Boot choices

Hi
I trying to decide which boot to buy. I have looked online and it looks like these are the only options I have for my size:
K-way Edge 3 mid
The North Face Activist mid futurelite
The North Face Vective exploris mid futurelite
Merrel Erie mid leather
Salomon predict hiker mid GTX
Salomon XA pro 3D V8 shoe
Lowa renegade mid leather

These are not names that usually come up, but that is what is available locally in my size. Also, not really finding helpful reviews online.
I am planning on doing muli-day hikes with relatively heavy backpack, and thus a boot…

Please help with suggestions.
Thank you

Hi :slight_smile:

Just a note on North Face, there is currently a scam site in RSA. (think its northfacesa.co.za + jacketsouthafrica.com)
They list the Vective Exploris mid for like next to nothing. I hear it’s a really good speed hiker though, Drifters I think stock them as well.

Unfortunately can’t speak for most of these but heard good things about the Renegade. Solid boot, heavy though but if you have a heavy backpack I guess that will help.
Salomon in my experience has not been very durable but that might just be me. For multi day’s with a heavy backpack the Merrel or Lowa seem like a good bet.

Hiking shoes/boots are so personal though, think it comes down to what’s comfortable for you and what type of trails you intend on doing.
Regardless of what people say, you’re the one that is going to be walking around in them :slight_smile: If you can, go try out a couple in store, take hiking socks with.

Personally I am a fan of Salewa, La Sportiva and Mammut. They can get expensive but durable and great on rocky trails.

Hope you find something, I know stock is currently not amazing in SA.

Thank you for your reply.
I have found Salewa’s for R4200 :sweat_smile:
Think I’ll try the Renegades and the Merrels for now.

@TinyZulu but what Trailhunter says is crucial, and take thick socks, remember your feet will swell during the day too. And try finding a plank or something that simulates walking downhill and see if your toes stub, if they do you will lose toenails on your hike.

Most of those boot brands will suffice, I am, however not familiar with any of them first hand. Merrels and Renegade probably the toughest of the lot.

I’ve had poor experience with NF, think it’s hyped up and overpriced.

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I use a pair of Renegades, and they are excellent boots. Quite light, for boots, and I’m yet to get any kind of water leaking in. They are also so comfortable that I’ve stopped packing in “recovery shoes” for hikes. My renegades are possibly the most comfortable shoes that I own.

In all honesty though, I most likely won’t be buying another pair. There are crazy expensive (especially in SA), and they aren’t as durable as one would like when spending 5k + for a pair of boots. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could get the same level of comfort and waterproofing on a much cheaper shoe/boot. I’ve come to realise that the single biggest factor in determining boot comfort and effectiveness (at least for me) is FIT. It took the Renegades fitting my feet perfectly for me to realise what a perfectly fitting shoe should feel like (I have very wide feet). So my advice would be to try as many shoes (in different sizes) as you can, and make fit your most important factor. Don’t order online unless you’ve tried the shoe in person.

Also: This is a controversial opinion, but boots aren’t always a must for heavy-pack hiking. I did the Naukluft with an overweight bag in a pair of Solomon trail-runners and I was just fine (they had good toe-guards though, which I would advise). I can definitely hike further and faster in trail runners (even with a heavy pack) than in boots. Trail runners aren’t as durable though, so you’re going to be replacing them more often. I’m probably going to try out some kind of mid-height trail runner after my Lowa’s give in.

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Thank you for the replies and valuable advice, I have decided to try the Merrels and the K-ways at CUM, will update when I have made my final decision.

Morning
Update on boots.
I have tried the Merrell Forestbound UK10.5 and the K-Way Edge 3 UK 10 (same thick hiking socks).
The Merrell felt great straight out of the box, tried to walk up and down, plenty of space at the toes and not too tight around the ancles.
The K-Way also felt good, but is definitely narrower at the widest part of my foot and around the ancles. I also noticed that is is only recommended for light hiking.
I also tried the Lone Peak mids a while ago, (used pair), that fitted like a dream, but cant find them in stock anywhere, and I am also worried about the move to a zero drop shoe, it felt like I was dragging my feet??
I have decided to go with the Forestbound. Negative reviews that I could find was about poor waterproofing.
At this stage is seems, beggars cant be choosers.
Thanks

I am also eager to get hold of the Lone Peak Mids, but out of stock at Drifters. What other retailers usually stock them? I saw that Altra is going to launch the Olympus in a mid hiking shoe/boot. More cushioning than the Lone Peaks. If availability is not an issue I would like to move to the mid boots of Altra or maybe even Hoka. Advantages of a trail runner and a more traditional boot in one.

I own a pair in the shoe version. They are extraordinarily comfy, like walking barefoot on marshmallows. However, they are not for sketchy terrain, very much an open even trail shoe.

Glad you could find time to go try on some shoes :slight_smile: The Merrell’s sound good.

I haven’t seen the Lone Peak mids for a while now, Outdoor Escape had a pair early last year and I think Altra SA online had sample size for sale a while back (over a year). So you will probably struggle to find them locally. I am a huge supporter of zero drop shoes but I do think it is something one should train to (mobility and frequent zero drop use) and not just get a pair and do a multi day trail. You might get uncomfortable or your feet muscles might work overtime not being used to it. I’ve also heard for very long trails they do wear quickly. Their Olympus range is amazing. Again though, they are not super supportive boots or speed hikers.

I wish I had more suggestions for you locally, seems like stock is an issue. There are expensive but really decent boots/speed hikers available. Salewa, LaSportiva, Mammut, Scarpa etc but more budget friendly wise it seems like Merrell, Salomon, Adidas (the new AX4 mid Gore-tex looks really nice for that price) are your options. Unless of course you go for trail runners :slight_smile:

Oh, and then there is Jim Green. I can’t speak for any of the boots though.

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