Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pacific Mountain Outdoor

Honestly, this review (yeah, this is a review - disclaimer alert!) took me a while to write. Not because I didn't love the boots, but because I couldn't quite find my voice. I kept feeling like I sounded less than authentic. I found a hiking boot review on another blog, and set out to make mine pretty, and fancy like theirs. And then I thought - whaaaat? Why would I do that!? I'm not fancy. I don't have a $5,000 camera, and I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to snapping pics. I'm a self proclaimed frugal-ista, and hate spending money that I don't have to. But, what I do know is hiking.

If you've been around here for more than 5 minutes, you know hiking is my jam. You know it's one of Mr. Sass and I's favorite things to do, and our preferred method of exploring new places - obviously followed by eating.

But - serious confession. For as much as I hike, and as many big hikes as I've done, I'm a big baby when it comes to crossing creeks. My confidence is pretty low when it comes to hopping over rocks quickly to make it across creeks. Which, makes my life twice as hard because rocks tend to shift and sink the longer your weight is on them. My fear stems from the totally unrealistic vision that I might fall, hit both my front teeth on a rock and require serious dental work. Far from likely, but a strong enough fear to mean more often than not my feet get wet when I attempt to cross a creek.

In the summer, it's no big deal. Actually - I usually relish a chance to get my feet wet. In the winter though? It's a totally different story. Rarely on our winter hikes is the water frozen enough to WALK on. Instead the rocks are just more slippery, which accelerates my fear that I'll fall & bust all my teeth out. I have big, clunky, serious winter hiking boots. And they definitely have their purpose. Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro? Yeah. Get out those heavy winter boots. But what about when there is little to no snow on the ground - no need to wear a boot meant for trekking through snow. All you'll be doing is lugging around weight you don't need.

What I've lacked for a while was a middle ground. I have my clunky hiking boots for crazy winter weather, and I've got my lightweight hiking shoes for easy summertime hikes. But I was missing something in-between, something with ankle support, but lightweight if I was going to lug it around on my feet all day and something waterproof.

Cue Pacific Mountain Outdoor.

| side note | When I first went to write this review I was alarmed that there was mud all over my boots. Wait, what? Yeah. You read that right. Trying to be like other bloggers, all fancy, and clean. Like, of course there is mud on my boots, I hiked in them. Like actual hikes. Where there was dirt, and mud, and sticks, and trees I climbed over. Like in the woods. Where there are hiking trails.

When Pacific Mountain reached out to me on Instagram, I did a little research & decided that we would be a great fit. I was offered a pair of boots at no charge - in exchange for my honest review.

I instantly picked out the Moraine. It's waterproof, fairly lightweight - especially compared to a big hiking boot, and well priced. While 5 years ago I would have scoffed at the price, one pair of bad shoes will quickly change your mind. One of the worst things that can happen to a hiker is to be miles away from the car, or your destination, only to feel a blister forming. I will gladly pay for quality shoes to save my feet.

The bed of the boot is made of memory foam, which feels a little rigid when you first put your foot in, but instantly warms from the heat of your foot, and then forms to it. I loved that these didn't feel like they would need to be broken in. They were ready to wear right away.

I know a lot of you are newer to hiking - or even total novices, but are interested in learning more. So here's a few things to know when buying boots.

1. Think of hiking boots like you would running shoes, or other specialty shoes. While you could hike many trails in regular old tennis shoes they lack the stability and grip that hiking specific boots will have. They also lack ankle support and rigid bottoms which can be nice on uneven or rocky terrain. 

2. In that same vein, hiking boots are not a one size fits all. What works for my foot may not work for your foot. This is why boot brands have different styles and cuts of boot. Don't be afraid to try several different styles or sizes if you're unsure what will fit best. Pacific Mountain Outdoor has free shipping both ways! Which, truly, is my criteria for buying shoes // clothing online. Buy a pair! And worst case, if they don't fit, you're able to return them, no problem.

The first few (okay, first 5 months...) were pretty much all consumed with wedding planning. Or going places for wedding related events. And while I don't regret one second of it (okay, I do regret the amount of time spent stressing about wrinkly tablecloths) I feel like I haven't soaked up nearly enough sunshine and fresh air yet this year.

You know one of my July goals was to spend more time outside. So bring on the hiking! There are lots of new to me trails on The Sass' must hike list. Not to mention, anytime someone hikes a new trail, they make sure to ask if we've been there yet. And if we haven't? It goes on the list. Needless to say, we are not short on places to explore this summer.

I'll have posts up in the next few weeks about what's in my daypack when I'm out hiking, some hiking basics, and some of my favorite Pittsburgh area trails for you local folks! Starting with my Mill Creek MetroPark review!

What's a fairly unrealistic fear of yours?
When was the last time you bought new hiking boots?

Linking up with Amanda to share.


  1. Lets plan a hike soon, please! I wish I felt I hiked enough to buy hiking shoes, cause they definitely come in handy & are better than my running shoes. I love these hiking posts of yours! Glad you are getting back in the groove of blogging.. hiking is your jam, so might as well write about it!

  2. i don't hike but if i did, i would trust your review over a pretty fancy one. i know you like hiking and this seems like a regular post from you, that's how authentic it is. you go girl.

  3. i LOVE hiking but the ticks this summer are out of control. all this rain has increased the tick population at my fav trails by 30% so environment canada is warning residents to watch out for ticks and get tested for lyme disease :( boo.

  4. I feel you on the creek fear - I am totally the same. Because I'm so clumsy I feel like my fear is warranted though haha.


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