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  1. #1
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    Boots for Building?

    So I've been hired on for a four month gig with ACE to be a trail crew leader on the Heart trail project here on Flagstaff. I've been working on this and the Little Elden trails reroutes now for three years and I did the alignments for these as a volunteer. I'm really stoked since trail building is all I really want to do and I want to make it my profession, that real world stuff just doesn't work for me.

    Anyways, this is a question for builders, what boots do you like for trail work? I have been using some logging boots but they make my feet hurt if I walk far in em. I love them for working but they are heavy and this project is going to require some heavy hiking in and out of the site as well as some extremely steep side slope bushwhacking to flag the line. I think I want something water proof and that doesn't let sand into them. I like a higher boot for support and they need to be sturdy but not too heavy. Any thoughts? Thanks.

    If anyone is interested in following my trail stuff I post it up on instagram, raisingarizona13. I would post in here but I can't get pictures on my computer and for some reason I can't log in on my phone.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Depends on what youíre building and how. If youíre drilling or using a rock drill for breaking rock, Alico Guides are hard to beat if they fit... I always looked for something that is all leather with a stitched on Vibram sole. Whether doing hand work or machine work I used my feet a lot to finish trail (Kick rocks, kick berms, compact dirt, etc..). Something comfortable and durable and donít expect to get more than a season out of them if youíre working a lot of hours. Hope that helps a little!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Short gaiters over your boots do wonders to keep dirt/stones out of them. They look dorky but worth every penny.

  4. #4
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    I got this pair a couple seasons ago and they've held up well so far. Heavy duty enough I can use my feet a lot to move dirt/rocks. They're not the most comfortable for hiking longer distances but my feet are getting used to them. Got them at redwing shoes. Can't recall if that is the brand or if they are something else.

    If you have to walk long distances you could wear some lighter trail runners for the approach then put boots on at the work site. You can get cheap lightweight gaiters for them at REI for $20. I've been wearing these for biking the last few months and have gotten exactly zero rocks and sand in my shoes since. Highly recommended.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hick View Post
    Alico Guides are hard to beat if they fit... I always looked for something that is all leather with a stitched on Vibram sole.m

    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Great boots and a good price at STP. if you want something beefier a scarpa fuego or the like may be what you're looking for. They are STIFF when new though.

  6. #6
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    On a genuine ol' fashioned authentic steam powered aereoplane
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    Just followed you on IG. I'm bike_stem.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    Just followed you on IG. I'm bike_stem.
    Cool. I followed you back.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

  8. #8
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    I might have to carry my boots in for now but after my first paycheck I'm going to look at some leather mountaineering boots like the ones hick suggested.

    Thanks for the replies.
    dirtbag, not a dentist

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Ones that fit so that you don't rub the ball of your foot raw from standing on weird slopes and leveraging tools all day.

    Nothing else matters. Just get some damn stiffies.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    277
    Quote Originally Posted by hick View Post
    Depends on what youíre building and how. If youíre drilling or using a rock drill for breaking rock, Alico Guides are hard to beat if they fit... I always looked for something that is all leather with a stitched on Vibram sole. Whether doing hand work or machine work I used my feet a lot to finish trail (Kick rocks, kick berms, compact dirt, etc..). Something comfortable and durable and donít expect to get more than a season out of them if youíre working a lot of hours. Hope that helps a little!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I have a pair thatís 20 years old. Theyíre hard to kill. Heavy AF, though- I donít wear them backpacking anymore. But they are my choice for trailwork.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Zappos (and REI) can be helpful with trying on lots of boots to get a handle on fit and return them for full reimbursement. I used to order online at REI, have them shipped to the store near my home, try them on in the store, return the ones that donít fit, and take the one(s) home that I wanted to think about more. Similar strategy using Zappos.

    Tall boots, you might want to think about tactical boots. Also, what about snake gaiters?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Rossland BC
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    I wear basic Blundstone boots everyday for trail building. Theyíre durable, comfy like slippers, easy on and off, no laces to catch when bush bashing, and provide plenty of protection yet they make your feet strong.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    I wanted a metal toe in mine for some protection from chainsaws. I had a tough time finding something that had a metal toe + tall enough to keep dirt out + fit well (most options were super roomy and wide).

    Ended up with some redwing / irish setter Mesabis. 9" cuff, aluminum toe, and light enough that they don't feel clunky. They're still a bit wider than I'd like. I haven't had them that long, but so far they've been good.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2004
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    I have a couple of pairs of Keen boots from the work boots category that have treated me well. Right now I have an insulated pair for winter and colder weather use and an uninsulated pair for the other 2 seasons. Both are waterproof with a toe insert and aren't terribly heavy. Sorry I don't remember the model names.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona13 View Post
    .

    Anyways, this is a question for builders, what boots do you like for trail work?

    . Any thoughts? Thanks.
    ..
    its just like ski boots or runners or shoes or any piece of foot wear ... they have to fit or they will hurt

    Last time i bough hiking boots I tryed some boots on, bought the best the pair at each of the 2 stores in town and i told them I would be bringing a pair back so you can't really beat them up outside and expect to return them so I wore them around at home in the house for at least an hr ...keep the best pair
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
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    May 2008
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    Boots for Building?

    I generally wear mountaineering boots for mountain work, and steel toe leathers for metal work. I like the support and beefy sole when Iím mountainside, and most shop boots just donít consider that kind of usage, and itís just a matter of time before you roll an ankle with a shop boot. My go-tos are the Asolo 6B+ GV, and I havenít even broken them in yet from several months of abuse. Breathable enough to stay cool in warmer weather but with warmer socks work great in cold temps too. MEGA stiff shank, awesome heel cup and ankle support but with a really well thought out articulating cuff. Very comfy and I love the way the one piece upper hugs your foot when you lace up tight.

    I donít wear gaiters unless Itís winter, but my days of wearing shop/welding boots on the hillside are long gone.
    Last edited by DoWork; 05-12-2019 at 10:03 AM.
    "If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise." -Robert Fritz

    Quote Originally Posted by skifishbum View Post
    not enough nun fisters in that community

  17. #17
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    The real question, though, is if theyíve given you Rogue hand tools yet or if youíre still breaking the ones from the hardware store haha thereís no going back to normal stuff from those either!
    "If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise." -Robert Fritz

    Quote Originally Posted by skifishbum View Post
    not enough nun fisters in that community

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Tall boots, you might want to think about tactical boots.
    This. there are a number of really high quality tactical boots out there that would fit your bill really well... waterproof, lighweight, tall, vibram sole etc. The only issue is if you actually need hard/steel toe, or need protection from machines. And this is obvious, but make sure you take the time to break them in a bit before using them for actual work.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoWork View Post
    The real question, though, is if theyíve given you Rogue hand tools yet or if youíre still breaking the ones from the hardware store haha thereís no going back to normal stuff from those either!
    Truth. The 70H is a champ.

  20. #20
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    Feb 2012
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    Missoula
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    mtb missoula just got a couple of those. I like.

    As for boots I just wear my asolo hiking boots. Trailwork is about the only time I put them on and after a few years they're not particularly worn. I'm not doing it full time though, just volunteer days (but last week I think I logged at least 15 hours).

  21. #21
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    I used to have a pair of Asolo's. Ended up using them mostly for trailwork. I was impressed how long they lasted. 5-6 years of fairly heavy use. Hoping the work boots I bought last a similar time.

  22. #22
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    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by californiagrown View Post
    This. there are a number of really high quality tactical boots out there that would fit your bill really well... waterproof, lighweight, tall, vibram sole etc. The only issue is if you actually need hard/steel toe, or need protection from machines. And this is obvious, but make sure you take the time to break them in a bit before using them for actual work.
    You can get them meeting various atsm stds. Hereís an example: https://uspatriottactical.com/bellev...-boots-coyote/

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Western MT
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    You can get them meeting various atsm stds. Here’s an example: https://uspatriottactical.com/bellev...-boots-coyote/
    Those all look like tall expensive tennis shoes. Wimpy soles, no ankle support, etc. Hammering soles on rocks and shovels all day would be better served by a burlier boot IMO.

    I like steel shanks (or at least nylon, fiberglass, etc) and heavy leather in work boots, but it does add weight. Logging boots seem like they would suck for trail work because of the tall heels. Great for soft soil/duff to dig in, but not necessarily for trail work and hiking on established trails for access.

  24. #24
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    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3PinGrin View Post
    Those all look like tall expensive tennis shoes. Wimpy soles, no ankle support, etc. Hammering soles on rocks and shovels all day would be better served by a burlier boot IMO.

    I like steel shanks (or at least nylon, fiberglass, etc) and heavy leather in work boots, but it does add weight. Logging boots seem like they would suck for trail work because of the tall heels. Great for soft soil/duff to dig in, but not necessarily for trail work and hiking on established trails for access.
    Yea. I donít know those boots, but I was pointing out that some tactical boots are made to meet various safety standards.

    Maybe these are mo better, for a mere small price. https://uspatriottactical.com/danner...ts-desert-tan/

    My own experience, with a stiff shank, if the heel donít fit, the boots will break you in rather than the other way around.

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