Hiking shoe recs (not boots yet)
June 5, 2016 6:06 PM   Subscribe

My current NBs are worn and the insides are flattened after 4 years. I need new shoes.

I'm looking for hiking shoes that can accomodate a twice weekly terrain hike and a daily cumulative 3 miles on pavement for dog walks. Must be available in a women's 5.5 with a budget of ~75.00. I'm no stranger to STP sales or New Balance outlet if the option for splitting the budget across multiple comes up.
posted by asockpuppet to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I do all my hiking in Chacos. They are awesome.
posted by Marinara at 6:12 PM on June 5, 2016

Keens are great. They are my hiking and walking and general whatever shoes.
posted by crunchy potato at 6:20 PM on June 5, 2016

Response by poster: Any specific models?
posted by asockpuppet at 6:29 PM on June 5, 2016

I've gotten two pairs of Keen Cypress sandals that I've loved. Clearwaters are a tad more rugged. I like the lightweight options myself, especially in warmer weather.
posted by crunchy potato at 6:36 PM on June 5, 2016

Best answer: Oh hey! I know the answer to this question! I do a *lot* of walking, mostly on pavement but also on terrain/paths. I also used to be a long-distance runner. So I've been through a lot of shoes. Until recently, I was never particularly attached to one brand or model, typically buying whatever I could get on sale. However because I found them for around 2/3 off on STP at the end of last summer, I bought a pair of New Balance Leadville 1210 trail shoes on a whim, and have really been surprisingly impressed with them (so much so that I promptly bought three more pairs). I've been wearing them daily since August, and I like them as much now as I did initially. They feel really well-built to me - the nimbleness of sneakers but much of the sturdiness of hiking boots. They feel cushioned and pillowy, and they are definitely not minimalist sneakers, if you're into that. I wear them with a pair of ankle-high cushioned Icebreaker socks and I'm good for 10+ miles with no blisters or foot fatigue. They have Vibram soles, so they wear out significantly more slowly than previous shoes I've had in the past. The only thing I didn't like about them is the factory insole that they came with, which feels quite hard and shell-like to me, but I replaced those insoles immediately with others. The other thing is that they retail for around $125, which in my universe is prohibitively expensive, but if you poke around the internet you'll see that you can definitely find them far more cheaply, and they're also more durable than most sneakers.

Amazon has a women's size 5.5 in grey/coral on sale for $43 (2 pairs left), or you can pay $15 more for the blue colorway. Free returns, too, so no opportunity cost to ordering them to try on. Size-wise, my normal size fits with a pair of medium-thickness wool socks, so if you're going to wear thin socks you might want to size down half a size (Amazon has a woman's 5 for the same price). You can look through the Amazon reviews for more feedback on the shoes, but the upshot is that they have great reviews (77% gave them 5 stars).
posted by ClaireBear at 7:16 PM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I looooove my Saucony Peregrines and they come in your size, but they're out of your budget. It looks like earlier models (the 5 and lower) are frequently on sale, and I don't think there's a huge difference between the 5 and the 6.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:31 PM on June 5, 2016

I've been wearing the adidas
trail running shoe for probably 12 years... The redesigns just seem to make it lighter and gripper. I buy past seasons shoes on amazon or other online shops in the weirdest colors for around ~60 a pair (sometimes you can get them cheaper). I usually buy 2 pairs every 18m or so and use them mostly for my daily runs. I like them. And they do start at size 5, so hopefully you can find colors you like.
posted by larthegreat at 11:29 PM on June 5, 2016

In warm weather I walk/hike in Teva Tirra sandals which basically feel like sneakers but without all the bulk on top. I like them because they have two points of adjustment for the front of the foot--makes for a better fit. Mine lasted a long time (I'm now on my second pair.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:32 PM on June 5, 2016

My hiking usually would not be safe in sandals (poisonous snakes!), but I love Keen hiking shoes (and get all mine from STP). They've currently got these and these in a 5, these in a 6, and these in a 5.5. My experience with Keens is that they are sized pretty consistently, but if you haven't worn them before, it's probably worth trying a couple of sizes.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:19 AM on June 6, 2016

If the main problem with your existing footwear is the flattened insides, you can buy new insoles for a fraction of the price of new shoes. I just rejuvenated a ten-year-old pair of boots by putting Superfeet Greens in them. The outsides may be a bit scuffed but I reckon they've got another year, maybe two in them now.
posted by Hogshead at 6:10 AM on June 6, 2016

I've had the Keen Verdi hiking shoes for 4ish years now, and they're my go-to hikers. Sturdy, lightweight, great traction, keep the rain/mud/ick out. They are a bit too warm for hot summer days, but perfect 90% of the year otherwise. On the hot sticky days, I wear Keen Rose sandals, which are lightweight and comfy, though the traction isn't quite as good in wet conditions.
posted by writermcwriterson at 9:25 AM on June 6, 2016

Ecco Track II shoes come in both low-top shoe style and high-top boot style. I had a pair of the former that were great for both hiking and general walking. They're fairly water resistant and lasted for 5 years with daily wear (they're actually still fine to wear, they just look badly beat up and I bought a few pair of newer shoes so I wouldn't look like a hobo, so I don't wear them even though I could), and I'm the sort who wears shoes all day, even around the house. They're very comfy and, best of all, light, unlike many hiking shoes/boots I've had which feel like bricks tied to my foot in comparison.

The only downside, IMO, is the price. In a brick and mortar store they run about $200. They can be had more cheaply online, and are durable enough that a used pair would totally be an option. They are "men's " shoes, but you can get them in pretty small sizes.
posted by wierdo at 9:56 AM on June 6, 2016

Response by poster: I'm impulse buying the Keen Marshall's in hydropsyche's link. I have a few other non sporting Keen shoes and the 5.5. fit is good.

It's not just that the inside of my current pair are flattened, the treads are worn almost completely off.

I'm perusing for a second pair right now.
posted by asockpuppet at 4:40 PM on June 6, 2016

Response by poster: I missed the boat on the Keens, but still bought the NBs. Broke them in this morning on a 4 mile trail hike. They're working out great so far.
posted by asockpuppet at 9:56 AM on June 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

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