Boot recommendation


Active Member
Jan 11, 2021
My Zamberlans need to be retired and I want to get a pair of lightweight mountain boots. I know that that fit is there's no one answer. And for background, I have big, wide size 13s. Any recommendations and real world feedback would be appreciated. Also, this would be for more mild-weather hunting.
Crispi makes a great boot. I also love my Kenetreks. If you are going to put weight on your back the Kenetreks are hard to beat. I have both and would be more than fine if I had to pick one or the other.
I have had Zamberlans, Crispi, Kenetreks, and several others in the last 3 years. Honestly the boot that I liked best were the zamberlan 980 guides, the only issue that I had was that the toebox was a little to narrow and I had to size up to get them to work. The Crispi guides are a close second, they had a roomier toe box although I did not care to much for the way the tongue fit. Kenetrex Mtn. Extremes did not work with my feet at all and were blister city. Construction wise I don't think that you can go wrong with any of the above mentioned boots as long as they fit your feet.
I definitely agree with your foot shape dictating the correct fit. For me the Kenetrek relief came in the form of better leather, and most importantly a more structured (stiffer) sole. I've dealt with plantar fasciatis off and on for a few years now. Even with orthotics I could only get temporary relief from the pain. I used to wear softer soled boots and even my heavier duty boots were softer in comparison. I was actually working at an outdoors store helping a customer with a pair of wading boots, they (husband and wife) both had some interesting hiking boots on and were very particular about footwear. I spent 3 hours with them making sure the husband got the perfect pair he needed, but they also schooled me up about the wonders of Italian made leather boots, as well as a stiffer sole. I decided that it was worth a try as with the softer boots I've always worn, did nothing to help my feet, probably hurting them more than anything. Obviously there's other factors involved with foot overuse pains etc, but stiff the boots are the only true change. I got a pair of Desert Guides from Kenetrek. I took my time breaking them in and laced them consistently. No more pain. I even started a job where I was standing for 12 + hours each day on hard surfaces, and these worked like a dream. I also use them to hike 10 or more miles in very uneven mountain terrain, with no sense that my boots count handle it. I'm pretty hard on my gear, and don't like to ever feel under prepared. I have yet to get the Mountain Guides that have a similar sole but with more height and some insulation options. I've actually served in the USMC in multiple Infantry combat deployments, and I wish I had access to these when I was in. I really can't say enough great things about them.

Sorry to ramble, I'm just very passionate about them.

Awesome boots...

Glad some have had positive results with Kenetrek, I have not. Any of the above will give you good service, the Russels will not be as stiff, but I say they are like wearing a supportive sneaker for me, the Barksdal SF I have are dang neat a mountaineering boot nice and stiff. The next pair I buy will be a lanthrop and sons as I will be spending all I can in the ol USA.
I bought the 3D mapping kit from L&S in December and sent it in 2 weeks ago, I am still waiting for a call from them. I guess I will see if it is worth the money. Seems a little crazy to spend that much on a pair of boots that may not last more than 2 years.
Man I did not think $450 is that out of line for L&S..the hardscrabbles I had almost cost that and fell apart in 2 years...almost any good boot La Sportiva, Crispi, Kenetrek, Scarpa--all are 375-500...anyway take care of your feet--get the best you can and what is supportive and your feet like...good luck in your search.