Boots and Footwear: Member's Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 05 February 2016

Member's Favorites


Selecting Backpacking Boots and Footwear from among our many, many Options.



The Range of Choices
 We have an extensive selection of types and styles of backpacking footwear available from extremely heavy to virtually none at all. The barefoot and neoprene fads are quite amusing...

Finding the proper trail footwear for each of us is the same game as the rest of our backpacking gear selections; they be dependent on our own body-design, our own capacity for cold, and our own tastes and preferences.

I am my gear, in that my first piece of gear is me.
Everything else just layers on and comes back off, as necessary and required. We started at the top by thinking first, now we are going to  get physically started selecting our gear at the bottom, by matching up our feet with the proper gear, the proper footwear for the job.


I wrote a primer to boot construction and selection on the trail guide.


These "internal" preferences mentioned in the construction guide are then contrasted against the "external" factors our footwear will be used in. Terrain, weather, and the duration of our trip are the first external factors we consider, followed by how much of a load will be carried.

These specifications will help us determine the proper style and weight and type of construction of backpacking boot or trail shoe that best suites our specific feet.

We've discussed matching the weight, design, and construction features of our selected footwear to our personal preferences, carrying requirements, and environmental challenges. Everyone comes up with different answers suiting their unique circumstances.

Here's our members selections of backpacking boots and trail shoes:


Member's Favorites


  My Favorite Brand

Or Type of Backpacking Footwear

Razzi                                Keen Hiking

Troy Kent                         Trail Runners

Frddet1                            Merrill Moab Line

denovo                             High-Tec

Polvito1977                      Vasque

JDVandevelde                Vasque

Kayamper                       Lowa

Johnnymans                  Addidas Outdoors



Best Advice

amestrov                           strong durable boots



Heavy Hiking Boots

AlexW                               Huge Zamberlans WINTER MOUNTANEERING-for crampons and                                                                         snow shoes



Medium Hiking Boot


Reaper                            Merrell boots

bob.christensen             My Merrils comfortably take me where I want to go




lotsbackpacker               Oboz Beartooth and Sawtooth Mid hiking boots




Ski_Tahoe                      Asolo Boots




Peter                                  Interceptor Tactical Footwear



Trail Shoes

North Face

tstockt                             North Face Boa Hedgehogs

rn2pacu                          Northface Hedgehog Trail Shoe




mjamison                         Vasque Blur trail running shoes



New Balance

hikerdave                         New Balance 875 shoes



PerfectDay                  Pearl Izumi M2 E Motion Trail




idria1                               Oboz Sawttoth




markskor                       moab ventilaters




Flower                          Quest 4D II GTX




Hiking 50                       Saucony Caliber

Alex Note
I've used virtually every brand of boot on this page, with varying degrees of success. The success specifically depended on my fitting the proper boot to my foot, my needs, and my expectations. Sometimes one boot manufacturer had the perfect boot for me, other times they did not.

This all comes down to how often they change styles and models, which is all the freeking time. Thus selecting the best boots/footwear for your specific needs can be moving target as models and styles constantly change.

So stick with the attributes you want, rather than any specific brand. At least check to make sure the new models of your favorite brand has all the attributes you want and expect from the old models.


Hiking Boot Construction and Selection


Many Options Today
The range of footwear available today indicates we could have Member's Favorites spanning virtually every type of application, for every weight of boot, for every type of trail shoe, and even for those neoprene "socks" some folks are wearing now-a-days.

We are going to break down the different approaches & styles to backpacking footwear simply In the following forums, sticking to the classic, "Heavy, Medium, and Light" classifications. But, we let the market speak for itself, and include or drop catagories of footwear as they rise and fall around these timeless classics.


Post Up Experiences
This section of the forum here is for your general thoughts and approach to footwear to help guide our selections. Sharing of any comments or opinions on construction, style, and durability of various approaches are welcome.

I have strong thoughts on proper footwear, and want to see all the schools of thought and approaches properly vetted here.

The key thing is that you find the footwear that stands-up to the demands of the trail, that it fits your specific trip requirements, as well as meets the unique needs of your feets.


My feets be finicky!


Plantar Facitis, Corns, breaks, sprains, and some unique frostbite sculpting makes finding the correct setup vital. Oh, you do want to avoid all these things! Footwear selection is critical to prevent long-term problems from arising as well as short term issues.



Also See

High Sierra Backpacker Gear List


Gear List: Boots


Hiking Boot Construction and Selection


Post up your experiences, backpacking boot & hiking shoe reviews, and your preferences. I'll show you mine (blisters, "deformations," scars, and such...) if you show me yours...



Check the Members Favorites


Best Internal Framed Packs


Best External Framed Backpacks


Best Ultra Light Packs


Best Backpacking Boots


Best Backpacking Socks


Best Trekking Poles


Best Backpacking Stoves


Best Backpacking Cookware


Best Backpacking Water Purification


Best Backpacking Tents


Best Sleeping Bags


Best Sleeping Pads


Best Backpacking Shirts & Pants


Best Backpacking Camp Chairs 


Favorite Backpacking Gear Bits


Best Backpacking Guitar


Find the best gear for you by first knowing what's out there!
See any cool gear? Let us know! 


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