I mentioned this somewhere else, but I did my first big hiking excursion this last weekend. Went to Ricketts Glen State Park in PA, did about 10 miles of hiking including navigating an awful lot of rocky slopes to weave around the falls. It was a bit dangerous - two out of four people (not me!
) had minor falls because they got a bit overconfident and weren't wearing good shoes - but a great experience. Definitely looking forward to planning more hikes this summer.
Equipment question: I did the hike in a pair of these Keen Newport sandals
which were great for getting into the water and climbing around under the various falls. The things are waterproof and my feet were fine to just continue hiking. They also fit your feet fairly tightly and have closed toes.
But for more serious hiking boots, anticipating some mud etc. but not submerging the shoes, what do you guys like for boots? These
look really good to me (not sure if I need the Gore-Tex version) but I don't even understand the difference between them. I think the ventilators aren't as waterproof but are more airy for hot hikes.
Considering I've had the Keen sandals for two years and they are still in outstanding shape, I just want to find a more rugged hiking boot for the summer that's going to hold up as well.