I've been struggling to find a pair that fit well. Tried Lowa, Asolo, Hanwag, La Sportiva, Salewa, and the other biggies with very mixed results. Most broke wrong on my toes and would have caused agony within miles. I recently took a work trip to Bozeman, MT and decided to check in at Schnee's. I tried the Schnee's Absaroka boots, and they are the most comfortable boots I've ever tried! I've now got about 40 hours in them to break them in and they are like slippers. Haven't tried the hard miles in them yet, but I have every confidence that they will be great for Alaska's terrain.
I'm not affiliated with Schnee's at all, other than being a full-retail customer. The people in the store were amazing and spent a lot of time making sure we got the fit right. First class operation.
None of the above........LL Bean GTX Cresta hiker in Narrow as in AA. Used them for years as it is hard to find good hiking/backpacking boots in that width. Have a pair of Whites custom made for me but I am not a fan of having my ankle bound up when out billy goating around so they became work boots. Just picked up a pair of their leather/fabric model of the same boot to try out for warmer weather.
I love my Cabela's/Danner Elk Hunter 600gm boots. Lots of support many blister free miles. I don't think they make them any more. I'm trying to love a pair of Lowa Hunters in anticipation of the Danner's giving up the ghost.
Scarpa Mont Blanc GTX. It was between these and the La Sportiva Nepals, The Mount Blancs seemed to fit my foot a little better. I'm going on five seasons in them now and at this point, I can't ever see myself wearing any other kind of leather mountain boot.
I have been using the same pair of Boreal boots for 12 years. They just wont die although the water proofing isnt what it was. Just great all leather rigid mountain boots. Full crampon compatible and I use them in all 4 seasons. Something about the stiffer mountain boots just work for me. Way less foot damage and true all condition use. Very useful for steep climbing and kick stepping. Heavy but worth it in my experience. I have covered 20 miles in a day in high mountains (mid summer conditions) with no blisters or foot problems. If these boots ever die I am not sure what I would replace them with ? ?
I have used mountain boots from the "big three" Euro manufacturers (Scarpa, Lowa, La Sportiva), and despite high-end footbeds, attempts to properly fit, and countless models, they all eventually give me heel blisters. It's important to note that the blisters really only happen on long uphills, but they happen nevertheless. I do have an awkward foot (wide forefoot, heavy overpronation and narrow ankle), but I find that any "mountain-specific" boot is simply too stiff for the movement that occurs in my ankle and mid-foot, thus creating hotspots and blisters.
Enter the Salomons: Most comfortable boots I've ever owned. Now I have no illusions that these boots offer the same support, protection, or longevity as my mountain boots that cost triple the price, but they sure feel fantastic.
I've carried upwards of 100lbs on my back and have no issues with these boots. They are supremely comfortable, zero hot spots, and after a long day I'm in no hurry to take them off.
All feet are different of course, but if you have heel issues (especially narrow heel and wide forefoot) these are a strong contender.
I'll second the Schnees Beartooths. Love mine and used them exclusively for the past two years both early and late season with nothing but good things to say. Also hard to beat their 100% satisfaction warranty. Solid boot and great company. Although I did pick up a pair of Kenetreks late last year and so far, with the new heal cup design, I am really liking them as well.
Well, I have Lowa, Kenetrek, Scarpa and Salomon. My favorite is Lowa. Lowa describes it thusly: “Balance Insole, with a breathable top layer, and slow reacting foam, delivers instant customization to the foot. This proprietary insole transports moisture away from the foot, eliminates pressure points, minimizes friction between foot and insole and reduces fatigue.” I am a huge fan of Lowa's. They fit my feet extremely well. I have a pair of renegade low cut for hiking and antelope hunting. I have rangers for mountainous terrain. Both are outstanding.
Late reply, yes. I like the Danner RAT boots simply because the are very comfortable for me and i can get them for $119 or less vs paying $300+ and they can take a serious beating. If i am in wetlands and hunting constantly in rivers, bogs, horseshoe lakes and river areas, i like the Cabela's Hunter's Jeans, breathable waders that have a hiking style boot on the bottom.