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Footwear for longterm outdoor use?

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CX

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 02:55 PM
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What is your ideal footwear for living outdoors in?

In relation to a survival situation there can be a need for different footwear depending on your environment. I am asking this question in relation to long periods spent in the wilderness, wet, muddy environments that may need a more substantial shoe/boot.

There was already a thread on military boots in the weaponry forum... www.abovetopsecret.com...

I thought i'd add this subject to the new survivalist forum as what you wear on your feet can mean the difference between many miles of comfort and a world of pain, blisters or worse.

Personally i think i'd always go with some kind of military style boot. I like the support they give to the ankle and the protection a waterproof pair gives against the elements. I've not tried too many of the boots on the civillian market, anyone any experience of these?

I need to get a new pair anyway and i've been trawling through the different sites recently. I like the Lowa boots, bit pricey but they do make good boots, not sure how they would feel in dryer, hotter weather though?

www.militarykit.com...

I've been on the receiving end of bad feet when they've been subjected to the elements and it's not fun. It's ok being fit and prepared enough to survive, but if your feet are not comfy and your footwear is substandard then forget it.

Anyone who thinks that footwear is not the end of the world when choosing survival equipment should think again. Footcare goes hand in hand with this too, just do a search for conditions such as trench foot and take a look at what could happen if your feet are neglected.

Spare socks and foot powder should always feature in your BOB no matter how good your boots are.

So what is your ideal all round item of footwear for longterm outdoor use? What about ointments, greases, socks? Do you use any of these if out for a long time on your feet?

CX.




posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 03:05 PM
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I've had a pair of Doc Martens that have carried me over 20 states on foot and held up wonderfully for over 8 years. Good deal, and not much problem with moisture, plus there is the added advantage of the sole support. Like a good military boot with an urban touch - no wonder all the bobbies in England wear those guys.

For warmer weather, you won't catch me without a pair of all-terrain Teva sandals. Rough, tough and hold up well through the abuse.

Never used ointments, and usually you'll catch me with warm wool and cotton socks.

Only had one serious case of boot rot, and that was when I kept those Doc on for over two weeks straight due to that particular portion of the hike. No real time to let my feet air out, my neglect and not the boot.

Enjoy your walks.





[edit on 14-12-2006 by GENERAL EYES]



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 04:34 PM
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I am a survival instructor I prefer jungle combat boots. they dry fast, have little dranage valves and the keep ur feet from over heating. they are good for general use but for coulder terrain I would go with the standard issue military gor-tex boot. I always were wool socks.

[edit on 14-12-2006 by The_Smokeing_Gun]



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 04:43 PM
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Gortex boots? why?

That makes no sense if your gonna have a nice warm boot, and when you get a wet foot, the lining won't allow your feet to expel the water because the gortex keeps it in..

Boots for jobs. For snow, I have prologic therma armour 4 boots ( beautiful for long time out in the cold) For the hot weather I agree on junglies (even in the sand never wear sandals as a case of upper foot sunburn is devastating)

For water areas I have a pair of surf shoes. Corrosion resistant and light as a feather, and you can swim easy in them. For wet hilly weather niether snow or sun, well, I have the good old british assault boot.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 09:53 PM
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While these are good suggestions, Don't we have to assume that eventually ANY footware will wear out/ break? What can we come up with to make out of naturally occuring materials? Leather from animal hides I would suppose, which may require some tanning?



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 12:17 AM
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I worked my way through college (and student loan payoffs) on ranches. Outdoors, all day every day. The lowest low I remember was 12.

I wore redwing work boots. Cheap, reliable protection. I replaced them once a year.


In cold weather, I have some rubber up to ankle hight, insulated knock-offs of a much more expensive military boots. They work great (I still wear them duck-hunting). I think they cost me 60 bucks or so, about 10 years ago.

Of course, most have you have figured out from reading my survival posts that my fetish is making do with inexpensive things, and using having whatever is most useful, rather than whatever is "best," as in most expensive.

The worst boot is one that the wearer has not bothered to break in properly. New boots suck, and I don't care who ya are. A cheap boot that has conformed to your foot (or for which you've discovered how many pairs of socks to wear) is more valuable than the "special forces" boot that brings blisters after a morning's walk over rough country.

Sometimes I fear for all the survivalists, who will wake up on the morning of the day after, and find themselves in brand new boots, with expensive packs on their backs, and ill-fitting high-tech frames, full of space age freeze-dried foods that will give them a tummy ache. And all of their expensive equipment wont protect them when they take a dump and then wipe with poison ivy.



CX

posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 04:03 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft


The worst boot is one that the wearer has not bothered to break in properly. New boots suck, and I don't care who ya are. A cheap boot that has conformed to your foot (or for which you've discovered how many pairs of socks to wear) is more valuable than the "special forces" boot that brings blisters after a morning's walk over rough country.

Sometimes I fear for all the survivalists, who will wake up on the morning of the day after, and find themselves in brand new boots, with expensive packs on their backs, and ill-fitting high-tech frames, full of space age freeze-dried foods that will give them a tummy ache. And all of their expensive equipment wont protect them when they take a dump and then wipe with poison ivy.



Excellent points there


This is why it is so important to use your gear regularly before you finally have to for real. Go camping in the forest for a few days in the woods, practise a few of the techniques mentioned here and see how you get on with it.

It's ok killing an animal for food if you really had to, but could you prepare it safely? Could you kill it even? That might sound stupid but i've seen soldiers who have flatly refused to kill a rabbit on survival courses when the time came because they could'nt stomach it.

Same for the comment about breaking in boots. Most modern boots are pretty comfy already so half the battle is one already, but you still need to break them in.

Best way i found to break in the harder boots such as the brit combat highs was a few river runs follwed by tons of dubbin or polish rubbed in to soften them up quick.

I would always go for Gore-Tex lined boots here but then again i do live in the UK, not the sunniest, dryest and hottest place on the planet


I agree that it's not ideal having wet feet inside Gore-Tex boots, then again basic footcare routines should include not putting wet feet in boots unless it's really neccessary.

Making natural footwear from the natural resources is an excellent thing to learn. Not that i've done this but i'm sure i could knock some up if needed.

CX.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 04:41 AM
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I guess it depends where you're living, but if snow and ice isn't involved, wouldn't bare feet or sandals be be the best long term option? Zero risk of trench foot for a start! The feet soon toughen up... and we evolved without shoes over millions of years..

Of course in some environments this may be impractical, but if it's warm enough to have bare hands, it's warm enough for bare feet.

This from an all year round urban sandal wearer..



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 07:29 AM
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I remember seeing somewhere that using old tire treads for the bottoms of shoes works well. I guess when the time came to repair worn soles, this might do.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by nowthenlookhere
I guess it depends where you're living, but if snow and ice isn't involved, wouldn't bare feet or sandals be be the best long term option? Zero risk of trench foot for a start! The feet soon toughen up... and we evolved without shoes over millions of years..

Of course in some environments this may be impractical, but if it's warm enough to have bare hands, it's warm enough for bare feet.

This from an all year round urban sandal wearer..




Brit, right? Are you a hobbit???



Which is why I carry leather gloves, here in the desert SW of the USA.

Scorpions are fairly nasty here, not to mention ticks and rattlesnakes. The German word for glove is . . . "Handschuh." Yes, a "hand-shoe." Kind of gives you a different perspective on it . . .



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by CX

It's ok killing an animal for food if you really had to, but could you prepare it safely? Could you kill it even? That might sound stupid but i've seen soldiers who have flatly refused to kill a rabbit on survival courses when the time came because they could'nt stomach it.

CX.


This belongs on another thread, but I had to follow that thought. Yes, I've been hunting since I was 10. I'm still grinding my own burger from the deer I got this season. It's on again, off again work, since it takes a lot of work to sterilize the kitchen first. The wife says anyone who can make their own burger is probably capable of mass murder, so I think she'd echo your thoughts about MOST people not being ready to kill, even an animal.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Brit, right? Are you a hobbit???


yup... (to the Brit question!), not sure on the other, I think I'm a little too tall.




Scorpions are fairly nasty here, not to mention ticks and rattlesnakes.


Nasty.. thankfully there's nothing really dangerous here apart from Adders, the UK's one and only poisonous animal. I guess it DOES depend on ones location..


niv

posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 10:10 AM
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I'm curious what people do who live in places with harsh winters. It seems like two choices would be required at a minimum: an insulated boot for winter and lighter shoes for the rest of the year. Then what do you do about level of insulation? Do you go heavily insulated (over 1,000) or go lower to 400/600 and sock up?



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
The wife says anyone who can make their own burger is probably capable of mass murder, so I think she'd echo your thoughts about MOST people not being ready to kill, even an animal.

Except for half the people here in wisconsin, lol. Wisconsin will be one state that never falls easy with 2.5 million avid outdoorsmen. But back on topic, I have had the same pair of Rocky's for five year with good ankle support and a good balance on insulation. I have heavier boots and I have lighter ones but these just always seem to be the ones i take out. Though on long sits, if its colder that 10F, as it often can be during the second half of bow season, gun, and late season bow, Then I do need to either take boot covers with or wear my heavy boots.
Back off topic, if you want osama caught, just send in Wisconsin's deer hunting grounds, practically every square inch of Wisconsin is stomped and driven in the first day of gun season.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 10:54 AM
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This has been a big challenge for me in BC's consistently wet environment. I have a great mid-range $ pair of hiking boots...water proof and fairly warm, but heavy! Going barefoot is not an option LOL.

Like the Dr. I have to make do with the less expensive or second hand treasures I can find. Footwear is no exception.

I picked my boots, because of the sole, the waterproof factor, and the price. They are well broken in as well but it was no fun getting them to that comfy state...more than a few painful short hikes before they were broken in.

Woolen socks are a must...but again I'm dealing with an already existing moisture issue. So keeping things dry and rot free is going to be a real challenge. Until we hit a higher elevation anyway or further into the interior where it's a bit dryer.

I have a lighter pair of shoes, good tread, breathable and quasi-waterproof, for summertime weather.

My daughter has the same footwear.

I had meant to check the surplus military stores here and see about getting wet weather footwear but still the prices are a bit out of my range. So I think I'll be sticking with my relatively cheap footwear choices.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 12:52 PM
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the single best boot i have ever wore - and wore them a lot over an 8 year period was a pair of rigid Raichle Boots. all leather hiking boots. thick leather, and tougher than nails.
once broken in, they were the most comfortable shoe/boot/covering i have ever had on my feet. period. even rode my dirtbike with them over that 8 year period, AND worked as a bartender in them. standing up all night.
amazing product. -- note: these aren't the "tech" textile boots of today, these things were HEAVY leather. (and water-proof)



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 12:57 PM
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I'd think that the issue with a survivalist situation is, what boots are going to last the longest? Because you can't replace them in a survivalist situation (as in, society has falled apart, end of the world, etc).

So you'd have to eliminate anything that doesn't stand up to a good couple of years of rough wear and tear, and choose something that can last a lifetime, no?



That makes no sense if your gonna have a nice warm boot, and when you get a wet foot, the lining won't allow your feet to expel the water because the gortex keeps it in..

But in a survivalist situation, you're going to have time to stop, take off the boots, put your feet up and let them dry out. But things become worse if the boot can't repel water for the short times that you have to slog through water and cold, no?

[edit on 15-12-2006 by Nygdan]



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 01:33 PM
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Well, no sorry, a good heavy leather boot is great aka british assault boot - Tough, waterproof leather - great all year round footwear. But heres the thing - if water gets in, well its expelable via the foots natural motion and heat, and the leather can soak up some and dry out. A gortex inner lining to a boot will never allow water out, so if you have to go on the lam for extended periods, and stopping a luxury, gortex is not the way to go.

But if gortex is your thing, then gortex is your thing. Me, a heavy leather boot and some dubbing is required for extended wet periods.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

So you'd have to eliminate anything that doesn't stand up to a good couple of years of rough wear and tear, and choose something that can last a lifetime, no?



That would be the ideal. I suspect that NO good footwear will last more than a year or two, worn constantly. I just don't know if it's possible. But then, I'm not working outdoors, and haven't in a decade.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 10:43 PM
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I have had the same pair of leather boots for over 13 years of constant abuse( I live in Michigan, so they have gone through all weather types). I bought them for 35$ at Meijer's and used bear fat to water proof them( at least once a year to be safe). I have found alot of the expensive boots that I have got over the years die out on me, but my cheap all leather boots still keep going. The boots can be adjusted for any weather type by using the proper type of socks/combinations. For extreme wet weather I wear "seal skins" brand water proof socks with a liner sock to wick any foot moisture out the top. The rest of the time I use wool hiking socks from the local outdoors outfitter.
As far as a shoe goes, I go with shoes made by The North Face. I bought a pair of hiking/climbing shoes for 185$ 6 years ago. I stll use them to work in.....although they are starting to look ratty.





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