Tuesday, June 14, 2011

daddy needs a new pair of shoes

Off topic for a moment, sportsfans.
so long old friends
I shop for new shoes or boots so seldom, that it's become somewhat of an event round here.  AKA Whoooa, get a look at Mr Fancypants, sporting his new go-to-meetin shoes!  Doesn't he look niiIIIice~ 

Or somesuch from Mrs Wulff, sheesh.  (Good thing for her, she has a father who builds fly rods is all I can say.)

But I kid Sweetheart!  

He has a coupla boats too. ;-)

Ahem.  Back to my case in point: I'm out backpacking with the boy, suffering thru yet another blister !fiesta!, I finally get so fed up with my current set of hiking boots, I decide right then and there to get a new pair.

That was Spring.          2010.

This winter I vowed 2011's hiking season would be different, I would no longer cry like a little girl suffer stoically on the trail in boots older than my oldest child.  (She's 11, BTW.)

So true to form, I shoehorn the ole LL Bean clodstompers on for this season's high country opener, fish them all day, up canyon and down, put maybe 8 miles in for the day.  We're not but a mile into our hike back out and I'm dyin.  We make it back to the truck, and I'm slowly slipping into rigor mortis even as we head down the mountain toward hearth and home. 

Jeez, there's gotta be a better way- ya think?

So I'm back home, start casting about the outdoor stores, settle on a coupla mid-duty boots: Keen Oregon PCT and Vasque Taku.

Now I remain no expert, and admittedly my search was nowhere near exhaustive.  But after walking around in both pairs for the better part of an hour here at home, I'm prepared to announce my decision.

Ladies and gentlemen, would you please put your hands together a give a warm welcome to Team Roughrider's newest members...

The Vasque Taku!

No, wait, maybe those Keens after all.   Hmmm...yeah.  Wait, no.  Yeah, Taku, definitely the Takus.  Taku!

I think.  Hon, do these boots make me look  fat?  Wait, nevermind!

I luv the look of the Keens.  And they are a bit more comfortable than the Vasque, right out of the box.  They're also a bit wider in the midsole.

However, the Takus sport a better waterproof membrane (gortex vs Keen), are a good deal cooler (breathe better I believe).  They are a bit more torpedo-shaped than the wider Keens (Keens sport a sole a good inch wider at the ball of your feet).  The Takus have a nice heel-to-toe rocking motion built into the last where the Keens feel more flat footed.  Overall the Takus feel a good deal more sprightly, even if  just a bit heavier on the scale, leaving the Keens feeling a bit more plodding, almost like snowboots in comparison.

So for day hiking up the trail, I feel the sprightliness of the Takus would serve me well, the proven gortex membrane should not disappoint come postholing, monsoons, wet wading.  Backpacking however, I'm left wondering if the increased tread area of the Keens might better support the ponderous weight they'd be subjected to.  Meaning the weight of the backpack you guys!

Who knows, right?  We shall see soon enuf:  backpacking this Father's day weekend with the whole fam damily, should have a better read on my decision come Monday.

Get on out there!  mjh


  1. I'm a big fan of Vasque. I still rock my pairs of Skywalks and Sundowners. I have a pair of Hi-Tec Altitude IV too, and I like them as well. Finding a good pair of boots (that don't cost as much as a Sage fly rod) is a challenge. I've never worn Keens of any sort, but I bought Kelly a pair of low top trail shoes and she seems to like them. They have the Keen waterproofing and have worked well... but Gore-Tex has a solid reputation... decisions, decisions.

  2. Lets all have a whip round for daddy!!

  3. decisions, decisions- I know! Soo many to choose from, a guy could spend all his time testing and never make it out onto the trail! Good to hear your experiences with Vasque, sure hoping they work out.

    thx for checking in fellas!

  4. I have also recently purchased some trail shoes. Hate to see the beans go!

  5. good on ya, David- life is too short to suffer bad trail boots is my motto. My new motto, that is. ;-) Vasques worked out well, will post up better post of our trip this week. thx for checkin in! mike