Boot decision

Floorguy

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I am interested in getting a boot for chasing dall sheep up here in Alaska. Up until now I have just been flat landing it so I have only used Danners and they are worn out and in need of replacing anyway. The boots I am looking at right now are the Hanwag Alaskan's and the Scarpa Wrangell's. From what I can gather the Wrangell's are the new renamed Liskamm's minus the full wrap rubber rand. From the searching I have done both look like good boots the Wrangell's are heavier.

So far my the only input I have received has come from my 3 year old daughter who likes the Wrangell's "Because I just love them, because they are my favorite." however "those (Alaskan's) are my favorite-er" and "I like them more-er". :D

Any objective input based on more than just internet pics would be greatly appreciated.
 

bowinhand

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The Hanwag Alaskan's were a little narrow for my feet (long arch) and the lace lock grommet required a little involvement on my part when lacing (at o' dark thirty in a one man tent with a headlamp) to hold my heel down. Other than that if they fit your feet and the lacing hardware works for your feet they are awesome boots. My current pair of boots are the Lowa Tibet Pro, comparable to the Hanwags but with a higher scree collar (rubber rand) and the cross lace grommet that allows the user to adjust and control the lacing tension on the lower and upper parts of the boot. One complaint on the Lowa boots is the rand separates from the leather a little at the flex points around the toe box.
 

swat8888

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My best advice is try both on and see what fits your foot the best. May require you to spend some extra money in return shipping for the ones you don't go with or to size up/down but your feet will thank you come day 2 or 3 of your hunt when any hot spots would probably start to occur. Personally I like the full length rubber rand instead of just on the toe as the Scarpa's have. Kinda depends where you're going hunting too some areas aren't as rocky/scree filled so the full rand may not be necessary. I have no experience with the Hanwag's or know of anyone who owns them. My partner has been using Scarpa Omega's for three years without a single blister and they are custom mold-able so if you have hot spots you can re-shape the boot. A little more time consuming and I've heard the plastics are hard on the knees on flat ground but far superior in the rocks. After last years debacle with my 1/2 larger than previous years Tibet Pro's I am going to try plastics this year. Just waiting to move back to Alaska where REI carry's the Scarpa Omega's and the Koflach Degre's....one of those will most likely be on my feet for next years sheep hunt.

Bottom line a lot of people swear by this boot or that boot but the most important thing is what fits your foot best. Make sure when you try them on you find someway to simulate walking up and down steep slopes.
 
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Floorguy

Floorguy

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Thanks I am going to go try on different boots today to get an idea. Figure I will stop by rei and try their offerings and then Another place that has Lowa's and Scarpas.

Anything hard on the knees is going to be a deal breaker like my user ne says I am a floor guy and spend a majority of my work day on my knees which already isn't good for them. I am really thinking hard about knee braces as well for added support.
 

Yellowknife

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I haven't tried the Scarpas, but do have the Hanwag Alaskans. I've also worn out/trashed half a dozen other mountain boots, so I'll put in my two cents.

First the standard disclaimer: Fit is the most important thing and there is likely significant differences between the fit of the boots you are looking at.

Other comments: The Alaskan is on the light end of sheep hunting boots. If you have decently strong ankles and feet, they will certainly work. They will also cross over to other non-mountain activities quite well. Basically, they are a very very sturdy hiking boot. The big pro I see to the Alaskan's is that they are very light (4.3 lbs for my pair), which pays dividends when hiking long distances. The minor negative is the relatively low top They are also non-insulated, but I usually prefer that in a boot. The Hanwag is not a lace to toe design, and I have issues with the leather on the toe of the boot bending and hitting the top of my toes when walking. For that reason, I'm not going to be taking them to the mountains. As far as I know, I'm the only one with that issue though.

The Scarpas I tried on seemed like a much heavier, stiffer boot more suited to really rough country and long scree slope sidehills.


The biggest failure points I've found (in all my leather mountain boots) are the rands, seams, and sole/midsole.

A high rand will almost always peal away from the leather near the bend points. If you don't glue them back on, dirt will wedge into the crack and start pealing them even further away. It happens to all boots eventually and isn't a huge deal. My current preference is a relatively short thick rand that doesn't come too high up on the book but still deflects rocks. I like the way the Kenetrek Guide series of boots are set up in that way.

The other thing I look for in a leather mountain boot is minimal seams. Shale will eventual cut the threads and cause massive boot failure at the most awkward time, so I like as close to one piece as possible. I think it makes them a bit tougher to break in, but they last longer so it's worth it. Both the boots you are looking at are good that way as well as Kenetreks and Lowas.

I've also had and seen issues with the soles and midsoles. For heavy duty use I want a quality PU midsole and a good toe cap. I have not been impressed with any boot that used an EVA midsole. This year I had the toe cap on a pair of Kenetrek (Mt Extremes) get slashed in the rocks and it started the sole pealing away. My partner last year actually had his EVA midsole (same model boot) start to slip and offset from the boot after a few miles of sidehilling.

Personally, I would lean toward the Scarpas for sheep hunts, but have no issues with the Alaskan's if they fit better.

Yk
 
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Floorguy

Floorguy

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Well I stopped by Rei, Sportsmans and Barney's today. Tried on the la Sportiva kakorums and asolo pumoris the asolo's fathers was nothing about them that seemed "right" for me the pairs were either way to tight or my foot felt like it was flopping around. The la sportivas felt better and I was trying everything to simulate side hilling and when I used the inside of my foot the boot the ankle support just wasn't there and my foot would want to roll so after trying those two pairs everyone in anchorage decided to try shoes on so I took off. Barney's is out of the liskamms and won't have wrangells until spring. At Sportsmans I tried the kenetrek mountain guides and the 10.5 was to small to consider and the 11 wouldn't hold my heel in place. I figure I will try the la Sportiva Nepal evo's next time I am in Anchorage.

A side note the rei guy was very helpful I told him what I wanted to try and he goes. "What do you want these for, Sheep hunting?" I said yeah and he then gave me advise on things to do while trying them on to help get a better feel for how they would work.
 

Lawnboi

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Good european boots are all so similar, as long as they fit good. Lots of brands, but most good mountaineering boots have 1 thing in common, there pretty much all made in europe.

Easy answer to the question is get whichever one fits better
 

Aron Snyder

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Did you try the Salewa Raven when you were at Barney's?

That's one of the best and most comfortable boots I've ever used.
 
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Floorguy

Floorguy

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Aaron no, I couldn't they didn't have any in my size.

YK, I am horrible with acronyms. Where is AMH?
 

Estvold7

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I like my Kenetreks. I have the hardscrabble hiker and the mountain extreme non-ins. also make sure you have a good pair of wool socks to help minimize on blisters. the good high end boots have stiff leather and need a little break in. my 2 cents
 

Matt W.

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I'd add the Cabela's Alaska Hunter Boots by Meindl to your list. I tried quite a few pairs of boots before I landed these. Been rocking them since 2009, lots of miles and no complaints. Really like the lacing system. At least worth slipping a pair on, IMO.
 

fillthefreezer

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im in a similar situation, elk season sealed the deal on needing new boots. there arent really anywhere around me to try on mountain boots though that im aware of, do you just order, wear for a week and return until you get the right boot?
 

Matt W.

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If you are in WA hit up a Cabela's store and try a few on there. Even REI is a good place to try out the mountaineering style boots. Beats paying S&H, IMO...
 

fillthefreezer

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If you are in WA hit up a Cabela's store and try a few on there. Even REI is a good place to try out the mountaineering style boots. Beats paying S&H, IMO...

last time i was at cabelas they did not carry very many boots i was interested in and the rei i frequent has mostly light hikers with only a couple higher mountain boots
 

fillthefreezer

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i tried on the kennetreks at sportsmans and i could not get my heel to stop lifting no matter how tight i laced and went to a boot too small, so i dont think theyre for me, id like to check out some hanwags, lowas, scarpas, asolos, zamberlans... not interested in cabelas or rocky's or danners
 

Matt W.

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last time i was at cabelas they did not carry very many boots i was interested in and the rei i frequent has mostly light hikers with only a couple higher mountain boots
Well that sucks! When I was in WA a few years back I went to the Lacey's Cabela's and they had a pretty decent selection of the Meindls.

I think you could order it online for in-store pickup and then you wouldn't have to pay shipping? I also hit the downtown Seattle REI store and it had lots of choices, but I desire a boot with at least some insulation so that lead me to the Cabela's Alaska Hunter Boots by Meindl. I know you mention that you are not interested in that boot, but it sure works well for me.

I think the rest you will have to do the mail order bit and go by trail and error. Sure glad I am done with that process! : ) Good luck!
 

fillthefreezer

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the cabelas boot by meindl is maybe my exception, i would like to try it on. ive got some socks to warranty anyway.
i have not been to the seattle rei as i dont make it to the city too often but ive heard their selection is better and i will be seeing what they have soon
 

Lawnboi

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the cabelas boot by meindl is maybe my exception, i would like to try it on. ive got some socks to warranty anyway.
i have not been to the seattle rei as i dont make it to the city too often but ive heard their selection is better and i will be seeing what they have soon

Some of the cabelas meindl boots are really nice... some are junk imo.

Iv got a pair of alaska hunters that i love. They fit my feet like a glove and have been kicking for 2 years now without problem. I do have a set of broken in lowa tibets that will be replacing these when the time comes for them to retire. I like the tibets a hair more only because the lacing is wider, causing less of a pinching feeling on the top of my foot. My alaskas might last me another year hopefully

The alaskas and canadas are two of the meindl boots id reccomend trying. I didnt care for the perfects, denalis, or ibex, they felt a little more cheaply made.
My alaskas are up there in quality from all of the high dollar boots iv handled including kennetrek, lowa and asolo.
 
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