Help choosing trekking footwear


New Member
Dec 15, 2016
For my daily wear, I prefer hiking boots. They offer ankle support and make me feel good. Well, now I decided to upgrade my boots and there r soo many options.
My first question is, are Vibram soles really that amazing in traction? Majority of online reviews call it a superior sole.
The boots I thought of purchasing has something called an essensole.
Any idea what type of sole is that?
I do go on treks twice a year where a good grip on wet rocks is required. Through forests, grasslands and some inclined terrain, lots of huge boulders in the path.
Rest of the time, the terrain I walk on is paved footpath and aspalt roads in a city.
Should I go for Vibram sole( even though it costs a lot more ) or an essensole? Which one will be more durable? I am spending close to $200 so would want the soles to last for a few years.
Please advise

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Auribus Teneo Lupum
Dec 27, 2012
I prefer the Vibram soles but other people hate them. I'm not familiar with the other sole you mentioned. The biggest problem for me has been separation at the toes. I usually end up glueing the sole to the toe no matter how expensive the boot or label.

If people don't know what boot to purchase I usually suggest the Merrell Moab or the Keen Targhee II. They are both good everyday all purpose boots. If you want a boot that will last a long time I suggest a full grain leather boot that does not have a heavy steel shank. Vasque, Danner, Asolo, and so on... all have great boots in that price range.

Most people who write about the subject will say don't buy boots get trail runners. Your situation may not be a good fit because: 1. You like the support, 2: you will wear them every day and want them to last 2+ years, 3: you don't hike a 1000 miles a year so weight is not a major concern.

Brendan S

Mar 19, 2016
Vibram is just a brand and doesn't mean much about a specific sole. Vibram uses dozens of different rubbers and treads. Some are good, some aren't great. Best to look at reviews of specific boot you're looking at. I haven't worn boots in years but have a couple friends that swear by the Alicos that are available at sierra trading. Killer deal for good leather and a welted sole so they won't separate. If you want really killer quality, great service and semi-custom fit, Limmers are A+++. Their light-weights are more of you're typical heavy duty hiker. You send in measurements and a trace of your feet and they send you correct size/last.
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