I have a pair of Meindl Vakuum GTXs they have been fantastic and I have been singing their praises, but are coming to the end of their life after 3 years.
I'm thinking of just replacing them with the same, but since I have been making everything else lighter I figured I might entertain the idea of lighter walking boots.
Must be waterproof
Used for backpacking with a 20kg pack (a lot of which is camera gear just so that I dont get any 'what do you put in your pack' questions )
On paths, and all over Dartmoor.
Would prefer a relatively high cut
Any suggestions or should I just replace them?
I get between 3 months and 9 months out of my trainers. At about £60-£70 each it works out a lot. However my last Scarpa SLs cost say £160 and lasted less than a year. Then I got a pair of LaSportivas which still going, sort of, (the ankle cuff is falling apart badly) however they only got a year of use before they started to fail. They were nearly £200 IIRC even with discount. Then I got some Asolo Flames which cost about £150 but I got them for £136. They lasted less than 6 months before I had to wear sealskins in them!!
So for me it actually works out that trainers are at least as cost effective as boots even before you get me onto the improved stability and the reduction in ankle turning / ankle damage.
However, if someone is very happy with a particular boot then I would say replace like with like until you see something you feel is a lot better and worth the risk on or until they re-design it so it isn't as good for you. If it ain't broke don't fix it as far as footwear goes I think.
PS I only ever wear something like inov8 roclites when backpacking anywhere in this country. Also, depite reducing the weight of my backpacking kit I still end up overpacking and reckon it is not unusual for me to carry about 20kg of kit (for testing purposes). Did Knoydart with such a heavy load last year in trainers without issue.
I have some lightweight boots: they are Montrail Stratos XCR (as worn by VG). I also have some old fashioned full leather boots which are Karrimors.
I am no more comfortable in my lightweight boots than I am in my old Karrimoors (nor am I uncomfortable though) so if you have a pair of boots you are happy with I'd be inclined to replace them with like for like.
I've been using approach shoes rather than boots (except in snow) for nearly a year now - I think it's time to explore the trainer option (I did once walk up Mount Ida, highest mountain in Crete at 8000ft, in sandals with no socks without any problem).
I use poles (bad knees now) so stability would not be an issue.
Well I've used trail shoes in snow and they are grippier than any of my boots. I keep meaning to get some spikes (pogu or hillshound or kahtoolas). They would be better for me than crampons and solid boots. I don't need to front point so the spikes are good enough but I haven't had to use them more than2 or 3 times in as many years and have always got around the problem in those cases as I haven't got any spikes yet.
On compacted snow on tracks and paths my old montrail highlanders gripped so well that I doubt spikes would give much of an advantage in real use / my useage. BTW I walk in the Lakes mostly and havn't died or been injured yet from trail shoe use. That includes scrambling.
Hmm this is interesting. Trainers you say.....perhaps I should give that a try!
One thing I have thought going up/coming down a mountain and kicking an unseen rock with my toe is 'thank god I'm wearing boots because otherwise that would have really hurt'
Do you guys not have problems with stubbing your toes? Its one thing with a 5kg bag when you can be really agile, but I find myself much less agile with 20kg.
True Parky, it's a myth. If only I knew that before buying the Montrail Stratos eh?
It’s not all hill walking and Kendal mint cake
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