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Camping Boots

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:03 pm
by The Twizzler
So I am going camping at the end of October and spending 2 days out in the wilds. I went last year and the shoes I wore while they looked the part were not great. Since I am in TN I expect a lot of hills and mud. I will have a pack weighing around 30 lbs but I am not in the best shape :( . Also, I have pretty big feet size 15 and a width of 4E so options are already limited. It's also gotta be > $100.00 or close to it and good in 35-70 degree weather. Any help from the hive mind would be much appreciated as I don't know where to start.

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:05 am
by taipan821
for the international...what is the weather like in TN around when you're going.

I've walked up and down muddy hills in rain wearing trail runners. best suggestion I can give you is look for a vibram sole.

more ctitical, is testing out the boots, if you can try to slide your foot with the boot on a wet surface, harder it is, better wet weather grip

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:03 am
by flybynight
How about Muck boots ? Or are you looking for more of a hiking / tactical style boot?

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:31 pm
by woodsghost
I'm thinking tennis shoes with good wool socks. 3 pairs. 2 to wear while hiking (switch out every 2 hours or as they get damp) and 1 to sleep in.

I think boots for support start being necessary when pack weight is over 40 lbs, or if hiking a long distance.

How far ARE you hiking?

To tiapan821: mountains. Temps around 5-20* C? I need a calculator :lol: Can get wet.

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:34 pm
by The Twizzler
Well, Tennessee is in the mid south not the deep south so it stays pretty warm (you are gonna sweat) in the day to chilly at night (need at least a jacket). At this time of year don't have to worry about snow. We have year round high humidity levels and in the part of the state I am in it's mostly hills. I need something that has good traction for climbing up those moist hills and moderate padding to keep my feet from hurting ( yes I'm a wimp :lol: ). I am gonna spend 2 days there so anywhere from 10-15 miles. It's not very far as the crow flies but did I mention all the wet hills. Last year I had to climb some hills 2-3 times because I kept sliding down.

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:40 pm
by The Twizzler
I think I'm good on socks I have three pairs of wool socks (Vermont Darn Tough) along with two pair of nylon foot sheathes. I don't remember the real name but you wear it under the sock and it lets your foot breathe and prevents itchiness.

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:42 pm
by woodsghost
So what I'm hearing is 5-8 miles there, stop and hang out, then 5-8 miles back.

In my experience traction is not much different between boots and shoes if the land is muddy. But I should be clear about some things.

Shoes: old shoes suck. If you wear your shoes daily then after about 3 months the rubber breaks down and your feet start hurting again. This happens to both expensive and cheap shoes. There are tricks to extending the life of your shoes, but for the purposes of camping and sore feet, I would buy a $30 pair of athletic shoes and not worry much. The rubber will not be worn or broken down. The cushion inside will be fresh. And you don't have to spend $100 for boots.

A better option may be to get better quality shoes that won't risk the stitching falling apart and just call those your hiking shoes. That way the rubber is always good and ready for more miles. Most people I know with your sized feet don't buy shoes very often because it is difficult and expensive.

I'm stuck on shoes because I don't think you need to spend $100 to go 15 miles.

For padding and shoes I think you will get more joy out of socks with a sock liner rather than actual thick padding. Wearing actual sock liners or dress socks are what I've done. An old trick I will try someday is to use nylon stockings. Changing socks every hour or two reduces moisture and therefore reduces the chance of blisters. Having a sock liner of some sort really helps reduce friction. But if you are going 5-8 miles, just wear a pair of socks with liner, change at camp, change at night, and by morning your first 2 pairs could probably be pressed into service again for the return trip if they were allowed to dry overnight. I'm glad you already have the gear you need there.

Using shoes, especially athletic shoes, will reduce moisture buildup, and that will be useful.

For boots: I actually don't know where to find boots in your size and I just don't know that the utility will be better than simple basic foot management and care.

Foot powder can be nice to manage friction and moisture. Foot powder can manage friction in other places too. It can also get EVERYWHERE in a pack. Ask me how I know... (A patch of duct tape can reduce leaking till it loses its sticky).

But these are just my experiences. I'd love to see what others say. I'm always learning from the people here.

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:12 pm
by The Twizzler
Thanks for the help Woodsghost. Yea, those nylon liners are a god send. I bought them off amazon and they are worth every penny. They weren't even expensive. Last year I went camping around the same time and made some equipment mistakes. I made adjustments and am gonna be better prepared but with my size feet it's pricey for shoes and hit or miss on fit. I could order online but for obvious reasons I prefer to try on a hiking shoe before buying.

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:39 pm
by woodsghost
Ok. With that kind of experience, it makes more sense why you want boots.

In short, my boots experience is limited.

My wife loves Keens, and I seem to remember Woods Walker saying he really likes them. He will have to correct me if I'm wrong.

I love USMC RAT boots. I own 3 pairs, one of which I've worn out. I buy them super cheap. Honestly, they were overkill and I was not using them as designed or to their full potential until I started doing 2-6 hours on my feet with 50-65 lbs on my back. Then I had to learn to lace them right and learn what exactly "foot support" really means. Prior to that I could have worn athletic shoes and been just fine. But I wore boots and wore them wrong and did just fine because there was no real stress.

I used to wear super cheap no name boots from surplus stores and thought they were great. They worked well because I never put real stress on them. I thought I did, but I now understand they were light duty boots. More like extra tall tennis shoes. In my experience, there is a world of difference between 3-6 miles with 20 lbs and 6 miles with 60 lbs. The latter really requires support.

But then every body is different.

In my experience anything by Danner is worth getting. My experience with another big name is less happy, but I only bought the one set of boots from them, so maybe I got a lemon.

These are just my limited experiences and loud opinions.

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:23 pm
by Beowolf
I'm a Merrell boot fan for about anything hiking related. Sale prices can get to your $100 mark, though perhaps not with your size needs.

The only other boot I have experience with is Magnum. I swear by them as affordable, effective, and mostly budget friendly. They are more along the lines of industrial/work boots and tactical/duty boots. But they have waterproof and insulated models from low top to 8" shank.

Re: Camping Boots

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:36 am
by Asymetryczna
I admit I laughed at first when I read on a forum about preparations for survival or potential nasty situations and you asked about what to wear for 2 days of camping. Additionally, the mention of your shoe size made me want to encourage you to not go barefoot in Ten. because someone may come across your track (15/EEEE) and want to make a reality TV Show about Bigfoot sightings. Then I realized you were serious. So. I will be too. Either you are a hobbit or you are a big man. I mean no harm or ill will with my bluntness; read on.

I'm thinking you probably have a difficult time finding shoes that you like in your size to begin with since production and sales are based on a mean determined by averages across regions. And sales. That out of the way, New Balance makes some great walking shoes that fit well and can be worn across uneven terrain and are within your price range. Worn with a thick sock over the calf and laced properly, I think you would enjoy the comfort and fit. I have a very largish schoolteacher friend that did a long and muddy canal walk with me last year. He really liked these: so I texted him after reading your email and asked him if he ever bought a pair of boots. He is 14 EE. This is the link he replied with: ... 012126.htm. He said to order a half size larger.

You already have the liner and absorbent outer sock part. Personally, I never use powder until I have stopped movement. For instance, if I am in camp the rest of the day I will use powder, if needed, and a dry sock; otherwise, it acts as an abrasive irritant. Because my feet sweat a lot, if I am doing a long movement and carrying weight I use Vaseline. This wicks the moisture into the liner and outer sock while conforming them into whatever shape your foot needs inside of the shoe. The most important thing in trying them out before you go is to stop and fix whatever bothers you because there are few things worse than trying to tough it out when your feet hurt.

Slipping and sliding is no fun so consider the soles but also be mindful of where and how you place your foot. I also suggest finding a good branch with some life in it and cutting it to serve as a staff. I almost always carry one and if it serves me well I bring it home and add it to the collection. Think of it this way: One never sees Gandalf slip or slide and consider the things Moses was able to do.

The problem I have with clothing (and shoes especially) is that I prefer to try them on first. In fact, I have a strong bias in this regard. The internet links I provided does not make this easy.

Seriously, I hope this helps some. Walking is important to me.