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Thread: Hunting boot lifespan

  1. #1

    Default Hunting boot lifespan

    Just wondering what kind of lifespan other people are getting out of their hiking/hunting boots.

    I bought a pair of Scarpa Jorasses pro gtx in 2011 and have put roughly 150 miles of hiking on them each year since. They performed perfectly straight out of the box on a goat hunt with 0 break in. Now at 600ish miles I can't hike more than 2 miles or for a couple of hours without developing hot spots and blisters. I've tried every trick I can think of. Frequent sock changes, pre-hike-tape, all sorts of sock/liner/double sock combos to no avail. d

    Could the midweight insulation have compacted too much and made more room in the boot? I have tried a few different models of superfeet liners in them (normally use the green ones). I've tried thicker socks but the added insulation makes my feet sweat even more quickly and compounds the problem.

    Exterior looks good, tread in great shape still, my feet just not jiving with the interior... Maybe time to empty the piggy bank for a different pair?

    Any suggestions welcomed!

  2. #2
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    They say running shoes should be retired between 400 and 600 miles. I would think 600 miles on hiking shoes/boots would be about max as well, but I suppose every pair of boots or shoes will wear differently. If you liked them for that 600 miles, why not get another pair of the same?
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    I was recently at the Red WIng boot store in Anchorage buying new hunting boots, and I had this same discussion with the owner. I told him I wanted an all leather boot because I wanted at east 8-10 years out of them. (My theory being leather is more durable than synthetics.) he immediately debunked that idea and told me 18 months for an every day boot, 2 maybe 3 years for an occasional wear boot. He said no boot is going to last much more than that, no matter who makes it or how much it cost.

    Now, in your case, is it possible that, over the past 4-5 years you have owned those boots, your feet have changed? I ask because, my Irish Setter Elk Trackers (awesome boot, by the way, check them out) replaced a pair of Lowa's. Apparently, my foot had widened and lengthened since I bought the boots. I went from an 8-1/2 E, to a 9-1/2 EEEE. Pretty big change. No wonder the boots sucked. Make sure you get a good measurement of your foot before you start trying on new boots. Our bodies change as we age. (Freaked me out.)

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Depends on the boot and the usage. A boot used hard in the mountains is maybe 2-3 years...tops. A pair of boots you ride around on the ATV in...maybe quite a bit longer.

    I got 4 years out of my last pair of Lowas but in all fairness they should have really been replaced the year prior but I seldom wear these boots outside of hunting or hiking.. A pair of daily driver Danners lasted about a year.
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    6.35 months. Give or take.

  6. #6

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    Good replies. I'd say your boots did great and you got what could be reasonably expected of them. Time to retire them to home duty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post
    Good replies. I'd say your boots did great and you got what could be reasonably expected of them. Time to retire them to home duty.
    Reasonably expect. That's up for debate. I think it's reasonable to expect 6-8 years, given the price of a higher end pair of boots. I'm sure I'm alone on that.

    On a side note, if you are looking durability/longevity, be sure to get boots with a Good Year welt or otherwise resoleable. All of these fancy, lightweight, synthetic boots like you buy at REI for a couple hundred bucks are not resoleable. Good leather boots (leather uppers) with resoleable soles are good investment.

  8. #8
    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    I've gotten 6 years out of my Irish Setters so far...they're getting pretty tired though.

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    Get a pair of White's Wildland Firefighter Boots. Costly but worth it. I got 5 years of daily use, work, out of mine before retiring them to home duty because my doctor had me switch boots due to my knee. I had to switch to a tennis shoe. I don't like tennis shoes.

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    9 years on a pair on Meindl's from Cabelas. Granted, I put more miles on them over the two previous summers than all the previous years combined. They died 102 miles into a 112 mile backpack trip. I stitched them, ShoeGoo'd them, and then just tied them to make it to the end.



    i remembered they had a lifetime warranty from Cabela's. I took them in, they found my order in their system, and gave my a gift card for the full purchase price. I'd say I got my $ out of them. Lol

    If the sole had not separated they still had lots of life in them. The GoreTex liner was still leakproof.

    i switched to HanWag but do not have enough miles on them yet to offer a fair report. I expect the same quality or better. The Germans make good boots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    9 years on a pair on Meindl's from Cabelas. Granted, I put more miles on them over the two previous summers than all the previous years combined. They died 102 miles into a 112 mile backpack trip. I stitched them, ShoeGoo'd them, and then just tied them to make it to the end.



    i remembered they had a lifetime warranty from Cabela's. I took them in, they found my order in their system, and gave my a gift card for the full purchase price. I'd say I got my $ out of them. Lol

    If the sole had not separated they still had lots of life in them. The GoreTex liner was still leakproof.

    i switched to HanWag but do not have enough miles on them yet to offer a fair report. I expect the same quality or better. The Germans make good boots.
    Looks like a pair of Cabelas boots I wore up to Crescent Lake last summer. Hadn't worn them for a while, and the synthetic material on the soles gave out. I was almost barefoot by the time I got back. Turns out they had a lifetime guarantee, and Cabelas replaced them for FREE.
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  12. #12

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    obviously that begs how many miles and average terrain types. My Asolo's could get two good seasons. My lowa's about 3 years of heavy use, or 6-7 with mild tramping.

    depends on the users.

    The biggest loss is with tread thickness. I've replaced boots before the comfort and side material faded because the tread was not as grippy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    9 years on a pair on Meindl's from Cabelas. Granted, I put more miles on them over the two previous summers than all the previous years combined. They died 102 miles into a 112 mile backpack trip. I stitched them, ShoeGoo'd them, and then just tied them to make it to the end.



    i remembered they had a lifetime warranty from Cabela's. I took them in, they found my order in their system, and gave my a gift card for the full purchase price. I'd say I got my $ out of them. Lol

    If the sole had not separated they still had lots of life in them. The GoreTex liner was still leakproof.

    i switched to HanWag but do not have enough miles on them yet to offer a fair report. I expect the same quality or better. The Germans make good boots.
    No joke, I did the EXACT same thing with EXACT same boots! I'd put a ton of miles on mine over the course of 7 or 8 elk seasons. One day up in the high country of CO, I was about 2 miles from returning to camp and one of the soles suddenly detached almost completely. I made it back ok and finished the trip with my backup boots. Afterward, I called Cabela's to see if they could fix them. They looked up the purchase info, told me to send them in, and gave me a credit equal to a new pair. Pretty good deal, if you ask me.

  14. #14
    Member ninefoot's Avatar
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    Currently still using meindl ak hunters and denalis. Excellent boots. Hate kentreks and tried scarpas and liked them but they just dont fit my heel. The past 3 yrs i walk out of either model in 7 to 8 months. Thats legitimate near daily use in mnts/tundra/desert lava, carrying my 265 pounds along with anywhere from 30 to 175 lbs. Cant ask much more out of a pair of hunting boots. I love em. Not sure how many miles...def more than 600 tho. the rand starts seperating normally around 4 to 5 months...and then its usually not too long before i get them worn down to racing slicks on the hill...then they get trashcanned. Lava eats boots considerably faster than Alaskas alpine and rocks.

  15. #15
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I'd say 600 miles of hard use (I'm assuming) is pretty darn good. Heck, my last pair of boots probably got close to that, but the sole tread was just wearing out. Probably could have gotten them re-soled, but figured the rest of the boots wouldn't be far behind. Those were Lowa sheep hunters.

    Great boot, wouldn't mind at all buying them again for a few more years of hard use, but I decided to go with Koflach Degre this time. Happy so far with that decision.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post
    Time to retire them to home duty.
    Yep, sounds like they'll go on the wall of fame, maybe next to a map of all the hikes they've taken me on.

    Thanks everyone for the feedback!

  17. #17
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    I know this will be an odd-ball, but my current favorite boot is a pair of Danner 8" Pronghorns in brown leather. I've been using them constantly for the last 4 years. Multiple hunts, but I use them daily at home as well. Aside from a slight fading of the brown leather along the sides near the bottom, they are still in great condition. The Gore-Tex still keeps the water out. I replaced the laces last summer.
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    I destroy outdoor equipment but that's ok! I don't think I could tell you about miles of use but about 2. Seasons and it is time for new boots. My biggest issue is the ability to keep my feet dry! I hunt lots of wet areas so water kills my boots

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    9 years on a pair on Meindl's from Cabelas. Granted, I put more miles on them over the two previous summers than all the previous years combined. They died 102 miles into a 112 mile backpack trip. I stitched them, ShoeGoo'd them, and then just tied them to make it to the end.



    i remembered they had a lifetime warranty from Cabela's. I took them in, they found my order in their system, and gave my a gift card for the full purchase price. I'd say I got my $ out of them. Lol

    If the sole had not separated they still had lots of life in them. The GoreTex liner was still leakproof.

    i switched to HanWag but do not have enough miles on them yet to offer a fair report. I expect the same quality or better. The Germans make good boots.
    Yes, I have some like yours that last me 9 or more years, although I don't used them as hard as you do. One pair is going for around 15 years already. Toward the end of their lifespan I just use them at Chitina since they resist water, or just when riding my ATV or working on a moose as blood and guts get on them

    Anyway, the reason why our boots last so long is because of the outer layer (leather, I believe), and specially because the only place when flexing takes place is in the middle, behind the tip or cap. Now, the boots that last the least amount of time are those with several materials stitched together. As soon as one of the stitches gives because of the material flexing, the boot starts falling apart. I have both types of boots, camo with synthetic materials and stitches everywhere, and leather like yours, and the only good thing about the synthetic ones is that they feel like tennis shoes and are light weigh. Other than that they are worthless.

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