Can Someone Recommend Bushcraft Boots?

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by WanderingVermonter, May 16, 2019.

  1. WanderingVermonter

    WanderingVermonter Tracker

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  2. Swampdog

    Swampdog Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I've been wearing Red Wing Shoes 8" leather lace-up boots for over 40 years. I suggest you find a store near you and go look at the different styles available.

    They have a machine that will measure your feet to help you decide the proper fitting size; bring a pair of socks that you would wear while working in the woods.

    Red Wing Shoes are well made and will last a long time with proper maintenance.

    I would pass on steel-toed boots unless they are required by your employer do to job safety requirements.
     
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  3. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    You're between NY and VT, iirc... tough for one boot to do it all in that climate. In my own dated experience, growing up outside Syracuse, NY in the 60s/70s/80s, I had three sets of footwear. I wore plain old workboots from about the middle to end of May until around September. In the rainy months, we'll say late March/April, Oct, and early November, it was rubber boots. In the snowy/cold months (where mud was no longer an issue), say Dec, Jan, and Feb, it was snowmobile boots; rubber lower, synthetic upper, removable/dryable felt liners.

    The best combo I ever came up with for the rainy season up there was my regular workboots with good socks, tucked into a pair of construction overboots... knee high with the strap to keep them closed. Feet stayed pretty warm in those, though they were clunky. Did a bit of hunting with that rig.

    In the Army at Fort Drum in the early 90s, I was issued Matterhorns; leather, thinsulate, goretex. they sucked. they were neither warm nor waterproof in any conditions, and the sole wore too rapidly in my opinion. But they were free, so i didn't waste any money (Just a lot of weight, shivering, but that's a different story.)

    Best winter boots I ever had while at Drum (commercially, off duty, not the military junk I had to wear in uniform), were a pair of Sorel Snowbears or something like that. Black rubber bottom to the ankle, nylon upper to the knee, felt lined. Very warm.


    I can't remember the brands they wear, but I have two friends who live outdoors in dumpsters, under bridges, and under other people's porches. Just kidding. They have houses. Well, IDK... maybe they don't. I've never actually SEEN their houses. I can say that Forestree used to have a house I'd been to... but he moved. And lyco claims he has a house that he showed me a picture of, made of rocks... so maybe it's actually a cave. i don't really know... strange people you meet on the interwebs. (My apologies gentlemen... it was too inviting a target not to engage in some fun with. and you also know that i'm not really sorry at all. :D)

    Regardless, they both work outdoors all day every day all year, are two of the finest men I've ever had the pleasure to camp with, thoroughly fill my definition of "a woodsman", and what they wear should be considered by wise men.

    I'll see if the power of "@" summons them... @Forestree and @lyco.woodsrunner, you are needed in the forum. Please report to the forum immediately.
     
  4. Forestree

    Forestree Treeforest Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Not sure what kind of work you’ll be doing in the woods, but guessing that steel toe is a requirement? My job requires full leather lace up, minimum 8” tall with a lug sole and no steel toe. I’ve worn several different brands of logger style boots with a high heel but I find them uncomfortable for hiking. The boots I’ve come to wear the most are Filson highlanders. Made in the USA and comfortable on my feet. Not cheap by any stretch but worth it to me

    @Seeker Thanks for the compliment....looks like I got the wool pulled over your eyes :D
     
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  5. lyco.woodsrunner

    lyco.woodsrunner by the big White Pine Supporter

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    Lol @Seeker !

    Well I have yet to find a perfect, do all shoe/ boot. My preference has a tendency to change with the season and even with intended activity and duration of time within that season. Having worked as both a wildlife research tech. or as a land surveyor, I have tried about every brand and style of outdoor footwear made. Still experimenting alittle. Though as a general rule in summer I prefer a non- membrane (ie. Goretex) boot. Yes they take on water quickly, but also breath and dry quickly. My feet have a tendency to sweat alot, which has some real influence on my preferred footwear both in warm and cold seasons. I also generally prefer a sturdier well made leather boot in a little taller height. I have tried the hiker/ trail runner style shoes for work and found most of them lacked the durability I need for day in/ day out mileage in off trail conditions. I know every body has their own thoughts and experiences and even to some degree anatomy differences however, I also found the hiker style shoes to not have the support my feet needed for hiking miles off-trail with 35- 45 pounds ( normal load out of survey equip. ) on my back. I devolped some foot issues and had to go back to a stiffer soled and more structured boot as a result. But YMMV...

    My winter work shoe usaully consists of an all leather Goretex/ Thinsulate boot at least 10 inches high, ideally lined with 800 grams of Thinsulate. This insulation weight works for my Northern PA climate and mix of activity level. The snow conditions can vary from day to day, so I do prefer the waterproof membranes. Or else on the sloppy snow days I would be soaked through pretty quick. Keep in mind the membranes never work as well as claimed, so you need enough insulation to offset the dampness from persperation. BUT I also have access to a boot dryer and use one every night religiously. On multi day camp trips where I don't have a boot dryer to rely on, I always, always use a boot with a removable wool/felt/ Thinsulate( or some combo thereof) liner. It gives me the ability to knock the moisture out of them by the fire each night before bed time. In the past I have tried the Muck brand insulated boots. I found them to be light, comfy and warm. But since I have calves like a tree trunk no air or moisture is able to escape out of the top of the boot. I built up excessive amounts of moisture during high activity periods and with no way to dry them inside ,would be in real trouble on a muti day trip.

    Sorry about the long response. I could actually write pages on the subject, but I will spare you all being bored to death...:D
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  6. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Guys, he's not kidding... this former flatland Louisianan who lost his mountain legs had a great deal of difficulty following "Lyco.Woodsmoose" through the woods, dancing along with his 50lb pack and fancy boots... meanwhile, this old man is trudging along with a staff trying not to fall off the side of the mountain.

    (Seriously, it really wasn't that steep. He's just in really good shape. After one short trips, my thighs were hurting... my little chicken legs need a lot more practice! but working on it's fun. except i'm still rolling my ankles on pebbles, since there were no rocks in LA.)
     
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  7. TrailbreakerOutdoors

    TrailbreakerOutdoors Tracker

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    In any weather condition? That's pretty tough...I would say either getting a good pair of just general work boots (no steel toe) a size bigger so you can play with socks depending on the season or a pair of wellies. I usually just wear wellies and change my socks depending on the weather. But maybe these are something you want...

    https://www.varusteleka.com/en/product/jalas-fantom-drylock/17168

    They don't have a steel toe, but they have a safety toe. They are wide fit, so you can layer, they are pretty light as far as combat boots go and they are waterproof. These are what the Finnish defense forces use, great deal on them and everyone I know who uses them, loves them. But they are definitely combat boots so they look a little out of place elsewhere
     
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  8. TrailbreakerOutdoors

    TrailbreakerOutdoors Tracker

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  9. wvridgerunner

    wvridgerunner BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    Thorogoods most are still made in America. Danner, Rocky, Red Wings. I would stick the goex for water proofing. I bought my boys Hi tec boots when they joined started Boy Scouts. Lightest most durable boot I ever saw. Could not get the same boot in adults size. My wife ended up with the oldest sons and they are still going strong 10 yrs now with hard us. The youngest sons went to a friend at work he said they are still getting handed down through this family. I did not get the same results with adults size in a similar boot. They were light and held up a couple of years so they were worth the money all in all
     
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  10. WanderingVermonter

    WanderingVermonter Tracker

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    Thanks for all of the info everyone! Looks like I have a lot more research to do and try on some of the boot suggestions!
     
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  11. lyco.woodsrunner

    lyco.woodsrunner by the big White Pine Supporter

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    My choice for today (due to location), non insulated with Goretex. These particular shoes are a little spendy, but my feet are my livelihood so I will try to find a good sale on boots and buy a few pair.

    IMG_20190517_084554.jpg
     
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  12. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    Go to the shoe store and buy whatever fits. This has served me well for over 50 years.

    Steve
     
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  13. blind & lost

    blind & lost LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I bought a pair of Wiggy's chukka boots several years ago which treat me well, in both hot/cold weather, and flat/mountainous terrain.
     
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  14. hawkeye1776

    hawkeye1776 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    You fellows seem to have put some thought into boots, so perhaps one of you can help me.

    I picked up MRSA in South America years ago, and lost a big toe. The toe next to where the big toe was became hammer toed. This causes severe abrading to the hammertoe in two places - the end of the toe, which gets worn against the insole, and the high point of the hammertoe(the knuckle), which wears against the inside upper of the toe box

    Any thoughts on boots with a wide, deep toe box? Anyone able to suggest a good boot maker that can accommodate hobbit feet on an Orc sized individual? My size is a 14 EEEE.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  15. lyco.woodsrunner

    lyco.woodsrunner by the big White Pine Supporter

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    Well, I can't think of any particular boots off hand that have an oversized toe box. There is the option of a company like White's or Nick's. They will have you trace and take some measurements of both your feet and build a custom last that they build your boots off of. Maybe you could explain what you need and they could make it ??? But be fore warned they are not cheap. Some folks find it worth the price. Sorry I don't have a good suggestion for you off the top of my head! :(.
     
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  16. Robedsubset

    Robedsubset Scout

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    I would get a good pair of leather boots with vibram sole. Probably 8 inch. You can treat the leather for waterproofing and wear wool socks for a bit of warmth
     
  17. L0NER

    L0NER -Gone Exploring- Supporter

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    Bought Whites and Wesco boots for years. Actually had them built off of my foot measurements.
    Now it’s Lowa Renegades 24/7-365. As long as they make them I will keep buying them.
     
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  18. hawkeye1776

    hawkeye1776 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for the advice, brothers. It is welcome wisdom.
     
  19. Deanosaurus

    Deanosaurus Tracker

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    I used to wear Red Wings pretty exclusively until they started to cheap out and change some of their construction details. The last straw was picking up a bunch of hassle at an authorized dealer about getting a rebuild done (what I wanted) vs buying a brand new "updated model" (the same thing but with one less row of stitching everywhere and noticeably thinner leather).

    After a poke around and looking at what was on some of the other guys' feet at a couple of wildland fire classes, I ended up trying Thorogoods. I now wholeheartedly recommend T-goods for any sort of serious use boots.

    I have a pair of wedge sole electrician's boots from T-good that I wear in the workshop, as well as the predecessors of the current "FIREDEVIL" ( Here on their website) that have been through just about everything in North America for the last several years. I treat them pretty much exclusively with Obenauf's paste formula and they're waterproof even when submerged 3/4 of the way up the tongue in a Michigan bog for an hour or two of mucking around.

    DO take the time to check your feet against their printable PDF - by their sizing, I wear something so different from what I do in other brands that I hesitated hard before going with it and resigning myself to probably having to play the exchange game. I'm glad I did what the instructions said - after breaking in, those fire boots are the most comfortable pair of boots I've ever owned, and they last like iron.
     
  20. shaw11b

    shaw11b Supporter Supporter

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    I wear Sodhopper Mocs almost daily. If I’m not in those I’m usually in my vibram 5 fingers. I’m very partial to minimalist shoes or being barefoot
     
  21. never.truly.lost

    never.truly.lost Timber Cruiser Supporter

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    Non-Goretex lined boots are my go-to for all my boots except mountaineering (although if Scarpa made them without the Goretex I would gladly buy them).

    Take a look at the Lowa Patrol boots. Excellent hiking boot as far as support, durability, and comfort. They have big metal D-loop lace rings so any piece of cordage will work for laces, a Cambrelle liner which helps drying them out quicker, made in Germany, come in brown or black, and overall can be used for woodland wandering to light mountain use.

    For areas I don’t need to wear caulked boots, these are my go to work boots as well as hunting and general recreation. I prefer all leather vs a cordura sided boot due to durability issues and if you are diligent about maintaining them, will give you years of service.


    Edit: here is a poor photo of what they look like; these are about a year and a half old or so of heavy use.
    C71BEC37-9C0C-4D78-B485-38A5FB1DFC73.jpeg
     
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  22. Odie

    Odie Scout

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    It sounds like you already have your bases covered with the hikers, muck boots, and winter boots. I personally wouldn't go with a tactical boot for bumming around in the woods. Is the steel toe necessary?
     
  23. WanderingVermonter

    WanderingVermonter Tracker

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    The steel toe was for an added insurance since I am usually alone, in the woods, not in cell service coverage, and dealing with heavy logs and/or rocks. If the weight of the steel toe would be more of a negative, then I could do without.
     
  24. Noblesavage

    Noblesavage Tracker

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    Rocky or Redhead 8 " leather with about 1000 g Thinsulate for 3 season. Winter I switch to something else. This coming fall will be looking for a new winter boot.
     
  25. SonsOfLiberty

    SonsOfLiberty Student of Life Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Danner Rainforest. Worth Every penny. Almost no break-in. Most comfortable boots I've worn. They climb great and provide great smearing traction on granite slab
     
  26. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Supporter Supporter

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    I like Lowa and Meindl, but someday I desire to score me some Russell Moccassins.
     
  27. Fink

    Fink Supporter Supporter

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    Ecco gets my vote, they are really comfortable and well crafted.
     
  28. Prairiesheepdog

    Prairiesheepdog Tracker

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    I have a pair of Rocky S2Vs in the winter grade. I don’t like the fit but that’s personal. My Army sons have had S2Vs on deployments and complained that the soles wear quickly.
    I would not use steel toes unless I had an occupational need for them. They are not warm.
    I really like the American made Chippewas. You can tell them by the Indian Chief stamped on the side. They are warm and waterproof. I use them for all cold weather activities including ski patrolling. They clamp into my all purpose backcountry bindings.
    Chippewa also makes a plain leather boot, hiking boot height with just a leather upper and Vibram sole. No padding, no Goretex. It’s perfect for warmer weather. Look for deals on Amazon. They can be speedy.
     
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