27 comments on “Boots – Get ‘General Purpose’ in Design, and Buy the Best You Can Afford

  1. BIG +1 on the Danners. I have worn a pair of Acadias for work since 2009. Still on the original soles. Just got a pair of USMC hot weather boots for, well, hot weather hiking because they drain and don’t have GoreTex. Added some SOLE insoles, lots of BodyGlide and Leukotape for the heels, and not one blister in 110 miles of training rucks to break them in. Nice post, gentlemen.

  2. Pingback: Boots – Get ‘General Purpose’ in Design, and Buy the Best You Can Afford | From the Trenches World Report

  3. Finally someone speaks up about Boots! I will agree on Danner. Check their website for seconds. USMC Rat hot or cold boots fit this concept as mentioned. SOLE foot beds are the best. I use degree deodorant for to keep hot spots dry and lubed. 550 cord for laces and some obenaufs-boot dressing and your on your way! Great post. Thanks for your typical spot on info.

  4. Pingback: DTG: Boots | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  5. A word of caution on Danner boots. Make sure you get the military ‘Made in USA’ Danners, not their lower line of hunting crap made in China!
    For those of you not in USA, (Cabelas is the exclusive US importer of Meindl-Germany, and some of their line is not sold by Cabelas) Meindl makes a Desert Fox boot used by the Brits and Germans in A’stan. Top notch boot too.
    2nd the BodyGlide for foot lube! Fantastic stuff.
    I’m a big fan of Meindl German made hunting boots, some of the best leather you can put on your feet, but they too have started making boots in other foreign factories (mainly for Cabelas) so be very careful in researching country of origin. Buy the best you can, and stay away from Asian imports, they won’t hold up like good US or European makes.
    I’ve worn several kinds of hand made Whites loggers/smoke jumpers for almost 40 yrs, my current pair is 20 yrs old, just had them factory rebuilt last yr for $200, they’ll last me for the rest of my life.

  6. Roger! When your feet are cold and wet, so are you ALL OVER! I’ve farmed 150 acres, cut trees down, hiked the fields and hills (very steep), rescued cattle, hunted, fished, trapped, rowed boats, rescued neighbors in a 100 year flood, replaced standing-seam roof on my barn in a semi-tornado, and had a, uh, a “very serious” conversation with armed criminal trespassers all in my A+ boots (along with .45ACP and 12 bore Remmy). Never failed me; they were there on the feet when I needed ’em most. Think motility at its best.

    Better still (from one my earthly Crimson Tide “saints,” Bear Bryant, (H/T to Jake Gaither), who said: “Boys, yuh gotta be MOBILE, HOSTILE, and AGILE!” my credo…all while on your feet.

    Get the best your money can buy.

    ’nuff said.

  7. You nailed it on the jungle boots, still have foot and ankle issues as a result of wearing those things…First thing i did was invest in a good pair of boots….I like Bellevilles too, made in USA milspec stuff….On goretex, not a fan, if i am fording water over 8″, water is going to pour in, soak boot and foot, then it takes forever to dry boot out..I just use non goretex, and buy and wear premium socks, and just powder feet and put on fresh socks, and in no time boots are dry…Now, i live in NC piedmont, not a cold issue to deal with…Yes, good boots/shoes are imperative, great article…

  8. I have some Danner.USA made, not the cheapy asian stuff they farmed out………same as Red Wing…….Russell Moccasin makes superior footwear………check out White’s, Wesco and other USA made logger and forestry boots. I have 2 pair of Courteney Boots imported by Westley Richards – immeasurably comfortable and no one excells their comfort level……I have a superb pair of US made Carolina boots solid leather with 600gram Thinsulate for coldest weather. I have Swiss hiking boots as well as Italian and German . I have hunting boots from Scotland and 1950s French Foreign Legion boots. I have a pair of cold weather Matterhorns.

    I have others – I lose count.

    Yes, I have a boot fetish. I wear them daily. I dont own a pair of sneakers or flipflops. I have a 30 yr old pair of Lucchese black western boots for wedding and funerals. I may still have a pair of Ferragamo loafers but havent worn them in 10 years.

    I also make a point to treat all smooth leather, AND THE SOLES & SEAMS, with mink oil, and often Lexol and Neatsfoot oil. Yes, I rub/work in mink oil in the sole bottoms regardless of composition. And especially the seam edges, and the tongue and underneath of the eyelets.

    Neglect the and they will eventually neglect you

  9. The idea of multiple pairs of boots might “sound” excessive, but, after some big, fat societal disruption, how easy do you think it’d be, to obtain high-quality boots? There are certain things that you wouldn’t be able to safely do-without, and quality boots would be HIGH on the list.

  10. Well of course…that’s why we urge several pair of general purpose high quality boots…we only eschew the idea of having specialized boots for each purpose. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Every so often, wash insides of boots with warm soapy dishwater and slosh around, rinse well to get all the salt out. Salt eats up leather and stitching. Then rub a spoonful or two of Lexol inside the footbed. Goes a long way to keeping them healthy too.

  12. I would also add some folks on a tight budget need to find the best “all around foot gear”they can afford in one shot,far from rich but lucky enuff to own some good boots,the best a old pair from me grandfather that with him worn once at best,use em for a once a month long hike(30 + miles,long for me!),broken in well but the go to in challenging times boots,that said have others but none have matched the old yet new Denner’s.

  13. I’ve used Danner’s for the last 26 years and never had much to complain about. recently, I noticed two pair of Acadias I put snow seal on had shrunk (WTF?). I have a brand new pair that still fits fine though (same size). I just started using Bates version of the Acadia (The Defender, same basic uninsulated goretex boot, half the price), for rucking (you know what that eans DTG), and they are actually more comfortable for that task than the Acadia’s are (go figure). Their durability and quality of workmanship appears the equal of the Danner’s, so we’ll see how they continue to perform (6 months into it rucking every weekend and using them for everything else). On insulated boots, I have Danner “Ft Lewis” 10″ 200gr, and Matterhorns copy of that boot. Both worki well, (been using the Matterhorn pair for 17 years of winter field crap). A note on insulation amount: People have asked why I only use 200 grams of thinsulate. Well, here’s the answer. I move around a lot usually with a heavy load, the last thing I need is my feet burning up, or excessively sweating, which the freezes when I stop. I carry “boot blankets” which I put over my boots when I become sedentary. They keep my feet warm, are easy to get out of (you can run in them if need be, ask how I know LOL) they also double as an anti tracking tool, and make a good pillow. Just my $.02 Brother, keep the good stuff comin’!

  14. Have Danner Acadia’s.

    As for socks, I’ve been using SmartWool Medium Hikers for over 20 years. Am experimenting with a couple of pairs of Darn Tough tactical socks. It looks like I’m going to stick with the SmartWool’s.

    Many years ago, a man called Colin Fletcher wrote a book called “The Complete Walker”. There have been several updates of the book over the years, but I tend to keep referencing to the original one. He stresses that we must pay close attention to our socks and our boots, ’cause that’s how we get around. Consumer beware, you get what you pay for. Don’t go for cheap. Cheap falls apart in a very short period of time.

    Also, if you have weird feet, like I do, narrow at the heel, wide at the ball, high arches and high insteps, start looking at custom made boots……..Nicks, Whites, Russell.

    My .02


  15. Hey, thanks for stopping by! I like the smartwool type socks, too, but have found that the Vermont Darn Tough seems to hold up better…we’ll see. My smartwool lasted about 10 years under seasonal, but heavy, use.

  16. Wore Smartwool for yrs, wonderful socks (lightweight summer thru heavy boot socks), liners and gloveliners, however, they wear out much faster than Darn Tough. I’m sticking with DT from now on.

  17. Pingback: Product Review: SOLE Softec Ultra Footbed | The Defensive Training Group

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