Stiff boots....

gudspelr

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So, I'm hoping some of you really experienced guys can help me out with this. I've only ever had 1 pair of stiff soled boots, some Mendl's. Sadly, I ordered a bit too big , but doubled up on some socks and things were okay. But, I could just never get used to the soles that basically didn't flex. I currently am hiking around in some Merrell's and they're okay, but I know they're not going to last a long time. I think I want to start saving for some good boots that will last several years of hikes and hunts, but am I stuck with stiff soled boots? Do boots that are flexible just wear out more quickly?

Here's what I'm doing-hiking in sage brush, cheat grass, and basalt rock. Climbing some hills, going up in the timber/broken timber areas (I love Idaho). My kids are getting more into hunting and we are going to be backpacking in to get away from the combat hunting... I'd also love to chase some elk as the kids get bigger, but I'm going to be the one carrying pretty much everything for a while. I've heard the sayings about heavier packs=stiffer/heavier boots. Also, I'm not looking for insulation-I don't tend to hunt that late. Anyone have some suggestions on what direction I should look into? Thanks in advance for helping me in my ignorance.


Jeremy
 
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I have to have the stiff soles to keep my feet from breaking down under wt. I think the stiffer boots also allow for solid rands where a more flexible boot like a Camino has to stop the rands in the flex zone. I would look at the Lowa "trekker" group. They are just a bit more flexible than the tibets, and they are a little cheaper also.
 

PathFinder

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I'm a heavy boot junkie. My favorites so far are the Lowa Tibets and Zamberlan Ibex. I really think stiff boots are a love or hate kind of deal. I hike a lot of evil terrain and carry 50+ lbs on a lot of trips, and my stiff boots make it bearable. The control and stability are amazing. For your purposes, a more middle of the road type boot may be better. Basically don't get anything that's a full on, crampon compatible mountaineering boot. Look for a trekking/hiking boot with a full rand.

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Jason Snyder

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You might take a look at something like the Crispi Idaho or Wyoming. These are a solid boot but not as stiff as a Lowa Tibet. Think trekking/hiking boots instead of backpacking boots. These will have a thinner and/or tapered shank/insert, which will make them more flexible.


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ssssnake529

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I don't like stiff boots at all, unless you are using them with crampons for snow and ice climbing. Your feet are made to flex when you walk. When you put your feet in stiff boots, you end up with an unnatural gait and it's harder to scramble around over uneven ground.

Get some light weight boots with more flexible soles. You will be happier.
 

bounds

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From a durability perspective, no, boots don't wear out more quickly just because they are more flexible. I think what your run into as that stiff soled boots use heavier material throughout the boot and as a result end up being more durable/lasting longer. Lighter weight/more flexible footwear just doesn't use the stout materials that stiffer mountain boots use.

That being said, there are some more flexible boots that are still built stout and hold up. I used to be a footwear buyer for an outdoor company, so I've got to handle a ton of boots side by side. I really like the Tatra from Hanwag. You can also still get the Hanwag Mountain Light from Lathrop and Sons. Both of those are close in stiffness to your more mountain style boots. If you want something more flexible than that but still durable, Lowa has the Renegade in leather that was my best selling boot when I worked retail.
 

Gr8bawana

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Nothing but stiff soled boots for me. I don't want to feel every stick and rock out there. Also they do give your foot support when packing heavy loads. Even stiff boots soles have some flex to the so it's not like you're walking with a 2x4 on the bottom of your boot.
 
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gudspelr

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SW Idaho
I really appreciate the information. Bounds, I think you nailed some of what I'm hoping for-some flixobility in the sole, but better built than some of the cheaper hiking boots. Thank you all for the suggestions, I'll definitely be checking them out. Now I need to do some googling on some of the terms you used :).

Jeremy
 

jr87mustang

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Jun 21, 2015
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Another boot to look at is the Lowa Ranger. It has a little more flex like the Camino but has a full rand, not as thick as the others like the Tibet but it is a full rand. Ranger has a 5mm heel and 3mm forefoot, where as the Lowa Tibet has a 5mm all the way through.
 
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