Re: durability felt vs rubber?
I've owned 2 pairs of felt boots that I also hiked in. I didn't have them long then I bought a pair of LL Beans Aquastealths studded in 1998. I've fished and hiked with them often and have grown to trust them. Last July I was hiking down to the Gunnison River of the Black Canyon in Colorado. It was 4.5 miles downhill over hard, sharp rock trails with a 45lb pack. At mile 2 my Salomon boots (of 7 years with little mileage) delaminated. I used fishing line as a repair for about 1/4 mile and lost the whole sole. Not long after my other sole also delaminated and I finished the last 3 miles on the lasts. I knew my wading boots had worked before but not with a backpack. I hiked that 4.5 mile trail uphill with the studded Aquastealths and hiking poles in 2 hrs and never noticed a difference since they weighed as little as the Salomons. I saw no damage to the studs or treads of either boot after this adventure and I was amazed that the studs did not hamper me the least bit. I'm getting a newer and larger pair this March-also LL Bean Studded Aquastealth Gray Ghosts. Money well spent!