Hating my Kenetreks...

HellsCanyon

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Alright, I will preface this review by saying the boots appear well made, and I was able to get them severely discounted through camofire.

Last weekend was my first real extended overnight trip with them. I wasn't expecting much as I'd only had about 10 miles of training day hikes with them. Did 22 miles over 3 days and ended up with a blister on both heels. Other than that they felt OK and i love the support they provide.

I give my feet a week off, and this weekend did an even harder weekend covering again 22 miles in 2 days with about 5x the elevation gains! Walking out yesterday I've NEVER in 13 years hunting had my feet hurt this bad! My heels are tore up so bad that it hurt to sleep with my feet upright last night and my heels on the sheets.

I also have blisters on the FRONT of my two toes next to my big toe on both feet. Also have two severe sore spots on the inside in front of my heels.

I have custom molded orthotics that I've been wearing for 2 years that I use with everything but sandals. I do have very narrow feet and my boots are appropriately sized. I've always worn nice merino light hiker socks with these boots as well.

Anybody else ever have these problems? I have worn a lot of different boots over the years and understood it was going to take a lot longer for break-in with these. But with having over 30 hiking miles on them, I expect and need them to be comfortable for tough weekends like this one!

Mike
 

fillthefreezer

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my wife ahd similar results 2 wks ago, huge heel blisters and miserable feet in her kenetreks, granted i dont know if the fit is right, but she said the fit felt good, so we are trying to decide to send back for smaller size because my experience has been heel blister means too big or send back and try a different boot..
 

T43

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If they don't fit after 50+ miles I have to wonder if they ever will. I've never had a pair but all the reviews seem to be great. On some sites (not this one luckily) it seems like you won't find a bad review of a sponsors product. Especially if several of the regular posters use and like the product simply telling of a bad experience will end up with a plethora of flaming comments. I have had great results with Zamberlans but I know of others who have not. I would say get a different pair of boots. You can't expect every boot maker to make a boot that fits every foot perfectly. Even if they claim they do they have to know better.
 

Matt Cashell

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Mike,

I have terrible feet. It is really hard for me to find boots that fit. I had a pair of Lowa Sheephunters that people raved about, and they trashed my feet just like the Kenes did to yours. The problem sounds like heel slip. A couple of things could be happening. The boot's heel cup doesn't fit your foot, or your lacing style isn't getting your heel locked in place. If your heel is locked in, it won't rub (giving you heel blisters), and your toes won't slip forward (giving you toe blisters).

Previous to this year, I had the best luck with Kayland Vertigo Highs. This is a really high quality boot with a nice heel cup, and good felxible lacing options. Blister problems were few and far between, especially after about 40 miles of break in. I still had foot pain under the ball of my foot after extended hikes with a load, though. Overall, they have been a very good boot for me.

Now this year, I bit the bullet and called Lathrop and Sons. I followed their photo and tracing instructions, and they sent me some Hanwag Mountain Lights, sized according to the tracings and photos I sent in. I broke them in with about 15 miles of dayhiking. I had ZERO problems. I just spent this weekend backpacking a total of about 15 miles with a heavy pack, and I didn't even feel like I needed to get out of my boots at the end of the trip. I had good luck with the Kaylands, but have NEVER had a pair of boots work so well, so soon.

The Lathrop and Sons package is an investment, but it has been absolutely worth every penny to me.
 

dotman

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Alright, I will preface this review by saying the boots appear well made, and I was able to get them severely discounted through camofire.

Last weekend was my first real extended overnight trip with them. I wasn't expecting much as I'd only had about 10 miles of training day hikes with them. Did 22 miles over 3 days and ended up with a blister on both heels. Other than that they felt OK and i love the support they provide.

I give my feet a week off, and this weekend did an even harder weekend covering again 22 miles in 2 days with about 5x the elevation gains! Walking out yesterday I've NEVER in 13 years hunting had my feet hurt this bad! My heels are tore up so bad that it hurt to sleep with my feet upright last night and my heels on the sheets.

I also have blisters on the FRONT of my two toes next to my big toe on both feet. Also have two severe sore spots on the inside in front of my heels.

I have custom molded orthotics that I've been wearing for 2 years that I use with everything but sandals. I do have very narrow feet and my boots are appropriately sized. I've always worn nice merino light hiker socks with these boots as well.

Anybody else ever have these problems? I have worn a lot of different boots over the years and understood it was going to take a lot longer for break-in with these. But with having over 30 hiking miles on them, I expect and need them to be comfortable for tough weekends like this one!

Mike
Mike, order up some Asolo sassalongs from Sierra trading post. Should be able to get them for around $130-$150 depending on coupon day. I have not had an issue but all of our feet are different. I have only had mine since Jan but have put a ton of miles on them without issue. For a budget friendly good boot I don't think these can be beat.
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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Thanks for the responses everyone. This weekend was a bit more rugged than most scouting or hunting trips I've been on. I spent more time on my toes climbing than I ever have, and about 20% of our hiking was done off trail (resulting in the toe blisters, I think I was flexing and trying to grip with my toes a LOT this weekend). I had a pair of Irish Setter Elk Hunters by RedWing before this and they lasted me 3 hard seasons and I think they gave me ONE blister and that was it.

As far as my lacing style goes, not sure how it could be much different? The Kenetreks have a good lace design that allows you to tightened up multiple hooks with a single pull. I still tighten every second eyelet though and they feel TIGHT when I'm done.

One thing I did notice, and I think this may be a major factor in my problem, is that my feet felt like the boots didn't breathe at all. Each day they looked like they'd been soaking in a bathtub for a few hours and the skin was soft and moist and really fragile. Granted they are the 400 gram insulated boots and it was around 70* at our elevation, but I've never had a problem with insulated boots in the past. I've run 800 gram thinsulate boots year round for the past few years and never had this much issues with lack of breathability or raw feet.

The whole situation sucks because I've been wanting a pair of these for the last 2 years and they've been a total let down... Not sure if I can get any $$$ out of them either but maybe I can salvage some of the $ I spent!

That Lathrop and Sons sounds about what I would eventually like to do, but I don't have the time nor $ for it this year!

For those of you suggesting other boots, what kind of feet do you have? Obviously the kenetreks have worked great for LOTS of people, but I find that my feet are long and narrow with a skinny heal (size 11.5) and I always get the most narrow size available.

Mike
 

T43

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My number 1 is the Zamberlan vioz 1009 gt rr. With my number 2 choice being the Zamberlan mid high Dakotas for warm weather. These may not work best for you as they are both built for wider feet. Most Zamberlans however run narrow and I was hesitant to buy my first pair because of that. I would say go to REI and try out everything in the store. Pick the one that you like best and then shop around.
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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Don't have an REI anywhere close and the nearest Cabelas is a few hour drive as well unfortunately...

Mike
 

Yellowknife

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One thing I did notice, and I think this may be a major factor in my problem, is that my feet felt like the boots didn't breathe at all. Each day they looked like they'd been soaking in a bathtub for a few hours and the skin was soft and moist and really fragile. Granted they are the 400 gram insulated boots and it was around 70* at our elevation, but I've never had a problem with insulated boots in the past. I've run 800 gram thinsulate boots year round for the past few years and never had this much issues with lack of breathability or raw feet.


Mike

The combination of the insulation and the "Waterproof/Breathable" membrane will absolutely make your feet swim with those boots, and I would say that may part of the problem. Wait till they get completely soaked from a couple days of use in the rain. They will take 4-5 days to dry out completely, which can be really irritating if you are wearing them on a daily basis. I know that on my next set of boots I'm looking for something non-insulated.

That said, I've never had a single blister in mine, so fit and foot toughness are also important. Might keep in mind that your foot needs to break into the boots more than you boots need to break in to your foot. Sounds like you just abused your feet a bit much with more mileage than you are used too. Good chance you would have had the same problems with almost any kind of heavy boot.

Yk

Yk
 

thru-hunter

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I have 4 seasons on my Kennetreks. I don't love them and will not be buying another set however the budget will keep me in them another year. They are very well constructed and with a new coating of aqueous wax will literally look brand new despite a couple sheep and goat hunts on them . So far I have managed to stay blister free in them with only a few hot spots that were treated on the fly and didn't take me out of the game. First off unless you are only a short distance from transportation there is no way a hot spot is going to get better by leaving it alone in these boots. I hate doing foot care when on the mountain but it has to happen at the first sign of a problem. I am the worst about ignoring a problem when going back down the hill at the end of a day hike or when heading back down to a spike camp and it always ends up worse than it would have been had I just stopped and taken care of it. The big thing I noticed about the Mtn Extreme's is that they seem to stretch as they get wet. I especially notice this if doing a lot of up-hill trekking through wet grass or moss. I have to make it a point to sit down and re-tighten them when I get up top before trying any sort of a descent. Not taking this step is a sure fire way for me to get hot spots on my heels and toes.
 

BrentC

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I had purchased my Mtn Extremes from comofire and had the same thing happen to my right heel only, i also only had around 15mi on them before doing a 16mi round tirp hike. After that hike I purchased some synergy insoles which helped a lot with hot spots on the bottom of foot and duck taped my heels and did the same hike 2 weeks later and that seemed to fix my porblem with getting a blister on my right foot. Next im going to try lacing them a different way before my next hike.
 

ckleeves

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No boot works for everybody. Everybody I know has a brand of boot that they hate I can't think of a single brand of quality boots that I haven't heard somebody at sometime complain about. Asolo is my "hate" boot but they are great boots they just don't work for me. I love Lowa's, I have 3 different pairs and they fit like they were built around my foot but Bitterroot Bulls just said that they trashed his feet.

Everybody's feet are different! The other thing that was already posted above but I find very true is that waterproof boots can get miserable on long summer hikes.
 

dirtytough

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I would second going to Rei. Its the only place I know of where you can try the boots as long as you want and take them back no questions asked and try another pair if the first pair you bought doesn't fit.

I wore out two pairs of Lowa's one season and replaced them with Zamberlans which are great so far. Also, I was told mountain boots are stiff, and there isn't really a break in period. After a few miles if I wasn't comfortable I would get new boots.
 
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HellsCanyon

HellsCanyon

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I would second going to Rei. Its the only place I know of where you can try the boots as long as you want and take them back no questions asked and try another pair if the first pair you bought doesn't fit.

I wore out two pairs of Lowa's one season and replaced them with Zamberlans which are great so far. Also, I was told mountain boots are stiff, and there isn't really a break in period. After a few miles if I wasn't comfortable I would get new boots.
These boots were definitely my first pair of the "mountain boots" and are stiffer than anything I've ever worn for sure... I kept hearing how they need a long break in period, even David Long on here recommends 50+ miles before taking them on an extended hunt!

I did duct tape my hot spots at the end of the first day and sunday morning hiking felt "OK" but by the end of the day they were trashed. And wearing insulated waterproof boots is not new to me in summertime. These boots actually have LESS insulation than any boot I've historically worn and they've all had their own version of gore-tex or waterproof membrane. I've rocked 800 gram thinsulate Irish Setters for the last three years, 24/7/365 and while my feet have gotten wet and hot, they've never caused havoc like this before.

I will be checking out the Hanwags, and Asolos for sure... Need something in my budget. Just hope someone will be willing to purchase these boots "Pre-broken in" for $150 or so...

Mike
 

Rizzy

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I had some Kennetreks for a couple of days and took them back for similar reasons. I could feel that my heel wasn't locked in while walking around the house and up the stairs. Really nice boots but they didn't fit my feet. If you have skinny feet like mine the Zamberlans and Crispi will probably fit your heel better.
 

vegas hunter

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I bought the Kenetreks from STP. Luckily they have a great return policy as I didn't like the way they felt. Had them tightened until the top of my foot hurt but my foot still moved around in them. Just recently bought a pair of Mammut Mt Cascades from STP that I'm really liking.
 

pyroducksx3

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I purchased the asolo sassalongs fron STP and have really liked them so far. I have pretty tolerant feet so I guess Im lucky. I made the mistake of hiking with just regular cotton socks on and wont do that again, just minor hotspots but still enough to get my attention. Wearing smartwool socks I havent had any discomfort at all.
 

Brock A

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I purchased the asolo sassalongs fron STP and have really liked them so far. I have pretty tolerant feet so I guess Im lucky. I made the mistake of hiking with just regular cotton socks on and wont do that again, just minor hotspots but still enough to get my attention. Wearing smartwool socks I havent had any discomfort at all.
+1 on never hiking in cotton socks again. Took about 1/2 of a mile to put me in a bad mood.
 

7mag.

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I had the same problem with my Kenetrek's until I followed the advice of a few people, including David, and put over 50 miles of flat ground on them before hiking. I also added a liner sock, and haven't had a problem since. I love my Kenetrek's. I also found that the more they get broken in, the easier it is to get them tight, and they get more and more comfortable.
 

Duk Dog

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I'm not sure about the socks you were wearing but some advice I've been given is that for boots with a synthetic liner (ie goretex) your socks should be less than 50% wool content for the boots to breathe properly. Also with those temperatures and the insulated boots changing to dry socks during the course of your hike probably would help as well.
 
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