my gen 1 oakley boots are starting to show their age, but i have been very pleased with them and plan on getting their current production boots. they have a larger footprint and have been good to my ankles by spreading out the shock from jumping and decending down ropes, etc. i dont think they have the support or tread for extended mountaineering ops. i would go for something from north face for that
I picked up a pair of Merrell Sawtooths some weeks ago and used them for two weeks in Tikrit - the sole on the left boot started to seperate from the shoe after one week though. I have emailed Merrell about this but they haven't gotten back to me as of yet.
It all worked out well with the reseller shipping me a new pair to replace the old broken ones. And after wearing them for a month or so in Israel - what happens ? The sole starts to seperate on the right boot just like it did on the old pair.. Superglued it for now, seeing as I don't have the time to sit around waiting for merrell. But I am so buying something else when I get back to the States. Meindl Desert Fox looks alright. Even my old Magnum Amazon Desert's are holding up better than the Merrells I've had so far, doesn't that just take the cake...
Meindl Perfect; Nice boot for winter/mountain ops. Very comfortable but also heavy.
Scarpa Concordia; Good alround boot and very comfortable. Some Dutch soldiers choice.
Salomon Expert Mid; Lightweight ops, I use it more for biking or small summer walks
I also got some dutch army lightweight combat boots. These army 'abuse boots'. More survivalboots then hikingboots to me.
Planning to use
I'm planning to buy a pair of Danner Acadia's. But they are very pricy compare to a Meindl or a Lowa Army boot. The Hanwag Specialforce is also a nice option. With all the options it's hard to make up your mind.
you'll be hard pressed to find a riding boot that you can hike in. I would recommend Ariat bran boots with a low heel or some other lacer style boot. Packers are nice but the heels are pretty high for hiking. Not cheap and always made in leather, never suede.
Sounds fun. What are you doing that intails horseback riding?
I would recommend getting two pairs of boots. One for hiking and getting a cheap pair of low heeled riding boots.
Ariats are usually pretty expensive so I would rule them out. Look for Justin brand boots they make lacers and ropers essentially the same only one is laced up and the other is pull-on. They are more reasonable than other riding boots and you can usually find them used on ebay for cheaper than retail.
I have two pairs of Justin lacers and one pair of Ariats. The Ariats are way better but you can usually find Justin's on ebay for cheaper. I got a pair of Justin's for around $20.
I wouldn't recommend riding in hiking boots or combat style boots. When I was little I used tennis shoes but it was risky and I would strongly recommend against using anything but riding boots with a heel. Your foot will get stuck in the stirrup if you fall off and when you dismount. The horses you'll be riding will probably not run or bolt but you never know, you could get dragged.
I may vouch for the latter mid sized shoe mentioned in the above host. They are of mesh construction however so don't expect them to stand up to too much heavy abuse, but I have found they held up better than I expected to ordinary wear. With any shoe/boot (depends on your definition) meant for hiking once the tread is worn down it loses a significant amount of grip. While I wished to use them for hiking I found I wore them more in the tennis shoe replacement capacity since they were so comfortable, much more comfortable when standing or walking for long periods because of better ankle support.
They are Merrell Mesa Ventilator Mids. I purchased mine from Cabela's B&B for $80 2 years ago. After 2 years the toe box has split away from the base of each shoe on the inward facing side of each shoe and the tread is quite worn down. I need to replace them, time to get used to wearing something else.
EDIT: The above pictured shoe is the Moab, which is almost identical to the Mesa. Perhaps the Moab has a few improvements over the Mesa and would be even better.