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Thread started 09 Nov 2015 (Monday) 19:43
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Shoes for the hiking photographer? recommend...

 
jobv2
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Nov 09, 2015 19:43 |  #1

I want to start hitting the trails and shooting more nature. I was hoping for a recommendation on hiking shoes preferably something water proof but not a requirement. I want something I can walk all day in the mountains, desert, woods. Comfort is my primary goal, I can spend all day shooting + walking around "off the grid."

thank you for any comments

male shoe, size 9.5


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gonzogolf
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Nov 09, 2015 19:50 |  #2

I've enjoyed my hi tek boots. Are you wanting shoes or boots?




  
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Wilt
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Nov 09, 2015 19:50 |  #3

I am no expert on hiking, but I have never heard 'waterproof' is good if your feet cannot 'breathe'.
Military boots that are better for immersion in water simply use woven synthetic material rather than leather...but they both allow your feet to 'breathe'. The reduced breathability created by a membrane (compared to the ventilating mesh used on some nonwaterproof shoes) may encourage feet to sweat on summer days.


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jobv2
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Nov 09, 2015 20:02 |  #4

I can wear shoes or boots although I mostly wear shoes. I'll go where the comfort is. Good point on breathability.


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Naturalist
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Nov 09, 2015 20:03 |  #5

Don't know your budget but for ± USD $200 you can get yourself a pair of Danner Mountain Light II boots. Made in the USA and I enjoy the heck out of them. Comfortable as moccasins after break in (which was surprisingly easy as well) and they are fully resole-able so while $200 may seem like a lot, these old friends should be with you for a long time to come.


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jobv2
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Nov 09, 2015 20:12 |  #6

Naturalist wrote in post #17777996 (external link)
Don't know your budget but for ± USD $200 you can get yourself a pair of Danner Mountain Light II boots. Made in the USA and I enjoy the heck out of them. Comfortable as moccasins after break in (which was surprisingly easy as well) and they are fully resole-able so while $200 may seem like a lot, these old friends should be with you for a long time to come.

i did consider danner, columbia and northface.

I'll probably just go to a store and put my feet in them


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Jon
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Nov 09, 2015 20:15 |  #7

What kind of load do you expect to carry? A pack full of photo gear will call for a sturdy set of boots while with a single camera with all-purpose zoom you can get away with a pair of light, low walking shoes. Personally, for the varied environments you've listed, I'd go with a different set of shoes for each of them. You don't need "waterproof" (personally, if I'm worried about wet, I'll go for GoreTex linings) for the desert, but you do (probably) want something to keep sand out. And for mountains (I'm assuming rugged/rocky terrain) you'll want good support up the ankles (as would also be the case for heavy gear loads). For relatively smooth woodland trails (not heavy with roots or rocks across the trail), walking shoes would probably do well.

As for brands, every company uses their own last - one that works for me wouldn't necessarily work for you. Find a good outdoor supply store (REI, EMS, LL Bean) and try on a couple of pairs. Go in wearing a pair of snug-fitting, but comfortable, shoes; not slip-ons or chukka boots. You want your feet to be used to being supported all around when you start trying the new shoes on. If one pair feels reasonable at first, walk around in-store a lot. But don't try too many pairs the same session - your feet won't be able to tell you if they hurt from this new pair or from the last pair you tried.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Nov 09, 2015 20:42 |  #8

excellent advice Jon.

When I shop for shoes it is generally over the course of at least couple of weeks, and as many stores as I can get into as possible. Take the socks you plan to wear while out hiking. Needless to say I am very particular about what i buy. Having worked for a footwear manufacturer for years, and having been a hiker for the last 25 years or so, I know a good bit about what I am buying.

As Jon said, what works for one person might not work for another. I won't even consider a shoe that doesn't have a solid, and long shank. The shank is in the middle of the shoe, embedded in the sole and goes from the heel to somewhere in the middle of the foot. For support, he closer to the ball of your foot the better. The problem is that these days many shoes have weak, short shanks. If you take the shoe by the heel and toe and bend, you will see how long or short the shank is. Regardless of how hard it is to bend the shoe, it is the point where it bends that is important … it should be down near the ball of the foot, not in the middle of the shoe.

The latest boot I have been wearing are Scarpa lightweight hikers and after a year or two are some of the best I've ever owned. I had been wanting to buy Scarpa for a long time, and I will probably go back to them for my next pair. I'm thinking about some one piece leather hikers. The pair before that were Montrails and were total crap.

I have also been wearing some Teva shoes. I was honestly shocked at the way they were constructed and that the shank was long enough to fit my needs. The rest of the sole is fairly soft so they are very comfortable for everyday wearing around town but still hold up on light day hikes with a small backpack.


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gonzogolf
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Nov 09, 2015 21:19 |  #9

I secomd the teva suggestion, merrils are also comfortable.




  
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DetlevCM
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Post edited over 2 years ago by DetlevCM. (3 edits in all)
     
Nov 14, 2015 10:03 |  #10

jobv2 wrote in post #17777973 (external link)
I want to start hitting the trails and shooting more nature. I was hoping for a recommendation on hiking shoes preferably something water proof but not a requirement. I want something I can walk all day in the mountains, desert, woods. Comfort is my primary goal, I can spend all day shooting + walking around "off the grid."

thank you for any comments

male shoe, size 9.5

If you went hiking in Europe, the three standard suspects are Meindl, Scarpa and Lowa.
-> Any outdoor shop will have a nice selection and you can have a good look, possibly visit multiple ones to see what they recommend.

The one thing I would point out right away is that you will NEVER get something that does everything, i.e. desert and mountains say. Normally when hiking you tend to use woollen socks and these can be used to adapt - more warmth vs. more ventilation.
Also, it might seem counter-intuitive, but shoes aimed for outdoor use can be very problematic in cities - I had some Meindl shoes that have seen I don't know how many kilometres of walking - great as casual shoes, BUT they could be very problematic in cities, especially on these stupid slippery stones that were used in Leeds; when wet - grip = zero. At the same time, go out walking with them, grip on natural rock = perfect.
Given that I mainly walk through cities nowadays, I sort of stopped wearing any kind of outdoor shoe and just go with nice derby shoe.


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Philihase
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Nov 16, 2015 06:06 |  #11

I think most people have a favourite boot/ shoe but as everyones feet are different it all comes down to the fit.

I have worn Lowa Rengades for years and they fit me like a glove, stable enough for what I do, hold the water out well and fairly durable (I buy a pair a year walk about 30km a week probably, through grass,gravel, mud and tarmac then use them to travel back and for to work for another year).

One thing I would suggest if you find the "Perfect" boot for yourself imediatly if possible buy another pair as you may never find them again :)


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gonzogolf
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Nov 16, 2015 08:21 |  #12

Philihase wrote in post #17785630 (external link)
One thing I would suggest if you find the "Perfect" boot for yourself imediatly if possible buy another pair as you may never find them again :)

I bought 5 pairs of bite sport shoes when the company was purchased by crocs and they were discontinued. I'm down to 2 pair left.




  
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philodelphi
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Nov 16, 2015 08:43 |  #13

L.L.Bean makes a nice reasonably priced pair of waterproof shoes.
In fact, I'm wearing them right now!


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Nov 16, 2015 09:13 |  #14

There are some very good suggestions in here already, and I would second just going in to a reputable outdoor supplier and trying on anything that interests you. What works for my feet won't necessarily work for your's. I would also add that the socks that you will be wearing are just as important to your comfort as the shoes you end up with so don't skimp on the hiking socks.

Personally I have been using Keens for both my low top hikers and high top boots for years and love them. I have had multiple pairs of my low tops last longer than 3 years. I have a fairly broad foot and have heard that Keens do not work well for people with narrow feet so YMMV.


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Nov 16, 2015 09:17 |  #15

I'm a Danner guy. Only the Made in USA styles. Factory is close to me so I take them back every other year and have them rebuilt. You get what you pay for.


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Shoes for the hiking photographer? recommend...
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