Looking for my first mountain boots

marshrat

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This will be my first hunt in the mountain ever, and I am really nervous about footwear. Just in training, I have seen the damage that careless care of one's feet can cause. I was advised to get more of a hiking boot rather than a hunting boot, and somewhere along the line, I was told to try Merrel Moabs. I figured the mids so that I would have more ankle support, and I really need to pull the trigger soon to adequately break them in and see how my feet are in them. I really didn't want to get a really expensive pair right off the bat, as I'm not sure if I will be able to make it to the mountains ever year.

Are the Moabs any good, should I try some other ones, what should I do here?
 

Becca

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I can't speak about the Moabs in particular, but I can tell you from experience that having good boots can make or break your trip, and really influence whether you will want to go again. I probably tried at least 5 pairs of boots in as many years before I finally found some that work for me, and even had a trip cut short when I got blisters the size of half dollars in the backs of both my heels. You are right that you will want to break them in quite a bit before you depend on them in the backcountry. And while I understand not wanting to spend a fortune right out of the gate, I would probably try to save money on almost any other piece of gear before my boots and backpack. You won't get far with boots that aren't right for you, regardless of how much money you saved on them. If you are blessed enou to connect, and then have to pack out an animal, your boots will be the best investment you ever made, and can also help protect you from injury when packing heavy loads.

One thing you might consider if you are still nervous about the substantial investment, is to purchase through someplace like REI that has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and return policy to match. While I sometimes disagree with their politics, and while they often don't have the very cheapest prices, they will refund you 100% of your purchase price regardless of how long ago you bought the boots or how much use you put them through, if they don't work out for you. Just a thought.
 

T43

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Buy the best you can afford. You can get buy with cheap gear in a lot of places but you should get good boots.What good is a $2000 Spotter, the best pack of the year or the newest custom rifle if your feet hurt to bad to go out and use them? I have a pair of Zamberlan Vios GT RR boots that I bought before last year and they are my new favorites but there are a lot of options out there. Find one that fits well and feels good from the start and if you have to cut something out of the budget to get them it's worth it. On the other hand if you already have scrimped on everything and boots are the only thing keeping you from going out get what you can afford and take a lot of moleskin and duct tape.
 

sreekers

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I upgraded from the Danners that had gotten me through college to Meindl Perfekts this past year. I was very happy with them, but side by side with my buddy's brand new Kenetrek's i could see the $100 difference, even though mine performed just as well. Bottom line, my Meindl's won't last as long as his, but are comfortable for the time being and as my budget expands with time I will upgrade.

You may also be able to find something on Ebay, or for that matter here. Guys sometimes order online and get the wrong size, which translates to a discount for you. Go try on a few brands and see what fits then search the forums for what you are looking for. You never know what someone else might be able to part with for much cheaper.

Like the others have said, find some other areas to scrimp to save your feet. It is worth it, and can make the difference between a horrible and great experience.
 

luke moffat

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Places like Shoebuy.com and Zappos.com offer 100% return (you just pay return shipping) on your orders so long as you don't wear them outside I think is the rule. So you can order for cheaper, try them on, walk around the house and what not, to see how they fit. Granted not as good as trying them on and going on a weekend long backpacking trip but you can't due that in a store either. :D
 

dirtytough

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One thing you might consider if you are still nervous about the substantial investment, is to purchase through someplace like REI that has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and return policy to match. While I sometimes disagree with their politics, and while they often don't have the very cheapest prices, they will refund you 100% of your purchase price regardless of how long ago you bought the boots or how much use you put them through, if they don't work out for you. Just a thought.
This is where I buy my boots. No questions asked return policy. Kind of nice
 

Becca

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This is where I buy my boots. No questions asked return policy. Kind of nice
There have certainly been times when it has been worth it. I returned the boots referenced in my first post over a year and 50+ miles after I purchased them (I really wanted to like those boots, and tried a bunch of strategies to get them to work better before I finally gave up on them), and they gave us a complete refund (well, less what they had already paid us as a dividend for being members). If you are unsure about whether equipment will work for you, and want to try it out first, they are hard to beat.
 

Lawnboi

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I would suggest getting a pair of high quality european made mountaineering boots. Be it Lowa, kennetrek, meindl, crispi, ect... These boots are all high quality, now just to find the pair that fits you. If you are tight on money you can find lowa boots considerably cheaper on sites like shoebuy with a coupon code (we get sent them all the time being memebers)

For some reason the europeans know how to make boots.

Also you need to keep in mind how much support you want. I can say though from personal experience iv been very satisfied in Lowa and meindl boots.
 

dotman

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Check out sierra trading post, you should be able to get a good european boot at a decent price. I picked ip the asolo sasalongs for just over $130 with discounts and they are great boots.
 
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marshrat

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I like the REI suggestion. I have only been in one and that was years ago. I am also having difficulty finding a place that has multiple pairs of those kinds of boots. Even Cabelas didn't seem like it had a very good collection.
 
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marshrat

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Well, unfortunately, other than the Danner pronghorns at the nearest BPS (1.5 hours away), I am about 5-6 hrs away from the nearest REI. Gonna have to come up with another plan, although there is a slight chance that I will passing near one during the summer. We will see.
 

Becca

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If you wanted to go the REI route (for the satisfaction guarantee and return policy, I presume) you can always order online and have them shipped to you. Again, there will be cheaper options elsewhere on the Internet, but none that will accept returns after you use the product.
 

outdoor hunter

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KENNETREK boots are the best out there. You will not need another pair for a long time and you'll wont be second guessing yourself if you bought the rite boot or not.
 

luke moffat

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KENNETREK boots are the best out there. You will not need another pair for a long time and you'll wont be second guessing yourself if you bought the rite boot or not.
While they are a great boot, how the boot fits your foot means a LOT more than the name brand on the side. Sure I'd see if they fit my foot, but I would also see if Lowas, Asolo, La Sportiva, Hanwag, and more fit as well. All these companies use different lasts to form their boots so they all will fit slightly different. Looking into quality boot makers is great, but don't limit yourself to just looking at one company because what fits one persons foot doesn't mean it'll work great for your foot. Just something to be aware of. The main thing its just gotta work for YOUR feet regardless of what works well for someone else.
 
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marshrat

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If you wanted to go the REI route (for the satisfaction guarantee and return policy, I presume) you can always order online and have them shipped to you. Again, there will be cheaper options elsewhere on the Internet, but none that will accept returns after you use the product.
That's what I will probably have to do, Becca. Again, I'm really glad that you told me about that.
 

gil_wy

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Make sure the are made in Switzerland, Germany or Italy and fit your foot and you're going to be in good shape... Currently in love with zamberlans...
 

PhillyB

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I upgraded from the Danners that had gotten me through college to Meindl Perfekts this past year. I was very happy with them, but side by side with my buddy's brand new Kenetrek's i could see the $100 difference, even though mine performed just as well. Bottom line, my Meindl's won't last as long as his, but are comfortable for the time being and as my budget expands with time I will upgrade.
I have had both Kenetrek and Meindl. In my experience the Meindls are a more comfortable boot. They lasted just as long as the Kenetreks but the fit was much better. Plus they had Cabelas name, so it is a returnable product as well. Here are the boots I have and recommend them to everyone.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Denali8482-Hunting-Boots-with-Fit-IQ-by-Meindl/721726.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=/catalog/search/?N=&No=20&Ntk=AllProducts&Ntt=Meindl&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products&WTz_st=&WTz_stype=SP&form_state=searchForm&recordsPerPage=20&search=Meindl&searchTypeByFilter=AllProducts&x=15&y=10&Ntt=Meindl&WTz_l=Header;Search-All+Products
 

T43

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Be careful buying Cabelas branded Mendle boots. I picked up the light weight hunters last year. The toe box was messed up and as I was looking inside trying to figure out what was causing the problem I noticed the made in Viet Nam tag right under the Mendle name. They had to be returned as they were poorly built and flawed from the get go. A lot of Cabelas products seem to be going the Walmart route as far as quality.
 

BrentC

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I agree with everybody else go with what fits right. I wanted the meindl cabelas boots to fit just out of convenience but didn't work fit like crap for my foot.(btw did not know they were made in Vietnam.) I guess I got lucky that my kenetrek fit like a glove.
 

sreekers

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Both of my Cabela's Meindl's say Made in Germany. If I ever buy another pair of Meindls it won't be the Cabela's route.
 
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