Epic Boot Review. Salewa, Lowa, Meindl, Kennetrek, Saloman, Crispi.

ttucci16

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
98
Alrighty guys and gals. I'm gonna give my take on a few boots that I've tried in my long, expensive journey of trying to find a pair of boots that fit my feet along with my needs in a boot. Some background in how i hunt. I backpack hunt the North Cascades for mulies and prefer being in the Alpine. When not chasing deer, elk, or bears,I'm in eastern Washington shooting Chukars every weekend I can get out. I like a boot that has some flex in the forefoot, protects me from feeling sharp rocks, and that allows me to sidehill comfortably.

First, we'll get into my foot measurements. I'm going to use the GoHunt measurement style just because it's easy to reference, and from my current experience it is pretty dang close. My left foot measures 28 CM Long X 11.3CM wide. Right Foot 27.9CM Long X 11.2CM Wide. I have medium to moderate arches. My typical tennis shoe is an 11.5 Reebox Crossfit, which do have a nice and wide toebox compared to a Nike. 20200602_193323.jpg
20200602_193344.jpg
My very first pair of "Mountain" boots were Kennetrek Mountain Extreme. I bought the 11.5M and found that there was too much length in the toe box so i exchanged them for 11M. That switch ended up being a problem for the vertical volume. The top of my foot would get cramped and start to hurt, so those also went back. These boots are heavy, stiff, and felt like bricks. Not a bad thing, but just different.

Lowa Tibet HI 11Wide. (Don't have a weight) Moderately Stiff Flex
I got a screaming deal off of campsaver.com which is why i bought the HIs instead of the Mids. I really liked these boots, but my pinky toe would get destroyed after about 2 miles of hiking with a pack. I decided i would try Superfeet Greens which helped with my feet splaying out under load, but not enough to prevent my pinky toe from getting absolutely smoked. I ended up selling those in the classifieds.

Meindl Vakuum Hunters in 11W. (3Lbs 15oz) Super stiff, but a little bit more flexible than a 2x4
These boots are stiffer than the Lowa Tibets and the Kennetrek MEs. These boots have a good heel pocket, but suprisingly narrow toe box. They have a narrower sole, which I prefered due to feeling like I could be more precise with my foot placement. Again, my pinky was getting smoked after a few miles. My toes went numb on me after a 12 mile hike, so ended up giving these to my buddy which worked out because they fit him great.


Lowa Tibet Mid 11.5W ( 4Lbs 8.6 Oz) Moderately Stiff Flex
These boots are awesome. With Superfeet Green insoles,I could walk all day without being uncomfortable. The heel pocket isn't amazing, but with the lacing zones, it's easy to get your heel locked in there. If you're going to be off trail in steep scree fields, these would be great boots. They have enough flex to where on trail hiking doesn't get painful, but enough underfoot support when you need to pack some serious weight. I highly recommend these boots if your foot measurements are close to mine. These don't have a narrow precise sole, so they can feel like brricks on your feet, and i find myself kind of bumbling around when I'm wearing these.
20200602_194200.jpg

La Sportiva Trango Tech EU 46 (3Lbs 2.5oz) Pretty Flexible, but with support.
These puppies are light!!!. I didn't like these very much. The heel pocket was non existent, narrow toebox, very low volume in the forefoot. This boot was all around sloppy for me. I really liked how light they were, but they just didn't work for me. I also didn't like the ankle of the boot. It's very narrow to put your foot into the boot due to the tongue being sewn all the way up to the ankle. The lacing system kind of sucks with the cloth ankle lock, and one set of hooks at the ankle. My pinky toe was also getting pinched. The flex of these boots is a step above regular shoes, but half of a Lowa Tibet. If you want lightweight and pretty flexible, check these out.
20200602_194305.jpg
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Salewa Mtn Trainer 11.5M(3Lbs 4.2oz) Perfect Flex.
These might be the perfect boot. I was very skeptical to try these due to Salewa being known as a narrow boot. The toebox is anything but narrow. It has the perfect amount of room if you want to wrap your foot snuggly, but also enough room if you want to wear some thick socks you wont feel cramped. The flex is comparable to a Saloman Quest 4D but the rubber on the Salewa protects the bottom of your feet much better. They feel much lighter on my feet than the Lowa Tibets evne though there isn't a HUGE weight savings. The round laces don't like to stay tied very well, but that's small change. The heel on these are phenomenal. I didn't know a heel could feel so good in a boot. My pinky doesn't get pinched or smashed at all, and I can spread my toes out and not feel cramped. With 50 lbs in a pack, I feel very supported wearing these and don't feel like they will blow out while sidehilling. I've only had these for two weeks, but so far i'm crazy about these boots.
20200602_194127.jpg
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Crispi Lapponia 11.5 (Flex like a tennis shoe)
These were a no go within two seconds of putting them on. WAAAAY too narrow for my foot. They are very flexible, and incredibly light. I wish Crispi would make these in a wide, because I would be all over these.

Crispi Summit 11.5
These just didn't work out for me. I didn't like the feel of them, and the boot was over all a sloppy fit. The flex of these are very similar to the Salewa Mtn Trainers. Very roomy toebox!!!

Saloman Quest 4d GTX 11 (A little more flexible than the Salewa Mtn Trainers)
I should've bought an 11.5. They felt great in 11 but once I put some weight in my pack my pinky toe was shredded. I should've known by now that 11.5 is my size, but the 11.5s felt a little long in REI, so I got the 11s. Great flex, good support, super nice heel, but not a lot o protection underfoot. I could feel sharp rocks underfoot a little too much for my liking.


Everyone please add your "GoHunt" foot measurements and what footwear has worked for you, and what has been an epic failure. This would've saved me thousands on boots!!!!
 

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ceejay

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
72
Thanks for the write up. The forefoot area design on the Salewa looks awesome and has got me thinking about a pair.
 

shootsacreed

Junior Member
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
26
Great write up. I'll be interested in the sole wear of the Salewas. I bought a pair of their lower shoes to wear at school. By the time Christmas rolled around the soles were worn so badly I had to get rid of them. BTW those shoe were worn on tile and carpeting 95% of the time I had them on!
 
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ttucci16

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
98
Great write up. I'll be interested in the sole wear of the Salewas. I bought a pair of their lower shoes to wear at school. By the time Christmas rolled around the soles were worn so badly I had to get rid of them. BTW those shoe were worn on tile and carpeting 95% of the time I had them on!
I'll keep you in mind after this summer. I'm going to be scouting in these boots exclusively because of the weight savings over the Lowa Tibets. I'll do a follow up around September.
 
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ttucci16

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
98
Thanks for the write up. The forefoot area design on the Salewa looks awesome and has got me thinking about a pair.
The Mtn Trainers have the best forefoot out of any boot i've tried. It feels natural, is roomy, and wraps the foot really well. I do think that the shape/structure/materials all add up to it feeling so good. The materials are flexible enough to not be stiff, but the rand is formed really well over the toes. If you need better pictures, let me know and i'll post them.
 

Middleofnowhere

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
616
Location
Yucca Valley, CA
If you have kids or just you and your significant other order shoes on line, consider a Brannock Device. I picked one up on ebay before I ordered a pair of Danner Thorofares. We have used it to measure the grandkids feet before ordering summer and school shoes, etc. It’s definitely worth the investment, especially since your feet change with age.

 

Benjblt

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
860
Location
Western Oregon
Alrighty guys and gals. I'm gonna give my take on a few boots that I've tried in my long, expensive journey of trying to find a pair of boots that fit my feet along with my needs in a boot. Some background in how i hunt. I backpack hunt the North Cascades for mulies and prefer being in the Alpine. When not chasing deer, elk, or bears,I'm in eastern Washington shooting Chukars every weekend I can get out. I like a boot that has some flex in the forefoot, protects me from feeling sharp rocks, and that allows me to sidehill comfortably.

First, we'll get into my foot measurements. I'm going to use the GoHunt measurement style just because it's easy to reference, and from my current experience it is pretty dang close. My left foot measures 28 CM Long X 11.3CM wide. Right Foot 27.9CM Long X 11.2CM Wide. I have medium to moderate arches. My typical tennis shoe is an 11.5 Reebox Crossfit, which do have a nice and wide toebox compared to a Nike. View attachment 186590
View attachment 186593
My very first pair of "Mountain" boots were Kennetrek Mountain Extreme. I bought the 11.5M and found that there was too much length in the toe box so i exchanged them for 11M. That switch ended up being a problem for the vertical volume. The top of my foot would get cramped and start to hurt, so those also went back. These boots are heavy, stiff, and felt like bricks. Not a bad thing, but just different.

Lowa Tibet HI 11Wide. (Don't have a weight) Moderately Stiff Flex
I got a screaming deal off of campsaver.com which is why i bought the HIs instead of the Mids. I really liked these boots, but my pinky toe would get destroyed after about 2 miles of hiking with a pack. I decided i would try Superfeet Greens which helped with my feet splaying out under load, but not enough to prevent my pinky toe from getting absolutely smoked. I ended up selling those in the classifieds.

Meindl Vakuum Hunters in 11W. (3Lbs 15oz) Super stiff, but a little bit more flexible than a 2x4
These boots are stiffer than the Lowa Tibets and the Kennetrek MEs. These boots have a good heel pocket, but suprisingly narrow toe box. They have a narrower sole, which I prefered due to feeling like I could be more precise with my foot placement. Again, my pinky was getting smoked after a few miles. My toes went numb on me after a 12 mile hike, so ended up giving these to my buddy which worked out because they fit him great.


Lowa Tibet Mid 11.5W ( 4Lbs 8.6 Oz) Moderately Stiff Flex
These boots are awesome. With Superfeet Green insoles,I could walk all day without being uncomfortable. The heel pocket isn't amazing, but with the lacing zones, it's easy to get your heel locked in there. If you're going to be off trail in steep scree fields, these would be great boots. They have enough flex to where on trail hiking doesn't get painful, but enough underfoot support when you need to pack some serious weight. I highly recommend these boots if your foot measurements are close to mine. These don't have a narrow precise sole, so they can feel like brricks on your feet, and i find myself kind of bumbling around when I'm wearing these.
View attachment 186605

La Sportiva Trango Tech EU 46 (3Lbs 2.5oz) Pretty Flexible, but with support.
These puppies are light!!!. I didn't like these very much. The heel pocket was non existent, narrow toebox, very low volume in the forefoot. This boot was all around sloppy for me. I really liked how light they were, but they just didn't work for me. I also didn't like the ankle of the boot. It's very narrow to put your foot into the boot due to the tongue being sewn all the way up to the ankle. The lacing system kind of sucks with the cloth ankle lock, and one set of hooks at the ankle. My pinky toe was also getting pinched. The flex of these boots is a step above regular shoes, but half of a Lowa Tibet. If you want lightweight and pretty flexible, check these out.
View attachment 186607
View attachment 186621

Salewa Mtn Trainer 11.5M(3Lbs 4.2oz) Perfect Flex.
These might be the perfect boot. I was very skeptical to try these due to Salewa being known as a narrow boot. The toebox is anything but narrow. It has the perfect amount of room if you want to wrap your foot snuggly, but also enough room if you want to wear some thick socks you wont feel cramped. The flex is comparable to a Saloman Quest 4D but the rubber on the Salewa protects the bottom of your feet much better. They feel much lighter on my feet than the Lowa Tibets evne though there isn't a HUGE weight savings. The round laces don't like to stay tied very well, but that's small change. The heel on these are phenomenal. I didn't know a heel could feel so good in a boot. My pinky doesn't get pinched or smashed at all, and I can spread my toes out and not feel cramped. With 50 lbs in a pack, I feel very supported wearing these and don't feel like they will blow out while sidehilling. I've only had these for two weeks, but so far i'm crazy about these boots.
View attachment 186618
View attachment 186619
View attachment 186620
Crispi Lapponia 11.5 (Flex like a tennis shoe)
These were a no go within two seconds of putting them on. WAAAAY too narrow for my foot. They are very flexible, and incredibly light. I wish Crispi would make these in a wide, because I would be all over these.

Crispi Summit 11.5
These just didn't work out for me. I didn't like the feel of them, and the boot was over all a sloppy fit. The flex of these are very similar to the Salewa Mtn Trainers. Very roomy toebox!!!

Saloman Quest 4d GTX 11 (A little more flexible than the Salewa Mtn Trainers)
I should've bought an 11.5. They felt great in 11 but once I put some weight in my pack my pinky toe was shredded. I should've known by now that 11.5 is my size, but the 11.5s felt a little long in REI, so I got the 11s. Great flex, good support, super nice heel, but not a lot o protection underfoot. I could feel sharp rocks underfoot a little too much for my liking.


Everyone please add your "GoHunt" foot measurements and what footwear has worked for you, and what has been an epic failure. This would've saved me thousands on boots!!!!
Good review. I wish more guys would put these together.

I've tried several of these boots. I like the Tibets a lot but they are heavy. I think the future of boots is in synthetics. The Kenetreks are my favorite because they just fit my feet and the lacing securement just works. Currently I'm trying out the LA Sportiva trango techs. I feel like the heel cup is more pronounced and thats my problem. It rubs my heel really bad up hill. I solved the problems you mentioned by sizing up a hole size. Maybe that's why the heel rubs.

I also just got the Salewa Crow and would echo your thoughts the fit and the toe box. Again, I'm having problems with the heel rub. I would say that a guy probably needs to size up a half size. It comes in around 3lbs for the pair I believe.


Bottom line, you never know for sure how a boot will work out for you until you have 10 to 50 miles on them in the field. The lighter wait you can go the better if your going to do anything other then hunt from a 4 wheeler or truck.


Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 
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ttucci16

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
98
Good review. I wish more guys would put these together.

I've tried several of these boots. I like the Tibets a lot but they are heavy. I think the future of boots is in synthetics. The Kenetreks are my favorite because they just fit my feet and the lacing securement just works. Currently I'm trying out the LA Sportiva trango techs. I feel like the heel cup is more pronounced and thats my problem. It rubs my heel really bad up hill. I solved the problems you mentioned by sizing up a hole size. Maybe that's why the heel rubs.

I also just got the Salewa Crow and would echo your thoughts the fit and the toe box. Again, I'm having problems with the heel rub. I would say that a guy probably needs to size up a half size. It comes in around 3lbs for the pair I believe.


Bottom line, you never know for sure how a boot will work out for you until you have 10 to 50 miles on them in the field. The lighter wait you can go the better if your going to do anything other then hunt from a 4 wheeler or truck.


Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
Those Salewa Crows look pretty sweet. I did go out this weekend and put some mileage on the MTN Trainers. My heels did get blisters, but that was 100 percent my fault for not changing out my socks. I had on wool socks when realistically i should've had a synthetic sock on. I didn't change them out due to being so close to where i was going that i said to hell with it. That was a bad call, because i had dime sized blisters on my heels. The flex of the MTN Trainers is perfect for me. I do like the leather only because of how much scree is in the area I hunt. I'll probably buy a pair of Salewa Alp Trainers to see if i can get away with that light of a boot. I'm surprised you're not swimming in the Salewas if the La Sportiva Trango Techs feel decent to you. I was the exact opposite. Best of luck to you and your journey into the bottomless pit of finding your boots
 

Benjblt

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
860
Location
Western Oregon
I'm surprised you're not swimming in the Salewas if the La Sportiva Trango Techs feel decent to you. I was the exact opposite. Best of luck to you and your journey into the bottomless pit of finding your boots
Yeah, they feel a little big but with the new super feet insoles I bought they are about right because they take up some of the volume. I did try on the Salewa Raven and I'd say they are a full size bigger. I would wear a 8.5 in that wear I can wear a 9.5 in the Crows. I think I'd like to just sell them at this point though because I don't feel like the heel rub is resolvable. It's a shame because, on paper, they are about the most well balanced serious mountaineering/early season hunting boot I've come across. If you know anyone that wants some lightly used 9.5 Salewa's I'd make them a great deal.
 

Outwest

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
297
Location
New Mexico
Awesome thread!! I just ordered a pair of salewa mountain trainers, sounds like I needed to size up a bit though.

I’ll add one to your list...
Foot measurements (cm): L: 27.8x10.4 R: 27.4x10.7
Boot: Scarpa Zodiac tech, size 43.5 (needed to size up almost a full size)

This boot is one I hated to love. Ugliest boot I’ve ever seen but absolutely perfect in most other ways. A little on the stiff side but not too stiff to wear out your feet/legs on more mild terrain. Roomier in the toes and a little more flexible than the Charmoz. Never a blister in these. Only times I would see hotspots is very hot, high-mileage days.

The mini-gaiter around the cuff took some getting used to but is an awesome addition. I wish it was an option on all boots, keeps all that little debris out on dry days where full on gaiters would be overkill.

Definitely a warmer or more mild temperature boot. They can be stretched into the later season but you need to be moving. Feet got cold quick when sitting for any period of time in the later season.

Curiosity is really the only thing driving the switch to salewa.

2 years of use and they are still watertight with a decent amount of tread left. I’m planning to shoe goo the heel wrap rubber back on where it’s peeling and use them as a work boot.

Adding this pic to show how some white’s boot conditioner and grime will make them a little easier on the eyes!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

chasewild

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Messages
562
Location
San Juans
Awesome thread!! I just ordered a pair of salewa mountain trainers, sounds like I needed to size up a bit though.

I’ll add one to your list...
Foot measurements (cm): L: 27.8x10.4 R: 27.4x10.7
Boot: Scarpa Zodiac tech, size 43.5 (needed to size up almost a full size)

This boot is one I hated to love. Ugliest boot I’ve ever seen but absolutely perfect in most other ways. A little on the stiff side but not too stiff to wear out your feet/legs on more mild terrain. Roomier in the toes and a little more flexible than the Charmoz. Never a blister in these. Only times I would see hotspots is very hot, high-mileage days.

The mini-gaiter around the cuff took some getting used to but is an awesome addition. I wish it was an option on all boots, keeps all that little debris out on dry days where full on gaiters would be overkill.

Definitely a warmer or more mild temperature boot. They can be stretched into the later season but you need to be moving. Feet got cold quick when sitting for any period of time in the later season.

Curiosity is really the only thing driving the switch to salewa.

2 years of use and they are still watertight with a decent amount of tread left. I’m planning to shoe goo the heel wrap rubber back on where it’s peeling and use them as a work boot.

Adding this pic to show how some white’s boot conditioner and grime will make them a little easier on the eyes!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Damn it. I bought the charmoz instead of these and they are so STIFF I'm not sure I'm man enough to wear them. The zodiac's seemed perfect.
 

Knotch

Newbie
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
6
28.4 x 10.8 R and 28.4 x 10.9 L. Tried super feet, sock liners, orthotics, in a variety of combos and couldn’t make the sz 11 Crispi Nevada (uninsulated) work. Main issue is heel float, some combos resulted in foot fatigue. Called Crispi and they said try the Dakota or Valdres. Valdres feels like it has a tighter heel for my narrow feet. If they don’t work, not sure where to turn to next.
 

99sastacoma

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
13
Thank you for the write up. im glad i found this. My feet are just a little wider than yours at 27.9x 11.5. I. Ran the crispi summit gtx last year in 10.5 and while on flat ground they were great downhill with apack killed my pinkie toes. Pretty obvious at this point i would have saved my self some grief by sizing up.
Going to give the salewa mountain trainers in 11.5 a try.
 

smokingfire

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
44
Awesome write up! Thank you for sharing. I've worn out a couple pairs of Salomon Quest 4d GTX boots. In my experience they are super comfortable on the trail and with a light load but once you get off the trail and/or have a heavy load on, they start lacking in performance.

I bought the Crispi Guides and they have been the best boot I've put on my foot to date. Excellent support, comfortable under heavy loads and super durable. I'd love to try the Nevada's for a little lighter weight option.
 

Block

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
450
Great review man! Ur feet sound like the exact size as mine.. always between an 11-11.5 and frustrating how there’s really almost ZERO consistency in different brands,,, esp with the width and toe boxes. You’re making me want to try some Salewa next.
 

Blackdog317

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
44
Great info. Thanks for the write-up.

I am 28.8 x 10.8 with a medium arch. Crispi Dakota size 12 (45.5) were a little short and still not quite right after break-in and 1 hunting trip. Thought I could make them work, but the mountain really exposed the issues with a bad fit for my feet. Crispi Colorados in a 12.5 (46) are good on length but too wide for me with a mid-weight merino sock. Kinda sloppy on my foot. Not gonna even try to break them in. I think the fit will get worse over time (more slop as the material stretches). Will probably sell them since I never took the tags off and just wore them around the house with a couple different insoles.

Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid, size 12 (46) will be here Monday... fingers crossed. This online boot buying gets expensive quick.

My Meindl Perfekt Hunters (size 12, 46) are outstanding. However, they are insulated and too hot/heavy for archery elk hunting. I'm hoping to find a similar fitting boot that is uninsulated and lighter.
 

Phaseolus

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
613
Location
Palisade, Colorado
I’ve tried various Superfeet insoles. I can’t wear them comfortably. I now have custom insoles and though they are expensive they are the best money I have ever spent on my feet.
 
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