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Hiking shoes help -- Hoyaheel, anyone?

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While this is not truly cruise-related, it is travel related.

 

I've never purchased hiking shoes per se; I have always just relied on good sturdy walking shoes for travel. However, next year I am planning on doing a walking trip along Hadrian's wall. To be clear, it is not going to involve hiking along the entire wall, but will involve walking for long stretches.

 

Most of the walking will not be bad; I understand quite a bit is paved. But I do want something sturdy with good grippy soles for unpaved walking. However, I don't think heavy hiking boots are needed.

 

I understand there are some good "hybrid" hiking shoes -- lighter weight like athletic shoes but sturdier and supportive. Can anyone recommend a favorite model or brand for consideration? I have plenty of time, but want to make sure that I select the right shoe and have it well broken in...

 

I was eyeing these, just to give an idea of what I'd ideally like: https://www.rei.com/product/122166/salomon-x-ultra-3-low-hiking-shoes-womens

 

My feet are a bit on the wider side, but usually a medium width shoe that runs a bit wide is a better fit for me than actual "Wide" width shoes.

 

Hoyaheel, from past posts I get the impression your feet are somewhat like mine. Any favorite brands or suggestions?

 

Also -- any thoughts on whether to get waterproof shoes or not? The pros: it rains a lot in England. The cons: I've read the waterproof versions are hot and not very breathable.

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Not Hoyaheel and my feet aren’t wide, but I have had good experience with Salomon. I have both boots and shoes similar to the ones you posted, mine are the speedcross style.

 

 

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I prefer Merrills to Salomon. I’ve had both & my Merrill’s are still going strong whereas the Salomons are long gone

 

You can waterproof either

 

 

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I'm willing to try Merrells; they have some good looking options. But they are hit or miss for me when it comes to fit. Seems like they used to fit me better about a decade ago than they do now.

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I have wide feet and I love the Merrell Moab2., which comes in W. You might not want them this hiker looking, but they are lightweight and have good arch support. I originally bought them for Yosemite. But they’re light enough to walk wherever. Merrell also has a more sneaker looking style. Shoes.com has them but I would try them on for fit

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Most of my hiking shoes are goretex and I do not find them too hot. On the other hand, I typically am using them in cooler climates, not the Caribbean - though I have hiked in Costa Rica in some and did fine.

 

Salomon tend to be too narrow for me, and yes, since Merrell changed their last about a decade ago, their arch fits too far forward to be comfortable for my toe box ;-) Right now I have Haglofs goretex walking shoes and Lowa goretex hiking shoe. My Lowa shoes are super old but this is a similar profile: https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/133298/lowa-tiago-gtx-lo-hiking-shoes-womens

 

REI does have an Asolo shoe, so if they fit the same way they used to, that might be an option for you to try https://www.rei.com/product/112141/asolo-megaton-gv-hiking-shoes-womens

 

(my hiking boots are leather asolo - they don't get much use these days :-(

 

These are not cheap shoes (the Lowa option is on sale at the REI outlet - I haven't looked to see what other discount options might be available, at Sierra Trading Post or campmor.com or backcountry or even at shoes.com or zappos.com) You might not want or need to spend that much money, BUT for me - I need a comfortable well made shoe, and my shoes last a LONG time (most hiking shoes/boots have innersoles that can be replaced and this extends life!) So I'm willing to spend a little more money up front for the longevity....

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Most of my hiking shoes are goretex and I do not find them too hot. On the other hand, I typically am using them in cooler climates, not the Caribbean - though I have hiked in Costa Rica in some and did fine.

 

Salomon tend to be too narrow for me, and yes, since Merrell changed their last about a decade ago, their arch fits too far forward to be comfortable for my toe box ;-) Right now I have Haglofs goretex walking shoes and Lowa goretex hiking shoe. My Lowa shoes are super old but this is a similar profile: https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/133298/lowa-tiago-gtx-lo-hiking-shoes-womens

 

REI does have an Asolo shoe, so if they fit the same way they used to, that might be an option for you to try https://www.rei.com/product/112141/asolo-megaton-gv-hiking-shoes-womens

 

(my hiking boots are leather asolo - they don't get much use these days :-(

 

These are not cheap shoes (the Lowa option is on sale at the REI outlet - I haven't looked to see what other discount options might be available, at Sierra Trading Post or campmor.com or backcountry or even at shoes.com or zappos.com) You might not want or need to spend that much money, BUT for me - I need a comfortable well made shoe, and my shoes last a LONG time (most hiking shoes/boots have innersoles that can be replaced and this extends life!) So I'm willing to spend a little more money up front for the longevity....

 

Thanks for weighing in. This trip is really a bucket list item for me, and the last thing I want is for my enjoyment to be dampened by having the wrong shoes! I don't mind investing in something, even if I don't anticipate a long hiking career in front of me. ;)

 

Once I do some more preliminary online research, I plan to go to my local REI and do some looking/trying on in person. I'm lucky to have one close by.

 

Also, glad to hear the Gore-Tex shoes aren't too hot. I suspect the weather will be pleasant but not hot at the Wall, and the advantages of having something waterproof seem to weigh larger the more I read about the trip....

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I have done extensive hiking all over - The Camino,Switzerland, Norway, Morocco, New Zealand, Patagonia, Alaska etc. as well as all around the US Southwest (especially Arizona where I live). I mention this to let you know I have hiked in hot, cold, wet and dry conditions as well as most every type of trail surface. For years I wore Merrill’s Moab’s - various versions. When I replaced my boots s couple of years ago I just assumed I would buy another pair of Merrill’s but the salesperson noticed my feet are a bit wider and suggested I try Keenes. To my great surprise I bought their waterproof version and I can honestly say they are the most comfortable hiking boots I have ever owned. The toe bed is wider and the shoes have the perfect balance of flexibility and protection. If you are at REI you might try a pair on.

 

 

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I have done extensive hiking all over - The Camino,Switzerland, Norway, Morocco, New Zealand, Patagonia, Alaska etc. as well as all around the US Southwest (especially Arizona where I live). I mention this to let you know I have hiked in hot, cold, wet and dry conditions as well as most every type of trail surface. For years I wore Merrill’s Moab’s - various versions. When I replaced my boots s couple of years ago I just assumed I would buy another pair of Merrill’s but the salesperson noticed my feet are a bit wider and suggested I try Keenes. To my great surprise I bought their waterproof version and I can honestly say they are the most comfortable hiking boots I have ever owned. The toe bed is wider and the shoes have the perfect balance of flexibility and protection. If you are at REI you might try a pair on.

 

 

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Thanks, I've added Keens to my list to investigate and try on...

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Glad to provide some additional input. Please let us know what you end up buying.

 

 

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Keens sandals don't work for me at all, but I have two pair of "fashion" Keends - I love the soles! I find I have to go up a half-size for them to fit me. Haven't tried any of the hikers....

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Keens sandals don't work for me at all, but I have two pair of "fashion" Keends - I love the soles! I find I have to go up a half-size for them to fit me. Haven't tried any of the hikers....

 

Keen sizing is all over the place. I have close to 20 pairs of Keens...sandals, Mary Janes. Clogs, etc. No consistent size at all. I always have to try on so can’t mail order, but I too usually go up a half size.

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I always have to try on so can’t mail order, but I too usually go up a half size.

I far prefer to mail order a bunch and return what doesn't work - there's no place to drive where I have a good chance of trying on that many options in my size in the kind of shoes I want;p

 

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who notices a lack of consistency, though!

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Thanks for weighing in. This trip is really a bucket list item for me, and the last thing I want is for my enjoyment to be dampened by having the wrong shoes! I don't mind investing in something, even if I don't anticipate a long hiking career in front of me. ;)

 

Once I do some more preliminary online research, I plan to go to my local REI and do some looking/trying on in person. I'm lucky to have one close by.

 

Also, glad to hear the Gore-Tex shoes aren't too hot. I suspect the weather will be pleasant but not hot at the Wall, and the advantages of having something waterproof seem to weigh larger the more I read about the trip....

 

 

 

You can also have shoes shipped to your local REI for free.

There are differences between waterproof and water resistant shoes. I find water proof to be to hot. I run on the hotter side.

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Avoiding foot fatigue is important and there are some guidelines to consider. Do not buy a softer feel super flexible shoe. You will be fine for an hour or so, but, after many hours of walking, your feet may be screaming for relief. Consider a more structured low hiker shoe. My current favorite is Lowa. Opt for a style with a roomy less flat toe and a sole that allows your foot to walk with a bit of a rocking motion. If you are considering shoes and looking at side view photos, it will be easy to tell which shoes have flatter soles and which have a slightly curved sole for a rocker motion.

I have worn the Merrell Moab, but prefer the Lowa, for its layered construction and structure. I also have LL Bean shoes similar to those in the OP's link, but they do not have the superb construction of some of the pricier models. I have worn Asolo's but have found it difficult to find optimal fit in this brand. Keens are comfortable, but, at least among my hiking and walking friends, are considered casual walking shoes, not serious walking shoes. Consider sizing up 1/2 size if you have wider feet. I read reviews on Zappos to learn more about shoe fit and experiences of other customers.

Regarding Gore-Tex - I wore my Lowa Gore-Tex shoes for 32 days last summer, two cruises including Iceland, trail hiking and sidewalk walking, and never once felt too hot, even though some days were 80 degrees F. My Lowas beat any of my walking sandals and even some of my more casual athletic shoes.

Good luck with the shoe search!

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Thanks everyone.

 

As an update, I did go to REI and I was able to try on the Merrell Moab 2 with the Gore-Tex. (I took my Smartwool socks to try with them). I liked them, they were very comfortable for the limited time I had them on. They did feel a LITTLE hot to me, I have to admit.

 

I tried on a few other shoes as well, including some Asolos (not a good fit). They did not have the Salomons I originally liked but I tried on some others that were waterproof. They felt pretty comfortable, maybe a tad tight on my larger foot. But I didn't like their lacing system.

 

They did not have any Lowa shoes that I could try, only boots.

 

I'm leaning toward the Merrells but will investigate whether I can find somewhere to order Lowa shoes online with a free return, so I can try them also.

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Someone on, I think, the Alaska board recommended Oboz, and I just ordered a pair from REI--I have quasi-wide feet too and find that sometimes an 8.5W works and sometimes a 9M is fine. Anyway, I ordered the Oboz Sawtooth Low B-Dry (ie, waterproof) hikers and just got them yesterday. First thought out of the box is they are very comfortable, but I am going to try them out for a good month or so and will report back if they are no-goes (though I hope they aren't--we sail Sept 1 and I don't want to break in another pair so will go with my New Balance sneakers if these don't work out.) My old hikers of many years finally bit the dust and I am enjoying the excuse for a new pair. Also, I think they are pretty! (Well, for hiking boots) I got them in Mineral Blue, and they aren't as flashy as the online pic shows. They look nice with all my seaglass green, aqua, and turquoise blue clothes that I am taking on the trip.

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It seems that wide feet are the norm, however I have the opposite fit problem. Narrow feet (AA). Can anyone recommend a brand that runs narrow? We love to hike and good fitting shoes are a necessity. Almost everything comes in B width and wider. What is a skinny footed girl like me to do???

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I know a couple waterproof "fashion" brands that run narrow - Aquatalia, La Canadienne - but not hiking boots.....Have you gone to a hiking store for a fitting? My husband has narrow ankles and trouble finding running shoes - on our last trip to NYC, we went to a "fancy" running store that videotapes & analyzes your running style to find the right shoe(s) for your foot & stance etc.

 

Good luck! Finding the right shoe is SOOOOOOO important (in my life, at least ;-)

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I finally was able to try the Lowa hiking shoes (Renegade II) and found them a bit less wide than anticipated. (Some reviewers online noted that the newer version of this shoe IS a bit narrower than previous version.)

 

After trying the Merrell Moabs for several longer periods of walking inside my home, I'm going with them. I hope they will continue to be as comfortable while I break them in outside under more rugged conditions!

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I finally was able to try the Lowa hiking shoes (Renegade II) and found them a bit less wide than anticipated. (Some reviewers online noted that the newer version of this shoe IS a bit narrower than previous version.)

 

After trying the Merrell Moabs for several longer periods of walking inside my home, I'm going with them. I hope they will continue to be as comfortable while I break them in outside under more rugged conditions!

 

Hi Cruisemom, I'm a little late to this party, & it sounds like you've found a shoe that works for you. I just wanted add another option: Vivo Barefoot hikers/trek shoes are great for wider feet (I'm on the wider side, although not a true wide size) Depending on your foot type these can be wonderful. If you're someone who experiences "foot fatigue" like a previous poster mentioned, then they might not work for you, but if you've got strong feet, & just need protection, they're great & much better for your feet. :)

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