Good backpacking boots?

As posted to rec.outdoors.camping

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Note: these articles have been edited to remove text quoted among them.
From           Stuart and Liz Hill <>
Organization   Hill Dental Comp.
Date           Sun, 11 Jan 1998 16:15:36 -0600
Newsgroups     rec.outdoors.camping

I am going on a Philmont Trek this summer with my Boy Scout Troop.  This
happs in nort-western New Mexico in the mountains.  It covers around 50
miles in 10 days.  Do you have any suggestions on boots or other
appereal for mountain camping.  I'm from Louisiana and have never
backpacked out west.  Thanks a bunch.

Re: Good backpacking boots?

From           John Jackson <>
Organization   Pacific Bell Internet Services
Date           Sun, 11 Jan 1998 20:23:10 -0800
Newsgroups     rec.outdoors.camping

  My best advice is to make sure what ever shoes you ware should have
plenty of anckle support and should be WELL BROKEN IN.  Don't wait tell
the last minute to pick up a pair of boots and then simply go off hiking
or you'll pay for it with blisters and sore feet.  Also since you're a
young boy don't go off and spend alot on expensive hiking boots because
you'll just out grow them in a year or two.

Re: Good backpacking boots?

From  (Chris Chubb)
Organization   Code Gurus (Northern Virginia)
Date           Tue, 13 Jan 1998 14:00:10 GMT
Newsgroups     rec.outdoors.camping

Well, LukeTheGreat,

When hiking in Philmont, you will encounter everything from deep sand to 
deep water. But, mostly, you will be hiking on loose rock and hard packed
sandstone. Depending on the trails that you take, you will also 
encounter some good elevation changes and serious downward

Some things are mandatory in a good set of boots for the Western states:
- A scree colar, the padded thing around the ankle.
- Some form of plastic protection around the lower edge, to protect against 
- Breathability. It would be nice to be able to wear a full grain leather
boot, but your feet will sweat right off. Get something with at least some
cordura nylon. Gore-Tex is nice for waterproofing, but it is expensive, and
will only last you 2-3 years, at best. 
- Break them in before you go! You should have at least 20 miles 
on them before you go. 
- Take foot power. Its like a tune-up for your feet. Use it every morning.

Most of all, have fun and bring back a bagfull of memories!

- Chris Chubb ( Northern Virginia, USA
- Code Gurus: Custom solutions programmed for your business.
- Fair rates, fast response, rock-solid code. Initial consultation free.
- Visual Basic, Tiered databases, Java, Perl, Internet programming.

Re: Good backpacking boots?

From  (Matthew Wisdom)
Organization   All USENET --
Date           Tue, 20 Jan 1998 04:44:01 GMT
Newsgroups     rec.outdoors.camping

I was at Philmont 3 years ago and bought (the notorious) Vasque
Sundowners for the occasion.  While it is recommended that you break
these boots in for 50 miles or so, they worked great for me after only
a couple of shorter excursions and casual wearing.  If properly
maintained, these boots can last for years, and Vasque has established
an excellent reputation for repairing/replacing boots (or so I've
heard).  These boots provide ample support for ordinary backpacking
(i.e. moderate loads, ~50lbs. or less) as well as dayhiking, and I use
mine for backpacking regularly.  In addition, a friend of mine used
the same boots for Philmont Trail Crew (hiking around the ranch for
the entire summer) and was very pleased with them.  For long, extended
treks (such as the entire 2000 mile Appalachian Trail) or enormously
heavy loads, you might want to consider a more 'heavy-duty' boot, such
as certain reinforced Reichle boots.  However, this is overkill for
short backpacking and hiking needs, and may run in excess of several
hundred dollars.  I'd recommend the Sundowners in a second, and you
can probably get them from REI or somewhere for around 150-175$.  

As to the Philmont terrain, it of course depends on which trek number
you have (when I went, there were 26 'routes' across the ranch,
ranging in difficulty from 1, the least, to 26, the most; we took 21).
When we went it was unusually dry and dusty, but the support provided
by my Vasque boots was ample.  While Philmont does have some ups and
downs, they are no more demanding in my opinion (with a few pronounced
exceptions and the altitude factor, e.g. base camp is above 8,000 ft.
above sea level, and the peak of Baldy Mountain is around 12,500) than
the roller-coaster Southern Appalachian Trail .

E-mail if I can be of further assistance, and enjoy the trip!  Matt