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Discussion Starter #1
This year I am making the move on some new boots. Right now I have it narrowed down to meindl or kenetrek. I have run muck boots and danners for years and I am looking for something more sturdy and tough for some more serious hunts.. I feel like I am constantly dumping money into buying boots every year or 2 years with my mucks and danners.

I was just looking for some experiences related to those 2 brands or similar brands. Any info would be much appreciated.
 

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Meindl - I'm on my second pair and love them. They take a bit of getting used to, at first it feels like your wearing ski boots. They have a LOT of ankle support. My oldest pair is 15 years old and still in service. Hands down the most comfortable boot I've ever owned. My second choice would be any Danner boot with a stitched sole (these are the only boots Danner still makes in the USA). They wear like iron.
 

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I have Meindls, Lowas, and a pair of knock-around Kennetreks (Bridgers, not the mountain boots).

The Meindls are good, but I've gotten them through Cabela's and they top out at 13. I need 14's.

Also, watch which Meindl boot you get. Not all are equal. The Perfekts are super. Some of the others are....not.

Kennetreks are generally well received. I've looked at them at the Harrisburg show, and I think I could be happy in them.

I'm currently running Lowa's. I have a pair of Tibet "Hi" boots, tall boots, but uninsulated. These may be my favorite hunting boots ever. They are stiff, supportive, good traction, and built like tanks, plus they are super, super comfortable on my feet. I wore these in the Rockies for elk hunting.

I also have a pair of Lowa Camino hikers. I use these a ton as well. Sometimes for hunting, and for hiking where the Tibets are overkill, the Camino's are rock stars. I took both to Colorado, used the Camino's for packing meat from a buddy's bull where there was not much off-trail mileage to do. Packing my cow out was a pretty tough pack out with a lot of off-trail distance through a burned area with tons of dead falls. There I took the Tibets and was very grateful for their support and toughness.

The issue for some with a Lowa is they are better on narrower feet. I have long but fairly narrow feet and Lowa's fit me superbly well.

Once you get into Meindl and Kennetrek pricing, there's tons you can look at. The issue I ran into is no one ever has any in stock to try on, especially at my flipper-foot size, lol.

So...I bought from online resellers with good return policies, tried them on and walked a bit in the house to verify fit was on target, and then committed to keeping them.

There's a lot of decent boot options out there.

Kennetrek, Meindl, Scarpa, Zamberlan, Crispi, Lowa, Asolo (hikers, no tall hunting boots) come to mind.

Good luck....let us know which way you go!
 

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It sounds like tdd has a liberal footware budget and big feet to boot (pun intended). I doubt if there are many out there that have had the opportunity to try such a wide variety of quality footware and he offers some sage advise.

Being on a limited budget, one thing I like to do is have a pair of top of the line boots that I use only for big game hunts and then another pair of mid rage boots for all of my other outdoor activities. I have my Meindl Perfekts as my big game boot. As I said my oldest pair of Meindls is still serviceable but I did get a new pair recently as the old ones were starting to leak under very wet conditions. For my other boot right now I have Danner East Ridges ($170.00). These will last about 3 years and then will need resoled.

By not wearing the premium boot all the time you greatly extend it's life and in the long run realize a substantial savings.
 

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I have some means, yes, but more importantly, I shop carefully and can squeeze every penny till Abe shrieks. :)

I also had an unusual situation where around 40 years of age, my boots stopped fitting me properly. So, my Size 13 Meindls that had fit great for years were bouncing my toes on downslopes. My Asolos too. Mercifully, I got both for a lot less than retail.

I set out to figure out what I needed for CO because I was gonna spend what I could to make sure I didn't get beat up toes in the Rockies. It's one thing when I'm a quarter mile from my truck at home. It's another when a few miles of hard hiking is needed to get to a vehicle.

I got the Camino's in the late spring and wore them through spring turkey season to see what I thought of them. Once I realized how great they worked for me, I went back for the Tibet for a true mountain boot. Yeah, the prices stung and my wife grumbled. I had to plan those expenses too so they fit the household budget. But.....I got what works for me.

For local hunting, I do wear the Lowas a bit, but I often wear other cheaper boots for the reason you mentioned...no reason to burn up the life of my Lowas for easy walks here that don't really need the capabilities of those boots, either. Generally, early bow season doesn't need super support or amazing traction. Things are easier then. When the ground gets frozen and slick, snow falls, etc. I go to my Lowa's to up the ante a bit on traction, etc.
 

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I have a pair of Kenetreks and I will say after owning just about every boot you can think of for the last 25 years that these are far and away the best I have ever had. I am going on year 3 and so far no issues. In fact I have talked some of my friends into them also, they are very expensive theres no doubt about that but I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for. I am extremely hard on them using them I would say 20-40 days a year and I go through sneakers every 6 months,i'm not sure I've ever had any boots last for more than 2 years other than a pair of muck boots the I used just for archery . I know i'll buy another pair when these do wear out even if I have to save for a year to get them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the responses everyone!! I really appreciate the input. I plan on spending the summer checking out places to try some of these on. I have a wider than average foot so I definitely want to make sure I find the right fit.. Ill keep you guys updated on the process. Thanks again!
 

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I bought a pair of Meindl Canada Hunters in 2010 for the grizzly hunt that I went on. They are still going strong and I love them if you are doing the type of hunting where you are covering ground. As previously mentioned, they have a lot of support to them and seem stiff until you get used to it. Once you get used to it, you won't want any other boots. They are tough boots. I have not had a single failure of any kind with them. Think I paid $279 for them at the time, but they have been worth every penny. The last couple pairs of Rockys that I had were not comfortable and were destroyed in a few years each time. Highly doubtful that I would ever go back to them.
 

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the Meindls not only have a lot of ankle support
they have a stiff sole support in them as well.
and in true german fashion the comfort insole was made out of hard foam. hehe
for awhile there I wasn't sure if I could even wear them for any length of time
but I replaced the insole and the boots broke in
they are now a very firm boot with hefty support but comfortable

I also have in circulation a very lightweight pair of irish setters
they are a lower very flexible leather boot good for warm weather.
they feel like a moccasin and soak up water like them too
 

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In farm land, those stiff boots feel and seem like overkill.

I did a lot of training hikes on the Appalachian Trail and on the Blue Mountain in northern Berks/southern Schuylkill. If you know that area, you know that I spent as much time walking on rocks as I did on dirt.

When I was in Colorado, I had 3/4 of a mile of interlaced downed dead falls from a forest fire to cross...one way...to get to or from where I killed my elk.

In conditions like the AT or that accursed burn in CO, those stiff and robust mountain boots had me thanking the Good Lord above. There were steep downslopes in CO with snow on fallen timber where I was pretty concerned, but the Lowas and a good set of trekking poles kept me from anything unfortunate happening. Those stiff, strong boots were a truly necessary piece of gear coming down those steep slippery slopes and tree trunks with 80-90lbs of elk strapped to my back.

One thing I haven't tried yet but need to is to get some SuperFeet insoles. I've heard too much good about them to not try them.

Also, good boots mean squat if you have bad socks. Alpaca fiber is one on my radar, but it's pricey. High Content Merino wool (65% or higher) is all I wear currently, but I've read a lot of good about alpaca. Point is, you want socks to wick moisture and help temp-regulate to keep your feet from having issues. A pair of cheapo mostly cotton socks will not make your feet happy, regardless of the boot you put around that sock.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In farm land, those stiff boots feel and seem like overkill.

I did a lot of training hikes on the Appalachian Trail and on the Blue Mountain in northern Berks/southern Schuylkill. If you know that area, you know that I spent as much time walking on rocks as I did on dirt.

When I was in Colorado, I had 3/4 of a mile of interlaced downed dead falls from a forest fire to cross...one way...to get to or from where I killed my elk.

In conditions like the AT or that accursed burn in CO, those stiff and robust mountain boots had me thanking the Good Lord above. There were steep downslopes in CO with snow on fallen timber where I was pretty concerned, but the Lowas and a good set of trekking poles kept me from anything unfortunate happening. Those stiff, strong boots were a truly necessary piece of gear coming down those steep slippery slopes and tree trunks with 80-90lbs of elk strapped to my back.

One thing I haven't tried yet but need to is to get some SuperFeet insoles. I've heard too much good about them to not try them.

Also, good boots mean squat if you have bad socks. Alpaca fiber is one on my radar, but it's pricey. High Content Merino wool (65% or higher) is all I wear currently, but I've read a lot of good about alpaca. Point is, you want socks to wick moisture and help temp-regulate to keep your feet from having issues. A pair of cheapo mostly cotton socks will not make your feet happy, regardless of the boot you put around that sock.
Great info! Thank you very much!
 

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In farm land, those stiff boots feel and seem like overkill.
All the farms in my area are on the tops of those steep,rocky PA mountains, so I appreciate the support. I agree it is probably not needed in the southern flatlands of PA farm country.

I also agree that without good socks the comfort of your feet can be compromised. I like a wool blend outer sock with a coolmax liner sock.
 

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Check out lathrop and sons. They will ensure your boot high end boot fits perfectly.
Sucks buying a $400 pair of boots and have hot spots, heel rub, ect.
 
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