I have low-volume feet, and my Vasque Sundowners just died after 12 years. I have visited every outdoors store in town, and I just can't find a good hiker that actually fits. I tried Vasque, Kayland, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Montrail, Asolo, and even a few others. Nothing. Any suggestions? Greg Portland, Oregon
Oy, you do have narrow feet! You mention a lot of shoe makers that are known for boots that fit as many feet as possible.
LL Bean Cresta Hiker
Still, you do have a couple of decent choices. If your Vasque Sundowners were a boot you liked, then what youre after is a midweight boot for day hikes and light backpacking. Fair enough? If so, then you might take a look at L.L. Beans venerable Cresta Hiker in the all-leather version ($179; llbean.com). These are a classic, high-cut hiking boot, great for backpacking but perfectly fine for a day hike. And they come in widths, including B for narrow feet. So you might find that these work great. I have moderately low-volume feet myself, and I find the regular width in the Cresta fits me just fine.
A shoe that doesnt come in widths but has a narrow fit is the La Sportiva Halite ($150; sportive.com). Sort of a mid-height boot, the Halite still has good support for heavier trekking, plus a Gore-Tex liner. Its very light and nimbleyoull feel like you have ballet slippers on. Try La Sportivas Trango Trek GTX ($170) as well. I have a pair of the somewhat similar Trango S Evo GTX ($285) and find them comfortably narrow. Both are built on the same last.
You also can pursue different fitting strategies. Look for boots that use Euro sizing, such as Scarpa and La SportivaI know, you already haveas those offer smaller increments in sizing. Also, dont be shy about trying a womans boot. They are built the same as the mens boot, but on a narrower last. I, the most-macho Gear Guy, wear womens ski boots because they often fit me better than mens.
Lastly, try after-market retrofits, such as replacing the stock insoles with ones from companies such as Superfeet. Superfeet Orange Premium Insoles ($40; superfeet.com), for instance, are specifically designed to sop up extra space in boots and shoes. So if you find a boot thats close," then a little tweaking with Superfeet might get you where you want to be.
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