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Insoles and socks are also an important consideration. I am happy with the standard Scarpa 3mm insoles but do use two pairs of socks, a light and thin running sock which is tight to my foot then a quality walking/hiking specific sock such as Bridgedale. It is the insole and sock that provides most of the cushioning/absorbtion in the 3 or 4 season boots as they have quite a hard last and sole. Use the socks you will wear when trying the boots on.
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Quote: Many thanks all - certainly a good few viewpoints to consider and yes I do think it will be a case of finding a good shop with a good hour or more to spare to try things on.
MeanGreeny - interesting point about the insole inserts - its something I've never considered purchasing or using for normal walking (most times I encounter these being used its with people who have pains without using a more custom insole). I take it you use these yourself? Do you find that they really give a big gain over just the regular boot and a thick sock?
Take a pen and paper ...... or an iPad or whatever - and make a note of the makes that fit. If you visit several different stores [since they stock differing manufacturers right?] you'll start to see a pattern develop like I hinted at earlier.
The shock absorbing insoles sold separately can either make a huge difference - or you'll feel ripped off, depending on how you stand - snarf snarf
Do yourself a favour, buy a decent set and see how it goes. If you feel no benefit, don't bother next time [and buy cheaper ones of similar thickness to use in the same boots] but if they suit you then it'll be money well spent. Like I said, buy them as a set - boot and insole - not separately and then try and squeeze your foot in after - wearing thinner socks.
Insoles generally come in 2 types, support/orthotic and shock absorbing [I use Sorbothane insoles for the latter - although I probably need the former more]. More google buzz words
Boot manufacturers insoles are good - but not the best.
Edit: I found this - Insoles Guide
Ive had a pair of these for over 10 years
I swear by Meindl. Had 2 pairs in the last 8 years, and I do a lot of walking (but not heavy rock walking, I have to say). They're as comfy as gloves too.
Quote: That kind of explains why you need to replace them every six months....
That exactly explains it Bri.
My point being that regardless of their cost or supposed value, I can wreck a pair of boots pretty quickly.
Although, having said that, I did have a pair of boots like the ones Paul's linked to. They were the type worn buy troops in the Middle East and they lasted a while. They only cost me £2.00 too!
Quote: Jester, try some of these.
Thanks Cephus but I've got a pair already!
I bought my Merrells as a lightweight boot just for wandering through wet fields on my lunchtime walks (try to do 3-4 miles a day during my lunch break), but they have also taken be all over the Brecon Beacons and up Snowdon. Would have preferred my Scarpas coming down the Rangers Route though, as there is a lot of loose stone to walk over and you feel every bump through them....
some very good advice here, Cotswold Outdoor gets my vote too - spent over an hour getting the most comfortable boots, including special insoles - worth it if you have any back problems etc.
Another one to try, if you can find a shop near you, is Rohan. I'm a great fan of Rohan stuff, it isn't cheap but it really does its job. I bought a pair of their leather boots when my old Gelert pair fell apart last year. They are excellent and, unlike my last leather pair years ago, nice and light.
Quite a few suggestions being offered but the the advice that I think is coming through loud & clear is to find a good shop / outlet that will allow you to try various boots ( with socks which most good shops can provide ) and wander around.
One shop I have used previously had a construction of steps / slopes / simulated pebble & rough surfaces.
But I assume Overread already knows that, but useful information anyway
You need to go and try a large number of different makes on. It's no good saying Brasher or Mindl (my favourite) are wonderful, because everybody's feet are different. Some feel comfortable, some don't.
Quote: You need to go and try a large number of different makes on. It's no good saying Brasher or Mindl (my favourite) are wonderful, because everybody's feet are different. Some feel comfortable, some don't.
Isn't that what we said?
I`ve been quite tempted by these, states ankle support for load bearing
This thread is starting to remind me of 'Groundhog Day'.
Quote: I`ve been quite tempted by these, states ankle support for load bearing
Not much ankle support there, just a cuff round the top. If you want desert boots, the new versions (Meindl and Lowa) are way better.
Meindl desert Fox or Lowa Desert Elite
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