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 How Long Do Hiking Boots Last? 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 5:11 am
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 How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?
The reason I ask is...you guys know I'm not a 4K'er, and I don't really do anything too aggressive. But I am out there 4 to 5 days a week. I have a pair of THESE. They're about 2 years old and the bottom, (arch area), is separating from the boot. Water can now get in-between the boot and sole. Most of you do a lot more aggressive stuff them me....how long should I get out of these? Is this normal?

Thanks,
Joey

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:02 pm
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Master Mountaineer
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I hike at least once a week, and try to do a 10 mile big-elevation hike at least twice a month. So moderate hiker, not tied up on Watatic due to kids, but not doing a double-presi like some.

I've gone through several boots, and while they each have their own fit and wear out differently, I've found the following to be the general standard.

Year 1) - Awesome! Waterproof, breathable, grippy
Year 2) - Need some seams superglued. Still water proof, still pretty grippy
Year 3) - Good tred left, but losing grip; waterproofing starting to go; aesthetically unpleasing, but broken-in so well that you start wearing them in non-hiking situations more often
Year 4) - New boots. Old pair becomes old comfort pair. Old old pair get donated or recycled.

I've seen some hikers refuse to give up a pair of boots, and will superglue, duct tape, resole, etc. their boots until they literally disintegrate on the trail (I don't know if its loyalty or finances, but twice I've been on hikes with people who blew out an old boot).

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:36 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Actually, I'm at the 1 1/2 year mark. I bought them at the beginning of last winter, through last summer, this winter, and up to now.

I have another 2 pair...one is a low top, (love them, but dirt gets in), and an old EMS pair which I'll use sometimes during the winter with micros or crampons. The grip is worn out, but the boot is still in great shape. Remember the old EMS boots? Man, those were the best! IMO

I don't mind spending the cash on new one's, but I was just thinking, I didn't get much out of them for the kind of easy/moderate hiking I do.

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:06 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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It may be the type of hiking you're doing. If you're doing a bit of bushwhacking and tromping through streams, you probably get them wet a lot more often than if you stayed mostly on trails. I've gotta think that will make them start to fall apart sooner...

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:07 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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The northern Presidential rock destroyed my soles. 60 bucks to get them re-soled. These boots fit my foot like a glove, it'd be hard to give them up.


Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:10 pm
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It's kind of a mixed bag Bob. I guess I'll just get a new pair.

I was just wondering what you guys thought.

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:11 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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I also don't think it's valid to ask "how long" boots will last; the important question, I think, would be "how many miles hiked". You could have a pair last 10 years if you hiked as seldom as I do lately. :roll:

Also, I never thought of Keens as a great brand but I don't have any evidence to back that up. So maybe they're ok. My favorite brand is Merrells, I have a couple of pairs of those, including my winter boots which have been with me since about 2008. I also have a pair of La Sportiva trail runners, those are my favorite hiking footwear for this time of year. And I don't think you can go wrong with a pair of LL Bean Cresta Hikers, even though those are pretty expensive. I have a pair of those too, and they've lasted for years.

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:18 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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iagreewithjamie wrote:
I've seen some hikers refuse to give up a pair of boots, and will superglue, duct tape, resole, etc. their boots until they literally disintegrate on the trail (I don't know if its loyalty or finances, but twice I've been on hikes with people who blew out an old boot).


Ha ha. Sounds like me. It's a loyalty thing mostly. Shared lots of adventures together.

Keyz, have you tried shoe goo or barge cement? Frequent treatments when needed can drastically extend boot life provided all the material is still there.

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:36 pm
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iagreewithjamie wrote:
I've seen some hikers refuse to give up a pair of boots, and will superglue, duct tape, resole, etc. their boots until they literally disintegrate on the trail (I don't know if its loyalty or finances, but twice I've been on hikes with people who blew out an old boot).


Ha ha. Sounds like me. It's a loyalty thing mostly. Shared lots of adventures together.

Keyz, have you tried shoe goo or barge cement? Frequent treatments when needed can drastically extend boot life provided all the material is still there. I'll agree what others have said. It all depends on the boot and terrain. Those Keens look comfy, but far from Sherman tank material.

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:37 pm
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Bob, I love the KEEN high top boots. They're so light...but you may be right about them not being a great brand. (Other's, what do you think about KEEN?)

I do have an awesome pair of low top Merrill. (I'm pretty sure they're Merrill) They look like THIS

IQuest, I'll try that shoe goo or barge cement. Where do I get it?

Like I said, I don't mind spending the cash on new one's, but 1 1/2 years only with the KEENS? I'll check with EMS...maybe there's a recall on them. That's what happened to my Vasgue boots. EMS just gave me a new pair of the same cost, of any brand I wanted. Wouldn't you know I picked out KEEN? Image

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:38 pm
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I wouldn't say Keens are bad. I've had my pair of Targhees since summer 2011 and I can't even begin to guess how many miles they have been worn for. I got a replacement pair a while back when they were on sale, figuring this pair would kick the bucket soon but they refuse to die! Which is good because after all of the hikes and trips they've been on with me, I'll be very very sad to toss them.

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:33 pm
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I do a little bit of everything hiking from nature walks to Presi traverses and on average my boots only last about 250 miles in the Whites before the sole gets to the point I'm not comfortable with its grip on scrambles or when wet. The sole falling of shouldn't happen if you ask me. I'd go back to EMS and ask for a repair or replacement. They're usually pretty good about that I've heard.

I used to use LL Bean boots almost exclusively. Only other kind I had was a pair of Merrills that fell apart way too soon. LL Bean's warranty is impossible to beat. If you don't think they lasted the way they should you get new ones, which happened twice to me. Once an eyelet pulled out and once the sole separated. Got a store credit to pick out new ones both times no questions asked. 2 years ago I got a pair of Keen Bryces at LL Bean and they are by far my favorite boot I've ever had, so that to me is the best of both worlds.


Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:00 pm
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Closing in on 500 miles on my Vasque Breezes now, and they are still in decent shape. Not really waterproof, but they never really were. Not so grippy, but they never were that great. Scuffed, I tagged a small bit of Shoe Goo (get it at EMS, REI, or wherever Keyz) onto the tow area last summer as a pre-emptive thing. Most comfortable boots I've ever worn though, so they still get used. I recently got a new pair of Oboz that are the grippiest day hiker I've ever owned, and nicely waterproof too. They come out now when the terrain warrants it.

I had the sole start to separate on my old Aplina boots a couple summers ago. But they were close to 10 years old and hadn't really been used (at all) in about 5 years at that point, so I figured the glue just dried out. Got them re-soled, but sadly they don't fit my feet that great anymore so they don't get much use. Probably shouldn't have bothered with the resoling :D

And I remember those old EMS brand boots. I used them in my early hiking days. Good boots. Still have one pair that I use around town in winter. NO tread left on them, I mean NONE, almost a completely flat sheet of rubber :D

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Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:14 pm
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Leg Burner
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I love my Beans mountain treads. I have about 200 miles on this pair and they are holding up great. Last pair lasted about the same.
So from my experience, boots on me last about 250-300 miles.

I don't know much about Keens hiking boots, however their shoes and sandals are top quality. The pair of sandals I have on know I have been wearing daily in the spring/summer months for about 15 years.


Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:20 pm
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Wickedbass wrote:
I don't know much about Keens hiking boots, however their shoes and sandals are top quality. The pair of sandals I have on know I have been wearing daily in the spring/summer months for about 15 years.


Agreed. I have a few pairs of shoes I wear to work and I'm on my feet 8 - 10 hours a day. My Keens are rediculously comfortable and light weight for that. I like them much better than a similar pair of Merrills I had before them.


Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:42 pm
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