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The ongoing pursuit for the perfect hiking boot continues.

As comfy as they were, the Montrails didn’t hack it on my Grand Canyon backpacking trip. My feet didn’t stay in the back of the shoe, so while there appeared to be plenty of toe room, my toes still jammed against the front during the steep descent on S. Kaibab trail. Luckily, my toenails didn’t bleed/fall off, but they sure were S-O-R-E. Also, they were a little too narrow, and made my feet go numb after long periods of time. For that kind of money, you don’t settle for anything less than the best.

So I took advantage of the REI sale last week and REI’s generous return policy to pick up a third pair of boots to try:

My third pair of hiking boots: Vasque Breeze GTX XCR

My initial impression: The Vasques are really light for backpacking shoes. A lot lighter than the Montrails. In fact, they’re so light, I’d be inclined to wear them as general all-purpose hiking shoes. The sizing on these ran smaller than other boots I’ve tried on. I ended up getting a size 11! And they didn’t carry anything bigger, at least not on the floor, so if my feet get any bigger I’m going to be rather mad. I’m really looking forward to hitting the trail with them and giving them the ole Stanfield wear and tear test. I also really like the colors — olive green seems to be my favorite color for hiking boots. They don’t blend into my pasty white skin unlike most of the tan boots ;)

Some possible concerns: While they are super comfy right out of the box, do they have enough support? Some reviewers have mentioned too much flexibility and not enough ankle support. Also, I’ve never had netting on my hiking boots before, so I’m wondering how waterproof they will really be? The netting is also pretty susceptible to getting torn up. Uh-oh. Something I didn’t even think about — just read a review where the major complaint was the amount of stuff that gets through the ventilation — needles, stingers, dirt and tiny yet annoying pebbles. Hmmm, well we’ll give them a shot! They will at least be breathable for hot summer hikes.

They were a heckuvadeal, $109 on sale, so I actually got money back by returning the Montrails. I spoke with one of the salesmen while I was stomping around, trying to get a feel for the boot in the store. He mentioned that he has yet to find a comfortable pair of hiking boots. Man, I’m just grateful for REI’s return policy so I don’t have to suffer in a pair that doesn’t fit properly! Here’s hoping that the third pair will be THE ONES. I feel like Cinderella on a quest for her glass slipper. Only I don’t have the evil stepsisters to deal with. Would that make REI my Prince Charming? Strange concept.

2 Responses to “Third pair of hiking boots!”

  1. admin says:

    Admittedly. So what?

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