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Best boots for hiking the summer desert


I hike in the Sonora desert (off trail, ups and downs) carrying a very heavy load in the heat of summer. Last summer my feet were wrecked, any sugestions for great boots, high or low? I have one knee that is a bit damaged, higher arches.



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2 Replies

Hi @javina 

I would love to get you some help with the boots, but I’m not sure how much help I can be over the Internet. One thing to note is that waterproof boots without ventilating mesh can encourage your feet to sweat in hot weather. Here is an article discussing the breathability of different hiking boot materials: How to Choose Hiking Boots

 I highly recommend scheduling an Personal Outfitting Appointment with your local REI and requesting an expert boot fitter. That way you can try on some different brands to see how they fit your feet specifically.

I have high arches as well as a bum right knee. LOL! Recently, I went through a few different pairs of boots before I found the perfect ones for me. The boots are very important, but there are also some other things to take into consideration. For my high arches I found it necessary to have an insole in my boot for added support. The type of socks you're hiking with can also have an effect on blisters and moisture build up (think hot spots or sweat). Here's an article that talks about the different hiking socks available:How to choose Hiking Socks

There are several different options available and I’m sure there's a perfect boot for you. Hope this helps with the search! Happy Hiking!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Have you considered the GI desert combat boot style?  I never thought I'd wear them.  However, last winter I scored a great pair at Good Will for under $10.  They are among the best fitting, most comfortable boots I've owned. I worked in the high Nevada desert one summer, and wish I had been wearing a pair of these boots.  They would be perfect for field geologists or others working rough terrain.  The sole is by Vibram, not the hard black one but a softer rubber.  Support and comfort are excellent.

If you check into these, I suggest you avoid the cheaper imports and go for a USA-made pair from one of the government contractors.  The cheaper imports might work for you, but they might also fall apart on your first trek.  Youi can see a variety of these boots on e-bay as an introduction to the type - both domestic and offshore products.