I broke an ankle a number of years ago and have bone spurs where it healed, so no hiking boots. I've been using sneakers for many years. I grew up in the Poconos and hiked nd backpacked athe AT in sneakers for more miles than I can remember. Now I'm in Utah and hike and backpack the Uintas. If you think the Poconos have rocky trails! We got you beat!
That said, I loved my Pivettas prior to breaking my ankle. Sadly, they don't make Pivettas anymore.
Yeah, I just threw a boot out there and didn't read your description. If you have never worn any Under Armour boots I would at least tell you to try a few pair on. They don't have the name recognition (in the footwear world) that some companies have but are pretty good products.
The Valsetz was super comfy and I have heard the Speed Freak was a great boot too...
Don't want to seem like I am repping them or anything, I just enjoy their products. They fit well, hold up well, and have good comfort.
Five Fingers are cool but there are a few things that need to be stated when recomending them.
#1 when using minimalist footwear (this means any minimalist not just Five Fingers) you need to work up to strenuous activity. These types of shoes demand a lot from you tendons and ligaments and can actually be benefical to them, BUT only by starting slowly and working up to high activity levels.
#2 If you have oddly shaped toes, ie: second toe is longer than the big toe, forget about them. Funny shaped feet are a no go for the toe seperating shoes!!
And IMO. minimalist footwear wouldn't be a great choice for scouting. They lack the ankle support needed for rocky terrain and the tread depth needed to navigate a slick muddy hillside!
I remember reading a bunch of bad reviews on the merrells when I was looking at boots last year. Really liked the asolos but I found a killer deal on the vasque breeze and have been very comfortable boot.
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