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Fresh Boots thread - best bang for buck?


ManU
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Hi all,

I have done a search through the forums for a thread on boots however there isn't much that's in the more recent years that I could find. I'm planning a trip to NZ chasing Tahr and looking for a decent pair of boots without the massive price tag that a lot of boots seem to have these days. Mainly just interested in people's experience with certain brands, what to steer clear of. Because I expect this trip to be pretty hard going, I am happy to spend a bit of cash but only if it is really worth it. Some of the brands I would like a bit of feedback on (but will take any good advice anybody has) include Merrel, Lowa, Hunters Element, Salomon, I cant really afford to go to any of the real high end brands.

Important things for me are going to be stability, waterproofing, comfort and best suited to a narrow foot.

I've been wearing a pair of boots from Cabelas that I got years ago when the dollar was on parity, they have been ok for my needs but they kill my feet and ankles after a few km's and its time to upgrade.

Cheers in advance

 

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G'day

Ive had the merrel moab 2 in a mid, they were a great shoe, i wouldn't call them a boot but. Pro's   very lightweight and fairly waterproof   Cons  sythentic made and non leather so blackberrys and the like tore them up also i found they were a hard/stiff sole so they hurt after a big day in the hills.

I run the lowa gtx ranger 3 now and cant complain, there a leather boot that has plenty of ankle support witch i need and are fully waterproof.  Cons  heavy at a kilo a boot  Pros  great support for ankles, water proof and really comfy

I also have just got some saloman radiant gtx for hiking and if its just a quick poke around a gully or checking trial cams there what i use there lightweight and comfy but once again non leather so get torn up pretty easy

 

The merrel and saloman were both around the 200-250 mark and the lowas were 550. i've had the lowas for 2 years now and have put them through hell and they are still going strong.But for the price of one lowa you can have two pairs of the others.

 

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Lowa Z 8's and decent socks are what I'm using after several other name brands. Light comfortable, quiet . As for water proof , In NZ your going to get wet feet. Waterproof only until the water goes over the top.

Im using seal skin waterproof socks as well.

Second pair around camp , Sorel caribous.

 

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Not a specific hunting boot, but I wander around the bush wearing these. Bloody comfy straight out of the box. Light, water proof. I get about a year out of them. Everyday use. Seems that heavy building mud on jobs sites the zip doesnt like it. Magnum also make other styles with different "grip".

I could wear these 7 days straight deer hunting, knowing my feet wont suffer1c195b977e5e984054d599841b5b8cb0.jpg

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I had the moroka boots for a couple of years and found them good until they started falling apart, got my monies worth atleast.

Tried the lowa rangers but didn't like them, felt like the sole bent in the wrong spot for my foot

Currently using the Scarpa sl activ which are a stiff boot but extremely comfy and all leather with minimal stitching. 

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Hi ManU, welcome back. I have a pair of Scarpia’s and have found them great, I use them with wool/possum fur blend socks that I bought in NZ. I would listen to 264’s (Mick’s) advice because he has been there done that in NZ. as he stated once the water goes over the top of your boots, that’s it. Not much you can do about it. If your doing a lot of creek crossing’s take a light weight pair of runners with you and just change them at each crossing as well as light Sox.

Whistler

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I have tried a few stiff leather type boots and just don't like them. My Lowa Rangers are now my camp boots. They are to heavy and I find I cant feel sticks under foot which results in a noisy stalk.
I have found I prefer a flexible light boot. That can flex as I stalk. The boots I have been wearing for the last couple years has been Inov8 Roclite 325. I paid over $200 for them and can't recommend them enough. They are waterproof Goretex and are fairly hard wearing. I push through blackberries and have yet to pierce the seal. The grip is amazing on wet rocks, mud and dry terrain. I see they have come down in price as they have a new model out now.
The only thing I think they might lack on is warmth in the snow as I haven't tested them in snow yet. Warm socks or foot warmers might help with that.
Matched with my waterproof pants and Sea to summit gaiters I can punch through knee deep water and not get water in them.
That's my 5cents anyways. f3913afacefbbe5338349cbe764fff65.jpg

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I had a pair of stoney creek rusa grewakes. Got great use out of them . Really liked them for everything except, the squeak they made.Every step they would squeak and it near drove me mad. Tried the X8's on in Balingers in Nz, liked them immediately and the following two trips to Nz have had great performance out of them. Bought a couple of pairs of woollen socks recommended by the assistant and have had warm feet pretty much ever since.

Ive had more trouble with trying to keep my feet warm around camp. Hoping the sorels ae the answer.

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I have worn Merrell Moabs for the last 10-15 years and like them in the workshop as I find them very lights and comfortable, so really good for a working day on my feet. I have tried them in the hills, but just dont find the grip on the sole adequate for the Vic high country.

I managed to find a set of Soloman GTX boots in the clearance bin at Anaconda for $110 and have been running these since late last year. I wanted to try them since a lot of IPSC shooters use the Soloman GTX runners for their action matches and good grip is important for that sort of thing. They are light and the grip pattern has been a lot better than the Merrells. I havent been able to try these in the bush as much as I had expected due to lock-down, fires, etc, but so far my only gripe is that they run very narrow in their sizing. They are something you would want to try in store. If you buy online, definitely use someone with a good returns policy.

As far as heavier duty boots, I am in the same boat as you - looking at whats on the market currently. The only thing I will add is that boot sizing will vary from one person to another. What fits like a glove for one person can be very uncomfortable for another. So its really a matter of short listing several brands that have good recommendations, then trying them all on to see if one sits you particularly well.

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thanks fellas, lots of interesting points there, i'll check out a few brands mentioned here but i must admit i am leaning toward the Lowa's at the moment, i do have a bit of time up my sleeve so can try and nab them on sale.

If i wasnt going to NZ i wouldnt be so fussy and would be happy with a mid level boot but last thing i want is to have issues with gear on a trip like this one.

FYI - I have bought most of my clothing already from SKRE, i will put up a review once i have had a chance to test them out properly, which should have been early April but my plans got squashed by a virus :(

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thanks fellas, lots of interesting points there, i'll check out a few brands mentioned here but i must admit i am leaning toward the Lowa's at the moment, i do have a bit of time up my sleeve so can try and nab them on sale.
If i wasnt going to NZ i wouldnt be so fussy and would be happy with a mid level boot but last thing i want is to have issues with gear on a trip like this one.
FYI - I have bought most of my clothing already from SKRE, i will put up a review once i have had a chance to test them out properly, which should have been early April but my plans got squashed by a virus [emoji20]
Get them asap and wear them in mate[emoji106]

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I tried number of different brands, as part of my work, from army types to tactical ones, and then all sorts of hunting ones ... and settled on this in the last few years

https://steelblue.com/au/product/argyle/

I know ... some may laugh, but as I said, I had Danners, Magnums ets etc ... But I find Argyle from SteelBlue to be most comfortable for my feet at the moment.

Similar to what sambarstalker said, sometimes just a pair of workboots work the best.

Argyle also sells the same boot with zipper on the side.

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I do not recommend the Meindl Island Pro. They may need to be broken in more, but I did two hours walking around the block and they are still stiff.

The Meindl Desert Fox is great. 

A pair of joggers with waterproof socks is better. Gaiters if you like.

I do not recommend the New Balance Minimus trail runner. The sole is too thin. Sticks will hurt your feet. On the same note they force you to be silent. 

Edited by mickey
Meindl Desert Fox, not Middle Desert Fox
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After many years of stomping with all manner of boots (GPs, Danners, Hitec, Redbacks etc), l have found that Asolo leather boots are pretty good. Bit heavy but plenty of support, water resistance, tread and l can hump hills all day wearing them.

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story of my life.
i wear Talons,  imported from NZ which were imported from the Serbian army gangster dudes..........  $175  
they come in 3 styles,  a mesh summer goretex one, a nubuick swuede and a full leather,  all "mid length"  ,  i chose nuibuck swede like the  stoney creek rusa boots... an i need ankle support as the 7 screws an plate isnt enough :P

i can get these sent to AU for like SFA extra....  in Euro sizes though..   i sent some photos to a lad on FB an if u needed i could post them up here or PM me either on FB or here and i can give you details or take an order..

kind of see em here, a take off of the Lowa Z8s

IMG_2430.jpg.c9d472d89bc7f77f7daf6e36a0233813.jpg

Edited by Dingo.375
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I'm getting a new pair of boots this weekend and can't wait- I've been running Asolo TPS's (unlined) for about 4 years (I think), and have gotten a sh1t tonne of miles out of them- they have finally crapped out and the right boot's sole is delaminated. They will be very high on the list when I go to Bogong in the citeee that's for sure. The unlined Asolo's come very highly recomended from local hiking clubs due to their comfort and build quality, so they are 100% worth a look. My only grpe is the weight of them, so I will try on some lighter boots when I get fitted, but it certainly wouldn't stop me from buying them again as they are bullet proof. Been there done that with multiple pairs of hi-techs and cheapo-but-highend-branded synthetc hiking boots and NOTHING compaares in the long run to a ONE piece leather upper with only a join at the heel. The only reason boot makers put those joins in under the arches is cost, as it's harder to make a boot out of a single piece of leather. 

IMG_1835.JPG.e03f251b19501fa8e53acecf999ce6a8.JPG

IMG_1836.JPG.8c7ef8d4a769cfae5b42b2373db1d791.JPG

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I use my every day work boots. Steel Blue Argyle zip. 20 yrs in the building game and tried most brands. These are by far the most comfy and being on my feet often 10+ hrs a day, they always remain comfy. I wear them walking the forests for hours at a time with no issue. At around $170 I easily get a year out of a pair and only replace due to annual issue of new boots.

Steel blue.JPG

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