Hey all, I'm looking for a recommendation on some good hiking shoes that won't break the bank. Previously, I had some Columbia Crestwood mid waterproof boots that did not last long or even close to long at all. I'm looking for something that would be great for wet slippery trails as I live in Maine and mud season is right around the corner. With that being said I'm open to non waterproof shoes as they will dry quicker anyways, but don't mind waterproof. Any suggestions on some decent hikers that will last awhile are appreciated.
You mention mud, so Vibram soles, or equivalent, are absolutely necessary, along with a good hiking staff.
Shoes are a trade off. many shoes today fit comfortably and require little or no break in, but wear out relatively quickly, as opposed to traditional shoes which you could will to your grandchildren, but which required a significant of break in time...
Fit is everything and not only that, it is very important. Get a fitting at a capable establishment (like REI, but they are not the only ones on the planet). Get a good medium weight, mid height shoe, take goo care of it - seal the seams! - and plan on eventual replacement.
Mud is a tough environment, so clean them up now and then.....
I’ve been impressed with the longevity of my Oboz boots and recently bought a pair of Oboz Bridgers. I highly recommend trying a free, virtual appointment with REI. I was able to cover a lot of ground about wasn’t working with my current boots, how I lace, my socks, foot measurements, etc., and select and order a new pair all over video call.
I wore WP Oboz Bridgers on the Camino Frances - 500 miles. I wore them for hundreds of prep miles before I went & have worn them for hundreds of miles since I returned in Oct 2019. I sized up a whole size. They worked perfectly for me in mud, rolling rock mountain descents, rocky/root ascents & flat plains.
I also love my Oboz boots. I have had the Women's Sawtooth Mid BDry Hiking Boots since 2018 and have worn them on a variety of trails. They preform well in every situation from an easy afternoon hike through the woods, to a Mt Washington climb, to backpacking weekends.
I would really suggest (if you are comfortable) going into a store and trying a variety on, low, mid, trail-runners. Feet are so different and having someone talk to you about your type of foot, types of hikes and brands available will help.
Sizing is challenging right now with in store stock but at least they can give you some direction. There are differences between the Solomon, La Sportiva, Keen, Vasque and Oboz - all there to suit your foot type and activity.
My favorite brand is La Sportiva for their stability, fit and durability! Good luck on your search and the FREE REI virtual shopper option is great if you can't make it to a store. Good Luck and happy (muddy) hiking!
I love my Hoka One One Speedgoat hiking shoes. They have a Vibram sole & are lightweight, and I found they work for virtually all terrains and conditions. I put ~80 miles a month on them and completely wore them down after 2 years, which I consider a great return on my money.
I have worn a number of hiking boots/show over my many years of hiking. I have a large foot and need extra foot support and I find Merrill makes the best for me. Some of the other boots that I use to wear are no longer manufactured or their quality has slipped. Merrill boots are true to size and they are pretty long lasting. My high top boots have ~1500 miles on them and my newer low top boots have over 600 miles.