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Boots and/or footwear

11478 Views 89 Replies 54 Participants Last post by  jamesreed3124
Lets talk boots and other footwear. You can only go as far as your feet will take you in many a true SHTF situation.

As I get older, I am having more and more foot issues from years of punishing my feet in the military when I was young and invincible. I wish I had paid the extra for the best shoes and boots when I was younger and I probably wouldn't have the issues I have now, not to mention my knees would be in better shape as well.

Around 2006 or so I began searching for the best boot to wear while in uniform and though not "authorized", I ended up wearing the full-size Converse Desert boot with the side zipper as it was the most comfortable boot I had ever worn. Now that I am older and have even more issues, I have to add my inserts from the VA to them, but they are still almost on a par with my Nike running shoes that I also have to add an insert to make them comfortable. They will wear out over time, as I have gone through several pairs (8 inch and 6 inch versions), and they can not be resoled as far as I can tell, but like a pair of high top basketball shoes, they are lightweight, comfortable and give good ankle support. They are definitely not for colder climates.

I wear the 6"version now, and the last pair I bought were made by Reebok as Converse has discontinued them. The boot is pictured here: http://www.lapolicegear.com/coc86mecotoe.html

If you are looking for a comfortable boot and can find any of the Converse ones in stock in your size, these are comfortable. If you can't find any, the Reeboks look to be basically the exact same boot.

How about the rest of you - What boot or shoes do you recommend for a combination of comfort/wearability and durability?
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Danner Pronghorns for hunting.
Irish Setters for work'
Justin boots for sparkin the ladies
I've posted about the tribulations of having extra wide feet in the past. My latest comfort fit is a pair of Lowa Desert Elite boots, which probably strike most people as work boots and, being a combat boot of choice for Afghanistan, also give me some faint concern about looking like a poser. But they're the best boots I've found in a while, obviously made on a British last (as my feet are), unfortunately however probably not so great for winter here. And last spring, thanks to this forum, I got a pair of US Army surplus Bunny Boots that also fit me! Looking forward to using those once it's cold enough. No way I could drive with them on, however, a problem to solve.
The former gunny of the mountain warfare training center known as Norseman recommended the bates tora bora. I looked them up and they are nice. Expensive. Bates makes great boots.
Checked on Amazon and they have one pair somewhat close to my size for a 'mere' $375, but man they got lousy reviews on that site- both quality and durability issues.
Yup. Wear 6" Patrol at work, and 10" Canadians for hunting. Just don't use the white plastic inserts that come with the boot. Get a quality insole with arch support for a better feel, at least that's what I did.

I wear Red Wings for ag/homestead work. Same applies to them IRT insoles.

I like boots made in the USA. Every boot that I have tried that is made in China, which is just about everything except Danner, Red Wing, and White, have become smaller. I think that the last that they're using is different, because I can put on a size 12 from China and it doesn't fit, but a 12 in a Danner or Red Wing works fine.
The best boots I have ever owned were the older Herman Survivors and later, the Danners. Now that I use a cane, It's mostly western style, Vans or Crocks around the house.
I need to find a really good tip for the cane.

"Be Cheerful in all Endeavors"
I am with some of the other guys, the best boots I have ever worn are Danner Pronghorns. I still have a original pair around 8 years old, soles & finish are all but gone. They fit great, are lightweight and durable. I am getting ready to pick up another pair.
I'm not saying that we shouldn't be prepared and to game things out but I look at boots much like I look at guns. Get a couple of pairs and they will take you anywhere.

If you are humping 110lbs or more of kit up and down the trails and backwaters of the rural US I can see some of these Tora Boras and Danners, etc. I look at them like an M1A, it is very well suited for many jobs, but for lots of jobs it is not the best choice to get the job done.

That is why I keep a decent pair of boots (Bates) in the closet for such things as hikes and camping where I am rucking it.

Most of the time though, I wear my Blundstone 550's. Most comfortable boots for anything that can come my way in the world. I wouldn't recommend them for long distance movement over rough terrain, but if I had to, I could do it with them. Wouldn't be the best but certainly not the worst.

I think as preppers we get that tunnel vision of very high spec, and highly specific, worst case scenario. When we think about natural disasters, civil unrest, survivalbility in the urban world, flexibility is the key. Look at what the folks who survived the ethnic cleansing that happened in Bosnia were wearing.

Flexibility in application is key.
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^^^ That inspires a thought that it's footwear that will be the truly scarce commodity in any long term economic or other disaster. Most people have lots of spare clothes, but practical footwear, not so much so. Speculative TV shows and movies will make statements that toilet paper is what the characters wish they'd stockpiled, but that's clueless hipster talk. I keep as many summer and winter sets around as I can- and when I throw any out, they are well and truly worn out.
Danner Vicious 8" for work - comfy in the extreme, keep out all sorts of debris (water included), good traction on sole, only downside is the tread doesn't clear mud well. I actually think with a good insole like Superfeet these would be ideal hunting boots. Run about $180.

Hi-Tec Altitude IV for daily wear - cheap, waterproof, comfy, LOTS of traction, don't look half bad with nice jeans. Soles wear out fast, but they are only $60 boots. Also use these for light hiking (less than 40lb pack).
What you do dictates the footwear you need.
The best boots I have ever owned were the older Herman Survivors and later, the Danners. Now that I use a cane, It's mostly western style, Vans or Crocks around the house.
I need to find a really good tip for the cane.

"Be Cheerful in all Endeavors"
A flash suppressor with a bayonet lug would make a nice tip. Bayonet on your hip.
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Matterhorn 10" Waterproof Insulated Field Boot
[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Matterhorn-Waterproof-Insulated-Field-Boot/dp/B000ZNCPU0[/ame]

I bought a pair of these black leather Matterhorn boots in the PX at Ft Knox back in 1988 that I wore for years when I was not in garrison and it was cold out, also when hunting or messing around the woods. I loved them, and have given them to my youngest son who is now in a size 12. Our BN Master Gunner wore his to Desert Shield when we deployed to Saudi in August 1990, so they can be worn in hot weather, I just would prefer not to do so. I bought a new pair last year because my feet have grown over the years and I now wear a size 14. They are expensive, but I can vouch for these boots - They will hold up.

They are not light weight either, and I remember doing an all day land navigation course in them in the hills of KY, and it was a workout. My old ones were resoled in the 1990s and I have treated them to ensure they are still waterproof (though they will leak if you stand in water for hours). My son loves them, but only wears them when it is cold out. When warmer, he wears a pair of Hi-Tech Magnums from around 1995 that I also gave him. These Matterhorns will last for years and years of field use, and the new pair that I bought will probably be my SHTF boot for winter/fall. They are rugged and will definitely hold up. I used to wear my old ones when busting beaver dams in winter.

I think the only other military boot I have that I would choose as a SHTF boot would be my 20+ year old black Corcoran tanker boots. For my area the insulation in the Matterhorn may cause issues 7 months out of the year.
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Rocky 2sv all the way. Mine went through two tours in a-Stan without missing a beat.
I agree with Hgunner
Danner I used in the Air force
or for a lower cost
Look at Redwing boots I use hunting, cutting down trees and running my Backhole
I've basically worn boots the majority of the time since I enlisted back in 1980gs. Danners, Rockys, Red Wings, Bates and others were good boots, buy they didn't quite fit/feel right. Most are still in my closet, ready to go if I need them. The best fitting, most comfortable, most supportive boots I ever found were the Herman Survivors Commando boots that Walmart used to sell. At $30 you'd think they'd be short lived, falling or wearing out within months, but the two pairs I finally wore out lasted over three years each before I had to replace them. These boots were worn 5 days a week, 8-10 hour shifts on my feet and walking 3-4 miles each shift. And they were waterproof as well. When I learned Walmart was dropping that model, I bought 3 pairs just in case. I wear one pair when working around the homestead doing yard work, mechanical work, hiking and hunting, and home repair. After 4 years they're still in excellent shape. Might be years before I have yo pull out the next pair.
Yes, they're "cheap", but they were an excellent value for the price: <$10/year. Sure wish they were still available.
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Danner, Made in USA. I have stayed with them for 30 years.... Rainforest, Recon and their hiking boots. But again, I am in the PNW which is home for Danner.
more info

I run 2 different pair for different uses best toughest is Carolina steel toe loggers 10 " with gore-tex , waterproof , tuff, elec shock rated ,dig like a mud grip tire. can handle tree/pole climbing spike or heavy machinery . I like mine black but can get brown.

http://www.carolinashoe.com/Product?stockNo=CA7518

2nd pair is for light duty work and is Corcoran again a 10 " and black for me but the have other colors long time boot maker here since like before WW ll

http://www.corcoranandmatterhorn.com/Item.asp?Style=1525&CategoryID=28&Gender=M
I wish someone made a brown leather panama sole old school jungle boot. That would work perfect for me, and my environment.
Lets talk boots and other footwear. You can only go as far as your feet will take you in many a true SHTF situation.

As I get older, I am having more and more foot issues from years of punishing my feet in the military when I was young and invincible. I wish I had paid the extra for the best shoes and boots when I was younger and I probably wouldn't have the issues I have now, not to mention my knees would be in better shape as well.

Around 2006 or so I began searching for the best boot to wear while in uniform and though not "authorized", I ended up wearing the full-size Converse Desert boot with the side zipper as it was the most comfortable boot I had ever worn. Now that I am older and have even more issues, I have to add my inserts from the VA to them, but they are still almost on a par with my Nike running shoes that I also have to add an insert to make them comfortable. They will wear out over time, as I have gone through several pairs (8 inch and 6 inch versions), and they can not be resoled as far as I can tell, but like a pair of high top basketball shoes, they are lightweight, comfortable and give good ankle support. They are definitely not for colder climates.

I wear the 6"version now, and the last pair I bought were made by Reebok as Converse has discontinued them. The boot is pictured here: http://www.lapolicegear.com/coc86mecotoe.html

If you are looking for a comfortable boot and can find any of the Converse ones in stock in your size, these are comfortable. If you can't find any, the Reeboks look to be basically the exact same boot.

How about the rest of you - What boot or shoes do you recommend for a combination of comfort/wearability and durability?
Ok, I am wearing the Reebok version of that discontinued Converse boot (mentioned above) today and it does not feel as comfortable as the old Converse one. It is just..."stiff" where the Converse was like wearing a high top basketball shoe right out of the box.

I do not recommend the Reebok version.
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