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Topic: Slow boots< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:13 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

[Merrell Sawtooth]

Is it my imagination, or are stiff boots slow? Doesn't the sole have to flex to propel you forward?

Second, they're tiring. It seems to take a lot of energy to overcome the lack of flex. When I want to go forward it feels like they're pushing back at me.

Maybe I'm not heavy enough for these boots.

For anyone who is looking for a wide toe and a narrow heel, cross these boots off your list. They have a medium toe and heel, contrary to what I was told by Merrell.

Still bootless after a long search. This is going to be my next step: http://www.backpacker.com/blogs/502
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

my boots get slower as they age.
Mostly I use trail runners but occasionally i go back to light boots.
One pair is about 10 years old ,  I am positive  they were faster when new.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I got my first pair of stiff soled boots (mountaineering boots), I had to relearn how to walk. I had to completely change my stride and use my leg more in an exaggerated swing. I couldn't feel the ground underneath me. I basically felt like a tank being able to plow through everything but not feeling as agile. I was definitely slow on the trail but could cruise in the rough stuff. I currently own a pair that is not trail runner but isn't exactly a mountaineering boot either. After I got used to them, I fell in love with them and would love another pair. I wish I had bought two pairs...

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 12:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Franco @ Oct. 26 2012, 12:40 am)
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One pair is about 10 years old ,  I am positive  they were faster when new.

My boots get faster when it's about to rain.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 10:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tigger, thanks for that input. You're right, as I was walking I tried to think about how to adjust my gait for more forward propulsion. T

I can imagine that these boots ube good for climbing or descending on rocks and rough terrain. On a flatter trail I think they would be a hindrance. So the solution would seem to be a boot with medium stiffness, a happy compromise.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 4:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I find the stiffness of my Kaylands actually helps me out quite a bit, particularly in rough terrain as my leg muscles don't fatigue as quickly, saving me energy.  Walking on a sidewalk would indeed feel a bit awkward and slow, but for all the flat trail I might encounter, it's hardly a compromise.  And I'm kinda slow to begin with.   :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 5:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm getting to the point where I really dislike stiffer boots. I find it reduced my groundfeel and makes me too unstable on uneven terrain. Since much of my hiking is off-trail and on rough skid-trails, this isn't helpful. The stiffness helps with filtering out harsh bits, which I like and value a lot, but I don't understand why they don't simply put separate shanks under the forefoot and rearfoot and encourage flexing. I'm also a lighter-weight guy at 160 lbs so this plays a role, but I'd love to have a boot meets the following characteristics:

Good flexibility at the forefoot flex-zone

Good Longitudinal flex in the forefoot (i.e. down the middle) for better foot-feel - allows the forefoot to "grab" terrain better

A heel the same height as the rest of the foot. Elevated heels make me more unstable, and in the long run they shorten your calves.

Better instep and ankle adjustment for low volume feet like mine.

Good padding around the heel and ankle. I don't want blisters.

Solid outsole with sharp deep teeth - ESPECIALLY in the forefoot. That where my foot needs it most when walking on uneven terrain, and it's where most manufacturers make it smooth - I don't understand this.

Midsole that is polyurethane or a similarily durable material, not too thick. Total midsole and outsole thickness no more than 1/2-9/16".

Offer both GTX and non-gtx versions

Mostly ballistic nylon upper for rapid drying and good breathability
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 26 2012, 9:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ha, I love this thread.

Remember what I told you about stiff boots using "rocker" to make up for the missing flexibility TT? As you get into more hard-core winter (climbing) boots you will notice this even more.

If you are on snow you will not notice the stiff sole as much because the terrain (snow) moves under you. But on a hard surface like rock or dirt you are going to be tipping the entire boot. To what degree depends on the stiffness of your boot. Like Tigger says, you will learn how to walk in them if you use them enough.

To be honest I am at the point that if I don't need a boot to support a crampon (and therefor me being supported by a few points) I don't see the need for stiff boots. I hike most the year in trail runners or low hikers now and in winter here in flat MN just use more specialized versions of Sorels.

That might work for you too.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 27 2012, 2:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

[quote=rayestrella,Oct. 26 2012, 9:02 pm][/quote]
Ray, I remember every word of sage advice you've ever given me. I file it all away in a drawer labeled "Consider Only If All Else Fails." I figured I could post this thread behind your back while you were out testing something.

Anyway, it's all a moot point because the Sawtooths went back to Merrell today for the third and final time and I used the refund for a ***desperately*** needed tent.

So I'm bootless again and back to using the 10-15 year old Hi-Tec original Altitudes. Great boot, that used to be.

Low hikers, no, ankle weakened by repeated sprains.

Someone here commented weeks ago that Merrell advertises its boots as having a wide forefoot and narrow heel, but that he found that to be untrue. I agree with that at this point and have crossed Merrell off the list. The best-fitting boot I've tried to date is the Timberland Chocorua, which, alas, has bad reviews for durability.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 29 2012, 4:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's problematic to classify any brand with specific characteristics because it is often more model dependant. Merrell makes boots with both wider and narrower forefeet. My Moabs are quite wide in the forefoot, while the radius were much more narrow.

Additionally, don't confuse "wide forefoot" with broad toes. Many brands have wide forefoots in some models but sharply narrowing toes (e.g. Vasque Wasatch) that are good for people with triangular toes. Keen makes boots with squared off toes but some models are quite narrow and low volume in the forefoot, while others are medium width (I've yet to encounter a "wide" Keen, contrary to popular misconception). Some models are too large in a 10.5, and some I need and 11. This is more to do with volume than actual length, though there are some size differences.

Does your foot look like a diamond or a flipper? Mine are flipper feet - low volume, wide and squared toes, narrow heels. Makes finding a good fit a real pain. Most boots fit medium volume diamond feet better - because more feet look like this (supposedly).

Look at your feet. Put them on a sheet of paper and trace them. Figure out your foot shape. Then look at the boots from above, and picture how your feet line up inside. A good trick is to pull out the footbed and put your foot on it and see if it contains it well or do your toes sprawl off it? This tip is a good guideline but many boots have uppers that extend outside of the edges of the insole and can accomodate wider toes, while some have wider toes but little room to spare (keens).

I feel your frustration - I've bought and tried on countless pairs of shoes and boots. But I've learnt a lot about what will and won't work. I'd suggest going to REI or something and just spend an afternoon trying on footwear. Don't even worry about buying something. Maybe do this a few times. Try boots on with no socks. Your feet are more sensitive without them, and can tell you a lot more about fit. If it feels tight around your toes with no sock, it will definitely not be good with them on.

Good luck
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 29 2012, 5:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, at least I have company in my currently frustrating quest to find a good pair of hiking boots. I have ordered 3 pairs in about 2.5 weeks now. I will probably receive the 3rd pair later this week(hopefully). I have a thread open right now asking about those boots too(Asolo FSN95)

But the difference is, I actually like the 2 pairs I've gotten in so far, but the first pair were just too thick and warm for early fall backpacking in Va, so I kept them for winter, and ordered another pair, but the 2nd pair have ripstop nylon uppers, instead of Cordura type nylon uppers, so they are just too soft and flexible for good ankle support, but they too are comfortable, so I kept them too, and I'm wearing them now.

I seriously hope the 3rd pair are true to size, arent too flexible so that they have good ankle support, and are comfortable. But their regular price, which is what they are being sold for now at many online stores is $210, so hopefully that means they will be nice... I got them at Sierra Trading post for $129. We'll see.

As far as being faster or slower when they are new or old, I usually dont buy boots that are extremely stiff to begin with, and none of the boots I've bought in 15 years needed a break in period, so they were good to go immediately, and I cant really say that I noticed that they became slower or faster as time went on, so they must have stayed about the same.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 29 2012, 5:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SmokeyBear @ Oct. 26 2012, 5:43 pm)
QUOTE
I'm getting to the point where I really dislike stiffer boots. I find it reduced my groundfeel and makes me too unstable on uneven terrain. Since much of my hiking is off-trail and on rough skid-trails, this isn't helpful. The stiffness helps with filtering out harsh bits, which I like and value a lot, but I don't understand why they don't simply put separate shanks under the forefoot and rearfoot and encourage flexing. I'm also a lighter-weight guy at 160 lbs so this plays a role, but I'd love to have a boot meets the following characteristics:

Good flexibility at the forefoot flex-zone

Good Longitudinal flex in the forefoot (i.e. down the middle) for better foot-feel - allows the forefoot to "grab" terrain better

A heel the same height as the rest of the foot. Elevated heels make me more unstable, and in the long run they shorten your calves.

Better instep and ankle adjustment for low volume feet like mine.

Good padding around the heel and ankle. I don't want blisters.

Solid outsole with sharp deep teeth - ESPECIALLY in the forefoot. That where my foot needs it most when walking on uneven terrain, and it's where most manufacturers make it smooth - I don't understand this.

Midsole that is polyurethane or a similarily durable material, not too thick. Total midsole and outsole thickness no more than 1/2-9/16".

Offer both GTX and non-gtx versions

Mostly ballistic nylon upper for rapid drying and good breathability

Maybe you should go and try on some hunting boots instead of traditional hiking boots. I have been wearing them for years for hiking, and I usually buy boots with  the Cordura nylon uppers with leather or rubber reinforcing the heel and toe areas, and the lace areas. A good pair will still give you good ankle support, but they wont be as stiff as an all leather hiker, and they are also generally lighter, sometimes much lighter. They are often more comfortable and I have not bought a pair that needed a break in period for probably 12 years.

Its not that I have tough, calloused feet or anything, in fact, I pretty much never walk barefoot outside, unless its on the beach, and when I do, I wall slowly because the bottoms of my feet arent used to barefoot, so rocks and pebbles hurt. So, the fact that I can wear these nylon upper hunting boots right out of the box on a backpacking trip without blisters is a testament!!

I really like the Rocky Lynx hunting boots,and I shouldve just ordered them recently, but I wanted to try something new, and I've had some issues finding the right pair for this time of year and for the terrain. I ended up first with  Rocky RTAP Lynx boots, which are great, but they are going to be too warm for now(800g), then I ordered Rocky Silent Stalkers, which are nice, but they are ripstop nylon which is too soft and flexible, much more so than Cordura. The Rocky Lynx boots come in all brown or in all camo or mix of brown and camo. They come with either no insulation, 400g or 800g Thinsulate ultra and all are GTX.

Just look at the US military boots now. They arent all leather anymore, they are Cordura. Rocky has a contract with the US military for combat boots, and they are mostly Cordura nylon. Those guys often carry a whole lot more weight in their packs than we do!
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 29 2012, 6:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's a good point. I haven;t looked much at hunting boots, mostly because the ones I saw seemed too high for my liking and usually insulated. But it might be worth me checking out some more.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 30 2012, 12:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

What about racing stripes!

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