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I've had limited success finding hiking boots that really fit me. Therefore, I'm thinking about custom-made ones.

But, I'm not sure how to think through this decision. What are the advantages and disadvantages? At a first order, it seems they would be "better fit" and "extremely expensive" (i.e., pushing $1000 for a pair), respectively, but it seems there should be more nuance than that.

In my case, the main uses will be dayhiking, often off-trail in rugged terrain, and backpacking a few times a year.

  • Hiking boots are available in narrow and wide sizes, e.g., I own a pair of Asolo boots in a wide size. What is it about your foot that's unusual? Is it the width? – Ben Crowell Apr 12 '15 at 17:13
  • I think the key thing is width — my feet are pretty narrow. There seem to be many options in wide men's boots, but I haven't found any narrow ones. – Reid Apr 12 '15 at 17:21
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What nuances are you referring to? If you have an atypical foot shape you of course will be able to get a good fit in a custom-made boot. If it's made by a shoemaker who knows what he is doing it should be a lot more durable too. In contrast the high price.

What nuances besides quality (fit, durability) and price are there? Maybe the time it takes to get the custom-made boot done. But to be honest that's not an interesting fact if you think of the time searching a good fitting boot bought off the shelf.

You could compare it to a handmade suit. It's expensive but of very high quality. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth the money.

Edit:

Hanwag, Lowa are in general narrow in width, so are the italian shoes from e.g. La Sportiva, Scarpa, Asolo. You could also try ladies version which are narrow.

  • Nuances being for example, are there any gotchas? Are people genuinely happy with their custom boots? If I'm going to spend nearly a grand on shoes, I want a high probability of being satisfied. – Reid Apr 12 '15 at 17:23
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    The thing with custom boots is they make sure you're satisfied. They just keep modifying them untill you are. – ShemSeger Apr 12 '15 at 18:26

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