My 3-year-old $20 Payless tennis shoes just aren't gonna cut it.
They're great for tennis. I can walk around the neighborhood in them just fine. They are no problem on my elliptical.
But put me on a hiking trail in those bad boys and I'm a slipping, sliding nightmare. I won't even mention the blisters I'm getting. I need a decent pair of hiking boots. I want enough traction to keep me practically glued to the trail.
But there is nothing more daunting than finding a really, really good pair of hiking shoes for a really big hike, especially if you want to spend less than an arm and a leg. The main problem is each time I think I've found a good shoe for a good price, I picture myself hiking the Grand Canyon, and I panic.
What if they're not good enough? What if I try to break them in, only to discover they aren't any good and I have to start all over? What if I get halfway down the canyon, and they're so bad that I'm wishing for my 3-year-old $20 Payless tennis shoes??
I've been practically everywhere.
Big 5 Sports -- good prices, but horrible customer service that has made me vow (twice, so far) to never go back.
Dick's Sporting Goods -- if you need running shoes, they have a million. If you need hiking shoes, they have zero.
Target -- yes, I even looked at Target. Yes, I even tried on their boys' hiking shoes. And yes, I think my toe will rub in them too much.
And I've been on every web site imaginable, even though in the back of my mind, I know I could never order shoes without trying them on and walking up and down several aisles.
I have 11 weeks left to find them, afford them, and break them in before I head up north.