Nov 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm #1334313
Excluding trail runners (I'll address trail runners with the boys on a one-off basis, if they are able to get their gear into the lightweight category), What are some good reasonably priced low or mid hiking boots for Philmont (and backpacking in general)? As a baseline, I'm looking at the Merrill Moab Ventilator. A few already have these from Northern Tier. At $100, they are probably within reach of our boys, but likely at the upper budget range. Thanks. TerryNov 18, 2015 at 3:44 pm #2238937Rick AdamsBPL Member
It's tough to give good advice on footwear as feet very so much. You can hardly go wrong recommending some thick wool socks maybe even doubled up. Most boy scout parents are not investing in quality shoes or socks, if they send junior hiking with average to good boots and cheap junk socks it is not going to work well. Socks are the better investment along with shoes that fit well with those socks.Nov 18, 2015 at 5:34 pm #2238960Jay LBPL Member
Agree with Rick Adams on good socks – a thin pair of liners and a thick pair of wool. I have had good success with Timberland boots. They fit my feet well, run 2.5lbs for the pair (size 11) and have held up very well – including one Philmont trek.Nov 18, 2015 at 6:23 pm #2238965Jim ColtenSpectator
I used Merrill Moab Ventilators for my first trip there and NON-GTX Inov-8 Roclites the second time. I was pleased with both options, although these days I only use those ventilators on twice annual trail maintenance weekends.Dec 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm #3368073Walter UnderwoodBPL Member
@wunderLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I stopped wearing double socks decades ago.
Philmont has great trails. There is no need for boots.
In a 2014 survey of John Muir Trail hikers, only 45% of them wore boots. Philmont is much easier hiking than the high Sierra.
wunderDec 8, 2015 at 6:19 am #3369358Michael RayBPL Member
Would agree with Walter, but would stress whatever they wear needs to fit their foot well obviously and they should be used to wearing it. My son wore New Balance MT1210 Leadville shoes this summer on a rainy trek (just after the tragic storm in fact). While his pack weight isn’t much (though I know he carried extra to help others), HE weighs a fair bit (needed to get an exception to the height weight limitations) so it was like an avg Scout having a 70 lb pack. He also has one quite flat foot and still had no problems at all.Apr 18, 2016 at 2:10 pm #3396673David BarnesBPL Member
July 2014- Moab High Top Ventilators on Trek 16 w/ Costco merino wool socks. 100ish miles with side hikes and no blisters or hotspots/
If I was going to do it again, I would look hard at some non GTX high top Salomons which did not exist in 2014 coupled with the same socks.
YMMVOct 7, 2016 at 9:55 am #3429845
Any experience with specific Timberland and Hi-Tec shoe/boot models? Would like to give boys some options in the <$75 range.
It is certainly possible that some of the boys will need to buy two pairs of boots prior to our August 2017 trek due to foot growth. So, I would like some less expensive options. I will stress FIT, good socks, size up a half or whole size to allow for foot swelling, and possibly replacement insoles.
TerryOct 7, 2016 at 2:26 pm #3429902Steve GBPL Member
@groversanLocale: Middle East-Levant
I found that the biggest “myth” about Philmont is that all trails are smooth… Bushwhacking in Vail Vidal is not smooth… nor is climbing with burros to Elkridge… Plenty of rocks and ankle twisters all over Philmont’s north country. Whatever trail shoes / boots you choose you need to put your FEET through the paces of trail work. I live overseas and spent too much time on smooth trails (all I have easily accessible) and my feet got a wake up call with all the torquing and sliding that I did at Philmont. Moisture is your enemy — be prepared to change socks at least once a day / wash socks as often as you can / use foot powder. Have fun!Oct 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm #3430591
Continuing my research on the trail runner vs. boots question, as well as searching out economical footwear for my two 2017 crews. At most, I’ll be wearing my Merrill Moab Ventilators. May try out some trail running shoes as well.
Two more questions:
Oct 11, 2016 at 1:23 pm #3430599Justin BakerBPL Member
- Can anyone recommend a solid trail runner for ,=$75? Reason I ask is that the boys/parents can probably pick up some Hi Tec lightweight boots for <$50. Coupled with good fit and good socks they should be fine assuming they are broken in.
- What are your thoughts on pack weight when considering trail runners vs. boots? I am stressing to the boys to have base weights of <= 20 lbs (10-12 lbs for big three plus sleeping pad; 3-4 lbs for carried clothes, including sleeping clothes; 2 lbs for personal items; up to 3 lbs for crew gear). This would give max pack weights of maybe 36 lbs (max 8 lbs water + 8 lbs food). Is this too heavy to go with trail runners? [Of course, I think that is somewhat misleading because a 220 lb person with a light 20 lb pack is still much heavier than a 160 lb person with a heavier 40 lb pack.]
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I believe that heavy pack weight doesn’t necessitate different footwear. The important thing is having shoes that don’t have a huge raised heel and don’t have excessive cushion, so your feet are planted on the ground when you have the weight on you.Oct 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm #3430610
+ 1 to what Walter, Jim, and Michael say above
The Scouts need to do enough training with packs to make sure their feet are ready.
No need for high top boots. For our itinerary there were MULTIPLE stream crossings and most of our days. Non GoreTex lined footwear is the way to go. As a Scout leader, I often hesitate to recommend “trail runners” because 1) I see Scouts show up with low top running shoes with almost no tread and 2) they show up with 15 more lbs in their pack than was there at pack inspection. That being said, I think a senior Scout who has reduced his pack weigh to well under 20 lbs would be fine with trail runners with a high grip sole.
I usually recommend Moab Ventilator non GoreTex mid tops. There might be local sporting goods stores who would offer a 10 or 15% Scout discount. Also Merrill and its on line web partners (Mountain Gear, Backcountry) have many end of the season shoe sales.
It seems like even Innov-8 is making more and more of their shoes with GoreTex. The Gore company must have mountains of co-op dollars to motivate all the shoe companies to add this unneeded waterproofing feature to their shoes.Oct 11, 2016 at 2:55 pm #3430622Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
because 1) I see Scouts show up with low top running shoes with almost no tread and 2) they show up with 15 more lbs in their pack than was there at pack inspection.
With all due respect, this suggests to me that you are not getting the message across to the PARENTS properly. You should make it VERY clear to all the parents that
* You are responsible for the kids while out there, so there is to be NO argument with your rules
* Full kit must be produced weeks before the trip for inspection and approval
* Appropriate shoes must be used, to YOUR satisfaction
* Packs will be weighed before departure, and any excess MUST be removed.
Any parent who does not wish to comply may run their own trip, NOT in parallel with yours. There may be screams – tough. Incidentally, the kids will respect you for this.
CheersOct 11, 2016 at 8:16 pm #3430671Aubrey W. BogardBPL Member
Footwear, shoes and socks, is the most important investment. The primary challenge with youth is their growing feet. I advocated non-Goretex trail runners to our Crew this year but did not fight anyone that chose boots. Philmont has a culture of “boots are necessary”. The gear lists state boots, and the Rangers all wear boots, but they will not require boots. The gear lists state camp shoes, and the Rangers will have some form of camp shoes, but they will not require camp shoes. My son and I and several others wore trail runners and took no camp shoes and had no regrets. The trails in the South Country are surprisingly rocky as well, especially on some of the summit hikes. Because of this I would advocate more protection that provided by some of the minimalist footwear, i.e., something with a rock plate as insurance against stone bruises.Oct 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm #3430701
BruceJan 4, 2017 at 9:16 pm #3443276
My two sons and I are either wearing Merrell Moab Ventilators or trail runners. Non GTX. I am currently testing a pair of Innov 8 295’s with some of the Injinji toe socks. Like them so far.
Not currently planning to take camp shoes, but, in August, we’ll be getting a good bit of afternoon rain.
Would anyone recommend taking Crocs or another camp shoe? This would allow for a dry pair of socks in the evenings that don’t have to go back into the wet shoes.
TerryJan 5, 2017 at 8:02 am #3443310ed dzierzakBPL Member
I used the Merrell Moab Ventilators not waterproof on our last trek (2016) I’ve never been on an August trek, so I don’t know how wet it’ll be.
The Moabs treated my feet fine even with a heavier pack (small crew get the same amount of crew gear as a large crew).
I haven’t taken a camp shoe for our last 2 treks. Didn’t miss them since the Moabs were comfortable.
As always, YMMV!
edFeb 13, 2017 at 3:13 pm #3450405Brian CrainSpectator
@brcrainLocale: So Cal
I second or third (or whatever we are up to) with the Merrell Moab Ventilarors and for gods sake, good socks with whatever they wear. They come in a low, medium, and high top boot and are sturdy enough for our trails here in So Cal as well as Philmont. I’d steer clear of most of the hi-tech lines as an economy boot – have not been impressed with their overall function or longevity and don’t recommend them to any of my Scouts.Feb 15, 2017 at 10:58 am #3450595
Merrell is in the middle of a marketing launch of the Moab 2 boot line.
So Scouts who are in need of new boots might look for the Moab’s that are being discontinued to go on sale. After all “A Scout is thrifty.”
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