I Prefer Hiking Boots Over Trail Shoes
Call me old school, an old fuddy-duddy, or just old because I prefer hiking boots over trail shoes. Not only do I prefer hiking boots, I prefer all leather boots.
My first hiking boots were Fabiano all leather uppers. The leather held up so well that I eventually had the boots resoled with new Vibram soles. When the uppers finally wore out I purchased a second pair. The two pair hiked and backpacked with me on Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, through West Virginia’s Dolly Sods Wilderness, across the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks, and through the Wind Rivers range while on a NOLS course. Unfortunately, I do not remember what ever happened to that second pair. That was all back in the day before there was even anything like a trail shoe.
I now day hike and backpack wearing a pair of Merrell Wilderness classic all weather boots. Yes, they are heavy. But they are also sturdy, generally keep my feet dry, and keep my feet warm when hiking snow covered trails when the temperature is in the teens and twenties. They do, however, get a little warm, and my feet perspire when I wear them in warm weather.
I own and have tried trail shoes. I have worn my Garmont Nagevi while hiking some wet trails in New York’s Shawangunks and in West Virginia’s Otter Creek Wilderness. They didn’t keep my feet warm or dry while day hiking over trails with frost and light snow.
I have worn my Solomon XA Pro 3D while day hiking in Western Pennsylvania’s Raccoon Creek State Park and a four day three night backpacking trip on Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. They performed no better or no worse than the Garmonts. When hiking through the rain on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, my feet got wet when Merrell boots would probably have kept my feet dry.
When I am heading out for a day hike and expect the weather to be warm and dry, I will still wear my Garmont or Solomon hiking shoes because they are lighter than my Merrell boots, and my feet stay a little cooler and dryer in them. For wetter or cooler weather, however, I will always opt for my old fashion all leather hiking boots.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.