disappointing lifespan for shoes

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adamschneider
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by adamschneider » February 12th, 2021, 12:51 am

I just bought a pair of Newton Ridge shoes/boots at the employee store (for less than $50). I haven't worn them out of the house yet... but I'll keep an eye on those hooks.

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Chip Down
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by Chip Down » March 15th, 2021, 7:48 am

Watching a Keen ad, I was told about vulnerabilities in boots that can cause them to fail after years of use.

Years?! :lol:

wnshall
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by wnshall » March 24th, 2021, 1:10 pm

It seems like many complaints here are about lighter-weight boots made primarily with fabric instead of leather. These kind of boots haven't lasted very long for me either, just wearing them around town and working in the yard, and I wouldn't really expect them to stand up to the rigors of hiking for very long. It's one reason I prefer all-leather boots. Yes they're heavier and hotter in the summer, but I prefer the solid feel of a good leather boot -- call me old-school.

I've had a pair of Zamberlan Vioz boots for ~9 years. I'm an avocational hiker - I probably average 3 hikes/month for about 9 months of the year (the other 3 months I'm XC skiing!), so nothing like many of the dedicated hikers here. My average hike is probably ~10 miles, so that's about 250-300 miles per year, and over 9 years that's 2000-3000 miles. The boots are still in very good structural shape. Over the past year I've noticed the sole is quite worn down and I'm slipping quite a lot. I'm hoping to get them resoled in time for summer. Seems to me a couple thousand miles is pretty good lifetime, and worth the $200-300 pricetag.

My previous boot was an all-leather Merrell, back when they made pretty quality boots. It lasted >10 years of about similar usage before the sole started separating. The leather isn't in quite as good shape as the Zamberlan, but they are comfortable as hell.

As an aside, I notice that Zamberlan, like other brands, now makes their leather boots with Gortex, which I don't understand at all. Properly treated (which takes very little effort) leather is super waterproof. Gortex just adds one more layer to inhibit breathing (which, admittedly, you don't get much with leather anyway.) Just seems like a completely unnecessary added expense -- and a pretty large one too.

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Chip Down
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by Chip Down » March 25th, 2021, 5:18 pm

wnshall wrote:
March 24th, 2021, 1:10 pm
I've had a pair of Zamberlan Vioz boots for ~9 years.
Funny how that works. Which will fail first (assuming equal future use): A boot that's a decade old, or a new boot purchased today? Considering the new boot has a head start, competing against a boot with a decade of wear, we would expect the new boot to outlast the old boot. But taking into account the conspiracy to defraud consumers by selling overpriced crap, the new boot will likely fail first. So, for example, a boot purchased in 2021 will fail in 2021, while the boot purchased in 2012 might fail in 2027, for example. What an enigma.


wnshall wrote:
March 24th, 2021, 1:10 pm
As an aside, I notice that Zamberlan, like other brands, now makes their leather boots with Gortex, which I don't understand at all. Properly treated (which takes very little effort) leather is super waterproof. Gortex just adds one more layer to inhibit breathing (which, admittedly, you don't get much with leather anyway.) Just seems like a completely unnecessary added expense -- and a pretty large one too.
Goretex is fraudulent. It exists for one purpose: bamboozle consumers and steal their money. No gun required like in a backalley mugging, just pull the ptfe over their eyes and they'll gleefully pay up.

Aimless
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by Aimless » March 25th, 2021, 6:36 pm

Chip Down wrote:
March 25th, 2021, 5:18 pm
Goretex is fraudulent. It exists for one purpose: bamboozle consumers and steal their money.
I believe the appropriate internet meme here is: (citation needed).

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Chip Down
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by Chip Down » April 22nd, 2021, 7:40 pm

I decided to try vegan, specifically Columbia Flow Borough Mid.
Very light, comfy, high top to keep debris out, good workmanship.
My satisfaction level is very high. These are the only Columbia boots I've been happy with.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, I noticed a hole developing after just a few hikes.
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Webfoot
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by Webfoot » April 22nd, 2021, 8:06 pm

You didn't really think light mesh was going to hold up to your use, did you? Come on now, be honest. :lol:

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retired jerry
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by retired jerry » April 23rd, 2021, 6:08 am

I've used Goretex or other WPB boots successfully. My socks stay fairly dry in wet conditions.

The Goretex lining does not last as long as leather though.

I recently got some Danner 600 boots - leather (suede) outer and some WPM lining. After I sprayed them with their waterproofing stuff, my socks stay fairly dry (somewhat damp). Before the waterproofing I was unsatisfied with the dampness of my socks.

I've had other WPB boots that seemed a little better at keeping my socks dry.

Of course it depends on the individual. It doesn't work for everyone.

For about half my boots, they wear out because they get cracked on the sides where my toe flexes. For the other half they start losing their waterproofness so I use them only when its dry. Or around the garden.

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Chip Down
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by Chip Down » April 23rd, 2021, 2:13 pm

Webfoot wrote:
April 22nd, 2021, 8:06 pm
You didn't really think light mesh was going to hold up to your use, did you? Come on now, be honest. :lol:
Yeah, I know. But still, it's winter, and snow isn't very abrasive.
I actually tried a pair of Under Armour tactical boots last summer (mesh with leather trim). They seem to be holding up okay, but they're just not designed for all-day walking (more like all-day standing).

keithcomess
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Re: disappointing lifespan for shoes

Post by keithcomess » May 9th, 2021, 2:48 pm

I switched from traditional leather hiking boots to trail running shoes about 4 years ago. I have a pair of Nike Wildhorse 4 shoes with about 200 trail miles on them and they are completely intact. They are also very comfortable. Problem (for me) is that the mesh admits all sorts of fine sand which eventually acts like a murderous abrasive on the toes. Of course, they're not waterproof or even water resistant.

This year, I am considering either returning to standard hiking boots (I still have a pair of pretty heavy Zamberlan boots made in Italy that are about 8 years old) or perhaps trying the Hoka One One line of Goretex lined, Vibram soled boots. I've seen nothing but rave reviews on the comfort (I use Hoka shoes for running and I can attest to the comfort factor), but decidedly mixed reviews on durability. Anybody have experience with those?

As for the abbreviated lifespan of modern hiking shoes/boots, I guess I'm not too surprised. Maybe I'm just cynical, but "things aren't made the way they used to be", or so it seems.

As a postscript, I also have a pair of Saucony trail running shoes (the Peregrine) and I've hiked the Timberline Trail in them and I use them for winter running and they (like the old Nike Wildhorse) seem impervious to wear, though they have a very narrow fit.

A post postscript: a Portland guy (Dave Collins) has a site called, "Clever Hiker", and he reviews a lot of shoes and other backpacking stuff there. I've found his recommendations generally reliable (I don't know him and have no affiliation).

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