Boots for really long walks

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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woodsghost
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Boots for really long walks

Post by woodsghost » Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:17 am

Just curious what y'all's experience and thoughts are on an idea.

I'm interested in long walks...or patrols....in a zombie infested world. But I've been thinking about foot care in such a land. Most of my experience with long walks has been using USMC RATS boots. I have worn out/destroyed 1 pair, worn out pair 2, and I'm wearing down pair #3. So I've been thinking about using boots, foot care, and difficult circumstances.

I'm thinking specifically about long walks with a pack and rifle in more rural areas. Similar enough to hunting, camping, exploring, patrolling, or any other activity which might reasonably be done in a world gone crazy.

Some of the foot care advice I got was to clip toe nails strait, wear thick or thin wool socks, use teatree oil or powders as needed to manage moisture and fungal issues.

I've been dealing with a lot of dew in the mornings when going off trail. I've also been dealing with water obstacles and living in boots after getting those pretty wet. Of course one can deal with this by changing socks, by using gortex boots, or by toughing things out. I have noticed that the foot sweat also causes issues with moisture control, both in warm and cold climates.

I was thinking last night that the Altama canvas/leather jungle boot with thicker wool socks and maybe mesh insoles in the bottom would do a lot to ensure dry feet or at least feet which quickly dry when they get wet with dew, river crossings, and rid themselves of sweat easily.

I'm not interested in gortex right now because I don't feel they ventilate well and capture sweat and create as much problem as they solve. But...I have not used gortex boots much and maybe I'm wrong. I tend to think of gortex boots being good for short durations (24 hrs) or when there is constantly more water outside of the boot than inside the boot (constant raining means more environmental moisture than comes from sweating). But I'm open to being wrong.

Anyway, I'm curious what other foot care tips people care to share and what people think might be a terrific sock/boot combo for rough days, unpredictable terrain, and the dead walking.

Thanks!
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RonnyRonin
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Re: Boots for really long walks

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:19 am

I tend to stay away from goretex boots as well (except they are so much easier to find used and cheap, so only when I can). Goretex in boots is really destined to fail; WPB membranes need to be cleaned to work properly and the constant repeated flexing in same spots further dooms them to early failure. Goretex boots are often warmer and dryer initially but by trapping sweat you end up with colder feet in the end. In some snowy conditions I've had better luck with thin synthetic socks and mesh trail runners (defeet aireaters and la sportiva mutants usually), I can't yet explain it but it seems to work. some trips I've managed to walk my socks dry after slushy snow, sometimes I've had to put awful smelling wet socks in my sleeping bag at night to dry.

Something I recommend trying to almost anyone who will listen is waterproof socks, some people have good luck with the sealskins, but I like taller woven socks like the kokatat launch socks (I haven't used them, but a homemade version that was similar). works for shallow water crossings and eliminates any need for a gaiter. The main thing is they can be left off the 80%+ of the time you don't need waterproofing on your feet and thrown on easily when needed; the other big advantage is they can be cleaned, and replaced periodically as needed, without scrapping a whole boot. The overall shoe system will dry much faster as well since you can separate the layers.

With few exceptions (mukluks or double boots in deep winter) I have pretty much switched to mesh trail runners for every outdoor pursuit, either la sportiva mutants or bushidos. They are "mountain running" shoes which means aggressive tread and decently tough uppers; as with any eva midsoled shoe they are somewhat consumable but the lifespan has been quite good for me and the frequent local sales mean I can stay a few pairs ahead. As a friend of mine is fond of saying strong ankles and good biomechanics is the best ankle support money can buy, and I have virtually eliminated blister issues by switching from boots to shoes.
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RGR SNAPLINK
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Re: Boots for really long walks

Post by RGR SNAPLINK » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:29 am

Like the Ronny Ronin (hey Luke, long time), I stay away from Gore. In the summers I like a variant of the jungle boot, currently for me its the Salomon Forces version. Fall and spring in Oregon I wear Scarpa Kenesis, which have become my favorite boot hands down. THey have a gore liner I believe, but are all leather so I mitigate moisture by using leather treatment in the form of Snow Seal. In the winter I have to be very careful as I have an old frostbite injury from the Army that plagues my left big toe, so its extra socks and insoles for me and 400gm Thinsulate insulated Kennetreks that I got on sale years ago. Again, I use Snow Seal on them too, and try to keep my movements slow and deliberate as to not sweat.
I have a pair of Rocky waterproof socks I keep in my winter overnight kit, for much the same reasons mentioned above. I like to throw them on for a mid-night piss as well when snow is on the ground and I don’t feel like putting the boots on I’m drying by the stove.
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Re: Boots for really long walks

Post by Dragon80 » Wed Dec 25, 2019 4:06 am

I'd say it all depends on climate and type of use overall. I personally love Salomon goretex boots and that's primarily what I use. I go with a 3D shank based on how much I normally ruck (heaviest 60-90lbs range) otherwise I would go with their 4D for more stiffness when carrying even heavier. I do have a set of their jungle boots for the middle of the summer, but still prefer their GTX. I don't think all goretex material and boot makers are created equal, I have tried half a dozen others and none last as long as Salomon nor maintain their waterproof'ness. My first Salomon Comet 3D GTX boots lasted 3 years or so and over 1,000 miles of use which was a majority on trails with 25+lbs on my back. They are still going, but they lost waterproofing at the bend of the toebox (only at the corner by laces) which I used Nikwax waterproofer and got back. I may shoegoo them next time they lose it, but I picked up another identical pair for a steal so the old pair became my backup.

My next pair will be Lowa Zephyr's, have wanted to try them for a while, so maybe soon.
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moab
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Re: Boots for really long walks

Post by moab » Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:32 pm

Andrew Skurka (world class hiker and trekker) swears by trail running shoes. He's trekked across the US, alaska and a few other places. His theory is he's going to get wet feet no matter what. So you might as well choose something that dries out as fast as possible. On the trail while your walking as well as at camp. He also swears by Luko tape and some foot balm that he sells on his website. That I think is legit as it is made by hand by a friend of his in small tins. He gets wet feet regularly. But uses the foot cream to mitigate any damage to his feet. And his trail runners dry out at night very fast. He says he does go thru them. And usually needs resupply during long trips. But that's his strategy. It also includes muliple pairs of socks. That he changes regularly. Which is a must no matter what your wearing.

I think a lot obviously depends on where you live. There is a trade off between real vibram sole boots and others. As long as vibram soles last. Normal hiking shoes will not. So you have to take that into consideration. I have a pair of vibram soled USAF boots for a long trek or bug out. The downside being they are heavy. I'm sure I can't run as fast or as long in them. But they will last. a lot longer than a trail runner or normal pair of hiking boots.

I haven't tried them in years. But have been considering those vibram soled just above the ankle hiking boots in leather. Like these but darker:

Image

I'd treat them with some form of waterproof oil. Mink oil or the like. And have the ankle flex of a hiking boot. But the ruggedness of the leather upper and the vibram sole. I'd also carry waterproof gaiters and perhaps some goretex socks. They are hella expensive. At least from Danner. I still have $185 of Danner bucks from that $20 referral program they used to run. But still can't find a pair onsale that I can afford to buy with my bonus money. They are like $300 boots in high quality. Cheaper from other sources. But I think I'll stick with Danner.

My regular hiking boots are Merrell. Comfort out of the box. And I use leather uppers so they can be waterproofed to some degree. But like I said, I have leather , vibram military boots as back up in my preps.
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MPMalloy
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Re: Boots for really long walks

Post by MPMalloy » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:26 am

I've been trying to get Speech-to-text to work. No joy so far.

When I was in, we didn't have much choice for footgear. We used jungles, and I guess that's what I'd go with, if I could find an Orthopedic pair. Right now the VA is paying for my footgear, so I shush & drive on.

1. Mission drives gear; terrain/environment drives clothing (footgear).
2. Proper fit. I can't state that enough.
3. Proper hygiene. Wash your feet daily. Change socks often. Air everything out when you sleep.

Learn to use moleskin/Tincture 'o Benzine. :wink:

drop bear
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Re: Boots for really long walks

Post by drop bear » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:52 pm

I have had a lot of luck with sneakers. Generally trail running style.

Which also tend to be the footwear of choice for those super long walk guys.
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moab
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Re: Boots for really long walks

Post by moab » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:08 pm

MPMalloy wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:26 am
I've been trying to get Speech-to-text to work. No joy so far.

When I was in, we didn't have much choice for footgear. We used jungles, and I guess that's what I'd go with, if I could find an Orthopedic pair. Right now the VA is paying for my footgear, so I shush & drive on.

1. Mission drives gear; terrain/environment drives clothing (footgear).
2. Proper fit. I can't state that enough.
3. Proper hygiene. Wash your feet daily. Change socks often. Air everything out when you sleep.

Learn to use moleskin/Tincture 'o Benzine. :wink:
I've been using speech to text a lot lately. Works for maps and text. But the google assistant works well for opening apps etc. etc.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Towanda
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Re: Boots for really long walks

Post by Towanda » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:16 pm

Carry moleskin and apply it at the first sign of a hot spot. It will stop a blister from forming and deaden the pain.
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