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6/18/2016 7:16 PM
 
If I were carrying weights above 25-30# I would probably feel differently, but in the past year I have given up a pair of Asolo TPS 120 Full Leather/Goretex lined boots for a combo of Salomon XA Pro 3 GTX for damp days in the duff and red mud here in NC and Zamberlain 132 AIROUND GTX RR for warm or dry cold days. I add a pair of either Salomon High Trail Gaiters to keep morning dew and sand out or if it is really wet and nasty I switch over to a pair of Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodiles. The only addition to the group I have thought to make is a pair of Salomon Quest 4D Forces now that they come in brown. The red NC clay makes a coyote pair of shoes look like hell.

With my back finally winning the battle I have gone to an ultra small pack with just minimal gear (IFAK, jacket, water etc) and using a beach roller cart to transport my camera gear. A 600mm f4 and a Nikon D4 body are more than I want to carry and you add a full size tripod, gimbal head, spare batteries, cards, and a few other lenses and you are looking at 50# quick. The beach buggy is not easy to get over logs, but when I am in full bushwhacker mode, I usually am not carrying the 600mm f4. Bloody 15 pounds with a camera alone.

So to summarize. No to boots. Yes to lightweight heavy duty hiking shoes.
 
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5/17/2017 7:55 AM
 
Dear All at HPG

I have never been a goretex boot guy...I had a pair of the old original Danner Acadia's back in the early 90s which were good for limited movement, kept you decently dry and warm. Fast forward to these last 10-15 years and I have found that I need to use a warmer boot in the winter, too many incidents of frozen wet toes / feet have made me a bit of a wimp perhaps. So I rocked Hanwags with two pairs of socks for many a year in the winter instead.

Now that I live out East, with wetter, damper winters and springs than I was used to, I am finding this is not working for me and was searching for something new that would work. I had been a loyal Kuiu guy until recently but, when I received an email about their Scarpa Charmoz boots on sale (about 30% off), my interest was ignited, so I decided to do some research on them.

I had used Scarpa's for many years as both a hiking boot and for my ski boots, so I trust their design. I had a chance to try on a pair and was blown away! At less than 2lbs, with a goretex liner and fully synthetic, good vibram sole and a full rand, semi-auto crampon compatible, these really are impressive. The Kuiu model is a better colour and price than I could get locally, so I pulled the trigger on these about 6 weeks ago. Although I haven't had the chance to use them on steep terrain, just on rolling tracks still full of spring, wet snow they are outstanding. Not heavy, easy to break in and comfortable. Better yet, no damned cold toes anymore!

If anyone is looking at a new winter boot that is solid, waterproof and warm, look no further!
 
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5/17/2017 12:47 PM
 
I've also had great luck with Scarpas so when STP finally gave me pricing I wanted on the Charmoz (better than Kuiu's pricing), I got a pair. I was influenced by the fact Kuiu liked them and a field review by a SW sheep hunter they gave a pair to. I think there's some that is good about these, and some things that aren't.

The full synthetic with GT is an interesting possibility and may well prove up to keep feet drier overall than leather with GT. I did have good luck in that regard with Salomon Quest 4Ds until they lost all their structure (which of course didn't take long in my case).

The support the Charmoz offers through the ankle and even foot is pretty good. The amount of space in the toe box is a revelation. However, for me, they're a little wide through the arch as well. This wouldn't be a huge problem with leather which will stretch and mold to the foot, but with full synthetic you get what you get.

One of the "get what you get" factors I'm wresting with with these boots is that they're breaking across the top of my toes in a painful way. Perhaps with time that will break in but because they're synthetic I'm not sure.

Here's the biggest issue with them though -- they feel like they have a full length shank and there isn't much rocker to the sole. That means that on anything but a sloppy surface like snow they jerk your ankles and knees around uncontrollably. I thought they'd be good off-trail (which is where I spend much of my time anyway) but so far they feel pretty unstable off-trail as well.

With more break-in, all of this might change. But because they're not leather, maybe not. Maybe they're already as good as they get. I sure wish they had a 3/4 length shank. Then they'd be fantastic.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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