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View Full Version : A dilemma concerning footwear. HELP!!



one911emergency
05-25-2009, 01:15 PM
First, I would like to thank everyone on all the positive feedback concerning Lowa boots. You guys were extremely helpful. Thanks to: straps, Swordsman, FlatbowMB, Lost Arra, BigSky and finally DS1.

Okay, I have another question to pester you guys with. I would post this question on another forum but I donít think thereís a better forum to ask this question. I am torn between three pairs of boots, and I spending the time Iím taking to save for a purchase to do research (Iím far too thrifty to spend 250 to 300 dollars without doing hours of research). I pretty sure Iíve got it narrowed down to these 3 and I just canít make a decision.

My initial requirements for prospective boot are:

Black smooth leather
Non-Goretex (or any other waterproof laminate) lined
Repairable sole
Decent manufacturer guarantee
Higher cut/ankle support
Able to deal with pack weights in excess of 50 lbs

The first boot is from a lesser known (in some circles) company called Altberg. Specifically the Norway Veldthog:

http://www.altberg.co.uk/Web/police1.jsp

Yes they have waterproof breathable lining but I might be able to get them to custom make the boots with a standard Cambrelle lining or with just a leather interior. I love the simple (virtually one piece construction) of these boots, and in most instances if not all instances I prefer the performance and look of a stitch down boot. These boots have a very classic style.

The second boot is from Hanwag, and itís their Special Forces LX boots (leather lined version of the GTX). I canít afford the Special Forces LX that are custom made to your foot itís just out my budget right now. I can afford purchasing the boot outright though. This may be a mistaken impression but I think that Mel personally uses this boot, and that carries weight.

http://www.madbearoutdoors.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=hanwagsflx

Last but not least, the Lowa Super Camps. I feel that the Super Camps and the Hanwags are a very similar but like the look of the Lowa just a bit better (though this has 0 impact on the performance and the longevity of the boot). I have received very postive feedback on Lowa boots on this forum and others. I almost decided to purchase this boot exclusively. I also think that I can get this boot for the cheapest of the three, which is important because I am on a budget (and just because I have an unhealthy obsession with footwear doesnít mean that thatís the only piece of gear I need to purchase).

http://www.lowaboots.com/catalog/ShowBoot.cfm?StockNum=2118400999&Category=8&Type=M

Iím sorry to bother you with questions like this but itís your own fault for contributing to such a broad knowledge base! So thanks in advance.

AndyL
05-25-2009, 01:39 PM
where are you based?

I know a few people with Altbergs as like me they are in Yorkshire. Not heard a bad thing to say and since they make fully custom boots I think you've got a good chance of getting a pair made without the membrain. I intend to get a pair made (their fitter comes to a local shop) once my podiatrist has worked out just what corrective innersoles I need.

one911emergency
05-25-2009, 03:19 PM
I am in American. I've heard that they have traveling fitters, and that's really cool that they offer that service but the chances of me actually being able to take advantage of such a service is probably pretty unlikely. I was going to purchase one of the custom made boots and just tell them to make them 10 1/2 (American), with a medium width and without the waterproof/breathable Cambrelle lining. I don't think there is a price differential like there is with the Hanwags. I've heard a lot of guys (mainly from across the pond) that they think Altberg's are at least as good if not better than Lowas or Hanwags. These are generally buys that have been in the military or are avid outdoorsman. I have not had the chance to personally inspect a pair but from the pics and feedback they seem like a very good boot. Their prices are very, very reasonable too, especially when you consider the crafstmanship involved. The only problem I have is that, as far as I know, they don't use Vibram soles but I've heard pretty good things about Skywalk soles. I've just come to respect Vibram due to the hardwearing nature of the rubber they're constructed of. Skywalk could be there equal when it comes to wear resistance. I just don't know much about them. Thanks for letting me know that there's a good chance I can get them without the waterproof/breathable linings. I didn't know if they were going to go for that.

How long have your friends had their Altbergs? What models do they have? Do your friends seem to like their Altbergs? What kind of activities do they do in them (hiking, backpacking ect.)? Do they seem well built to you?

AndyL
05-25-2009, 05:05 PM
I've only really spoken to one guy in person about them, he's a police support type that bought them to walk round in all day, he's got Warrior aquas(in part because of the vibram sole). They get mentioned on the british outdoor forums a lot. I guess part of the reason for that is that they are made in the UK.

BrooklynBen
05-25-2009, 06:56 PM
'One911' - those seem like outstanding boots. I would only add that if you truly want to invest in your feet, joints and back; (a wise decision) you really have to get some custom orthodics made from "Lathrop and Sons" for whatever boot you purchase. Of course the inserts take up more volume. I buy a wider size so everything fits in. I know the Lathrop's sell Han Wags, but I don't know if they sell them at a competitive price.

Regardless, I strongly recommend getting a pair of their custom cushioned orthodic
inserts. I have two pair and they've made a huge difference with everything I wear.

Check them out and tell them Brooklynben sent you. ;)
http://lathropandsons.com/catalog/index.php

Cameron
05-25-2009, 07:58 PM
I have a pair of Hanwags and they are the best boots I have ever worn.

Cameron

one911emergency
05-25-2009, 09:55 PM
Thanks for all the feedback guys! If you're talking about the High Country Footbed I've heard a lot about them. I haven't tried a large variety of footbeds (the precursor to Danner Fatigue Fighters mostly). I've also tried Oregon Aero's ShockBlockers insoles (after being prompted to do so by members of this forum). For as thin as they are they add a reasonable amount of cushioning (I don't find them to be the "miracle cure"). I would like to try the High Country Footbed but I just don't have the money for them. At 170 green backs that would force me to have to choose between boot or insole. A good set of boots is more of a priority right now, insoles being purely secondary. Though what I just said shouldn't take away from the importance of having a good set of insoles. There's an old proverb (which is of German origin I think) "If you buy cheap you will buy twice". So I'm sure the High Country Footbed is a sound purchase, and one I plan on making in the near future. I'll catch flak from some of my friends for spending $170 on footbed when I have no history of foot or knee problems but that brings another proverb to mind "prevention is the best medicine".

Cameron:

What boots have you worn in the past. I just want to know what you're comparing them to, and why you believe "they're the best boots you've ever worn". Is it the materials, longevity, stability, fit?

Cameron
05-25-2009, 10:36 PM
Cameron:
What boots have you worn in the past. I just want to know what you're comparing them to, and why you believe "they're the best boots you've ever worn". Is it the materials, longevity, stability, fit?
All of the above, a quality pair of boots may not be felt the moment they are tried on but sometime between mile 6 and 60...

I have worn Danners, John Bull, Vasque, Merril, Lowa, Oakleys, and the Hanwag Mountain Light GTX (http://lathropandsons.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/30/products_id/103) boots are the best for long hikes and heavy packs, for $238 they are money well spent.

Cameron

one911emergency
05-26-2009, 06:09 AM
Wow, that's quite a line up. So you've tested about all the major brands. It's encouraging to hear that the Hanwags stack up that well to all those other brands.

rob.balaguer
05-29-2009, 01:14 AM
I don't know if you've already made your decision, but being in the army long enough to try a wide variety of boots, and waste money on footwear made by people who have no business manufacturing footwear, I would firmly suggest trying danners. At least as far as the price range people are proposing, danners are a good buy. I've had oakleys, bates(issue and shoe-type), blackhawk, and others, but the danner Acadia are the most durable, comfortable, and reliable boots I've owned- and plus they have a normal vibram sole, so you can get it resoled and have it forever.

I'm not sure on their uk delivery, but you should look at their website- they have a lot of testimonials, and all kinds of boots- I can't really advise you on ordering sizes, because I bought from a store. Hope this helps.

andyoz
05-29-2009, 07:10 AM
One911 - all the boots suggested are decent. I've used an pair of Lowa Mountains for a decade or so.... probably it's just down to the finer points of cost and looks. :)

Definitely worth emailing Danners about UK shipping, never had an issue though and good service.

Klaus
07-21-2009, 06:25 AM
Hi there,

Go LOWA!!! Never had better combat boots!! The most famous Lowa boot is the Combat Boot GTX and these have Gore Tex lining. However they are with out a doubt the best pair of boots I have ever had!! Only - small!! - concern to me is that they tend to be a bit warm. Now, I live in Denmark and serve as a squad leader in a combat infantry regiment and I have never had a blister or anything worse than a bit sore feet - no mater what I have been into or how long I had to haul me and my gear ... and most important: never had wet feet (from outside sources). But as I said they are a bit warm and in late spring/summer they may be too warm. So I'm currently trying on the Lowa Mega Camp which are the non-Gore tex version of the Combat Boot and they are just as good as the Combat Boot but not as warm.
All in all I very much doubt I will ever use other boots than those from the Lowa Task Force range.
You could also consider the Meindl range. They are much the same as the Lowa range ... and an added bonus is that both companies carry a wide range of models including desert boots and summer boots - all in same high quality.
Added info: Both Lowa and Meindl boots are military issue in the Danish army (= NSN if you have any way of getting your hands on them through your supplier)

Stayangry
07-21-2009, 12:58 PM
Hi there,

The Altberg range have a great reputation here in the UK and are very popular with forces, police and ruffty-tuffty types generally.

That said, however, Hanwag and Lowa also have strong followings - any of the three could provide an excellent item for you, I am sure.

I would, however, counsel against buying any boot without trying them in person - sizes and shapes vary between makers. The only way to know for sure which is right is to try them on.

Yours

James

one911emergency
07-21-2009, 06:51 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. You guys don't mess around when it comes to your feet! Rob.balaguer my brother has owned at least two pairs of Danner boots, and he has been very satisfied with their performance. I think he had a pair for eight years before he set them aside for a new pair (using the old ones as a work boot). It's good to hear their quality hasn't diminished. I've heavily considered Danners in the past specifically the Blackhawk II. I know they subject their footwear to pretty intensive testing. I'm not completely dead set on the Lowas, Hanwags or the Altbergs they're just three strong possibilities.

StayAngry I believe that you should try on a pair of boots before you buy them but it's virtually impossible for me to do that with these boots. It's hard enough to find a dealer online that carries Lowas task force line, and the Altbergs forget about it. I'll just have to keep sending them back until I find a pair that fit. It's money down the drain but that's the price you pay for quality footwear and the covenience of shopping online.

I might even end up with two pairs of these boots from two different manufacturers; one sized for the summer and one sized for the winter. It may take awhile to get the money but that's what I'm shooting for.

Thanks again guys for you attention to this post. You don't know how much I appreciate it.

one911emergency
07-28-2009, 10:41 PM
Thanks for all your advice guys. It basically came down to what I could get the best deal on. I went with the Lowa Megacamps. They're the 10 inch version of the Supercamp. I would've preferred the Supercamps but I got an excellent deal on the Megacamps, and I just couldn't pass it up.

I'll let you know how they work out.