Nashville Hiking Meetup Message Board › Hiking Boots

Hiking Boots

Lauren Beck
user 6814275
Nashville, TN
Post #: 1
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Hey everybody!

I'm looking to purchase boots for longer day hikes and overnight trips. I have a great pair of Merrells for light hiking. Can anyone recommend good hiking boots? I have no idea what to get. Thanks!

Lauren
Kelly Stewart
kelstew
Group Organizer
Nashville, TN
Post #: 61
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Hey Lauren!

Really great question since a good pair of boots are the most important purchase you'll make for hiking. Let me answer your question in several "directions" and hope not to muddy the issue too much!:

  • A good pair of boots can last for years so don't skimp and buy only based on price. You could end up miserable on the trail and never go back to hiking and we don't want that!
  • Don't buy boots online since you can't try them on in person with someone who knows what they're doing.
  • I have a pair of boots from Keen that I bought at REI in Brentwood and I love them. If you're not a member of REI's club, it's a great way to save some money but only if you think you'll be spending a few hundred dollars there over the next couple years. You have to pay for their membership, so you have to think about return on investment.
  • Also check out Cumberland Transit on West End near Vanderbilt. Michael Hughes there is a footwear guru and knows our group well. Call the store (615 321 4069), ask him when he's working, and tell him we sent you.
  • Blue Ridge Mountain Sports in Belle Meade near the Percy Warner Park system is also a good place to shop. We'll be doing a hiking gear workshop there in the coming weeks but don't wait for that to buy some boots. I just met with manager Frank Carroll today and he offered a 10% discount to all Hiking Meetup members! Doth that not rock?


Please let me know if you have any other questions and this point, and please come back to this discussion page and talk about your experience boot shopping so other members can learn!

Best,
Kelly (kelstew@gmail.com)
A former member
Post #: 9
My Danner Radical Hikers are excellent. Comfortable, lightweight, great support, water-proof, and indestructable. In a word......perfect.
Richie
IdRatherBeHiking
Greenbrier, TN
Post #: 2
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I am in the middle of getting some boots for hiking and some light backpacking as well. Either some Merrells or Keen's. Boots are one of the three biggies the other two being a daypack and clothing. It was one of the many things I learned at the hiking clinic at REI last week.

Cheers,
Richie
Floyd
fbdennis
La Vergne, TN
Post #: 39
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Hey everybody!

I'm looking to purchase boots for longer day hikes and overnight trips. I have a great pair of Merrells for light hiking. Can anyone recommend good hiking boots? I have no idea what to get. Thanks!

Lauren

Lauren - the simple answer is, "good hiking boots" are boots that fit your feet well. Price, manufacturer, etc. - in truth, all of that is secondary. If the boots you pick don't conform well to the contours of your feet, you'll be miserable - at which point the only variable will be how much you paid for your misery. Contrariwise, if your selection does fit you well, the cost may not be as big a factor as you might expect. I have a pair of hiking boots I bought in college that I used right up until last year. They cost about $80 back then, which probably inflation-adjusts to something like $200+ nowadays, but that's still not bad when you spread it over <ahem> a couple of decades or so.... :)

In any case, the best advice I could give is to get yourself a good pair of wool socks, go down to REI/Cumberland Transit/any place with a decent selection, try on about every pair they have, and pick the ones that feel the best. You'll be surprised how often that's not the most expensive pair in the place. When I replaced my boots last year, I tried on about a dozen pair ranging in price from about $65-$250, if memory serves correctly. The best fit for me was a pair of REI Monarchs - about $80. I love them. They're great. My feet want to marry them, but right now they're just living together.

One last note - don't go until toward the end of the day. A person's feet swell as they walk during the course of the day, and you want to judge for comfort when they're at their maximum - like they will be after a few hours down the trail.
Lauren Beck
user 6814275
Nashville, TN
Post #: 2
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Thanks everyone for your response! I'm going shopping this weekend at a few of the suggested places. I'm an REI member but I didn't even know about the other two places. Thanks! I'll keep y'all updated!!

Lauren
Kelly Stewart
kelstew
Group Organizer
Nashville, TN
Post #: 77
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An update since my last post:

My Keen Targhees ended up wearing out before I expected, and I just invested in a pair of Vasque backpacking boots at Cumberland Transit. Michael Hughes was awesome and really spent a lot of time making sure I got the right fit.

While you're there (or at any good gear store) trying on boots, ask about the Super Feet insoles. These babies will cost you another thirty bucks but they tell me it's worth it. So far I love my new Vasque boots with the Super Feet insoles. Yes, they are bulkier than my Keens, but with the way I hike, I needed something sturdier than the Keens.

Recently I also needed to invest in a new pair of boots for my 14-year-old son, and he ended up loving the fit of the Keen Targhees (like father, like son). We went first to Blue Ridge Mountain Sports and the salesman there did all the fitting and recommendations knowing full well that they were out of my son's size in the mid cut Targhees! Basically he did all the work knowing he couldn't make the sale. Now that's service! We ended up calling Cumberland Transit, they were out of stock, so we found them at REI.
Ira
irasmith
Nashville, TN
Post #: 12
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My Danner Radical Hikers are excellent. Comfortable, lightweight, great support, water-proof, and indestructable. In a word......perfect.

Ah....another Danner fan. I've got a pair of Danner Super Rain Forest boots that to some degree are overkill for hikes but I've had them for years and just have grown used to them. I'm starting to look around for less of an overkill boot though and hope later this week to be checking some of them out so I'll let you know what I end up with.
Ryan Beaumont
user 7454308
Nashville, TN
Post #: 1
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Hey everybody!

I'm looking to purchase boots for longer day hikes and overnight trips. I have a great pair of Merrells for light hiking. Can anyone recommend good hiking boots? I have no idea what to get. Thanks!

Lauren
There is the Bass pros Shop ( Opry Mills Mall) that has great hiking boots that are less expensive than other stores. They have Vasque, Merrill, Montrail, Solamon, The North Face, and Columbia.
Ira
irasmith
Nashville, TN
Post #: 13
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This past weekend I acquired the REI Spirit III GTX Hiking Boot from REI. I've done about ten miles of hiking so far in them and find them to be a great fitting, awesome feeling boot. I hope to put some more miles on this this weekend to further break them in but wanted to share the initial results with everyone. smile
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