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Old December 13, 2007, 06:23 PM   #1
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What hiking/hunting boot meets all of these criteria?

I'm having a heck of a time finding a boot that meets ALL of the following. There are many that meet all but one, or all but two, but none I find with all - any help? This is mostly for wearing casually and hiking, but also hunting as well.

1. Under $85 new, before shipping/tax, ideally. But I could pay a little more - so let's say under $100.
2. Have quite a bit of genuine leather & look nice enough to wear casually (although I could do without this requirement if it meets the others)
3. 6" high, or a little more - I want some ankle support
4. Well-designed with high comfort level
5. related to #4, but a little different: modern, ergo sole design - a Vibram or similar - not just a plain flat sole, but some arch support, etc.
6. STEEL toed. Not "composite" toe - STEEL.
7. (this is the kicker that's hard to find) Aggressive treading on the bottoms, particularly up in front and around the front of the toe, up from the bottom. I want really large agressive, "grabby" treads out front, for climbing up steep trails, creek banks, etc. You'd be amazed at the number of tread patterns which are aggressive everywhere EXCEPT the one place you need it most - right up front, for digging in at an angle on steep terrain.

It does NOT have to be waterproof, and it does NOT have to be insulated. Doesn't seem that hard, right? But finding something that meets just 4, 6, and 7 in the price range is hard enough, but throw in 2 and it gets even harder. Thanks.
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Old December 13, 2007, 07:03 PM   #2
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#6 is going to be the killer. When I was looking for steel toe boots to use when cutting with a chainsaw, I was dismayed at the lack of selection.
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Old December 13, 2007, 10:45 PM   #3
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Try Hi-Tec.
I see the world thru bloodshot eyes
Streets filled with blood from distant lies
The dogs of war never compromise,
No time for rearranging.
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Old December 14, 2007, 08:48 AM   #4
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Check This Out

As I was looking for something in a 6-8 inch Tactical boot, I came across this source. I haven't even checked it out myself yet, maybe something here to suit your needs?
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Old December 14, 2007, 10:30 AM   #5
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That's cool, except I don't want black - I want brown leather - something that looks good casually and doesn't make me look like a mall ninja. Any non-black ones? Is it even existentially possible for a brown boot to be "tactical"?
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Old December 14, 2007, 11:08 AM   #6
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A little higher than you specified ($130), but...

Meets most of your criteria (aside from price). I've had good results from various models of Rocky over the years.
Figure The Odds...
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Old December 14, 2007, 01:48 PM   #7
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You might be setting too many standards here-the qualities you ask for are by definition found almost exclusively in higher-end boots. You can get all of the features you want with the exception of the price.
I've been wearing "workin-man's" boots for over 20 years as a Marine Infantryman, and I've tried Bates, Hi-Tec's, Magnums, ad nauseum. Bottom line is you get what you pay for. I'm a big supporter of Danner's gear-I'm wearing right this second a pair of Danner's (Marine Hot Weather Version) that are on their third combat tour over here-lots of guys buy other boots that don't last even 3 months of hard use. I've got a pair of Danner Ft. Lewis steel toes (all black leather, goretex, vibram soles-I think they're discontinued) that I've had for 15 years. I can't destroy them.
I'm not a paid supporter (although I'd be willing to be)-I'm just a happy customer.

Check out:

Get some, break them in, wear them, send them to Danner for refinishing if they need it, and wear them forever.

Somewhere in Iraq

PS-If Doc Martens still made boots in the UK instead of China, I'd recommend them too. Find an old pair of made in UK steel toes and you can't go wrong either.
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Old December 14, 2007, 06:00 PM   #8
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I cant keep you under that price range, But if you want a high quality boot that meets those specs, you cant go wrong with a pair of Nicks. If ya wear a pair, its hard to buy a lesser boot afterwards.

I cant imagine wanting to hunt in steel toes, myself. It mabey because my feet are wider than most, but I've never worn a steel toe boot that didnt hurt my feet.
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Old December 15, 2007, 07:15 PM   #9
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I Have a pair of steel toed Doc Martens that have lasted through 5 years of abuse & are still goin. After you break em in there is no better boot in my opinion.
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Old December 15, 2007, 08:28 PM   #10
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Guys, found 2 boots I liked locally - had it narrowed down to the Rocky 5114 Mobilite and a model from Georgia Boot, which near as I can tell is a model "Wide Load ST Lace to Toe Boot, Dark Brown Soggy". I went with this Georgia Boot - at $70, it was $30 less than the $100 Rocky, has the Rocky beat in looks, quality of construction, and comfort, and had about equally aggressive tread.

I had looked at John Deeres, Red Wings, Danners, Rockys, Sketchers, Doc Martens, Wolverines, Timberlands, Dingos, and all other manner of boot, and the Georgia Boot came out the winner. PM me in a few months if for some reason you want an update on how I like them. Thanks for all the help.

It's sort of an all-purpose boot - hiking, casual, work, younameit. Maybe I'm weird, but I feel like the steel toe is a "why not" thing to have, provided they are comfortable (and these DO feel quite comfortable). Although I'm sure it's rare, it could in theory come in handy if a boulder or tree limb fell on your foot while hiking.

Last edited by FirstFreedom; December 16, 2007 at 10:33 AM.
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Old December 16, 2007, 10:22 AM   #11
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Here's the Rocky Mobilite that was my second choice:

And here's another Rocky I found online that wasn't in the stores, which looks like it would be a really nice boot for my needs, except the toe is aluminum, not steel - the "Hauler Waterproof Trail Crazy Horse" (helluva name for a boot):

It looks comfortable, stylish, and has the aggressive hiking style outsole I was looking for.

ScottZ, I will say that that Danner Instigator GTX 6" looks really strong, but it's pricey, too:

Honestly, I think that Crazy Horse would have been about perfect, and is actually better looking than the Georgia's (and Instigators, too), but I wanted instant gratification, not waiting for an online purchase delivery, so I'm keeping these Georgias. But I might snag the Crazy Horses too at some point.

Chindo, that "World Worker" Rocky is a nice choice too - it's up there among my top picks from online choices, but I couldn't find it in stores either, so couldn't try it on for comfort, etc.

Added: BTW, there were half a bazillion choices of steel-toed boots which were comfortable and nice looking - the real sticking point was the aggressive hiking-style treading - that's what is the rare part to find. But I suppose looking at it another way - that had I been looking at hiking boots, I would be saying that the steel toe was the hard part to find, as there would be Zero of them in the "hiking boots" category.

Last edited by FirstFreedom; December 16, 2007 at 11:31 AM.
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Old December 17, 2007, 09:00 PM   #12
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I have purchase Rocky Boots for the past 30 years, but will never purchase another pair, and will try to discourage anyone else from buy them as well. Rocky use to make their boots in Nelsonville, OH. I have visited their store many times in the past. They now manufacture ALL their boots in China, that’s right, China. The last pair I bought was a $190 pair of Para Boots 9” uppers with zippers. I wore the boots for 3 months and the soles on both boots began to fail. I paid cash for the boots and didn’t (think I needed to) save the receipt. I went back to the shop I purchased them from and without the receipt they couldn’t help me. I called numerous times to the Nelsonville store and sent countless e-mails to Rocky with no help. In frustration, I took the boots to a local shoe repair shop that has been in business for 50 years. After looking at the boots, he laughed and told me he would try, but said he wouldn’t hold out much hope. He said the Chinese use something in their rubber compounds that he has not had any success re-gluing. After 2 months and 4 different adhesives the repair guy calls me and said he gave up. So now I have a brand new pair of $190 Rocky Para Boots with no soles. I will sell them cheap if anyone is interested. Size 11. Buyer Beware, Rocky boots have turned to CRAP!!
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Old December 17, 2007, 11:17 PM   #13
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Thanks for the warning about Rockies....I did notice that the Georgia Boots were stitched rather than glued around the front and sides, to the sole - looks like they were better made than the Rockies. Sorry to hear of that - everyone hates getting screwed like that. I don't know where the Georgia Boots are made - I'll try to find out.

I do have a pair of Rockys, a pair of Danners, and a pair of Irish Setters, for hunting boots, and so far so good on them.
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