Tag Archives: backpacking boots reviews

Shopping For Gear? Here Are the Best Deals on the Web Right Now

November 27, 2016  |  In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Gear Reviews, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Osprey Atmos AG 65

Click on this photo for a great price now on the Osprey Atmos AG 65 backpack.

By Michael Lanza

Readers often ask me for suggestions on good-quality gear for hiking and backpacking that’s affordable. They want to get outdoors, and they’re on a budget, but they don’t want gear or clothing that will fall apart on their second day using it. Right now’s your chance to score great deals, because many online retailers are holding holiday sales, with some of the best backpacks, tents, jackets, sleeping bags, boots, and other gear (much of which I’ve reviewed) available at big savings. Frankly, it’s arguably the best time of year to buy quality gear that rarely goes on sale. You’d be crazy not to take advantage of it.

I’ve scoured the websites I like and assembled below links to my recommendations for the gear I’d buy and suggest to friends. My advice: Grab it now, while it’s available at these prices. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Keen Aphlex Mid WP Boots

November 3, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Keen Aphlex Mid WP boots, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Keen Aphlex Mid WP boots, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Lightweight Boots
Keen Aphlex Mid WP
$160, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 6-15, women’s 6-11

Lightweight, mid-cut boots at this price make up a competitive category of hiking footwear, and quality varies significantly. Many models are, frankly, made for first-time boot buyers and bargain shoppers who make a choice based on a couple of simple criteria: Whether the boots feel good (often achieved with plenty of foam padding, which doesn’t necessarily translate to good performance) and have any kind of waterproof-breathable membrane (a high-demand feature for hikers). To see whether Keen’s Aphlex Mid WP rose above all that mediocre chatter, I wore them on a two-day, 34-mile backpacking trip in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in mid-October, hiking long days with plenty of elevation gain and loss. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Garmont Trail Guide 2.0 GTX Boots

October 12, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Garmont Trail Guide 2.0 GTX.

Garmont Trail Guide 2.0 GTX.

Backpacking Boots
Garmont Trail Guide 2.0 GTX
$220, 2 lbs. 7 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: US men’s 7-13.5

Most boots designed for backpacking aren’t flashy in their design or technology—making it a challenge to distinguish them from one another. But some stand out for subtle reasons, a fact I was reminded of while wearing the Trail Guide 2.0 GTX on a three-day, roughly 23-mile, mid-August backpacking trip with my teenage son in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, carrying up to about 40 pounds in my pack. They delivered all that I usually look for in a backpacking boot, with a nice fit and a midweight package that doesn’t compromise on support or durability. Continue reading →

September 29, 2016 Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park, Washington.

Ask Me: How Do I Stop Getting Battered Toes When Hiking?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   10 Comments


I know this is a really random question, but when descending mountain trails my big toes suffer immensely. Besides tying the laces up really tight, is there a trick to protecting them without losing a toenail or having them feel beat up?

Rexburg, ID Continue reading →

Gear Review: Oboz Scapegoat Mid Boots

June 15, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Oboz Scapegoat Mid

Oboz Scapegoat Mid

Lightweight Boots
Oboz Scapegoat Mid
$145, 2 lbs. 2 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 8-14

Like all categories of outdoor gear, footwear has grown increasingly specialized, with models designed to fill just about every imaginable user niche—except perhaps one. While there are plenty of options in non-waterproof, low-cut hiking and scrambling shoes built to maximize breathability, when you move up the continuum of mid-cut boots into models with the support for backpacking, most have some kind of waterproof-breathable membrane. With the Scapegoat Mid, Oboz is treading into somewhat unexplored terrain by offering a non-waterproof, lightweight boot designed for multi-day hikes. Because I like the concept behind this approach, I took the Scapegoat Mid on a three-day, entirely off-trail backpacking trip in the Panamint Range of Death Valley National Park to see how they perform. Continue reading →

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