Can You Resole Hiking Boots?

Can You Resole Hiking Boots?

Some hiking boots can be resoled, but the vast majority of modern backpacking and hiking boots, hiking mids, trail shoes, and trail runners have to be thrown out when you wear out the soles because they can’t be replaced. With all the focus on sustainability these days, it’s a wonder that this waste doesn’t receive more attention from manufacturers and consumers.

If you want to buck the trend and buy hiking boots that can be resoled or you just like owning gear that can be used for a long time with proper upkeep, you have to buy a boot that’s been designed to be resoled when it’s manufactured. This means buying boots that have an upper half that is durable enough to last through one or more sole replacements. One of the chief reasons that light hiking boots, mid hiking boots, trail shoes, and trail runners can’t be resoled is that their uppers fall apart as quickly as their soles.

This means buying leather, suede, or synthetic hiking boots from companies like Asolo, Danner, Hanwag,  Lowa, Meindl, Scarpa, or Zamberlan that make hiking boots that are designed to be resoled from the get-go. You still have to care for them properly, which we describe below. Here is a list of their most popular resoleable boots, many of which are available in men’s and women’s models.

Make / ModelGenderUpperWeight/PairPrice
Asolo TPS 520 GV EvoM | WLeather4 lbs 2 oz$340
Asolo Drifter Evo GTXM | WSuede2 lbs 11 oz$300
Asolo Landscape GVM | WSuede1 lb 12.2 oz$165
Asolo Falcon GVM | WSuede2 lbs 2.6 oz$240
Asolo Power Matic 200 EVO GVM | WLeather3 lbs 4 oz$350
Danner Mountain Light IIM | WLeather3 lbs 10 oz$380
Danner Mountain TrailMLeather3 lbs$360
Hanwag Banks GTXM | FNubuck2 lbs 12.1 oz$260
Hanwag Stuiben IIMNubuck3 lbs 7 oz$360
Hanwag Tatra Light GTXM | FSuede2 lbs 6.3 oz$275
Lowa Camino GTXMNubuck3 lbs 6.5 oz$325
Lowa MauriaWNubuck2 lbs 12 oz$325
Meindl Vakuum GTXM | WLeather3 lbs$220
Scarpa Kailash Trek GTXM | WSuede2 lbs 11 oz$250
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTXM | WSuede2 lbs 6.4 oz$269
Scarpa SL ActivMLeather3 lbs 8 oz$299
Zamberlan Vioz GTXM | WLeather3 lbs 8 oz$310
Zamberlan Vioz Lux GTX RRM | WLeather3 lbs 9.9 oz$350
Zamberlan Brenva Lite GTX CFMMicrofiber2 lbs 5.4 oz$260

Hiking Boot Care

When purchasing a boot that’s designed to be resolved, you have to take care to maintain it so that it can be resoled when the time comes. The #1 thing to avoid is waterproofing your boots with products that contain mineral or animal oils, including animal grease or beeswax that contain them in their ingredient list. These can make the boot too soft to sew or too slippery to effectively bond to a new sole. Water-based waterproofing spray or gel is fine. Nikwax is a good source of these and one that I use on my own boots.

Most of the hiking boot manufacturers listed above have contracted with a cobbler to do their repairs or will refer you to one. Some, like Danner and Hanwag, do most of this work in-house. The pricing varies depending on the amount of custom work required, but $100 for a simple resole is what you can generally expect. That will save you a little money, but mainly it will help you avoid the process of breaking in new footwear since the uppers will already be broken in.

If you have a good of boots, their uppers can last decades, through multiple resolings. There’s something to be said for wearing the same pair of hiking boots for years. I cut my teeth on leather hiking boots from Raichle, Vasque, and Asolo and I can understand why people would want to wear any of the hiking boots listed above. They’re all really high quality and hiking in a boot like this might really change your hiking footwear preferences.

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9 comments

  1. I hiked in my late teens and early 20’s and wore Raichle. I stopped hiking, because of career until my late 50’s, when I retired. I still have those Raichle, they still fit, but they’re a little too tight now. I bought a pair of Merrell MOAB 2 vent and they lasted about 200 miles, before they were ready for the trash pile.

    I then bought a the Asolo TPS 520 EVO and love them. There is nothing like the feel of a ‘real’ boot.

    Back in 1985, just before I stopped hiking I bought a pair of Raichle Montagna, when REI was discontinuing them. Wisely, I bought a slightly larger size. I still have those boots(in the box) and have kept leather conditioner on them. They’re now a perfect fit. One of these days, I’m going to pull them out and break them in. I just don’t know if my feet can handle a pair of boots that weight 6 pounds(size 11 1/2).

    • Raichle was a subsidiary of Mammut. When Mammut shut down Raichle, they kept making their boots but under the Mammut label instead. I only just discovered this myself.

  2. Crispi Monaco are my favorite boots for everything other than extremely steep and rugged terrain. I wear them every day and if not out on a real hike, I go for a 2.5 mile hike through local woods and roads ever day with a 30 lb pack to keep in shape. Those boots see 800+ Miles per year. I’ve resoled them (Gary’s Shoes, 435-896-4931). The cost is $100 and includes return shipping, so $125 including my shipping out. What I get back is 97% as good as new. I have found that the toe box feels a bit smaller on the resole boots, but that’s not a deal breaker since Crispi has a generous toe box to start with. The resole saves $150 compared to a new set of boots. Enough to purchase a nice Trangia stove or some other gear. I do recommend it from first hand experience.

  3. I discovered the same thing a couple days ago. I looked at Mammut website. I think I’ll stick with the Asolo TPS 520.

  4. There are a lot of inexpensive hiking boots on the market now — Khombu is one example, widely available (Costco, Amazon) for about $30 a pair. These are not the boots you’d want for long-distance hiking (not for the Appalachian Trail), but for short hikes, local walks etc., they are good. The big drawback of most of these is that the sole is glued on with some very low-quality glue. I have tried glueing them back on with Level, and this works quite well. Just be sure to use plenty of Lexel, and then you need to weigh them down or put them in a vise. This works well; give it a try, if the sole is coming loose but otherwise is in good shape.

  5. Dimitrios Kamitsos

    Serious hiking boots can be profesionally resoled by cobblers approved by Vibram ,at least that happens in Europe .Full resoling including new rand (if already in place) costs from 60 to 80 euros and you get an almost new boot already perfectly broken that fits you perfectly.
    Personally i never buy modern boots that cannot be resoled

  6. I had a pair of Brasher HillMaster boots that I loved. Soles eventually wore down so I had them resoled by Brasher.

    It was a dismal failure! The process had made the boots tight and really uncomfortable. I had to bin them.

    So, although the idea of resoleing is attractive, I do wonder about it’s practicality.

    • Probably varies by boot manufacturer and cobbler. I’ve had Vasques and Asolos resoled quite successfully.

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