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Thread: advice on new boots

  1. #1

    advice on new boots

    hi folks, I am looking to but some good quality boots and would appreciate your advice and experiences.

    I have a habit of wearing my Toggi wellies all of the time these days but feel its a bad idea in the long run and cant help thinking that some day I will either hurt myself or just do myself harm over time. most of my stalking is on farmland and woodland and once in a blue moon will hit the hill and have some walked up days that can be tough going. I do however find myself covering more and more felled woodland which is just treacherous and an easy place to do the ankles some damage.

    I am looking for something with good ankle support and in the back of my mind I cant help but think that I may regret getting something too heavy but that maybe shouldn't be a big decision factor. I would like something that can be worn all year round also.

    I have not decided yet how high a boot would be best for me, not sure if a 12" boot would become a pain in the rear end, I have a good set of gaiters to wear with them.

    A couple I have in mind are

    Harkila Trapper Master - does anybody have experience of these? not sure how rigid they would be, how waterproof or how easy to clean they are but they look like they would be comfortable and light.

    Harkila Pro Gamekeeper - the name suggests they will do the business, they look like good and easy to clean leather, they also look like they will be very supportive

    Harkila Pro hunter BOA - not sure I like the look of the leather as much as the pro gamekeeper one as it looks easier to scuff and harder to look after, one reason also is that I am drawn to them is the BOA system which looks great and easy to use with gloves / cold hand but is it any good and is it just a waste of money and I wonder what happens if it breaks.

    Meindl Burma pro - Meindl have a great reputation, the leather looks good and my father had a pair of these for hill walking the munros for many years. but some do say the leather is not as good as it used to be.

    Meindl Dovre / Dovre extreme - same reasons as the Burma but I hear lots of people like these for stalking.

    I am certainly not a snob or rich but I want to top quality boot which will last a long time and not give me any problems so don't mind paying top dollar for a really good boot that wont let me down.

    any advice would be welcome.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Honestly, and having probably spent close to a grand ovr the past 5 years on boots alone (outch, jyst worked that out) save your money and buy what I have ended up using, british army extreme cold weather boots, don't be put off, they won't cook your feet. They are goretex, have vibram soles, and for a couple of quid extra on some decent insoles you'll be sorted, they are awesome for the money....... 60 brand spanking new, I'll find the website and add a link, but Google will find them.

    Extreme Cold Weather Boots - British Military Surplus
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  3. #3
    Had three different pairs of meindl Dover extremes and I think they are excellent used for stalking and beating. Saved my ankle several times now stumbling around in the dark.
    Unfortunately I can't tell you how they compare because I haven't tried the rest but I've got a rough idea my next pair will be the same.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PointBlank View Post
    Had three different pairs of meindl Dover extremes and I think they are excellent used for stalking and beating. Saved my ankle several times now stumbling around in the dark.
    Unfortunately I can't tell you how they compare because I haven't tried the rest but I've got a rough idea my next pair will be the same.
    thanks for the reply, out of curiosity. over how long have you had the 3 pairs and have you noticed the leather quality going downhill?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by deerstalker.308 View Post
    Honestly, and having probably spent close to a grand ovr the past 5 years on boots alone (outch, jyst worked that out) save your money and buy what I have ended up using, british army extreme cold weather boots, don't be put off, they won't cook your feet. They are goretex, have vibram soles, and for a couple of quid extra on some decent insoles you'll be sorted, they are awesome for the money....... 60 brand spanking new, I'll find the website and add a link, but Google will find them.

    Extreme Cold Weather Boots - British Military Surplus

    thanks for the advice, will have a look. although it did make me chuckle when I noticed your signature at the bottom once I read your advice.

    cheers

  6. #6
    I have a lot of boots and use them a lot as I'm out around 100 days per year.

    In my case I've found that 3/4 season walking boots, although lower than the boots sold to "hunters," seem to offer better ankle support. I have a pair of the Meindl Douvre extreme boots, as marketed to stalkers, and I use them a reasonable amount (say 20 days per year) but they are mostly used for lowland type stalking/walking/fishing and not on the hill as I have other boots that give better support for that. Also they don't seem to be wearing as well as most of my other boots in view of the relatively light duties I put them to. They aren't a bad boot but for me they aren't great either and I'd probably not have another pair.

    I like Scarpa SL boots but they have been phased out and replaced by a new model, called "Activ" or something, and I've no experience of the new version but suspect it is the same thing with some cosmetics. They are supportive and very comfortable requiring, at least for me, basically no breaking in. I've had 3 or 4 pairs and currently have 2 pairs in various stages of their lifecycle, one or other of them probably gets worn at some point at least 300 days in the year. Their weak point is the lining which can give up in the heel area giving you a few blisters for a day or two.

    I also have a new pair of Altberg Mallerstang boots which are only a month old and only have 4 - 5 days walking on them so far. My view is that they are comfortable and supportive and seem to be working well for me but it is early days yet and it will take another year or two to wear them out and form a complete view of them but they are certainly well worth looking into.

    As mentioned there are now some good boots available mil surplus. The army are now issued boots by Altberg and Haix and these are available as "grade 1" for about 50. The Altbergs seem very hard to get but the Haix are easy to get and I've got a pair. They are Goretex lined, lightweight and very quiet to walk in but they do require a bit more breaking in than the commercial boots. They are a little higher in the ankle but maybe not quite as high as the Douvres and I don't think they are as supportive as the 3/4 season walking boots I own. They don't seem any less well made than the commercial boots costing 5 times the price and the "grade 1" boots I got were brand new.

    For some special uses I have a pair of meindl mountain boots. They can be really good for walking on soft moorland but are a killer on hard ground and tracks. They are very supportive but not as comfortable to walk long distances in as the others in all but quite specific conditions.

    If you want something very comfortable requiring no breaking in but at a premium price then it is worth looking at 3/4 season walking boots. If you are willing to accept that the boots will require a little breaking in then I'd be looking at the mil surplus Haix or Altberg. Getting the right boot is not easy and sometimes it takes months to discover that a boot is, or isn't, for you and in my view the mil surplus stuff is as likely to work for you long term as any other and will be of similar quality and much less costly.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by gmorrice96 View Post
    thanks for the reply, out of curiosity. over how long have you had the 3 pairs and have you noticed the leather quality going downhill?
    Funny you should say that because the last pair I had cracked across the toecap but put it down to not waxing enough. I would be tempted to to get some of the surplus boots such as deerstalker.308 suggests. At that price it's definitely worth it.

  8. #8
    I have had my Meindl's for 8 years, worn about 40 days a year. Still waterproof, still very comfortable, as they were out of the box. I have tried all sorts of different brands but have not found anything better. I will be sticking with them when I need some new ones. Recommended them to a mate last year who I saw this weekend and he thanked me for the tip. He loves them too. Expensive, but worth the money in my experience.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gmorrice96 View Post
    thanks for the advice, will have a look. although it did make me chuckle when I noticed your signature at the bottom once I read your advice.

    cheers
    Well, perhaps a bit more info, I've had Harkila boots that were goretex and failed within a year, the. Had nothing but hassle trying to sort them under warranty so, suffice to say I wouldn't touch another pair of their footwear, I have had meindl Borneo boots for the past 3 years and they have never been waterproof, and the leather isn't what it used to be on their boots and really does crack and wear badly, but the worst bit with them was that the rubber rand started peeling away from the leather within a year and had progressivly got worse. Don't get me wrong, comfy boots but not what they said on the tin.
    recently bought redwing/irish setter boots, superbly comfy and warm but absolutely no support in the foot area and as a consequence very achy feet, fine for sitting in cold highseats but not for active stalking.
    Army boots, I have yet to find fault with them, comfy, dry, great support, quality product but being unbranded you save a fortune, as pointblank said, for the money, well worth a punt. But it's only an opinion others will invariably disagree.
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  10. #10
    Fully agree with DS308. Can get 2 years out of a pair and from little maintenance too, still don't leak after that but looked shredded and torn. Mine do 40 plus days beating a year and only get a bit of Mink oil slapped on. The briars kill them eventually.

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