31 responses

  1. Anna’s World
    October 29, 2012

    A simple pair of Colombia here for long weekends and so on. Not sure if they would last a long time. But I’m happy with them.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      So long as they meet your needs Anna!

  2. Wade | VagabondJourney.com
    October 29, 2012

    Unless I get a super good price on a pair of giga-modern waterproof, Goretex boots, I usually go for a basic, all leather upper variety that has a sewn on, easy to replace, generic issue sole (not the type with all kinds of curves and a specializations). I’ve never had a difficult time getting the soles replaced (as they are the same type that go on boots just about everywhere) — even way off the beaten track — and this fact has saved me numerous times. Unfortunately, this type of boot is becoming hard to find in the USA or developed countries. Shooting for work boots rather than hiking boots (or getting them in countries with a reputation for leather working, like Mexico) has always been my best bet.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      Yea the longest lasting pair I ever had were the leather ones I mentioned. Only issue I had with them was the skin abrasion for trekking. The leather uppers were fine, but couldn’t find a shoe repair person who’d replace the soles in the end. Told me to go out an buy a new pair. But similar to what you wrote, they didn’t make them anymore.

  3. Kristina
    October 29, 2012

    It doesn’t surprise me that they don’t last more than a year or two (the better ones) given that you wear them every single day. But 6 months and the sole cracks? That’s inexcusable. Do you have a 2nd pear of shoes you can wear when not trekking?

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      Nope, too much weight to carry a second pair. Rubber sandals for the shower and that’s it. So I need pair that survive.

  4. Furio
    October 29, 2012

    LoL it seems that there is no magic bullet!

    I also love boots but I preserve mine by only using them when I go hiking.

    This summer I went to Vietnam and I made the mistake to do not bring them. So that when I was in Dalat and it started to rain the day I had planned to go hiking I had to cancel my trip to the mountains because I had no decent shoes : S

    I bought my last pair two years ago to visit Tibet and so far they are doing well. They are an anonymous pair of Chinese boots but they are warm, water proof and quite comfortable.

    It’s good to know that Italian boots are not that bad ; )

    I do agree that socks are a good part of the equation too. Especially when you do a lot of hiking. Any insight on good sock brands? I would love to hear you opinion!

    As usual you are the best resource out there when it comes to longterm travel management,

    keep writing,

    Furio

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      Cheers for the info Furio. Nameless brands are what I’ll be trying if these Meindl break on me. It’s not worth it to be stuck out somewhere with nothing!

  5. the candy trail … | Michael Robert Powell
    October 29, 2012

    Have to agree with Wade.

    I’ve always used black leather boots. In the early days it was Doc Martens and then others. But since 2006, I’ve had my brilliant Diesel (high-lace up with steel caps) boots.

    They are light, too. Only issue is getting new rubber tacked onto worn heels – done in China, korea, and Iran, with no problems.

    Whatsmore they’re mega-comfortable (with extra inner-soles) and look cool, too. So I use them nearly-24/7 as an ESL teacher, for night-life, hiking, and most general travel. It also saves on pack space and weigh – as I only travel ever have 2 pairs of footwear with me: just boots and sandals.

    • the candy trail … | Michael Robert Powell
      October 29, 2012

      Yikes major typo: NOT Diesel rather CATERPILLAR (leather & canvas uppers)

      • Dave from The Longest Way Home
        October 30, 2012

        I was tempted by Catapillar last year but they only had the yellow suede one’s which seemed to stain easily. No dark pair so I was stuck.

        But yes, I’ll go back to leather boots if these one’s go on me. Couldn’t handle steel toe caps though. Had a pair before and they dug in too much.

        Same as you though, one pair of boots and sandals for the shower.

      • the candy trail … | Michael Robert Powell
        October 31, 2012

        Actually, the steel-caps – more like hardened toe case are not-noticeable, never cause any issues and sit below the leather. They have saved my toes many times amid maddening crowds :)

        The style is more like high combat or biker boots but simple and light. Unfortunately this model may longer be made … SO I really dread the day that I face the great boot buying challenge, again.

  6. Michael
    October 29, 2012

    Interesting read. I don’t use a pair of shoes or boots everyday, but I can imagine that no brand exists that can withstand your use on different terrain, some very demanding, for more than a year. But within 6 months? That’s poor. These “big brands” have sacrificed quality by having their products made in places like China to keep cost down but keep their prices high.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      I have to agree with the big brands sacrificing quality over quantity to sell more boots to newbies. I’m done with brands if these break again. Proof is on my feet in that case – they don’t last.

  7. Nate
    October 29, 2012

    Hey Dave, how’s it going. First, you’re playing the blogging game wrong, you’re supposed to recommend a boot that has a good affiliate pay-out scheme 😉

    Anyhoo…my experience – I use trekking shoes, not boots. 2010, I walked many miles (urban and hiking), almost every single day, for 6 months,in a pair of Nike gortex trekking shoes, and they lasted beyond this time. Then, I used them for a few shorter treks in 2011, and recently another couple of months in 2012. But the sole wore out, and wasn’t replaceable, so I binned them. The uppers were perfect after all this time, it was such a waste.

    So, I went Nike again – but this time, after 2 months of walking/hiking, I can see the soles wearing out really fast. I think I’ll be lucky to get another month out of them.

    During all this time, my girlfriend has been using a pair of Northface Hedgehogs (with gortex). Had them since early 2010, and they have had a solid 10 months of daily walking in this time – urban, countryside, volcanoes, snow, hiking, desert, glaciers, everything…

    …they are still in perfect condition, with the only fault – it looks like a lace is about to snap.

    Just my experience, to help people decide.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      Hi Nate, I’m tempted just to put an amazon link in here just for you 😉

      If these Meindl break I’m done with branded backpacking boots. They are very comfortable but I need durability and they just don’t match up to what I require. Which for the last calendar year was just everyday use. Hence by “Pavement” note! After that, I’m onto non-branded pairs.

      Thanks for your insight though! Always good to get a round up of everyone’s experience with these things.

  8. Giovanna
    October 29, 2012

    Hi,Dave! Whenever you mention trekking boots,I can’t help thinking of my Father that owned a sport shop since 1964 to 1989,and all the mythical brands that passed trhough our hands-yes,by the time children were supposed to give a hand after studying-Technica,Dolomite,San Marco,and my best liked,La Scarpa by La Scarpa,all from Montebelluna(Treviso).They were all leather,black or dark brown,and the pre-Vibram sole was called “carro armato”(caterpillar).Also they had ski boots; after back to the Hotel,we had to carefully grease them with a kind of animal fat ,very stinky.Pre-Goretex,too.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      Hi Giovanna!

      You are the second person to recommend Caterpillar so far. If these current boots don’t last I’m seriously considering a pair of them.

      At the moment still breaking them is so ouch!

      • Giovanna
        October 31, 2012

        My brother says Salomon,and that “almost go alone”,a bit exaggerate,maybe,but,now that you made me focus on the subject,every time I visit him-does live in the countryside-they have a very “lived”look.

  9. Jan
    October 29, 2012

    You simply don’t get practical well written information like this anywhere else. The boot companies of the world should be paying attention. Then again, maybe they like their product falling apart every year!

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      Yes Jan maybe they like the repeat sales. Then again perhaps not everyone wears the same boot all year round. But thanks for the advice.

  10. trevor
    October 29, 2012

    hi Dave….. to be honest… nothing these days lasts very long…. all these top brands… pfffff for my feet i use Salomon XA pro 3D utlra off road running shoes… non gortex, with Superfeet innersoles… gortex is crap… North face products are crap even if i do have a 42l cargo bag…

    i had a katadyn water filter crack after a few months. swiss army knife, scissors broke, Platypus life time garentee water bottles.. 3 cracked seals all after 10 months…

    other than my salomons i have crocs…. when its super hot and humid my feet slide a bit too much and when its rainy u feet get pretty dirty quickly…. hate walking boots actually.. prefer bear feet!!!

    my salamons… i have run mountain marathons in them, road half marathons.. trekked in taman negara and to ABC…. great in the snow as long as one keeps moving…. dry quickly…. and never had an issue with them…. they are the only thing i have ever owned that do their job well…. everything else is shite!!!!!

    happy feet…… regards.. trevor

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      October 30, 2012

      Hi Trevor,

      Yea nothing is lasting these days. Getting a bit tired of it too. Electronics, gear, everything seems to have a lifespan of about 18 months. So much for brand loyalty!

      I’ll go non-branded next time.

  11. Dustin Main – Skinny Backpacker
    November 15, 2012

    Where are you buying your boots? Are you buying legit branded pairs?

    I can say that my last pair lasted 4 years. I didn’t wear then 24/7/365 (don’t sleep in boots), but I put thousands of km on them, and a handful of 3000m+ peaks.

    When they finally fell apart, I bought the exact same pair again.

  12. Richard Crest
    December 3, 2012

    Trekking is my hobby and I would also wear boots rather than shoes. Thanks for your tips Dave!

  13. Rising
    December 6, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. You tried so many different boots for backpacking, why don’t you tried the Caterpillar shoes as they considered as one the best for trekking and the other brand is Woodland. I advised you try one of those and than share your experience about it.

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