK. Time will tell as to whether I have made a good choice.


If I were prepared to spend a bit more, I would certainly look at Altbergs, maybe Meindl, and I did want to try on some Anatom Q3 Braeriach boots before I plumped for the HiTecs, but couldn't find any locally. Most important is to try on before you buy though, whatever the brand.
« Last Edit: 19:58:24, 08/03/21 by richardh1905 »
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GinAndPlatonic

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Thanks for this.

Can I try and pull this thread back on track a little? If you were choosing a leather boot brand, do you have a top three?



I do not have a top three ...Just a top one . I own two pairs of Anatom Q2`s . Lovely and comfortable and blissfully easy to take off at the end of a long walk . The tongue sort of pops open as if the boots are also glad to get rid of my feet.... They are leather , well made, light and waterproof . They have a fairly wide toe box and relatively narrow heel .

I wore Brashers for many years but finally realised it was not my soft feet that was the reason for my blisters , it was the poor design of the boots .


https://www.tauntonleisure.com/content/anatom-q2-classic-hiking-boots-review.aspx

https://www.campingwithstyle.co.uk/walking-gear-we-fall-for-the-anatom-q2-classic-hiking-boots-from-project-x-adventures/

https://www.anatomfootwear.co.uk/blog/3_anatom-q2-ultralight-hiking-boots.html
« Last Edit: 10:51:45, 09/03/21 by GinAndPlatonic »
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