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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Nov 2018
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Question Alternative to Salomon hiking boots

Hi everyone, I'm fairly new to the world of hiking

I wanted to invest in some good hiking shoes for my first hike, I've looked on the internet a bit and found out that most people swear by Salomon boots. Unfortunately some of my friends told me that most Salomon fit only pretty narrow feet. I went to see for myself at my local shop and found out that they are indeed pretty narrow on the side, I'm US size 13 and I have pretty wide feet. I'm pretty bummed out as I kinda like the look of the shoes and my friends all got Salomon boots (peer pressure here). Is there any alternative to Salomon boots in quality ? I've looked at Keen and Lowa but unfortunately they don't have those brand at the shop and I wanted some feedback before ordering boots online. Also I was wondering if maybe hiking boots where supposed to be a bit narrow ? For support or something ? i'm grasping at straws here the person at the shop didn't seem to know a lot about shoes unfortunately.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 11:52 AM
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Backpacking, Skiing, Space History
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I definitely wouldn't order online until you've had a chance to try them on and get a good feel for them (unless the online store has a rock solid return policy).

I've had good success with Merrell
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 03:39 PM
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There are dozens of quality hiking boot makers, beyond the three you've listed. A little bit of Googling will tell you much more.

My enormous kid wears US size 15s. He has to buy off websites - stores don't stock those sizes.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 11:57 PM
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I have very wide feet (although much smaller than yours), and Keen makes a nice boot with a wide fitting.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by susied View Post
Keen makes a nice boot with a wide fitting.

+1 for Keen. I have bunion size of walnut & Keen Targhee II was the least painful from variety of light/day hikers I've tried. (Targhee III not so good). On heavy side Scarpa Kinesis Pro Gtx never hurt me, even brand new - but they are quite rigid for scrambling/rock & I take them on multi-day trail backpacks only or for snow trips. They go all the way to euro 50, which is men 16 US
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Nov 2018
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thanks everyone ! I look up Keen and some others
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 01:37 PM
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Posts: 37

So I've sold footwear for 4 years. The first most important thing is: Try a whole bunch of shoes on. If you aren't spending at least an hour buying your first pair of boots you're either one of those lucky people who has a foot that seems to fit everything, or you're doing it wrong.

Generally people lean towards a couple brands. You won't know for sure until you try. DO NOT BUY ONLINE. Go instore and get some assistance trying different things on. MEC is the best simply because you can wear the boots and return them if they don't fit. They are the only ones that allow this. It's an incredible offer.

Fitting depends on 5 main factors; the toebox, forefoot width, instep (the height above the arch), midfoot, heel width. It's helpful to run through these in your head as your trying on the boot. How does it feel in those areas? Walk around a bunch, go up and down stairs. Put a pack on. Wear the right socks.

As an example Salomon boots tend to be narrow in the heels and midfoot, mid to high instep, but actually quite wide in the forefoot, generally about a D in a brannock device, the toebox is less sloped then many. They are a good example of why Brannock devices are kinda useless for helpful foot measurements.

Some people look for arch support, or higher/lower arches in footwear but this is a red herring. This can be adjusted very easily with insoles (highly recommended). Most shoes don't have much of a difference in arches. Oboz is the exception because their footwear includes molded insoles.

One last piece of advice. Do not read reviews, and don't trust other peoples comments until you have found what fits your foot. Avoid internet recommendations, or anyones for that matter. Only you know your foot. It can be helpful to know about the traction, and durability of a product, but saying one shoe is better than an other is like saying artistic taste is objective. It's unhelpful, and serves to encourage people to buy footwear that doesn't fit based on hype(I'm looking at you Hoji Pros).

Last edited by Blue_bird; 11-23-2018 at 01:39 PM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 04:56 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 89

I agree with Blu-bird,well said. The last couple of years I have done a lot more thinking before buying my next hiking boots.All footwear in general actually.After hiking and climbing for a while you get a feel for what you need,based on comfort and performance. Are they comfortable,are your feet sore after a long day?Where are they sore? How do they grip on the surface that matters to you,around here its mixed but on rock you want some good purchase.Winter or summer?Waterproof is good for winter but hot for summer. I like mid high ankle support for day boots,sprained my ankle badly once solo and had to hobble out in the dark.
For many years I used old school leather boots.They took a while to break in to your feet and then were great but heavy.Modern boots are way better,you get the proper fit right away.I have wide feet and get sore arches,always used arch supports.Now the boots have a wider option and I look for arch support built in.
I look for lightweight,modern tech is so good,but too light means light construction,good for trail running but not stiff enough for a pack or for rock.
I personally love Vibram soles,that type of coarse rubber tread I trust on rock.Thats a throwback to my old school boots days,a trust factor.Look at the tread pattern carefully,It will tell you what type of surface it is designed for.
I have a few pair on the go for different applications.My dedicated winter boots are waterproof,stout for spikes or snowshoes.Found those Sportiva on sale in the summer. They have a winter Vibram snow tread.
I use mid high ankle support .It a good compromise for me,full high boots are good for certain applications but a bit cumbersome for mixed days.
The last couple of summer day hikers Ive tried GTX type.First ones were Scarpas mid highs,comfy but not stiff enough for my style of hiking.Sore feet from the light shank.Sole wasn't Vibram type rubber either,slippery on rock.
Last spring,I did a lot of reading on summer hiking boots,honing in on my needs.All round,light, up and down mixed,sometimes bike-hike,proper sole and tread. Still on the GTX idea for lightness but looking for more stiffness.You can study the tech but you really cant buy boots without trying some on,twisting the shank for stiffnes,etc.I went down to MEC and tried a lot,found one I hadn't read much about.Vasque breeze II GTX. A bit stiffer GTX shank design.Vented boot for cooling and some elastic flex in the boot. Vibram tread for mixed and a stiffer shank than other GTX.Wide foot for me and arch support.After a summer and fall,my research paid off for me.
So everyones different,try and hone in on your personal needs.As far a hiking,your boots are the most important piece of gear!
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