I’d like to take a break from talking hikes for just a moment to tell you all about my new hiking boots. (I did not receive any compensation, discount, free stuff, etc.. I just found boots I freaking love and want to share! Honestly!)
For the last 10ish years I have been hiking in a pair of Vasque boots and I liked them well enough. They were a bit heavy duty for my day hiking, more of a backpacking boot, but they fit my wide feet and held up well through years of abuse. In fact they still have a few years of life in them. So why did I begin the painful hunt for new boots? Its all kiddo’s fault. When I was pregnant, my feet grew a lot and they never shrank back. I can still just barely squeeze my feet into my Vasques, and I really didn’t want to deal with finding new boots or the expense of them, so I suffered for the last two years. My fasciitis and bunions hate me, as do my toes.
I finally bit the bullet and this time I chose Keens. Why are they so fantastic? I spent the whole day hiking in them the first time I wore them and my feet felt great! They required zero breaking in. The toe box is wide enough for my bunions on top of my already wide feet. The soles are cushiony and flexible but still strong and supportive on rocks and slopes. Even though they are very large (because of my large feet) they are not heavy. On day one, right out of the box, they were more comfortable than my Vasques, or prior Merrills, ever were. Three months of almost daily hiking later, I still love these boots!
These are my new boots: KEEN Men’s Durand Mid WP Hiking Boot
They are also available in women’s sizes with colorful accents: KEEN Women’s Durand Mid WP Hiking Boot
They are waterproof, a necessity in this region, and the membrane does make them hold heat a bit. I recommend a non-waterproof style, like these, if you are primarily hiking in a hot and dry climate.
They run about a half size small, so size up accordingly.
They are a bit loose in the heel/ankle so I lace with the runner’s lace technique to keep them in place. (You can find videos of the techniques on Youtube.) This will vary by person, and may not be an issue in non-wide widths.
Before kiddo I was already wearing size 10 extra wide in women’s sized shoes. After kiddo, I could not fit into women’s boot sizes at all. For some silly reason, wide widths stop at size 10 in women’s boots. So, since my feet have nothing to do with gender, I got men’s boots. Size 10.5 Wide. Yes, I have big feet.