The Banff Pro
The Banff Pro

Who makes backpacking boots in wider sizes?

I'm looking for solid backpacking boots that come in wide sizes and that will work for someone with thick feet and high insteps. The Asolo TPS 520 looked/felt good but has stitching and folds on the liner booty that seem to chafe quickly. I also looked into the Meindl Perfekt 7, which does not have a liner booty but seems to be indefinitely back-ordered from its sole U.S. distributor, Cabela's. Any other suggestions? Do you think the liner stitches and folds will smooth out over time? Barr Albuquerque, NM

The Banff Pro

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I shouldn’t think the linings of the Asolo TPS 520 ($250) would be an issue, Barr. Do you mean to say you wore a pair on some trips and had some issues? Or it felt as if you might after a brief try-out? Between your foot and the Gore-Tex booty, the Asolos have a layer of fabric called Cambrelle, which is very common in boots these days. I have several pairs of boot with Cambrelle liners, and can’t say I’ve had any problem with them. And Asolo isn’t a marginal boot-maker; they’re top-drawer.

The Banff Pro The Banff Pro

You might take a look at the Lowa Banff Pro ($280). Like the Asolo boots, these are heavy-duty boots meant to offer a lot of support and foot protection. No Gore-Tex inner booty, which I don’t think makes any difference in a well-made boot such as this. But they do have leather liners, which are the premium thing. Leather takes a bit longer to break in, but when it does, it’s a custom-molded boot. Bee-yoo-ti-ful. The Banff Pros do not come in widths, but they’re a hefty boot.

Meanwhile, try Cabela’s again. They seem to have the Meindl Perfekt ($200) in stock. It’s a nice-looking boot, with cork footbeds, full-grain leather uppers, and a Gore-Tex liner.

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