Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Outdoors Activities

Shopping for Boots

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Josh the Aspie:
Hey all, I've long been unable to actually utilize any boots I was given.

But I do really want a pair of some really good footwear to wear when hiking, working out doors, etc, so I'm looking for a good pair of boots.

I have two particular challenges.

1. I have long, wide, splaying toes.  I need room in the toe box.  And on top of that the non-toe portions of my feet are wide as well.  Depending on how American shoes are sized, I wear a 2XL (width), or a 6E for width, typically in size 16 to get the wideness at the right spot for my long toes.

I've been looking at the boots at Hitchcock Shoes, but I'm honestly not sure what brands/treads are good or not.

I was hoping some folks here could give me some feed back before I risk buying a lemon that will feel fine indoors, then cause me blisters once I'm on the trail and can't return them.  Or possibly point me in the direction of some other place where bigfoot/neandethal toes can buy some boots.

You might want to check out Keen. I believe they have a pretty big toe box. And REI has an awesome return policy if you are a member. You can wear the boots and if you don't like them take them back.

I was going to suggest Keen as well. I just had to buy a new pair of steel-toed boots for work after outgrowing my old pair (I thought that was supposed to stop eventually?!) and I picked up a pair of Keens on clearance. I have a hard time finding good shoes too as it seems my toes just keep getting wider. These boots are wonderful, completely worth every penny. I am on my feet for 8+ hours every day and these are probably the most comfortable work boots I've ever had. They did rub a bit on the back of my heel at first, but not so severely that I got a blister and they broke in quick.

My hiking shoes are a brand called Hi-Tec, and they are also incredibly comfortable. I surprisingly haven't had to replace them despite my ever expanding feet.

David in MN:
Size 16? Holy cow, I'm a 13 and I thought that was big. Boots or basketball shoes?

Seriously, though... The three brands I've stuck with over the years are Keen, Ecco, and Red Wing.

Keen: Might be the best for you. Roomy toes. I find their designs lightweight and easy for long wear. My current winter boots.

Ecco: (New Balance brand) Quality materials that break in well. I wore these when I did construction and after a week of misery the leather moulded to my feet and it was pure delight. 15 years later I still have the boots (though they're not quite waterproof anymore). Still good for yardwork or hiking. They might help because they are European sized and might get a more accurate fit than American.

Red Wing: If you really need a set of gunboats, these are them. Mine probably weigh 3 lbs each but wearing them is like armor. I use them for demo work and it's like having an engineering hammer on each foot. You can't move as fast but you also can't break an ankle/toe. For heavy use, they're great.

Josh the Aspie:
I stopped by a local camping/surplus store to pick up some spare webbing earlier today, and while there tried on a pair of 15M keens.  While not where I wanted them, they were far better than usual.

I found a store in town that has some 15W Keens, and will be heading up to try them on tomorrow after work.

If those don't work for me, I'll probably call hitchcock up and ask which of the boots on the linked page above has the most toe room, the new balance, or the drew.


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