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  1. #1
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    Dec 2006
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    Light to midweight hiking boot recs

    It's been a while since I've bought a proper pair of hiking boots having gotten by mostly on beater athletic shoes for a few years. Looking for something in the lightweight to medium weight category with decent ankle support (both my ankles are pretty prone to rolling if I'm not careful.) They don't need to be crazy burly since they'll be used mostly for day hikes and camping, but I'd like them to be suitable for a couple of days out on the trail in a row should the mood strike me. Breathable water proofing is a nice-to-have but not a must.

    One big note: I really can't stand the look of most hikers. To me they feel like their designs were lifted straight out of 1994 - way chunky and way over-patterned. See: most of the offerings from mainstays like Keen, Merrell, etc. The current leading candidates that suit my tastes are the Salomon Predict Hike Mid Gore-Tex on the lightweight side, and the Danner Trail 2650 Mid GTX on the midweight.

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    Any other recommendations or general thoughts on where else to look?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    La Sportiva TX4 Mid. Absolutley killer shoe/boot. Light as sneakers, good support, great cushioning without losing ground feel, and a climbing rubber outsole for grip on rocks. Top freaking notch.


    Hiking is stupid. But these get me stoked to go on walkabouts in the mountains. preferably off trail amongst granite and rocks is where the shine.

  3. #3
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    Really really like my Hoka Kaha gtx. Super comfortable, stable, and light

  4. #4
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    Altra Lone Peak Mid is real comfy but not the most durable

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    Altra Lone Peak Mid is real comfy but not the most durable
    Is the mid beefed up in any way from the low shoe? I much prefer the stiffer midsole of the Timp, the LP was fine until the trail got rocky or rooty. I can't really see that sole as a 4 season mid.
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  6. #6
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    Give Hoka One One a try. I am a devoted fan of their trail running shoes- the Mafate Speed 3 is my favorite trail runner of all time. IME it is well worth it to get a model with Vibram soles. Their non vibram stuff isn't nearly as sticky in wet conditions.

    https://www.hoka.com/en/us/men-hiking/

    Also worth noting- I have a narrow foot (I ski 98 or 99 mm ski boots) but the Speedgoat last is too narrow for me.

    Maybe try to the Toa or the Anacapa or get Speedgoat mids if you truly have a narrow foot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    201
    These Asolo Fugitive are my midweight hikers. I'm very happy with them, but they may be too "chunky" for your taste.

    For light hiking I have some older version of these Danner Explorer 650 (unfortunately I don't like the current color pattern). The Vibram Mega Grip sole is amazing. Other boots with Mega Grip in their lineup are these South Rim 600 (I'm looking at these for hiking in the desert once my current ones can't take it anymore) or these Free Spirit.

  8. #8
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    My two cents: Lightweight hikers are pointless. Get some sturdy trail runners (possiblly approach shoes?), or a midweight boot. Light hikers represent the worst of both worlds and they don't last very long.

    ^^^^^^^ I also like those Asolos Fugitives.

  9. #9
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    Light to midweight hiking boot recs

    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    My two cents: Lightweight hikers are pointless. Get some sturdy trail runners (possiblly approach shoes?), or a midweight boot. Light hikers represent the worst of both worlds and they don't last very long.

    ^^^^^^^ I also like those Asolos Fugitives.
    In my case it’s specifically because of a need for ankle stability - otherwise I agree and would definitely rather opt for a burly trail runner.

    I royally F-ed up both ankles in high school and college, and they’re extremely prone to rolling as a result. Mid-height boots, even lightweight ones, are usually enough to keep them in check. The other option, I guess, would be taping up or wearing light braces, which I do to play soccer, basketball, etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    257
    I had a foot injury a few years ago and needed new boots asap. All I could get locally was a pair Lowa Renegades. To me that's a light hiking boot. Meaning it's actually a boot, not a basketball shoe w/ some knobs (like those solly's), 6" tall or so, leather and relatively stiff sole. Those Lowa's were lighter boots than what I've grown used too, sorta similar to those Asolo's up thread. I was surprised at their support given their light weight. I've also had good experience with lightweight La Sportiva boots in the past. Danner Mountain Lights and Danner Light II's and Vasque Skyliners come to mind also. Unfortunately the last few pairs of Danners I've owned or tried out were shit. Maybe, hopefully the classic Mountain Light & Danner Light II's are still good?

    I've been wearing Scarpa Zen Pros as a daily shoe for the last few years. Bomb proof approach shoe. If your into the mid-height shoe thing than I'd look for somthing like that. I remember seeing a mid version out there. Good luck

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by O.C. View Post
    Meaning it's actually a boot, not a basketball shoe w/ some knobs (like those solly's)
    I want to take a look at those Solly’s in person to see if they’re a proper boot or a high top sneaker, but as someone that’s spent 10+ years in the footwear game professionally I can tell you there are plenty of materials and constructions that have come along just in the last decade or so that can make something that ostensibly looks like a “basketball shoe” perform just as well as a proper boot in many respects, especially when it comes to underfoot support. The biggest thing you’re lacking in any lightweight offering is generally long term upper durability - still nothing better than some well-tanned animal hide.

  12. #12
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    Nov 2011
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    Midweight BOOTS? Scarpa terra. Lightish, softish, waterproof, full leather so they can we waxed. Otherwise just stick to converse.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cocximus View Post
    Otherwise just stick to converse.
    Coincidentally my go-to winter boots these days are WP Chuck Taylors.

  14. #14
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    Sep 2005
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    I like the La Sportiva GTX surround gore*tex boots. They are great for a wider foot. ~$200. I have owned the Stream and the TXS and both were excellent
    “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
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  15. #15
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    Feb 2005
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    Is it radix panax notoginseng? - splat

  16. #16
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    I use these for years for multi day backpacking (but I have very strong ankles). They are basically a high cut trail runner.

    Mine were called Wings GTX but I think they are called X Ultra now? (and are not as loud in color).

    The only reason I stopped using them is they got a hole in the side of the toe (like any trail runners they are not going to be up to the abuse of multiple 7 day off trail backpacking trips through mountain terrain)

    For light hiking with ankle protection they would be a good option if they fit.

  17. #17
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    Aug 2006
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    I like astral shoes. Their water shoes, loyak, have taken a lot of abuse from me for years with 100’s of miles of walking, running, and scrambling. Astral has been expanding their shoe and boot line.

    For hiking/walking/camping/backpacking, I usually wear my joe nimble running shoes or my mini mil work boots.

  18. #18
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    La sportiva ultra raptor II. Very light, durable and comfortable. Waterproof and tough. Hiked a fair amount and great out of the box.


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  19. #19
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    Light to midweight hiking boot recs

    Very happy w my Merrell Moab 2s that I got last minute for a trip last summer. Against all common sense, I brought them brand new on a multi day Sierra trip that covered lots of miles and granite scrambling. They held up great, comfortable, and produced no blisters at all.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    I like astral shoes. Their water shoes, loyak, have taken a lot of abuse from me for years with 100’s of miles of walking, running, and scrambling. Astral has been expanding their shoe and boot line.

    For hiking/walking/camping/backpacking, I usually wear my joe nimble running shoes or my mini mil work boots.
    Second. I have been using them for kayaking and backpacking (TR1 model) for years and they have held up better than expected given the light weight. I don't think there is any competition for the rubber on wet surfaces, vibram soles are like ice skates in comparison. Also fast drying.

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  21. #21
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    Personally I don’t find boots do a whole lot to prevent an ankle roll. Maybe a little. I do really enjoy the protection from scuffing a rock on the ankle bone, and helping to keep scree out of the shoes.

    Last real boot I bought was a Vasque Sundowner. Have been trying some lightweight hikers more recently and although they certainly help with conserving energy, the lack of underfoot rock protection is lame. Feel every pebble in the high end (for them) North Face boots I was gifted.

    I put some entry level footbeds in and it helped a fair bit. Need to go shop for some better footbeds with some rock protection.

  22. #22
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    Mar 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by burrito View Post
    I royally F-ed up both ankles in high school and college, and they’re extremely prone to rolling as a result. Mid-height boots, even lightweight ones, are usually enough to keep them in check.
    Same here, I wear ankle high boots for all hikes for this reason.


    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    These look really interesting. I wore Five Ten shoes while they were avilable, their Canyoneers. Excellent sole (Stealth rubber, their own formulation), crappy boot, but you just put up with that because the rubber really did perform better than anything else on wet rock.

    Vibram has many formulations, for different terrains and functions. Their Megagrip sole has been a good replacement for the Five Ten, but I'll give these boots a try.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rideski View Post
    I put some entry level footbeds in and it helped a fair bit. Need to go shop for some better footbeds with some rock protection.
    I'm really happy with my Sole footbeds. I like them better than Superfeet.

  23. #23
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    I'm on my second pair of Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX's https://www.scarpa.com/kailash-trek-gtx

    First pair lasted 4-5 years, tons of trail building so pretty high impact, when they wore out I ended up just getting a newer pair of the same model, out of the box and into a 4 day hiking trip on the Nootka Island trail with no break in and had zero issues, no blisters.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fofo View Post
    I'm really happy with my Sole footbeds. I like them better than Superfeet.
    Same. I use them in all of my ski boots, and I have a spare pair that will likely find their way into these hikers.

  25. #25
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    Dec 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.odd View Post
    I'm on my second pair of Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX's https://www.scarpa.com/kailash-trek-gtx

    First pair lasted 4-5 years, tons of trail building so pretty high impact, when they wore out I ended up just getting a newer pair of the same model, out of the box and into a 4 day hiking trip on the Nootka Island trail with no break in and had zero issues, no blisters.


    Same experience here. On 2nd pair, love them. Worth mentioning I have a narrowish foot.

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