Gear Review Review of a Pair of Size 14 Boots Someone Gave Me

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Noun Sequitur

My Feet Hurt
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
347
If there is one good thing about having big feet, it is this: free shoes. Believe it or not, I've never almost hardly ever had to buy my own shoes. When my friends or family spot a giant pair of shoes at Goodwill they say "Hey I know a guy that could wear those!" This works out great for me because I am cheap and miserly.

Here's the deal though, my feet aren't really THAT big. I wear a 13-1/2 which is not freakish at all. Apparently however, my feet are just big enough that everyone I know who sees a ginormous pair of shoes immediately thinks of me and my poor feet and wants to help. I have a friend who once caused a minor traffic jam when she made a sudden u-turn on a busy street. She had been driving by a yard sale and saw a pair of size seventeens that would be perfect for me.

I've always wondered why all the interest. Maybe my family thinks huge shoes are hard to find and must be grabbed on sight? Could be. I wouldn't know since I've never had to buy a pair.

I guess big shoes are fascinating in much the same way a circus sideshow is fascinating. I admit that I also, on occasion, will stop and admire a big shoe on a store shelf. Pick it up, turn it over, check the size, nod respectfully, think of the poor sole (ha!) that wears this museum piece.

More Self-indulgent Digression: As I write this, it occurs to me that perhaps I've unwittingly encouraged this shoe buying behavior by continuing to wear the giant shoes people get for me. I have zero fashion sense and I'm sure I look ridiculous stomping around in oversize footwear. If that's what everyone always sees me wearing, they're going to assume I have oversize feet... Right? Wow I think I just figured this thing out!

Anyway, I've said all this to provide completely unnecessary context to an entirely time wasting review of This Pair of Size 14 Boots Someone Gave Me. Behold...
shoes 1.jpg


These are Timberland "work" boots. I don't really use them for actual work. They don't have safety toes and I doubt they would hold up very long in a brutal work environment. I walked them through a cow pasture once if that counts. They held up fine but smelled somewhat funky afterwards.

Still Life With Boot
Boot 2.jpg
(not a real painting)


I mostly use them in the winter time for stomping around in snow. They are not water resistant so I usually don't stay out too long. This year I plan to coat them with some waterproofing. We'll see how that goes.

"But have you ever hiked in them?" you are no doubt asking. Yes. Yes I have.

Hiking in them
I tied them on for a fourteen mile hike earlier this year. They are obviously not hiking boots but they serve a valuable purpose: ankle protection. You see, my reportedly giant feet are connected to the rest of me by modestly sized ankles. I've sprained these ankles several times, and rolling a foot in the backcountry is not something I want to try.

Used in conjunction with tape and good socks, these boots provided excellent ankle support. There were a couple of times that I stepped wrong and felt things tweak, but the boots kept me upright.

Shoelace issues
For maximum support, I lace them all the way to top. Here I will mention one of the problems I noticed with the boots... The stock laces were too short. I had just enough shoelace to pull my little 1st grader knot together, but there wasn't any extra lace dangling reassuringly from the knot. I was constantly checking my boots during the hike to make sure they were still tied. If you're someone who likes to fasten up with a double pull three twist bowline quadruple windsor air-to-fakie knot, you're definitely going to have to upgrade those laces.

The boot was a little large on my foot, but that worked out great because I was able to use my magnetic insoles (see below). The insoles tightened everything up and made the boots fit snugly.

Bonus mini review: magnetic insoles
These are awesome. These things actually make me look forward to putting my boots on in the morning. They are not soft and cushy like typical insoles, but they still manage to make my feet feel special. I think they are supposed to help with blood circulation or something like that. Whatever it is, it works for me. Just don't get your compass too close to your magnetic boots or you will wind up lost and embarrassed.

Shoe 3.jpg



The insoles are kinda expensive, but they last forever. I've used the same set in at least five pairs of shoes. That's probably more than you needed to know right?



Establishing and maintaining friction
The soles on these boots are NOT made for gripping rock, especially if there is loose sand or debris on it. Very slippery. They work much better in snow.
Shoe 4.jpg


Weight
The boots are very heavy. They are not made of gossamer and marshmallow fluff, or whatever it is they make hiking boots out of these days. They also seemed to get heavier as the hike went on. Strange that.
shoe 5.jpg


tl;dr

Good
  • Firm ankle support
  • Got them for $free
  • Saying "Timbalan's"
Bad
  • Knobby soles are slick on slickrock. Will dump me off a canyon wall someday if I continue to use them
  • Out of the box laces are too short
  • Heavy
  • Still smell of cow pasture
 

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IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,129
I wear a size 15 and have a hell of a time finding boots that I like and that come in a 15. I'm very picky...plus I am hard on my footwear and wear them out quickly. Anytime I find a pair of boots I like that comes in my size, it seems the company stops making them...
 

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,708
Haha! Review of the year! Awesome! Ya big footed freak! ;)
 

RedDirtDawg

Vagabond
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
34
Being somewhat of a boot aficionado, I found this review quite refreshing...... and hilarious! One thing I might suggest that will help you get better grip and traction on rocks and trail is to 'sipe' the soles. Just like you do on tires. I do it to most of my hiking boots when the soles starts to wear down smooth. You will be surprised how much more 'grip' you will get with them. Sometimes I use a utility knife....other times I just get my Gerber out and go to town on them right on the trail.....
 

Noun Sequitur

My Feet Hurt
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
347
Being somewhat of a boot aficionado, I found this review quite refreshing...... and hilarious! One thing I might suggest that will help you get better grip and traction on rocks and trail is to 'sipe' the soles. Just like you do on tires. I do it to most of my hiking boots when the soles starts to wear down smooth. You will be surprised how much more 'grip' you will get with them. Sometimes I use a utility knife....other times I just get my Gerber out and go to town on them right on the trail.....
Awesome idea... thank you! I never would have thought of that.
 

Noun Sequitur

My Feet Hurt
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
347
I wear a size 15 and have a hell of a time finding boots that I like and that come in a 15. I'm very picky...plus I am hard on my footwear and wear them out quickly. Anytime I find a pair of boots I like that comes in my size, it seems the company stops making them...
Wow! (nods with respect). I would probably have a harder time with shoes if I had any taste at all. I'm not picky enough about my footwear and end up wearing some silly looking/ill fitting stuff. If I see any decent 15's I'll let you know :)
 

Joe

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
47
I have almost as hard a time buying shoes as I do snow pants (another thread). I wear a 7. Too big for the kids section and to small for most shoes I am interested in. I did manage to find a nice pair of waterproof Columbia hiking boots last year in size 7, and snapped them up on sight.
 

RedDirtDawg

Vagabond
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
34
Joe ~ yes, having a size 7 is somewhat of a problem since most shoe manufacturers limit their smallest size in men's to an 8. I know many men who wear size 7, but what they do is since many of the shoe manufacturers make some of their same boot models in both men and women's versions, they just find one of those that they like and get a women's size 8. You cannot tell the difference between the men's version and the women's version. And it will open up your selection of boots you can choose from. The women's versions do run a little bit narrower, so if you have a wide foot that still might present a problem. You may already know this, but I thought I would just mention it.

I love my Meindl "Perfekt" hikers and I know Meindl makes the same version in women's, virtually identical to each other. On the lower end I also have used Hi-Tech 'Altitude IV's" for over a decade. I know they make these in a women's version also since my wife just got her first pair last month and loves them.

One thing I really like about both the "Perfect" hiker and the "Altitude IV's" is that they have no seams on the vamp (upper) across the toes, since seams are always the weakest point on any boot, they are something you should always try to avoid.
 

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