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Can someone recommend a good women's hiking boot?

Posted by Helene M on 1/19/00 at 00:00 (014919)

I need a good quality, stiff-soled hiking boot. I've looked in several athletic shoe stores, which have a large selection for men, yet only 1 or 2 styles for women. What's a good brand & what kind of store should I look in which would have a selection for women? My Reebox DMX walking sneakers work fine, except they always lose their support within 3 months of wearing them. I need something more durable.

Re: Can someone recommend a good women's hiking boot?

andreab on 1/19/00 at 00:00 (014922)

yes--the best I've found is Vasquez (sp? but it is close) I bought mine at REI in Seattle. Before I had PF you would not of caught me dead in a pair of hiking boots but people who know alot about hiking boots say these are one of the best. They were about $150 but should last a long time!

Re: Can someone recommend a good women's hiking boot?

John C. on 1/20/00 at 00:00 (014941)

Helen,

There are a several good brands of hiking boots, none of which are likely to be found in an athletic shoe store. There are a lot of high top tennis shoes that look like a hiking shoe. Their construction is very similiar to a running or walking shoe with a high top added. They are usually very light. On the other hand, good hiking shoes will be heavier and clunkier. In my home town of Birmingham, the only places that sell these shoes are outdoor stores. I have a pair of Merrills that have worked very well for me. If you want a good stiff pair of boots that will hold up, try the outdoor stores in your area. Be prepared for the cost. Andrea said she paid $150 for a pair of Vasques boots. I think that amount is probably close to average for a good pair of boots.

Good hunting.

John


Re: Can someone recommend a good women's hiking boot?

Rosalind on 1/20/00 at 00:00 (014964)

There was a very helpful post (by Maureen I think) last spring on women's hiking boots recommended by an orthopedist for people with pf. I got the Asolo boots that were on that list and like them very much. I found it is very important that the heel be at least a 1/4' higher than the ball of the foot. You could add a heel lift but that made my back hurt, so I prefer the shoe to be made with the added height.

After I got the Asolo boots, I tried on a pair of REI's own brand of all leather hiking boot and they felt very comfortable. It had a lift and a bit of a rocker to it. Someday I may get a second pair and that is what I would get.

I tried hiking in New Balance walking shoes (gortex lined) but because they were so flexible they can cause strain on the fascia.
Depending on terrain, a very stiff-soled anti-pronation running shoe may work (I have used Ryka's and Asic's Beast). Hiking uphill I need to keep my foot rigid more than going downhill and an interesting combination was using my Asolo's going uphill and my stiff running shoes going downhill. (Doesn't everybody carry an extra pair of shoes when they hike?)

Other things that helped me were frequently keeping my bad foot perpendicular to the slope (kind of like a one-legged duck walk) when I walked uphill, rather than pointing it straight uphill; bringing more than one kind of insert to switch off; and wearing socks that are not too thick and the arch is thinner and tighter than the rest of the sock (like Thorlo's fitness walking sock or you can get wool versions of such socks) -- the less bulky the sock in the arch area the better because it allows the shoe to support the arch. Lastly, watch the lining in the boot - some linings like Cambrelle can make you feet very hot after walking which is the last thing you need when you have pf. I prefer a leather lining, it moulds well to the foot, and causes less friction when you walk.


Re: Can someone recommend a good women's hiking boot?

andreab on 1/19/00 at 00:00 (014922)

yes--the best I've found is Vasquez (sp? but it is close) I bought mine at REI in Seattle. Before I had PF you would not of caught me dead in a pair of hiking boots but people who know alot about hiking boots say these are one of the best. They were about $150 but should last a long time!

Re: Can someone recommend a good women's hiking boot?

John C. on 1/20/00 at 00:00 (014941)

Helen,

There are a several good brands of hiking boots, none of which are likely to be found in an athletic shoe store. There are a lot of high top tennis shoes that look like a hiking shoe. Their construction is very similiar to a running or walking shoe with a high top added. They are usually very light. On the other hand, good hiking shoes will be heavier and clunkier. In my home town of Birmingham, the only places that sell these shoes are outdoor stores. I have a pair of Merrills that have worked very well for me. If you want a good stiff pair of boots that will hold up, try the outdoor stores in your area. Be prepared for the cost. Andrea said she paid $150 for a pair of Vasques boots. I think that amount is probably close to average for a good pair of boots.

Good hunting.

John


Re: Can someone recommend a good women's hiking boot?

Rosalind on 1/20/00 at 00:00 (014964)

There was a very helpful post (by Maureen I think) last spring on women's hiking boots recommended by an orthopedist for people with pf. I got the Asolo boots that were on that list and like them very much. I found it is very important that the heel be at least a 1/4' higher than the ball of the foot. You could add a heel lift but that made my back hurt, so I prefer the shoe to be made with the added height.

After I got the Asolo boots, I tried on a pair of REI's own brand of all leather hiking boot and they felt very comfortable. It had a lift and a bit of a rocker to it. Someday I may get a second pair and that is what I would get.

I tried hiking in New Balance walking shoes (gortex lined) but because they were so flexible they can cause strain on the fascia.
Depending on terrain, a very stiff-soled anti-pronation running shoe may work (I have used Ryka's and Asic's Beast). Hiking uphill I need to keep my foot rigid more than going downhill and an interesting combination was using my Asolo's going uphill and my stiff running shoes going downhill. (Doesn't everybody carry an extra pair of shoes when they hike?)

Other things that helped me were frequently keeping my bad foot perpendicular to the slope (kind of like a one-legged duck walk) when I walked uphill, rather than pointing it straight uphill; bringing more than one kind of insert to switch off; and wearing socks that are not too thick and the arch is thinner and tighter than the rest of the sock (like Thorlo's fitness walking sock or you can get wool versions of such socks) -- the less bulky the sock in the arch area the better because it allows the shoe to support the arch. Lastly, watch the lining in the boot - some linings like Cambrelle can make you feet very hot after walking which is the last thing you need when you have pf. I prefer a leather lining, it moulds well to the foot, and causes less friction when you walk.