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Boot sole blowouts

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Boot sole blowouts
« on: November 03, 2008, 08:26:20 PM »
Moderator note: this topic was split off from the "The Lost Soles Trip" ET trip report.

Serious and unexpected boot problems have happened to others unexpectedly (just ask TexasGirl). Just curious - how old were these boots? Had they been stored in a humid or hot location (like an attic or garage?). Did they show any warning signs? Were they Vibram soles? What a bummer of a way to end a hike. If you had been doing the OML you would have been really seriously in bad trouble. I always keep some duct tape, a needle and heavy thread, and a few other repair items in my safety gear bag when backpacking. You can also use the spine and fiber from a Century Plant in case of emergency but I don't think it would do much if the sole falls apart... TWWG
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 01:45:03 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 09:35:29 PM »
Somewhere on this site you could find a pic of Randell's boot, repaired with an Ace bandage, I believe.
Nope, that'd be me on my November 2005 trip





I felt something wrong with my Vasque boots.Looked down and the heel of the right boot had let go. In the next 30 yards the left heel let go.
Were these glued or stitched? It likely makes little difference. Vasque boots have a 30+ year history of sole failure at the most inopportune times. They may cost as much as some other brands but they are not in the same league of better designed boots such as Asolos. Long ago I had a pair of 'heavy duty' Vasque backpacking boots that failed spectacularly when the stitching let go and the upper was flapping in the breeze over the sole. Like your experience the other boot also failed in the same way a short time later. Haven't touched anything made by Vasque since. I use Asolos for hiking and White's boots for work.
I'm with Presidio on not buying Vasque boots ever again.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 01:49:38 PM by RichardM »

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Offline mule ears

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 07:00:20 AM »
Serious and unexpected boot problems have happened to others unexpectedly...  If you had been doing the OML you would have been really seriously in bad trouble.  I always keep some duct tape, a needle and heavy thread, and a few other repair items in my safety gear bag when backpacking.  TWWG

I had a partners boot (Vasque I think) fall apart once as we were beginning to do the OML luckily it was at Boot Spring so we hobbled back down the trail and had to drive to Alpine to get it fixed (and he bought a spare pair just in case).  I also bring duct tape and a tube of all purpose glue.
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Offline elhombre

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 08:55:38 AM »
"My 10-year-old hiking boots did not survive this trip. While out in the midst of all of the nasty sharp pointy stuff, the sole of one of my boots fell apart."

10-year-old hiking boots in BB  =  bad idea

Would you drive to Big Bend on 10 year old tires?
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline RichardM

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2008, 10:02:46 AM »
"My 10-year-old hiking boots did not survive this trip. While out in the midst of all of the nasty sharp pointy stuff, the sole of one of my boots fell apart."

10-year-old hiking boots in BB  =  bad idea

Would you drive to Big Bend on 10 year old tires?
Some lessons just have to be learned the hard way so others can learn from my mistakes. It's the least I can do.  :icon_wink: The boots were actually in great shape except for the intermediate rubber layer which disintegrated. There weren't any cracks or anything noticeable before the hike. I hadn't really thought about it as being a potential problem, but I sure will in the future.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2008, 10:13:36 AM »
here here on the Vasques!  I thought they were the cat's meow when I first bought them...until the OML got a hold of them.....total and complete crap....about half way down the dodson, they were flip flops

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008, 10:18:45 AM »
My soles blew out within a day of each other, mostly due to age, I think.  Somewhere on this site you could find a pic of Randell's boot, repaired with an Ace bandage, I believe. 

No, it was the duct tape I keep wrapped around the handle of my trowel. Randell didn't have any.
Moderator note: check out Randell's boot.

Folks, always, always, always carry duct tape. Beyond that, I'd recommend carrying a needle and (strong) thread, multi-tool with scissors, safety pins, straight pins, extra shoe laces, and a couple buttons for all but the shortest, levelest hikes.

As for the Vasque issue, I've been hiking in them for years and had no problems. But I agree that hiking in the desert in boots that are at least in the autumn of their years is not the swiftest idea.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 02:25:16 PM by RichardM »
Jeff Blaylock
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Offline dkerr24

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 10:35:29 AM »
I'm glad I read this thread.  I'm leaving on Nov 14th for a week at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Definitely going to inspect my Merrell boots for any sole cracking, and will pack a spare set of boots in the car in case I need to switch.  My spare set of boots are cheap Columbia boots, so I hope I don't have to use them.

Also going to wrap several layers of duct tape around one of my hiking poles just for such an emergency.  And bring a spare set of laces.

Having a sole blow out on the Clear Creek trail (2 day hike back to the rim) would really screw up one's day!  My camp shoes are Teva sandals - definitely not something I'd want to be walking in while lugging a 50lb pack on my back.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 10:45:00 AM by dkerr24 »

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Offline Robert

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2008, 10:45:25 AM »
I've hiked in Vasque for years and while I believe my first pair had the problem with the soles, that was after many years of hiking. My next pair of Vasque boots had a stitched on sole to eliminate this problem but boots with stitched on soles are getting hard to find. I recently bought another pair of boots and while researching them I found out that Vasque boots were bought by Red Wing and are now made in China as opposed to Italy and their quality has suffered.

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Offline dricex

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2008, 11:35:50 AM »
My dad always has the best hiking boot failure stories.  It helps that he is cheap and is doesn't take care of them.  One of my favorite boot failures happened in Smokey Mountain National Park. 

We were a two day hike from the trail head and both his boots got wet.  He decided to dry them by the fire... which is something that shouldn't be done.  In this past this has resulted in melted or burned boots.  To my surprise in the morning his boots were nice and dry and not burnt to a crisp.

He was in for a shock when he put them on.  The boots shrunk...a lot.  In order for him to wear his boots we had to cut the toes off his boots.  He hiked out looking like a homeless man.

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Offline Burn Ban

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2008, 11:47:55 AM »
My soles blew out within a day of each other, mostly due to age, I think.  Somewhere on this site you could find a pic of Randell's boot, repaired with an Ace bandage, I believe. 



Folks, always, always, always carry duct tape. Beyond that, I'd recommend carrying a needle and (strong) thread, multi-tool with scissors, safety pins, straight pins, extra shoe laces, and a couple buttons for all but the shortest, levelest hikes.




great advice.  i find that dental floss is a great heavy-duty thread.

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2008, 12:12:28 PM »
great advice.  i find that dental floss is a great heavy-duty thread.

Yup. Also doubles as dental floss. Personally prefer unwaxed if using as thread.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 01:50:23 PM by RichardM »
Jeff Blaylock
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splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline dkerr24

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2008, 12:43:11 PM »
I wonder if ANY boots are made anyplace but China nowadays?  Both my sets of Tevas, my Merrells, and the cheapo Columbia shoes have the 'made in China' logo stitched on the tongue.

My apologies for helping to take this thread waaay off topic.  It was an excellent reminder for all of us to check our boots and remember to bring along the essentials that one doesn't think about.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 12:50:57 PM by dkerr24 »

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Offline MStav

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Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2008, 01:31:51 PM »
The boots were always stored in a closet in the house.Never exposed to chemicals,put up wet or anything else I can think of that would have made them deteriorate.Maybe just age.  I checked them before I left town and they looked fine.The sole was glued on and just let go. They look like the pair Richard M has in the photo. I have an old pair of lightweight Hi Tech boots that are twice as old and I believe they would have made the trip just fine. Last pair of Vasques for me.
I'm in the market for a new pair. Any recomendations would be welcome.
  I have been going to BIBE since 90 and that is the greenest I have seen it.
Old maverick road was just fine.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Boot sole blowouts
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2008, 01:53:05 PM »
It was the Andromeda Strain!

 


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