Q & A with The Wolf Pack : What are the best hiking boots is for year round use?

Question from Gail S

What the absolute best hiking boot is for year round use. One that keeps out the cold. snow and is water proof, and has a good general sole. I have a couple of pair and feel like Goldilocks, one pair is too soft, another is too firm, one pair the soles aren’t good for uneven or gravelly ground. There must be something out there that is an all season alternative…

Thank you for your help and looking forward to your comments and suggestions…

Comments

  1. Heya Peeps and Gail,

    I use the Wellco Marine Rugged All Terrain boots. They have a fiberglass shank so stepping on protrusions doesn’t bother your feet but they are supple enough for you to point your toes and roll your foot across the ground. They are waterproof and 8″ high so they have good support. If you stand in water long enough they will become compromised, but ankle deep long enough to cross a stream won’t get you wet. I particularly like the quick lace design. I have seen these boots as cheap as 40-60 dollars as blems so check prices. Sportsmansguide.com has them reasonably priced.

    GIJeff

  2. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    The region you live in is very important. Down here in south Texas, snow is a 100 YEAR event, last time it snowed was 2005 (or was it ’06?) and it didn’t even cover the ground, just a light dusting. So insulation from walking in deep snow is not needed.

    Most of our wilds down here is flat or lightly sloped hard clay or sandy ground with rocky areas. Extremely thorny dense brush – the fronts and sides of footwear are challenged more than the soles, lol. I had a pear of Irish Setter 8″ boots that fit my feet like a glove, but the crepe soles did not last long down here. Military LEATHER (fabric is easily pierced by thorns, but I concede far lighter) footwear is the most durable but not comfortable. Insulated soles inside boot are appreciated – the heat from ground transmission is fearsome, especially during the summer hiking season.

    This should be an interesting post with the replys – thanks for posting it.

    • Have you tried the old school military desert boots? That’s what I’m in during the summer months. Haven’t had any thorn penetration but I’m not trail blazing either. Do you wear snake protectors where you’re at? I’ve yet to run into jake here and I’d like to keep it that way.

  3. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    PAIR, not pear – geez j.r., spell check!

    • Mystery Guest says:

      j.r.guerra in s. tx.
      Did you get the meaning he intended even with the misspelling?

      • Buuurr in Ohio says:

        …he is the same person as far as I can see… it doesn’t matter.

        • axelsteve says:

          I think it depends on area. When I lived in the pnw it would probably be Danner or chipawa. Some other areas a crepe sole will do fine. Where I am now a sole with more pattern on the sole would be better off then a crepe.

    • Buuurr in Ohio says:

      Often times spell check will change it to the incorrect wording. Pear makes sense to me. Especially if he was using a ‘smartphone’. The auto correct on those are terrible. I can’t tell you how many times I wrote ‘ham’ to someone because the phone changed him to ham.

      And as the other posted, who cares? You got the message. I know I did and didn’t even see the mistake until you pointed it out. Its not a mid-term. Lighten up, Prof…

      • j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

        It was me correcting my own error, lol. I just need to spell check BEFORE I push submit. :^)

        My point was the terrain where you are will dictate the choice. Describing your location and terrain will let others know why you picked your particular choice.

  4. It is unlikely you will find an all season all purpose boot. Compromise will always cost you something. A good insulated boot for winter will not be suitable for hot summer conditions.

    Footwear is also a very personal thing. An area that I may compromise on, could be a deal breaker for you. Find a reputable outdoor vendor and do lots of research.

    My suggestion is to determine how you will use a pair of boots for a majority of the time. You should be able to cover most of the general activities with two pair of high quality boots unless you are getting into some highly specialized activities. Be ready to pay a significant price for quality. If you lose the ability to walk due to poor quality footwear (and quality socks), your game is over (as a minimum you will be miserable).

    • axelsteve says:

      Bill you just reminded me. I have size 12 and a half eee feet. I mostly wear 13 since half sizes are rare or expensive. It is a challenge to get a good shoe let alone ultimate with my size and budget.

      • Axel – with specialty-sized feet, it might be a good idea to find a specialty shoe store – one that caters to basketball players might be useful.

        • axelsteve says:

          Ga Red I used to go to Redwing and a Florashime outlet in the east bay.That part of town got to dangerous for white folks to venture into.

      • extexanwannabe says:

        I feel your pain. I wear 14A. Everything I wear, I have to pad it Dr Scholl’s and even then, I still get slippage.

        • Winomega says:

          extexanwannabe, is that men’s sizes?

          Da-aaa-ang

          At least I only have to cross the store to find a 9 (I wear a women’s 11.)

        • At least you can pad them. The selection of quality 5E is limited. And I need light wieght. I have been looking through the suggestions. Nada. The few that might fit are too stiff and too heavy.

  5. The Gray Wolf says:

    For those of you with wide feet, like myself I highly recommend you check out Keens. Even though they are made in China they have more plusses that negatives, regardless of their origin make. They are broke in ready for one (read others reviews on websites), I’ve never gotten blisters after 5 different pairs (different uses) and 6 years of serious use, the toe box design shield and protects the toe area better than nearly all non-steel toe work AND hiking boots (especially hiking down hill) and they are lighter than standard hiking boots which allows less muscle fatigue hence a longer and higher stride which reduces potential injuries after long and fatiguing bug outs. This all allows further distances traveled! They can be pricey but well worth it, believe me I know. If only a brand in the USA made wide footwear this good I would go with them. Check others online reviews and you won’t be disappointed if you fit the bill for wide feet. As with ANY product available do the research to ensure your own consumer happiness and satisfaction.

    • I’ve had a pair of Targhee II last for about 10 years now.

    • Blackcayman says:

      YES YES YES

      I started with the wet-dry sandals, bought a pair of dry only but more streetable sandals. Then came the Oregon PCT Waterproof Multi-Day Hiker. Iv’e had tons of Danner boots (my previous favorite boots. The Keen are better and WAY more comfortable. My feet aren’t BigFoot wide but I really appreciate the wider footbed. I can’t recommend then Highly enough. Just go a try them on!!!

  6. Winomega says:

    There isn’t going to be a perfect recommendation because your feet and their problems are unique.

    I use a New Balance hiking boot. http://www.peterglenn.com/product/new-balance-multi-sport-100-boot-mens And an after-market insole. They are a bit heavy, but they don’t get too hot in the summer. I haven’t tested the waterproofing or cold resistance.

  7. I wear Keens hiking sandals in the summer They are sturdy, cool and easy to dry when hiking through water all day. My favorite.
    I wear Sorel snow boots and snow shoes in the winter.
    For spring and fall I usually wear insulated boots from Cabela’s. My go to source for rugged clothing and footwear. I have had the same pair for 5 years. Not even close to being worn out.
    Now my husband and boys wear insulated Red Wing boots, 24/7 no matter were they are. They buy one set a year.
    So you see, it is a personal choice and depends on where you live.

  8. riverrider says:

    after 29 years wearing mostly lowest bidder combat boots, i have foot issues. the only boot i can/do wear are LOWA. they are expensive, but worth it. in shtf times, your feet will likely be your only form of transport and evac to safety. dont scrimp on footwear! i have worn lowa renegade hiking boots exclusively for 3 years now. designed and made in germany by pro alpine hikers. they do eventually wear out and you likely can’t tell from the outside. the upper is tuff, the soles soft and rubbery still even after much abuse. the inner cushion is what gives out eventually, but so does every other boot. i’ve never had to “break-in’ lowas like other boots i’ve tried and i’ve never been disappointed. on my 4th pair and looking for number 5. they are rather stylish as well. i wear them everywhere, you never know when you might have to walk home or to safety. jm2c

  9. The best boots are the ones that fit your feet properly and you will have to try on different brands (wearing thick boot socks) to find the right fit. I prefer sturdy work boots to hiking boots and military boots, but that’s just my preference. I also prefer to have two pairs so that I can alternate pairs each day and give each pair 24 hrs to dry out before being worn again. No matter how much or how little I spend on boots, I monitor the wear on the soles and am ruthless about discarding any pair that has lost enough tread to no longer be fully slip-resistant – I’d much rather buy a new pair of boots than have bills from an orthopedic surgeon.

  10. What is this “hiking” you speak of? ,)

  11. JP in MT says:

    For use in Montana I have several different pairs. Most commonly I wear a Converse boot, very similar to what my DD wears at the state prison as a guard. I have others with 200 grams and 400 grams of insulation, plus my Sorel super heavy insulated boots for ice fishing.

    Your question ends up coming into the realm of “what is the best gun for self defense” or “what is the best car”. It is really going to come down to where you live, what is your life-style, and how much can you afford to spend.

  12. My husband hand makes shoes, but never has time. We fit the old proverb about the shoemaker’s kids going barefoot! :)

    I wear Keens in the summer, and Birkenstock in the winter. Yes! Birkenstock makes a hiking boot! I am on my 10th year with them and they are amazing. I have problem feet, so was willing to spend the big buck. They are sooo spendy! Thankfully I can just resole them as that will likely be the part that goes first.

    My husband wears Redwing at work, and gets 2 new pair every year, so just wears those all the time. He also likes the Lowa (though I think there is an ‘e’ in there somewhere, isn’t there?).

    • t42n24t2 says:

      Birkenstock makes a hiking boot! Way cool. Thanks.

    • Zee;
      Where do you purchase your Burkenstock Boots?

      • I bought mine at a local store, so that I could be sure of the fit. Turns out the smae size i wear in Birks sandlas was just perfet. I wore them only a few times before walking the Camino across Spain. Even though they were new, I was the only one I ran across who did not have blisters. They utilize the cork footbed, so they are unbelievably light weight and comfortable. I think they have some less expensive ones out now in the lower priced line ‘footprints’, but I have no experience with them. I hope you can find some, they are amazing!
        PS. I have seen ads for the Birkenstock store ‘Footwise’, maybe a call could net you a number of a local store?

        • Encourager says:

          I have arthritis in all of my toes and most of the joints in my feet and ankles. Also have two toes that were badly broken and never healed correctly so the are kinda like this )( – the two next to my right littlest toe.

          I have a horrible time buying any shoe, but seriously need a good hiking shoe/boot. I have had to add orthopedic shoe inserts to pad the bottom so the pain does not get too bad to walk.

          Any advise is much appreciated! Great question BTW.

      • Ooh! Just saw Sierra trading post had some for $80, but they are sold out! I think I paid $250 or something ridiculous. Looking at them, I think mine are the ‘footprints’ kind after all, sorry for the misinfo. Search ‘Rockford’ and that’s them! :)

    • riverrider says:

      no “e”

  13. I could certainly use any advice given. I’m an 11-11 1/2 5E I have yet to find ‘boots’ that fit properly. And custom is way too $. Would larger with really thick socks help?

  14. I don’t really have any advice on this subject other than the DH has been wearing Red Wing boots for several months. He bought two pair and rotates between them and a pair of tennis shoes depending on what he is doing. He really likes the Red Wings for yard work.

    As for me – there is no such thing as a shoe that doesn’t make at least one of my feet hurt. I’d rather go barefooted, but that isn’t plausible.

    • Encourager says:

      GA Red, I go barefoot year round. I have learned the hard way to slip on a pair of mocs before going in the yard – stepped on a wasp one time too many.

      I had polio when a child which damaged my feet – have absolutely no arch and anything with an arch hurts like blazes. I hate buying shoes right up there with buying bras!

      • LOL – seems then only boulder holders that fit are in the expensive range!

        Have you ever considered surgery for your arches. One of my brother’s had surgery on one foot and it now has an arch – he was in his teens at the time. He still has one flat foot though.

        I have the opposite problem with the arches – mine are high, so anytime I’m going to be on my feet for long, I want good arch support.

      • Winomega says:

        Encourager and GA Red, look into Xero shoes. Once you learn how to make your own, perhaps you could mess with sturdier soles and what sort of upper protections you would need. (Chunky wool socks, waterproof outer, and then the sandal.)

        On a different note, Neverwet is starting to be available commercially, not sure how it stands up to the beeswax treatment.

  15. Charlie (NC) says:

    I know I’m old and old school but it’s hard to beat old school style
    boots if you can find them. Ok, what is old school you are saying.
    I’m talking about full leather uppers, goodyear welt, rubber, tire tread type soles with a bit of a stacked heel. Something like Carolina or Georgia brands of Logger boots. NO insulation or lining. That is what socks are for. Your feet need to “breath” and they can’t in polyester
    or plastic boots. Keep your leather boots clean and polished. After the shtf if you can’t find normal shoe repair products oil them down with any sort of oil you can find. The oil soaks in the leather and keeps them dry.

    These boots can be repaired with a simple leather working kit. They will serve you long and well. Just make sure they fit you to begin with.

  16. Charlie (NC) says:
  17. ohio surveyor says:

    As a professional Land Surveyor I am outside every day and “hike” at least 5 miles a day. I have been outside when the weather was -64 wind chill and then opposite end of the scale at 120 heat index. I usually go threw about 2 pairs of boots a year. I have tried $500 boots and have tried $20 boots……The ones I swear by are ROCKY boots. I have no vested interest in the company, I just love the boots. They are great for all weather here in Ohio. This year it has rained twice ….once for 60 days and once for 45 days. every day I’m outside in the rain and mud….THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN DRY FEET.

  18. I have checked out the brands mentioned. Some have E. Fewer still have EE. I must have at least 4E. Better yet 5E. Not a one.

    • Lantana says:

      Ethan, double check Charlie’s link to the Carolinas–if I read it right, they have 4Es in your size.

      • charlie (NC) says:

        Ethan, I need 4E also and like you 5E or even 6E if I can get it.
        The Carolina boots widths are accurate. If it says 4E it is, unlike
        some companies. At least they were the last pair I bought. Also, Carolina Boots has a line of Made in America and an import line. Try to stay with the Made in America.

        Now, as to all of your shoe needs, I was in my 40’s before I ever
        had a pair of shoes that fit my feet. All of my shoes were too long in order to be wide enough and I walked around all the time with ugly turned up shoe toes. Then I found
        Hitchcock Shoes. http://www.wideshoes.com/index.html
        Everything they sell is wide! EVERYTHING. They aren’t cheap but most of their stuff is good quality. Unfortunately their boot selection has dropped off some in recent years, I think as a sign of the times.

        I have no interest in them or any of the others I mentioned other than being a satisfied customer. For those that have wide feet please give Hitchcock a try. They are great to work with and small enough to know who you are so if you order something and they don’t think it will fit you they’ll let you know.

        Very nice people!

        • Tried Hitchcock. They talked me into a smaller size, OUCH. Will try “Carolina”.

          • charle (NC) says:

            Ethan, I can’t imagine who you talked to at Hitchcock that talked you into a smaller size. I’ve been wearing shoes from them off and on for about 20 years and never a problem. If by chance I did get a pair the didn’t fit right I sent them back with no hassle.

            Give them another try.

  19. charlie (NC) says:

    Ohio surveyor. Your comment prompted me to revisit my remarks.
    I’ve never tried Rocky Boots but they certainly have a good reputation
    in my area among hunters. Many of the other products do as well.
    The initial premise of this tread was for a great year round boot. I didn’t say so but given the nature of this site I ASSUMED ( we all know what happens when you ass-u-me ) that these boots were for use in a
    SHTF or TEOWAKI situation and that is why I recommended “old school” boots. I don’t think the Rocky Boot store will be open 6 months after the balloon goes up. grins.

    With that said you are correct about dry feet and almost as bad as dry feet is hurting feet but I think you will agree that in the end the last man standing, wet feet or hurting feet or not, is the man whose boots hold together! I’d like to try the Rocky boots and intend to some day. I just wanted to explain my thinking as to long term wear ability.

  20. charlie (NC) says:

    Opps. I meant to say almost as bad as wet feet not dry feet.

  21. Boot selection is a highly subjective topic and really is ultimately up to the wearer.

    There are many good quality hiking boot manufacturers all with quality products, so it is hard to define one over another. Different vendors have different heel support, where one vendor may be very comfortable for one user, while another user of the same boot could be very painful.

    I would suggest going to a good sporting goods store, like REI (I do not work there but am a long time member and love their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee), and try on a number of boots with a couple to three pairs of socks being worn. The added space of three pairs of sock would allow for foot expansion while you hike and provide a better fitting.

    I personally like the Merrell Phaser Peak and the Zamberlan 960, which I own both and wear all the time. Both are considered ‘year-round’ use, with waterproof Gore-Tex lining. Waterproof can also be a misnomer because if the top of the boot gets below the water line… so much for the waterproof theory. I would also suggest a pair of calf high gaiters to go along with the boots to help keep debris and moisture out.

  22. Bam Bam says:

    I am sorry that I don’t have any boot advise but I have to share that I found a pair of cherry red Doc Martens and I love them. They are a cross between bowling shoes and clown shoes. Every time I look down at my shoes I smile.

  23. Winomega says:

    For alternative shoes, like foot-gloves, I suggest getting el-cheapies first. I have a pair of Vibram five-finger that I may never wear out. They have no traction and are constraining. I prefer mitten-type minimal shoes.

    The thing with certain minimals is that they are the opposite of waterproof.

  24. No snow here either so good tramping boots do me. I think you should spend big on your boots, I bought a pair of Zamberlan Italian boots, they have the Vibram soles that last forever. Needless to say they are gortex lined and waterproof etc. They cost $400 here in Oz but I snagged an as new pair off eBay for $170. I have always had a pair of boots of this quality since I was a teenager and they can last 10 years with regular daily walking in suburbia.

    My previous pair was a cheaper $200 Korean pair and they were crap compared to the Hi-end hiking shop boots. It’s a lot of money I know, but your feet need the best protection because without your feet, you’re going NOWHERE.

  25. JeffintheWest says:

    I think boot choice really depends on personal preference and location more than manufacturer. For example, I like combat boots. If you take proper time to break them in, they are the most comfortable and useful footwear I’ve ever used (and they are built to last). For warmer areas, I like jungle boots since they breathe well and are resistant to the kinds of damage you’re likely to find in warmer and moister climes. I used them for years in the jungles of South and Central America, and am very happy with them. For cooler climes, I’m more of a fan of jump boots since they have good support and uppers as well as good soles for gripping the ground. In really cold weather (like Alaska or the UP in Michigan) I have to say that Mukluks are definitely the way to go. They’re a pain in the butt to put on and take off, but man, I never felt my feet getting cold in them at ALL.

    You can find various kinds of combat boots in any military surplus store, of course, and you can generally order them direct from the manufacturer on-line, and of course, if you have PX/BX/NEX privileges, you can get them at your local clothing sales store.

    • Jeff,

      I agree with the Mucklucks. I still have two pair I “forgot” to turn in when I left Korea.

      I’ve been wearing boots of one type or another since I was a Boy Scout. My brand of choice for the past 11 years has been Bates brand. They last about a year with constant walking, come with a zippered side and are wide enough for foot expansion. Granted, I’m walking in these,on concrete, not hiking.

      I did find out about 10 years ago that in my case it wasn’t the boot that was the problem, it was my feet. My doctor sent me to an orthopedist and I got fitted for a semi-rigid foot orthotic. I was miserable for about 6 months. My arches were bruised and ached. I was about to toss them when I realized, my back didn’t hurt as much and my knees felt better. After that first six months, my feet quit hurting. The semi-rigids had to be replaced after a year. I went bact to the Orthopedist and got a new pair of rigid orthotics. These are made out of carbon fiber and are still going strong after a decade. He even fixed the semi-rigors for me. I put those in my Timberlake all terrain cross trainers.

      I’m convinced I can wear any brand of shoe now, provided the size is right and my feet would still be happy. Custom orthotics are expensive but money damn well spent.

  26. Gail, There are many exc boots. The two I wear the most year round
    are : Dunhams low style leather boot(they are great in all kinds of weather ) and also LLBeans Snow Sneaker
    (light and waterproof and warm). Arlene

  27. Southern Girl says:

    Bam Bam,

    I agree. Sorry can’t help with the hiking boots. Hiking days are over with the back surgery, but love those Skechers tennis shoes. We wear a lot of crocs for work, but always keep tennis shoes in my car.

    Might try those Birkenstock boots for winter. Didn’t realize they made a boot.

    SG

  28. I bet that someone with strong google skills could find a London shoemaker who would turn out a pair of boots to order. If there is no other way to find boots that fit, that is a workable last resort.

    As an added benefit, once they have measured your foot (you don’t have to go to London – it’s done by mail) they keep your measurements on file forever. You can order a replacement pair from somebody’s grandson twenty years from now, and they will fit the same (assuming your feet haven’t changed). Years ago I knew a guy who had just ordered a replacement pair of walking shoes after his had worn out – over fifteen years of regular use and re-soleings, and they still had his info on file. I should have gotten their address. Oh, well.

  29. Charlie (NC) says:

    Along that same line of thought, there are a couple of companies in the US that make high quality work boots to custom measurements.
    One of them is White Boot Co. That’s the only one I can remember at the moment. Good quality but NOT CHEAP.

    http://www.whitesboots.com

    • Semper Fi, 0321 says:

      I have several pairs of Whites; loggers/smokejumpers, packer, and insulated snow packs. They are very expensive and worth every penny. However, the average person would never need to wear logger/smokejumpers, they are just too heavy for every day wear. Find something lighter like Meindl from Cabelas, easier on the feet and they don’t take a year to break in.

  30. bill may says:

    my choice of boots are my matterhorn gortex I bought on active duty in 2001. it is time for reheel on them tho’

  31. When there is no/little snow I wear Cabela’s brand “Back Country Hikers”. If the snow is over my ankle’s I switch to either a Rockey gortex lined pair or a Sorel insulated boot depending on the temp.

    Tholor cotton socks in the summer, merino wool in the winter.

  32. JeffintheWest says:

    One trick I learned in the Infantry — get your boots big enough that you can wear two pairs of socks when you’re wearing them. Usually the inner sock (the one next to your foot) should be nylon, both to wick away moisture from your foot, and to allow it easily to slide against the outer sock. The outer sock should be either cotton or wool (I prefer wool because it’s sturdier, lasts longer, and is warmer in the winter, but you could use cotton in the summer). It provides extra padding and warmth. Using the two-sock system has saved me from I don’t know how many blisters (I think I had about three blisters in my entire military career, and two of those were from breaking in my first pair of combat boots and before I learned the two-sock system). Then, as far as the boot goes, just pick one that is sturdy, feels good on (wear both socks when you buy the boots so you can see how they’ll feel), and fits well.

  33. Winomega says:

    This thread makes me mourn about not replacing my soft-toe worx when they were five years old. At ten years old, they have no tread, they have no padding, but they lasted ten years and might survive a re-tread.

  34. I’ve no special information about how to purchase a ‘proper fitting’ boot, nor any advice on what kind to buy as a ‘do anything’ boot. However, I’ve two pair of Georgia Logger boots (see the above link) that have served me well for more than twenty years and asre still going strong, though one pair- those I’ve worn doing construction from doing forms and cement to roofing and especially while logging- are beginning to show their age. They’re steel toed and have saved my toes at least once, more likely more, and have the scars as testament.

    Decades ago, the forest service provided our crews with their recommended boots and every man was factory fit by boot makers from the Redwing Company- makers of Irish Setters, which are a very comfortable and tough boot.

    My opinion on boots is to seek a style that has very few pieces of leather (and no other material) that have stitch seams, and a half size too large to simplify adding an insole and extra pair of sox if needed. Make them tall enough to not cover the calf muscle and tie them tight, especially around the ankle area for proper support.

    Concluding: a ‘logger’ will feel uncomfortable until your feet get used to the support added by the shape of the boot. They’re a bit on the heavy side, but tough as the men who wear them and won’t let you down (in fact, will add 1 1/2 inches to your height!).

  35. One other thought about boots, especially if you want to wear them for a few decades (because you grow to love them) is Mink Oil or NorVgen boot oil applied liberally on a warmed boot and allowed to set overnight. Don’t bother wiping off the excess (as instructed) but let it wear off.

    The maxim “take care of your boots and your boots will take care of your feet” is spot on. As is, “Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you”.

  36. re boots =Redwing is a fine boot. If you are going to be working in manure daily then get a boot with a rubber bottom/leather top -ex
    LLBean so they wont rot fast.
    If you want a cold weather boot- get a pair of surplus Mickey Mouse boots(all rubber but heavy).
    Never use Neatsfoot oil on leather boots as it can destroy the stitching. Arlene

  37. charlie (NC) says:

    There is a saying about horses that very well could apply to men and women in a shtf situation. No hoof, no horse. Meaning a horse with
    bad feet can’t do his job. After the flag goes up a man that can’t walk
    and work on his feet (and that could well be me these days) won’t last long.

  38. RB In Alabama says:

    This is just a reflection that proves the old adage “you get what you pay for”.
    My top boots are a pair of steel-toed Herman Survivors I bought back in 1976 (yes ’76) when I was working in a cotton mill. I recall paying $120.00 for them back then, taken out in payroll deduction (By comparison for you younger people, gas was about 0.55 a gallon in my locale then.) I remember that the wife had a fit about paying that much for them- but she lasted 13 years and the boots are still here :). I wore those boots 6 days a week for the next 6 years working on concrete, and every time I’ve has heavy duty work to do since then.They served well during clean-ups after Hurricanes Opal and Andrew (and my own personal Hurricane Lisa- ex #2- lol). They also outlasted a least 5 other pairs of boots that were a bit lighter and cooler. They’ve had a few minor repairs, and I’ve only resoled them once back in the 90’s (with a top end Vibram sole, as close to the original as I could find). I do admit I’ve babied them- they get a rub down with saddle soap and mink oil after use, but I figure if you take care of something it’ll be there for you (excepting ex’s of course…). You can’t get them anymore- the company went under and the name was bought by Wal-Mart and is now made overseas (and nowhere near as good).
    Good luck on finding the boots that work for you best.

  39. Semper Fi, 0321 says:

    When you say best, do you mean the best quality made boot?
    Cabelas Meindl, German made and absolutely awesome. I live, hike and hunt in NW Wyoming, roughest country known to man, or woman. My Meindls keep me in comfort all year long. Meindl Denali in the spring, summer and fall, Meindl Canada Hunter when it gets cold and wet. Around $300/pr.
    For everyday wear, nothing is more comfortable than my Keen Targhee’s, they feel like house slippers,but, they are Chinese made and wear out sooner. Not a lot of support for trail use either.
    I’ve worn a lot of boots in the last 50+ yrs, those are my best choices, hands down.