Subject: Re: Waterproof hiking boots
Hi Didi,

Just to add my 2 cents worth, I will say that everyone had good suggestions.Mine will be helpful, but in the end, the real recommendation is thatwhatever you buy, you buy after trying out and not just for an hour.) I bring them home, wear them in the house for at least 8 hours (that way youcan tell if they fit or not) - and I put plastic bags around them so they are not scuffed. Then, if you belong to a gym, you might want to wear themon a treadmill with elevation or a step mill and give them a real try. If you plan to do a great deal of walking, buy from a good hiking store like EMS, REI or LL Bean. All of these stores will take back anything... at any time. I always choose a store like that as I had an experience where I used the boots for a day hike in the White Mountains and they killed my foot. When I returned them to REI I had no problem They have a sale once a year where they get rid of items that are returned which have been used.

I have a Gortex-lined pair (2nd pr of these) of Zamberlan buck boots which I love and adore. I have fat feet and these have a wide toe box so that when I walk for over 8+ hrs, when feet hurt... these are still going strong. I also use a pair of wick-away Cool-Max (or same kind) of liners with a pair of 'light-hiker' smart wool socks. These are very comfortable and dry quickly when washed.

I agree with the Ziner who said that sole is important. A good sole will help you grip for rock walking, skipping or just going over streams is easier and safer with a good sole. I would consider getting Vibram soles or an equivalent. I must have missed the post as to where you will be doing this hiking, but if you will be wading in a lot of water, stones, etc., you might consider water shoes. I bought a pair for our last Patagonian hiking trip and the kind of brought doubled as shoes to wear around camp., and they were superb - Salomon makes them and they have a lace-up very think lace that pulls and releases. They were terrific on murky water bottoms with rocks and they weigh nothing so I carried them on the outside of my pack. (Sorry, there is no name on the inside of the shoe.)

We love hiking and we hike about 3 mos a year. I've never (so far) had wet feet and we've been in some mucky, wet places!!!

Also, we use hiking sticks all the time. Personally, I like the ones with the 'bounce'/give in them. Coming down a steep slope when old knees hurt, it's nice to have that give in your pole to help you plant that leg!

I hope this helps! Regards, Susie Newton, MA