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Topic: Why are $250 boots are better than $30 Walmart ?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 1:02 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just want a basic pair to use for the trail descent after a rock scramble.  I prefer some more padding for the knees than my Ascent shoes.  

I am thinking these $30 boots from Walmart might be fine.  They can also double as show shoveling boots.

Can you suggest any other alternatives before I pull the trigger?

I know people here are going to be big on brands, but can you tell me what "serious" $100 or $200 or $300 hiker boots will have that this chunky pair for $32 does not?  Yes, this is a serious question.  

You can not assume they will be a bad fit, and use that as an excuse to just drop $300 on boots.  Assuming the fit is perfect, what are the $32 boots lacking?  (Besides a trendy logo)
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 1:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nothing. They'll last just as long, the stitching will be just as good and I'm sure they're using synthetic thread...or maybe just cotton, the insole will be made of the same high quality material so they don't disolve within a few months, the sole is surely welted - not just glued on, the leather is...err, nevermind about the leather.

That said. Fit is most important. The rest will come with wisdom, education, and experience.

Instead of "padding", you might want to consider an insole that molds more evenly to your foot. Even pressure and a rolling motion tends to have more of an effect.

I'd be looking at a pair of trekking poles also. They'll have a huge effect on the shock to your knees.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 7:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am in your camp.  I like justifying a sort of one downmanship type approach to gear.


Like Tigger said, if they fit you and don't rub your feet to hamburger...go for it.  But there are striking differences between a pair of Alico's and these soon to be landfill boots.  They may "do the job"...but don't fool yourself into thinking they are "better"


Some big names may not be much better than what you are looking at (TNF &  Merrell makes lousy boots in my opinion).  

A friend still has the same Nevados, (but these are higher end $42 boots, not to be confused with the $30 WM rubbish you are considering ), for three years...and he has put on more dayhike miles than I have.  Are they cutting edge, nope, best materials...far from it...but they work for him and fit into his budget...Heck during the weekends at home I plod around in a pair of canvas Chuck Taylors....the WM boots have to be better than those.


Maybe ten-15 years ago, comparable boots like the ones you're looking at may have cost 2-3 x what they are now. We benefit from advances in technology and competitive labor practices, (duck), due to third world manufacturing.  

It is kind of like wine today vs the early 80's...there  really is no "bad" wine out there like the plonk that flooded the mass US market...so we can buy an 88 point rated wine for $7 from Spain that is "better" (or at least rated "better"), than a $400 Bordeaux from the abysmal 2005 vintage.....


Look at gear:  In 2004 the MSR Hubba Hubba was the end all tent...now it is almost derided as too heavy...a 4 lb 2 man tent....too heavy.  (probably not the best example as it is still an expensive tent)..  

BTW, for other options look at HiTech boots., I owned a few pair before I discovered SAC and STP...where I could buy a pair of $180 boots for $60...in last years color of course.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 7:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another cheepster!  Hello, kindred spirit.  

I have yet to spend more than $100 on footwear because I have yet to find a good fit in anything more expensive.

Nevados and Hi-tec aren't bad brands.  Watch out for too soft soles.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 9:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can actually afford any boot out there.  But, I don't like wasting money on overkill or branding.   I don't need to spend only $32 if I can get much more value for incrementally more.  Where is the ideal "value" optimization in hiking boots? $50?  $100?    

I will take a look at HiTech since 2 people mentioned these are better than the Walmart boots, and only slightly higher price.

PS:  there is no need to play the "fit card".  Why do people assume a cheaper boot always fits worse?  You could get a $500 pair of boots 2 sizes too small, and it will also rub your feet to hamburger.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 9:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What does SAC stand for?  
STP means Sierra Trading Post, right?

These boots will last me a decade, since I don't hike often.
Can anyone post a link to a better value than the Walmart boots?
Where it's TOTALLY worth the extra money.  
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 9:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can get $250 boots on deep discount. There are ways to shop for such things.

However - you must know that the shoe/boot fits you well, and thus you must try them on, and know when trying them on that this one works.

Trying them on and walking around the store unfortunately has proven futile in the past in determining what works for my feet. Until you've hiked a while it's hard to know what "feels right"

I've not spent more than $120 for any pair of any shoe or boot.... But, I will spend $120 every year until the current shoe of choice is discontinued, because I hike that much and the shoe works that well, and there are no sales anywhere that I've found for them. If I could find a cheap shoe that worked well, I'd buy the cheap shoe. Ditch the notion of cheap and find the one that fits. Then start shopping madly online for sales.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 9:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 9:29 am)
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What does SAC stand for?  

SAC = steapandcheap.com
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 9:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any of these a much more obvious buy than the others?

HiTec  Altitude IV for $71
http://www.amazon.com/Hi-Tec-Mens-Altitude-Hiking-Boot/dp/B000RUH7ZY

HiTec Coronado for $60 shipped (20% coupon) from STP
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/hi-tec-....p~5912k

HiTec Falcon $55 shipped
http://www.amazon.com/Hi-Tec-...._shoe_1
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 10:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 9:37 am)
QUOTE
Any of these a much more obvious buy than the others?

HiTec  Altitude IV for $71
http://www.amazon.com/Hi-Tec-Mens-Altitude-Hiking-Boot/dp/B000RUH7ZY

HiTec Coronado for $60 shipped (20% coupon) from STP
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/hi-tec-....p~5912k

HiTec Falcon $55 shipped
http://www.amazon.com/Hi-Tec-...._shoe_1

Do any of them fit you?

Seriously - FIT FIT FIT FIT FIT FIT FIT.

If you don't care about pain try whatever you like.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 10:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 7:27 am)
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PS:  there is no need to play the "fit card".  Why do people assume a cheaper boot always fits worse?  You could get a $500 pair of boots 2 sizes too small, and it will also rub your feet to hamburger.

You've completely misunderstood what people are telling you about fit.

Fit is key, and there is no way to know whether a boot will fit you until after you've tried it on.  Buying a $250 boot online and "assuming" it'll fit great is just as foolish as buying a $32 boot and assuming the same.  There's no way you can know that.  Most boots won't fit great.  There is far more to fit than "size."  The only way to ensure you get a boot that fits you worth a damn is to physically try them on.

When people are telling you to go to a retailer and try many boots on, they're not pushing you to buy an expensive boot. They're trying to help you avoid the blister-factory that buying boots sight-unseen tends to lead to.

As to the difference in quality, it usually takes some experience to know what quality does for you. I've seen enough boots fail miserably (blown stitches, soles delaminating and falling off mid-hike, mid-soles breaking down unevenly in the first 100 miles [causing knee issues], etc) to know what to look for in a quality shoe or boot (note I didn't say "expensive", not the same thing).

It's pretty clear you've already decided on the boot you chose online, even though you seem quite ignorant in the assumption that "more padding" will instantly save your knees going downhill.  (Hint: It won't.) But if you'd rather learn the hard way, more power to you.

Ignore what you want, but folks are actually trying to help you.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 10:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 7:37 am)
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Any of these a much more obvious buy than the others?

HiTec  Altitude IV for $71
http://www.amazon.com/Hi-Tec-Mens-Altitude-Hiking-Boot/dp/B000RUH7ZY

HiTec Coronado for $60 shipped (20% coupon) from STP
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/hi-tec-....p~5912k

HiTec Falcon $55 shipped
http://www.amazon.com/Hi-Tec-...._shoe_1

Good gravy.  You strike me as an ostrich with its head in the sand.

Buy what you like.  No random suggestion on an Internet forum is going to get you a boot that fits you well. I don't know how much more simply it can be said.  Pick whichever one is your favorite color.

You're just being lazy and wanting the Internet to do your shopping for you.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 10:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I used to think the same thing until I wore a pair of payless Timberlands on a trip. Never again. You don't have to spend $250, $300, or however high it's going to go to get quality hiking footwear. However, this is one area where the old adage, "“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" is very telling.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 10:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here's a thought - buy a pair and hike in them. If they work, great. If they don't work, buy another pair. They're cheap. If each pair causes you some sort of pain or blistering, and you go do your own research and figure out that your feet are unique to you and you need to find a pair that - waaaaaait for it ---- FITS - you'll save us a lot of typing and be happy.

Hopefully, it won't take more than a few pairs to figure out by trial and error, and you won't spend that dreaded $250 that you're worried about.

There is no fit card. It's the bottom line with hiking boots. They only work if they fit YOUR FEET. Not my feet, his feet, her feet, or their feet.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Of course fit is the key. Few would argue with that.  I'm with GBH in that boots are one item I would never buy on line due to fit concerns.  However, given that a boot fits well, if I can afford it, I'll usually go with the more expensive boot. The main reason for me is durability and reliability.  I generally believe more expensive the boot, up to a point, the better the quality and construction.  The last thing I want in my boots is for the sole to delaminate or the sides to bust out in the middle of a long backpacking trip.  I've had that happen with cheap boots but never with a quality more expensive boot, although I'm sure there are exceptions.  Much, of course, depends on what you're using them for.  If it's just for an occasional hike through relatively easy terrain or trails or for shoveling the walk, cheap boots will probably serve you fine for a while. But it they're going to be used for heavy duty backcountry hiking, I'll go with a quality boot even if they're expensive, every time. In my years of backpacking, I've found that boots are one item you don't want to scrimp on.  As with most, but not all things, with boots, I really believe you get what you pay for.  IMO, mossy's quote best sums up my feelings:  "“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten".

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One of the problems some of us have is we live in an area where there are few if any outdoor stores. I have one about 45 miles away and all they carry is North Face stuff. As far as shoes I don't know but I am in the need for new boots because mine are causing blisters. I may have to do some research on brands and then order and try them on and send the ones back that don't fit. Unless you buy from Zappos a lot of times you have to pay shipping back, that adds to the cost of the shoe. I would love to go to a store and try on a couple brands as I well know all shoes are not made the same and don't fit the same.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The farther you are from a trailhead, the more likely gear is to fail. It is just a fact of backpacking.  Spending a little more on quality gear is one way tonsure it doesn't happen to you, at least not on your first couple of trips.

High quality footwear  come in various price ranges, but for me, I tend to set a lower limit at $90 and an upper at $250.  This gives me a wide choice to find something that is comfortable for hours, and will stand up to the punishment I deal it.  If I happen to find something that normally falls within my range, but is on sale and offered at a lower price, then I will look at it longer.

Fit, then price, then color.  I hate purple footwear.  Pink also.  :)  


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yea, I get fit is important.  But, I am not in a position to go try on shoes.  And of course, when you try on shoes, it will be at some store stocking $200 boots only.  

So far, I have NEVER had a fit issue ordering blind online.     So, I will order my size, and hope for the best.  If the fit is bad, then I will toss them in the garbage, and start over.  Good?

Let's just pretend I am in a store, and ALL these boots fit me perfectly.  Now, which one should I buy.  Again, they ALL fit me perfectly, in my hypothetical.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

[quote=GoBlueHiker,Aug. 01 2013, 10:15 am][/quote]
As to the difference in quality, it usually takes some experience to know what quality does for you. I've seen enough boots fail miserably (blown stitches, soles delaminating and falling off mid-hike, mid-soles breaking down unevenly in the first 100 miles [[i]causing knee issues], etc) to know what to look for in a quality shoe or boot (note I didn't say "expensive", not the same thing).
[/I]

Ok, smart guy, since price does not imply quality, how do you know what to look for?


It's pretty clear you've already decided on the boot you chose online,

Not really when I am posting many links to choices.

even though you seem quite ignorant in the assumption that "more padding" will instantly save your knees going downhill.  (Hint: It won't.)



Well, it would be stupid to say more padding will be WORSE for the knees, now won't it?
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 9:36 am)
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Yea, I get fit is important.  But, I am not in a position to go try on shoes.  And of course, when you try on shoes, it will be at some store stocking $200 boots only.  

Not even close to true.  Go to any big-box Sporting Goods store.  Lots of cheap boots.

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(GoBlueHiker @ Aug. 01 2013, 11:40 am)
QUOTE

(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 9:36 am)
QUOTE
Yea, I get fit is important.  But, I am not in a position to go try on shoes.  And of course, when you try on shoes, it will be at some store stocking $200 boots only.  

Not even close to true.  Go to any big-box Sporting Goods store.  Lots of cheap boots.

Ok, and then when they ALL fit perfectly, the $30 one, the $90 one, and the $200 one, then what do I do?  I get right the hell back to this thread.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any sick values in here?

http://www.ems.com/family....ice-EMS

http://www.sportsauthority.com/family....ice-TSA
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just to add, most of my hikes are in the 2 hour range.
I once got lost and it took 4 hours, and I will never do that again.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 8:36 am)
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Yea, I get fit is important.  But, I am not in a position to go try on shoes.  And of course, when you try on shoes, it will be at some store stocking $200 boots only.  

So far, I have NEVER had a fit issue ordering blind online.     So, I will order my size, and hope for the best.  If the fit is bad, then I will toss them in the garbage, and start over.  Good?

Let's just pretend I am in a store, and ALL these boots fit me perfectly.  Now, which one should I buy.  Again, they ALL fit me perfectly, in my hypothetical.

If "fit" were equal, I would go with the ones that have the lacing style you want, the type of sole you prefer with the proper tread pattern for your terrain, the stiffness of sole you prefer. I tend to go with a much stiffer sole with more roll because of off-trail terrain and side-hilling. I also prefer a breathable membrane.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The cheaper the boot, the cheaper the material it is made from, within a range of course.  Labor does figure in to the price, but most boots are made in cheap labor factories.  Materials, and advertising, are the next biggest factors.

How long do you want them to hold up?  If you are only going to hike 100 miles in them before replacing, any boot will do.  If it is your intention to buy one pair to use several years, and close to 1000 miles, it will cost a bit more.  For my price range, I expect to get 2000 miles out of the soles and uppers, and I buy new insoles, at $30 a pr, every 750-1000 miles.  


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(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 9:40 am)
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Well, it would be stupid to say more padding will be WORSE for the knees, now won't it?

No.

The issue isn't "more padding" or "less padding" regarding your knees.  Improper support and poor walking gait from shoes that don't support you well is a much more likely issue than not enough padding.  Or, perhaps your knees and muscles simply aren't conditioned well for this time of exercise yet, causing inflammation and soreness.  I'm not a chiropractor and I won't pretend to diagnose you, but buying a shoe with padding and assuming it'll instantly fix the problem isn't likely to help.  Plenty of people go up & down mountains with shoes that have almost no padding and do just fine, given that their feet and legs are conditioned for it and they have a healthy gait.

One of the issues with most cheap shoes is the extremely cheap foam they put in the midsoles breaks down very quickly.  And it doesn't break down evenly.  I can't tell you how many people regularly walk around with old shoes where their feet are heavily pronating or supinating (leaning in or out with every step) causing all kinds of longer-term problems from their knees up through their back.  Look around at people's feet as you walk down the sidewalk, so many people have crappy shoes that don't support them well at all and only cause problems.  Cheap hiking boots (especially $30 ones) are far more likely to be made from cheap flimsy materials that will break down unevenly (flattened completely on one side while still thick on the other side, for instance), giving you an uneven gait and only exacerbating foot and knee issues down the line.  In fact, it's guaranteed that a $30 boot won't be made from high-quality stuff.  Quality can be had for discount, but that doesn't mean you get quality from the cheapest disposable thing that can be found.

Padding alone won't fix what ails you.  Lack of padding isn't what's causing it.

Jeebus, I sound like TNB. :p


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GoBlueHiker Search for posts by this member.
Obsessive Island Hopper...
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 11:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 9:42 am)
QUOTE

(GoBlueHiker @ Aug. 01 2013, 11:40 am)
QUOTE

(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 9:36 am)
QUOTE
Yea, I get fit is important.  But, I am not in a position to go try on shoes.  And of course, when you try on shoes, it will be at some store stocking $200 boots only.  

Not even close to true.  Go to any big-box Sporting Goods store.  Lots of cheap boots.

Ok, and then when they ALL fit perfectly, the $30 one, the $90 one, and the $200 one, then what do I do?  I get right the hell back to this thread.

Speaking from experience, that's extraordinarily unlikely to happen.

Your assumption is a false premise.  You're not going to find most that shoes fit you perfectly.  Most won't fit well at all.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 12:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

TNB, My thoughts exactly Mike.  Sound the TNB alert...

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 12:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Aug. 01 2013, 11:54 am)
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Jeebus, I sound like TNB. :p

Couple more uses of "pronating" and it would have been dead on.

Scary!
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 12:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Aug. 01 2013, 11:36 am)
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.     So, I will order my size, and hope for the best.  If the fit is bad, then I will toss them in the garbage, and start over.  Good?

Seems like a rather expensive and wasteful approach to me.   Do it a few times and you will have spent enough to have gotten a high quality pair of boots in the first place.  But then, it's your money and your feet.


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