Boots for Backpacking?

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by RockZ, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    I have found that some boots work better than others when you are hiking up and down as well as sidehilling. You need boots that fit well and provide support. Boots that are great for short hikes and stand hunting just won't work. Once your feet start hurting, it doesn't matter how strong your legs or lungs are.

    I have been researching on the net and have found a boot that is highly recommended by mountain hunting guides.

    It is the Lowa Hunter GTX Etreme.

    Has anyone tried this boot?

    Any inputs on suitable boots for serious backpacking for oct-nov mule deer/elk hunting is what I am looking for.

    Also, how do you dry out the inside of your boots after a long days hunt.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
  2. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    There is wet backpacking and dry backpacking. There is hot and there is cold. There is day tripping and week tripping. There is moving to a stand and being still and there is walking all day.

    A boot should be selected based upon the end use and the perosnality of the hunter.

    I usually have three or four shoes/boots and put on the pair that suits my needs for the event.

    My first choice is always the lightest boot I can get by with. Then I look at whether I need it waterproof, insulated, ankle support, etc.

    If I am stalking, then I will use a soft sole boot. They are hard to find because everybody mostly uses vibram which is only slightly louder than a B-52 strike with daisey cutters. If you have ever spent any time around a guy who like to try to toll in elk by kicking rocks off the hill with vibram soled boots then you know what I mean.

    Merrill makes some nice soft soled boots that I use for stalking and moderate weather backpacking. They are not the most durable boots in the world but they are quiet and waterproof and have good ankle support. If used with gaiters their usefulness can be increased for some work in the snow. There is a price to be paid for the soft soles and quietness.

    Finallly, when it is time for Armageddon and my brain ceases to function, I will hunt in the cold and wet and snow. I use the Cabelas Meindel insulated boot. It is heavier than sin, stiffer than a board, louder than cannonfire and expensive as tithing; nonetheless, they are warm, dry and have great ankle support. Because they do not bend much they will really cause some muscle fatigue in strange places in your legs.

  3. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    Until the snow dictates otherwise the only boots Ive ever used and have never had a complaint with are Vasque.Once the snow is above ankle deep,I'll suffer through with something much heavier.
  4. lucasgreff

    lucasgreff Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    I use my Military Boots. Not the old black truck tire tread ones. The ones we recieved in Iraq were either Danners or BelleVilles. Both are great. The Danners were light weather, light boots with good waterproofing properties. And the BelleVilles are fantastic winter boots. We do a lot of Coyote hunting and I will walk several miles in my BelleVilles during the day and my feet feel as good at the end as they started. (Not the same for the rest of my body)
    Since I have been out I thought my supply of them would run out but if you keep an eye out on Ebay or most surplus stores you can get them at very good prices.
    In my defense I have never even worn Cabelas or the like boots. But I figure if the Military is willing to spend way too much testing them that they are good enough for me.

  5. linksmechanic

    linksmechanic Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    I use white's smokejumper lace to toe. Most comfortable I've ever owned.
  6. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2001
    There are few things worse then issue boots....
  7. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

    Nov 15, 2004
    The boots i have been using are pronghorns, danner i believe. I have one set with no insulation and one set with 1000grams of thinsulate. pretty light wieght and good support. I would like to find some "sneakin" boots like BB mentioned though. I had a pair of the old browning huntsman boots that i wore for around 7yrs and by the time i had to get rid of them they were wore so smooth i could walk like a cat in them. no tread and unfortunatly all the waterproofing was pierced so a 2" puddle got em wet.
  8. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    back in the day I wore Herman Survivors exclusively. Bought a pair a couple of years ago @ Wally World. Made in china. Weren't the same. really sucked until I melted the toe of one in the fire. Leather don't like heat. That did them in. Made me a happier fella.:rolleyes:

    Twas too warm for the Rocky's 1200 gm insulated but they worked surprisingly well after I waterproofed them, again. They were warm in the 60*+ temps in the pm and were soft, flexible and was able to climb, descend and side hill well. Also gave good support.

    I now have some low and light Sketchers and a pair of Propet water proofs. Both in EEEEE width. ah....they feel good. The 5E part is what's most important. We'll see how they do after the snow is gone.
  9. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    Haix, Lowe, Meindl

    Haix, Lowa, and Meindl all have good reputations and manufacture some excellent boots for hiking above treeline in the mountains and on the hillsides. I've owned several pairs of the Cabela's Meindl boots over the past 20+ years. The tougher of the two Meindl boots I've owned is the Cabela's Canada boot insulated with 200 gram Thinsulate. Cabela's Meindl Winter boot has 800 gram Thinsulate and is warmer, but isn't as tough, stiff, or supportive as their Canada boot. I had the sidewall near the heel of the Cabela's Meindl Winter boot collapse in wet conditions on a Kodiak Island brown bear hunt one spring. Boots were brand new so I sent them back and bought another pair of their Canada boot. More recently I purchased a pair of Haix Montana Hunter boots and found them to be slightly better than the Cabela's Meindl Canada boot. Haix makes good boots if you can find them. They're an old European boot manufacturer just starting to try to market their boots for hunters and hikers in America. I bought mine at the Shot Show in Orlando, Florida in January 2007 and have used them pretty extensively this past year.

    Lowa makes some top quality boots from what I've heard and read. A co-worker has an expensive set of Lowa boots and they look top quality to me. He's worn them a bit and has only good things to say about them.

    My boots are used to backpack hunt in the hills and mountains of Alaska, carrying an external frame backpack weighing from 40 to +100 lbs, depending on whether or not I've had a successful hunt. So these comments should be considered in that light.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  10. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2001
    Not much tops Meindl's Perfect. For a soft shoe it's the 5.11's HRT's by a long shot...
  11. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2003

    When I was jumping, the above is what most of us wore--there were some pretty heavy x-country packouts and virtually no break in on this boot. But for late October/November elk hunting up high, I've grown quite fond of the Gore-Tex Danner Raptor. It seems quite comfortable in a fairly wide range of temps. If it gets really cold, it's the Whites 14" Pacs.

    Raptor's: Danner Raptor 400gm 8" GTX (Brown) - Hiking Boots
  12. bitterroot bulls

    bitterroot bulls Active Member

    Apr 17, 2007

    I bought the Schnee's Lowa Sheephunters, I believe this is similar to the boot you asked about. Pretty nice ... but I wish I would have went straight to the all-leather version of jmden's Danner Raptors, the Danner Santiam 400 gram. The best boots I've owned and very adaptable to different temps, terrains, etc. They are also resoleable and rebuildable. Just make sure to break them in well. Many miles in new Santiams = bleeding blisters. Many miles in broken-in Santiams = massage for your feet.. Good luck in your search.
  13. Blacktail

    Blacktail Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2006
    I love my perfects by Mendl but during early archery elk trips my feet got way to hot. 20-30 in the moringing 50-60 in the afternoon. Just got back from a couse trip where i wore my uninsulated fit IQ's. I liked them a lot little cold in the morning but after hiking a bit perfect. Only knock i have on the mendls is a mid hard. Ad some softer inserts and perfect.
  14. petenz

    petenz Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2008
    I wear meindl 'island pro' boots, I don't know if you can get them in the states but they are excellent. The Lowas have a very good rep too.