View Full Version : Insulated or Non

AT Hiker
08-01-2013, 07:20 PM
I am having a difficult time deciding if I am going to get insulated or non-insulated boots. I have a pair of Merrell's I use for warmer weather long distance backpacking trips (75 miles plus). They are under 8" (not sure of their exact height), but I still handle 60lbs plus loads when I have to, but I am going to go ahead and get 8" boots for sure for backcountry hunting.

My feet stay warm for the most part, I hardly sit still long in the field so sweating will be an issue for anything much over 200grams insulated. I will be hunting in the Big Horns and other related terrains and elevations from 4,000 to 8,000 feet, in Mid to late Oct.

Gortex will be the waterproofing as well.

So far I am leaning towards Lowa's, I tried some on at REI and favored them over Asolo's, Danner, and Irish Setters.

Anyone have any reccomendations? Not so much on brand but more toward insulation or not. I searched the online forums but still nothing directly helpful.

08-01-2013, 08:03 PM
I have never done that kind of backpacking trip before but I have the Lowa uninsalaeted boots and I think they work great for 5-10 pack trips in the winter with no cold feet. Since you don't sit long wich is when your feet would get cold I would go for the non insulated boots.

08-01-2013, 08:39 PM
I had Vasque boots but now I have the Lowa Tibet GTX Boots which are uninsulated. I really like them and they have plenty of support. I rely more on different socks for warmth if I need to keep my feet warm. I am always on the move so rarely do my feet get cold. The new Lowas have some great features that I like like the ball bearing eyelets and the shoelace locking eye that keep your laces tight. They also have the tongue lock for the shoe laces to keep the tongue from slipping down after you tie the boots.

AT Hiker
08-01-2013, 09:22 PM
Thanks! I had a gut feeling from the beginning for non, but I started questioning myself. Its easier for me to get warm, but hot damp socks/shoes from perspiration can ruin a trip.

FYI..most of my hunts take place a few miles from the road, then we hike from camp so I want be caring all weight with me everyday. When I backpack in the summers I usually carry around 30lbs so the shorter Merrels work great, they have worked well for me when I hunt no more than a couples miles from the truck too for day hunts.

08-04-2013, 07:04 AM
I hunt the same area same time, and like the Cabelas Meindl Alaskan Hunter. The 10" 200 gram boot has the ankle support I need when I spend miles and miles side-hilling in a canyon. I used to use Danner Pronghorns that were uninsulated for their light weight and comfort, but they lack the ankle support I really need and I'd end up twisting one and getting sore sometimes. I hunt with a maniac up there and following him we end up in some interesting places. I use the Cabelas Ingenius socks to help with the sweating, but the 200 gram isn't to bad anyway. If you go with these buy now and get to wearing them, they take some breaking in.

AT Hiker
08-04-2013, 06:21 PM
I ordered the Lowa Tibets GTX from shoebuy for $287, free shipping too. Hopefully I will have nothing but good to say about them after this fall, because I am about to put them to work!

Umpqua Hunter
08-04-2013, 06:58 PM
I ordered the Lowa Tibets GTX from shoebuy for $287, free shipping too. Hopefully I will have nothing but good to say about them after this fall, because I am about to put them to work!

Very nice! I bought the same boot in June from Zappos.

If you have access to a treadmill, set it on a steep incline and walk for 1/2 a mile to make sure you like the fit and your heal doesn't lift. Wear them around home all evening to make sure you get good blood circulation in your feet and they remain comfortable after wearing them for a few hours.

I went through 3 different sizes and widths to get my boot fit dialed in perfect. Great thing about places like Zappos and Shoe Buy is if it doesn't fit, you can get free shipping both ways.

Elk Hunter
09-30-2013, 02:40 PM
Cabela's Alaska Hunter, insulated, were my first boots. They were good, but I like my Kenetrek boots better. They are more comfortable out of the box, no break-in required, and seem to be holding up better. My first Kenetrek boots were insulated and are definitely to warm for summer hiking/backpacking, so I also have the uninsulated version. When elk hunting in October I always take the insulated boots. They may be a little warm at times, but when the temperature drops, or it snows, it is very difficult to keep my toes warm with the uninsulated version.