Preferred hot weather non insulated hiking boot?

Guys,

 

As the subject states, any recommendations out there for strictly HW hiking boots or shoes?  Guideline is non Gore-Tex (or any other waterproof liner), primary use is day hikes with ten pounds of water in a Camelbak up to forty pounds when actually rucking for fitness or I just when I'm humping the 2 year old during a family hike, can be worn with either pants or shorts (6" or less is preferred in this regard), a good size toe box, and the environs is the Mojave Desert (no water, year round hiking with the focus on that heat in the summer).  Tactical is not a requirement and if it is, I prefer a low heel.  I already have a plethora of 8" military boots (mostly COTS and a couple issue boots I keep around just in case) that aren't meeting the requirement.

 

Quick background is I'm not happy with how hot my current staples are.  Nothing breathes either because of too much cushioning, a waterproof liner, or thick leather.  My non GTX approach shoes have too much cushion / think leather to keep heat in and all my hiking boots are GTX or all leather (the worst combine both of these traits to keep the heat in).  So what has worked for you when the consideration is sand / rock / Gates of Hades heat / some stability and not much else?

Original Post

I've worn Merrell Ventilators for a couple years. For daily wear (concrete, dirt, sand, etc) at work, range and similar for a 6" boot they have performed outstandingly. Replace the stock laces or have extras handy, they don't last forever. Other than that, they do very well, and better with Superfeet insoles if you're constantly on hard surfaces.

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

This is a topic near and dear to my heart.  I do the Bataan Death march every year and I ruck in some very hot climes (Everglades in Florida and the deserts of Arizona).  I would recommend the NON-GORETEX version of the Vasque Breeze - especially since you mentioned the 40 pound thing. I do not like other hot weather boots, like the Ventilators or the Oakleys, as much for carrying weight because their sole is little too much on the flexible, sneaker-ish side.  Great for general use but not as good for rucking.  Anyway, you'll find my crappy comments on these boots here:

 

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...643#2843236915721643

 

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...328#2843236915997328

 

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...337#2843236909816337

 

and some other info here:

 

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...671#2843236915524671

 

 

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All of these are available with a .gov discount direct from their respective manufacturer,

Lowa Zephyr non-GTX, http://www.lowaboots.com/catal...hyr-mid/5105527648/4

Belleville hiker, http://www.tacticaldistributor...-runner-boot-6-brown

Asolo Puma, http://www.us-elitegear.com/asolo-piuma-men-s.html

 

Probably no discount,

http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/mens-shoes-filter-category-hiking/men-8217-s-ultra-fastpack-mid.html?variationId=QH4&variationName=ZINC%20GREY%20/%20TNF%20BLACK

 

Joined 12/2/02          Location: Puyallup, WA

www.Rich275DESIGNS.com

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While I haven't taken them out in very hot weather yet, my Merrell Sawtooth's are very nice.  I'd venture to say less air flow than the Ventilators but more robust.  Depending on how difficult your terrain is but an option to consider.

"These are the rules. Everybody fights, nobody quits. If you don't do your job I'll kill you myself."

 

Joined: 04/01/2004     Location:  Twin Cities, MN

My Ventilators have held up well for me under 40lb load - I also ruck Nike SFBs, so maybe my feet are just used to it? Also, Merrel offers a substantial pro deal.

"We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful."

I really like my Merrill MOAB vent's. They breathe nicely, and have handled 50+ lbs on my training rucks across gravel, asphalt and open country Without issue or concern. 

 

I've also used them on lighter weight (20 ish lbs) day treks scrambling mountains in the Rockies again with no issues. 

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Originally Posted by lawdogx:

 I would recommend the NON-GORETEX version of the Vasque Breeze

lawdogx:  Thanks.  Couple RFIs--good size toebox, correct (I read on your other reviews that you run wide and they are GTG)?  And the cushioning is light enough to feel a breeze through if the winds are kicking?  Would have totally missed the Breeze, so thank you.

 

 

Originally Posted by Rich275:

Thank you Rich.  Of the above that you have personal knowledge, prefs?  Rule out the Asolos--their lasts run towards the European foot and the toebox is more pointed and not wide enough for me (I have a pair of Asolos that I've had for nigh on ten years that I'm about to finally part with because of the narrow toebox).  I actually have the TNF Pro, although I expect to lose it this summer as I have moved on from the predominantly outdoor job that qual'd me.  Darn.

 

Originally Posted by FourNinerZero:

I really like my Merrill MOAB vent's. They breathe nicely, and have handled 50+ lbs on my training rucks across gravel, asphalt and open country Without issue or concern. 

 

I've also used them on lighter weight (20 ish lbs) day treks scrambling mountains in the Rockies again with no issues. 

Thank you (and the others) concerning the Ventilators.  I have shied away from Merrells because I don't normally like the rubber compound on the outer soles (not sticky enough).  That stated, I actually haven't worn the Ventilators versus other shoes in their product line so...  Outside of the shoe's name, are they good at breathing / venting (not too cushioning to hinder this)?

 

My current hot weather shoes are Teva Rivas (non eVent).  Very decent HW shoe, but the lateral stability SUCKS as the sidewalls on those shoes has no bracing on it.  A shame.  If I were walking straight up a hill, it would be no issue.  But side scrambling or descending stability is rather underwhelming. 

 

Thank you for resurrecting a topic for current offerings in this niche.

If you're not wearing thick wool socks, in any sort of wind (Desert, etc) you will feel a breeze blowing across your feet in Ventilators. They're damn near 2/3 vents and in 100-130F type temps, if you're wearing some sort of wicking sock your feet will be quite cool. I wear mine every day in normal day to day use and aside from winter (where I use merino wool thicker socks due to the vents) my feet breathe very well in them.  I've had issues from wearing combat boots for years and similar where my feet couldn't breathe, the Vents were recommended to me and have overall, done very well in that regard.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

I have had significant luck with lowa zephyrs. They are light, comfortable and take a beating. They do run .5-1 size small, at least for me and my buddy. They make military and nonmilitary versions. If you want, I have a 40% off slip from shot show, just pm me

I can't really vouch for them in carrying any kind of weight, but since you keep mentioning the wide toebox, look at the Keen Voyaguers.  

 

Before I had the surgery for Morton's Nueroma, I couldn't wear anything that was even slightly tight, these worked.  I've worn the Voyaguers hiking a couple times and they were as good as any other boot for it (Keen has been known to have quality problems though although I haven't had any issues).


Good thing is Keen gives a 50% off military discount. If you search Keen Voyaguer on LF you'll get some more info.


That being said, when I did do some rucking I used a non goretex version of the Vasque Breeze myself and they were great boots especially in hot weather (TX 95+ days, high humidity).  These were the original model of the Breeze, I don't know how the Breeze 2.0 is since I still can't wear anything even remotely pointy.

 

 

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Joined: 5/28/04     Location: DFW TX

 

"We're men, okay? That means a few things; we like to shit with the door open, we talk about pussy, we like to go on riverboat gambling trips, and we make our own beef jerky. That's what we do." Dale, Step Brothers

I recently purchased a pair of the Belleville Hikers.  I was originally looking for a non gortex or insulated hiker as my feet sweat like hell.  I've been thru many pairs of hikers and I must admit, so far so good. Having purchased Bellevilles in the past and found the size to be a bit small, this is not true with this hiker.  I have found them true to size and a little boxy in the toes. 

 

It's still cold/cool here in New England (snowed today) and these hikers are comfortable.  I normally wear smartwools with them yet no sweat.  What I did not notice when searching these hikers was that they have vents like jungle boots on the side of the hiker which obviously allows for ventilation      

 

I'm thinking that as warmer weather approaches, I will adjust with sock weight and continue to drive on with these hikers. 

 

 

 

 

Why not go with a pair of old school jungle boots (panama sole) and Super green feet? 

or

I hate the heavy ass sole of the new hot weather boot but the ventilation cant be beat

"Be an example to your men, in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don't in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered and teach your subordinates to do the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide." - Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

 

Joined: 12/24/04    LOCATION : Moments away from BFG and DD

"Couple RFIs--good size toebox, correct (I read on your other reviews that you run wide and they are GTG)?  And the cushioning is light enough to feel a breeze through if the winds are kicking?"

 

The two best ventilated boots I've found are the Vasque Breeze and the Merrell Ventilator Mid.  Both of these are mostly made of breathable fabric with a leather "skeleton" holding everything in shape.  In terms of ventilation I've rucked many hundreds of miles with both and they are equally ventilated.  I have EEE wide feet and find the standard versions too narrow - but both come in a wide width and the wide in both fit me great, even with Superfeet insoles (either blue or green).  I also go 1/2 size up to account for foot swell on long rucks. 

 

Both of these are nice compromises in terms of flexiblity/comfort (like a sneaker) and stability/support (like a boot).  In the end It's as much a factor of personal preference as it is getting the right boot for your purposes.  The difference between the two is that the sole of the Vasque is a little stiffer and boot-like while the sole of the Merrell is a little more flexy and sneaker-ish.  I feel sharp rocks more through the sole of the Merrells, and less so through the Vasques.  Also, I find the ankle support to be little better in the Vasque.  I also find that the Vasque holds up a little better, but lightweight hot weather boots aren't known for their durability.  I retire a pair of boots after about 400 miles (one season's training/racing) and the Breeze looks a little better for the wear.

 

Both are fine, and both will suit your purposes - EXTREMELY breathable, comfortable enough for general use, yet capable enough to carry weight over distance.

____________________
The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war
Originally Posted by tfc1128:

       

I recently purchased a pair of the Belleville Hikers.  I was originally looking for a non gortex or insulated hiker as my feet sweat like hell.  I've been thru many pairs of hikers and I must admit, so far so good. Having purchased Bellevilles in the past and found the size to be a bit small, this is not true with this hiker.  I have found them true to size and a little boxy in the toes. 

 

It's still cold/cool here in New England (snowed today) and these hikers are comfortable.  I normally wear smartwools with them yet no sweat.  What I did not notice when searching these hikers was that they have vents like jungle boots on the side of the hiker which obviously allows for ventilation      

 

I'm thinking that as warmer weather approaches, I will adjust with sock weight and continue to drive on with these hikers. 

 

 

 

 


       

Would those be the Belleville TR-555 Hikers?
I was looking at those before I picked up a pair of Danner Melees, which don't really fit the criteria of the original posters requirements.

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Joined: 9/30/09
Location: Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks)

The first question to answer is boot or shoe?  That depends a lot on the amount of weight you plan on carrying and personal preferences.  Shoes ventilate better but obviously offer less ankle support.  Those will be critical compromises.

 

After that decision, you'll need to decide on the type of shank you prefer.  A stiffer shank helps with managing the weight of your load, but make the shoe a little heavier.  I find a full length stiff shank to be a necessity when hiking in rocky terrain as it lessens the impact of the ground on the plantar aspect of my foot.  If more of your hiking is in sandy terrain instead of sharp rocks, then a lighter, half sole of PU is reasonable.

 

I've had good luck with Garmont Eclipse shoes for ultralight, fast hikes.  Great grip, excellent ventilation but sometimes too light and soft for heavy loads on rocky terrain.

 

2+ on Lowa Zephyr boots.  I've had excellent luck (finished a 5 mile hike in a blowing snowstorm yesterday with them) in all conditions - the taller boot works great for a "tactical" boot, the Zephyr mid is a great boot in itself and works great as a backpacking/day hiking boot.  I can't comment specifically on breathability in the non-GTX versions since both boots I have are GTX, but I've never felt hot in them even in the summertime here in the high desert environs of Utah.

 

During my 4 years in the Mojave, thanks Uncle Sam, I once never felt my feet overheat except in full chem gear with an air temp of 104 (damned rubber boots).  Perhaps I just don't have sweaty feet, but I must at least partially attribute that fact to sock choices.  Don't forget that you can significantly impact the temperature in the boot by making a light-weight breathable sock a staple of your kit.  While that subject is the matter for a thread unto itself, it bears mentioning.

 

The Vasque's look appealing as well.  Never had a good fit with Merrell's.  Plus, they seem too soft and floppy to me - not happy with the soles either.

 

Bottom line, buy the coolest boot that fits your foot and based on your planned activities.

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Originally Posted by dntbthtgy:
I have had significant luck with lowa zephyrs. They are light, comfortable and take a beating. They do run .5-1 size small, at least for me and my buddy. They make military and nonmilitary versions. If you want, I have a 40% off slip from shot show, just pm me

Thank you.  I have narrowed the possibles down to three from everyone's input:  1) Merrell Ventilators, 2) Vasque Breeze, 3) and the Zephyrs.  I need to go by my local REI and see if they have my size in stock/how it feels on the Lowas.  If I go with the Zephyrs, I'll PM you and if you still have the discount available, thank you!  And if it is used or given away, still thank you for offering!

 

Originally Posted by MrMurphy:

If you're not wearing thick wool socks, in any sort of wind (Desert, etc) you will feel a breeze blowing across your feet in Ventilators. They're damn near 2/3 vents and in 100-130F type temps, if you're wearing some sort of wicking sock your feet will be quite cool. I wear mine every day in normal day to day use and aside from winter (where I use merino wool thicker socks due to the vents) my feet breathe very well in them.  I've had issues from wearing combat boots for years and similar where my feet couldn't breathe, the Vents were recommended to me and have overall, done very well in that regard.

Good recommendation.  These will be daily wear for me also. 

 

Originally Posted by avn mech:

Why not go with a pair of old school jungle boots (panama sole) and Super green feet? 

No brother.  Got it on the SuperFeet (I'm a fan also).  But the jungles? No.
 
Originally Posted by lawdogx:
The two best ventilated boots I've found are the Vasque Breeze and the Merrell Ventilator Mid.  Both of these are mostly made of breathable fabric with a leather "skeleton" holding everything in shape. 

 ...

Both are fine, and both will suit your purposes - EXTREMELY breathable, comfortable enough for general use, yet capable enough to carry weight over distance.

Thank you.  The breathability and the skeleton (basic stability when not straight and level) are the primary criteria for me and I appreciate the time you took in responding. 

 

Originally Posted by Race Bannon:

The first question to answer is boot or shoe?...

 

I've had good luck with Garmont Eclipse shoes for ultralight, fast hikes.  Great grip, excellent ventilation but sometimes too light and soft for heavy loads on rocky terrain.

 

...but I must at least partially attribute that fact to sock choices.

 

The Vasque's look appealing as well.  Never had a good fit with Merrell's.  Plus, they seem too soft and floppy to me - not happy with the soles either.

 

Bottom line, buy the coolest boot that fits your foot and based on your planned activities.

Good copy.  But a mid boot to shoe in my case is personal pref only.  With what I'm using the shoe / boot for (daily wear and day hikes), breathability and a bit of lateral stability (versus dedicated backpacking which screams for a much more built up boot) are my primary considerations.  Everyone has assisted with personal knowledge versus my looking at pictures / manufacturer descriptions, so it is all good / has worked out.

 

I like Garmonts too (Flash XCR III / T-8 are currently owned/wore out several pairs of approach shoes previously), but I can see where the Eclipses would lack in lateral stability (just like my Teva Rivas).  Otherwise, they would be in consideration.

 

Also agreed on socks (I don't believe I have a single pair of cotton socks to my name) and the varying densities of them apropos to environment .  I'm a runner and live in coolmax Injinjis for that and my daily wear are very, very light (breathable) versions of Darn Tough, Smartwool, and Bridgedale merino socks.  Uncle Sam has also blessed me my time in the Mojave although the western and eastern sections are certainly different (done both and being currently in Henderson, NV which isn't bad at all).

 

Thank you to all.  Personal knowledge / recommendations are so much better than guessing at what might work.  You have made this relatively easy on me.

Originally Posted by Hooahmonster:
 (Keen has been known to have quality problems though although I haven't had any issues).

 

 

I've been waiting since March 19 for Keen to process a warranty claim for my Voyageurs. After just a few months of moderate use the soles started peeling off of both shoes. Some googling showed it to be a very common problem. They said the processing time for warranty claims can be up to 15 business days, and after that I still may have to send them back to be examined. The Voyageurs are comfortable as fuck and provide good stability, but their quality control issues and shitty customer service are probably going to be enough to keep me from buying another pair.

Joined: 1/19/2010   Location: West Virginia

Originally Posted by MOJONIXON:
Originally Posted by tfc1128:

       

I recently purchased a pair of the Belleville Hikers.  I was originally looking for a non gortex or insulated hiker as my feet sweat like hell.  I've been thru many pairs of hikers and I must admit, so far so good. Having purchased Bellevilles in the past and found the size to be a bit small, this is not true with this hiker.  I have found them true to size and a little boxy in the toes. 

 

It's still cold/cool here in New England (snowed today) and these hikers are comfortable.  I normally wear smartwools with them yet no sweat.  What I did not notice when searching these hikers was that they have vents like jungle boots on the side of the hiker which obviously allows for ventilation      

 

I'm thinking that as warmer weather approaches, I will adjust with sock weight and continue to drive on with these hikers. 

 

 

 

 


       

Would those be the Belleville TR-555 Hikers?
I was looking at those before I picked up a pair of Danner Melees, which don't really fit the criteria of the original posters requirements.

Yep, those are the ones. 

As someone who bought mine at REI (and work there) any REI should be able to get your size up to about 14 and most of the wider widths too for the Merrells.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

Mild thread drift

The mission is 12 days on the trail in NM ( 90 to 40 is likely temp swing) from 4 July to 18 July, 4-10 miles per day  with up to 2500 feet in elevation rise per day. Ruck will be 25 to 40 lbs. I want as light a shoe as I can get away with given the  1lb on foot = 5 lbs on back mantra. I am willing to give up durability for this goal.

 

Thoughts? 

Originally Posted by GrumpyGrizz:

Went out and got the Merrells two week ago. Wish I could wear them at work. 

Which model? I went to the Merrell outlet near me today looking to replace my summer ones, but all they had were winter weight. Going to scour Amazon and Ebay tonight.

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Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

I have Lowe's hot weather hiking boots and they are absolutely the best boots I've ever owned. They're cooler than my Nike running shoes and I love the non-tactical look, really low profile. Got them of Amazon, true to size. The soles are starting to wear out after a year of use and I'm definitely buying another pair. They're a german brand but made in Rumania (I think) and quality/finish is very good. Not the cheapest ones but you get what you pay for.

Originally Posted by dojpros1998:

Mild thread drift

The mission is 12 days on the trail in NM ( 90 to 40 is likely temp swing) from 4 July to 18 July, 4-10 miles per day  with up to 2500 feet in elevation rise per day. Ruck will be 25 to 40 lbs. I want as light a shoe as I can get away with given the  1lb on foot = 5 lbs on back mantra. I am willing to give up durability for this goal.

 

Thoughts? 

Keen Voyageur are very lightweight, but perhaps too much tennis show flexible in the sole.  They won't hold up forever, but are very comfortable.  I had no issues with the sole but others had.  I am looking into the 50% mil discount - didn't know about that.

 

By the way, I used to run in my Voyageurs due to the rocky terrain on our FOB, and the risk of rolling an ankle.  They were good to go for that - and just fine for rucks, but never had a really heavy load - at most 2-3 day water on board.

 

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In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

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If anyone else is curious, I can vouch for the Asolo Piumas. The "natural shape" footbed has a wider than usual toebox. I generally take a 2e in running shoes, and the Piumas have plenty of room for my brick-toes. They've held up to daily wear-and-tear and the occasional light hike in Michigan forests.

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