Broad-fit hiking boots

I’m desperately trying to find a suitable hiking boot for my very broad feet. I’m about 8 in length and 11,5 in width but have to wear a size 13 just to get my feet inside the boot…! Cape Union Mart apparently don’t sell half sizes anymore and I can’t find anyone else locally…size 11,5 Merrells were generally okay but didn’t last more than a year. I even bought a pair of Columbia broad-fit from Amazon to find they were also too narrow and had to return them. I’ve tried Jim Green and Strassbergers, who made me a custom pair but even these gave me hectic blisters on a 10km hike. The best boots I’ve ever owned I bought in Innsbruck back on 1982 - these were Crispi’s and I hiked the Fish River Canyon after not wearing them for 6 months and didn’t get a single blister…!

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Such a difficult topic - the hiking boot/shoe… We all know the different points of discussion re boot vs trail runner etc so I’m just going to drop a couple of links with my thoughts. Looking for a boot/shoe locally is difficult, we don’t have lots of choices. If you can buy from overseas, problem solved if not, maybe one of these might help…


They just released the all weather version of the lone peak, both low and mid. Your feet will be super happy and I have not heard of a single person who gets blisters wearing Altra’s. They don’t have the best rep on durability though, unfortunately. I have also not seen anyone wearing Altra’s without a hole in them somewhere :slight_smile: Amazing shoes though and in the long run if one can transition to zero drop, your feet will thank you but then again not everyone will make that transition smoothly and without issue.


I haven’t seen the 345 in stock recently but I know Drifters released the 400 GTX recently. The reviews on this shoe is stellar and I would love to get myself a pair. Unfortunately they come at a very steep price for a hybrid speed hiker and not proper mountaineering boot. Like Altra, Inov8 has a good rep for wide toe box and blister free rides :slight_smile: My money will be that they will be more durable in the long run.


Scarpa just dumped a whole lot of awesome boots/shoes locally (drifters, gone, tog) At a price :frowning: I wish they brought in the Rusk TRK, was looking at buying that internationally earlier this year but shipping… The Rush would have been a winner with our terrain but they do have the Maverick / Mescalito / ZG trek which are all really good boots.

Personally my fav footwear brans is Salewa but you struggle to get models locally, Vertigo is the only one who sells (as far as I know) and they are not known to be the widest shoe so not sure if I should recommend.

And then a very underrated brand but I really think they have some decent hiking boots and very comfortable, also a plus on the wider toe box. Adidas:

The AX4 mid gore tex has a nice price tag and is an amazing boot. :slight_smile:

Then you ofc have all the others: LaSportiva, Salomon, The North Face, Merrell, Mammut etc with tons of options too.

I guess buying something that will last a really long time might also go hand in hand with something that might take a while to break in. Then again, there are loads of options where you might have a shoe/boot comfortable right out of the box but might have to replace every 600 - 800km.

For me personally I won’t go for conventional heavy leather based boots but I also don’t like hiking long trails or off path trails with trail runners so I try to go for the “speed hiking” group of mid top trial running hybrids and just make peace with the fact that I will have to replace them. My old pair of Salewa’s just gave their last breath in the Hex this weekend (almost 800km but I did give them hell) and now I also find myself on the hunt for a new pair…

Good luck, may the force of the boot be with you.


Try Drifters in Joburg or Cape Town.

Try Keen Men’s Targhee, at CUM. They’re wide.
Altra otherwise, famous for being wide.

Or Groundcover in Curry’s Post might be able to make you some wide leather boots.

But beware, there’s a fake Keen za website…listed somewhere on this forum.


I can vouch for the Altra Lone Peak all weather mids, completed the Fish River Canyon in August using them, and had zero blisters whereas almost everyone else had blister on the hike. More a mix of a trail runner and a hiking shoe, definitely not a traditional boot. Pros: Lightweight, wide, comfortable. Cons: Wont last as long as traditional boots, grip in the wet not great.


Inov8 is really nice and wide. They are bringing in a new hike boot in September. Email them via the South African website. They are helpful.

I would just like to thank everyone for their suggestions and advice on this dilemma of mine. I ended up trying CUM and the only shoes that fitted me were Altra’s, which I’ll probably buy once my Merrills’s wear out. None of their boots fitted me though. In desperation I saw a podiatrist who had inserts made for my Jim Green boots, which has made a huge improvement. I also tried Drifters in Cape Town and could not find anything at all that fitted my weird feet. The comment about the Keen website was actually mine as I got scammed buying some sandals but eventually managed to effect a refund via my bank.

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Glad you could eventually find something!

When buying Altras I’d also recommend buying from Drifters, even if you have to order. They undercut the RRP by a few hundred rand for some reason.

This company might be worth looking at. They have a store in Capetown as far as I know: . Be careful about the transition to barefoot-shoes though. I think it’s worth it, but it takes a lot of time.

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Interesting concept, however they appear to lack arch support which is exactly my main issue.

Thanks Carl. They will unfortunately only make me the Karkloof boot although I prefer the Berg, so will probably order a standard size pair of Berg’s and simply use my inserts as these boots appear to be exactly what I’ve been looking for.

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In the event of anyone is still looking for a great waterproof hiking boot, check the Altra website NOW:

The OLYMPUS 5 HIKE MID GTX MENS Boot was R 4 999 and is now R 2 999.

I only use Altra shoes, and currently have the Olympus 5 Trail Shoes (not waterproof) and can say with running on technical mountain trails, that the Vibram sticks like nothing else, on wet rocks.

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I’ve just ordered a pair…let’s hope they fit me.

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So the good news is that they fit, albeit slightly tight. I have now also bought a pair of Altra Torin 6 shoes for daily walks, seems the broad fit especially at the toes is what I’ve been looking for, for years.


The Altra Torin’s are my favourite for Road Runs

I Bought an older pair on their end-of-year clearance for R700. Torin 3.5. I’m loving them.