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Need feedback

Vinceh

Active member
Packed out my buck yesterday and had a very bad experience with my boots. I need advice on the type of boots recommended for extreme hiking in hot and cold weather. Yesterday I was coming down a steep mountain and as you know it's still pretty warm in California. D6 zone and I could feel my feet getting warm and moisture building up as I was climbing down. There then became movement and sliding in my boots and I could feel blisters developing on my heels. Not good since I still had 4-5 miles left. Regardless, I made it back and my feet pain the price.

Which boots do you wear and are they for summer or winter wear? Price has no consideration. I want a great boot that I don't have to worry about blisters. Please include type and brand of socks you prefer as well. Thanks
 

Bubblehide

Well-known member
Vinceh, I have really sweaty feet, they run hot naturally, and I have tried everything. So, what I have to say may not apply to you, but here goes. I do not wear insulated boots, even in the coldest of conditions; if I do, as I had in the past, my feet sweat up, and heat up, and then my feet's heat shuts down, and they freeze. I have had my socks ice up from the sweat in them. I originally went to boots with more insulation, and things only got worse.

So, for me, it's a non-insulated boot. The type of socks don't seem to matter for my feet. The biggest thing is that the boot needs to fit. So depending on the manufacturer of the boot, I either wear a single sock, or double them up, so the the boot fits properly (some are just cut bigger than others). The biggest thing here is that the mid foot should not have room to move, slide... The heel should be the same, while you should have room in your toe section to wiggle them around, and maybe 1/2 an inch in-front of your toes. I have a few different manufacturers boots, as I need to change boots and shoes on a daily basis due to my excessive sweaty condition that results in pustular psoriasis outbreak on my feet, along with plain old stinky feet. So I always pack in an extra pair of boots.

I have a pair of Cabela's outfitter boots, they are an all leather boot, a very heavy duty boot that performs well, but it does not breath. And, I need to put them on properly, and stop to adjust them from time to time. I also have Cabela's boots that are kind-of like tall tennis shoes; I no longer see them in their catalog, but they do still offer similar boots. When they offered these boots, they advertised them as needed no break-in at all. I have gone through 2 pairs of these boots, and am working on my 3rd pair (they are that good), and with each pair I started with a 15 mile hike, they lived up to the no break-in needed. They look similar to the Danner pronghorn. They are a breathable waterproof boot. For me, a non-waterproof boot would breath much better, but the conditions I hunt in generally require a waterproof boot.

As far as socks go, for me a good hot weather sock works best, but due to my sweaty condition, nothing makes a very big difference (yes, I have tried them all). But the one thing I do, is change my socks every day. I also pack in slippers to wear around camp to give my feet a chance to breath, and my boots a chance to air out. Yes, all this foot care is a pain, but for me, it's well worth it. I have tried the liners, synthetic socks, wool socks... now, I just grab a pair of hunting socks of one form or the other and hit the trail. With the Cabela's boots, I go with one pair of socks. I have some Rocky boots that I need to wear a thick and thin pair of socks, so I double up on those boots, as they are cut a bit larger.
 

slanttop357

Well-known member
Sweaty feet syndrome i got the same problem it sucks, and my hands sweat just the same. Nothing worse then froze toes.
 

Bubblehide

Well-known member
Additionally, a while back Where'sBruce posted a link about different ways to tie your shoes/boots; for some, this could make all the difference.
 

Where's Bruce?

Well-known member
I wear Darn Tough merino mid weight socks w/ extra sole cushion (http://www.backcountry.com/darn-tough-in-country-merino-wool-micro-crew-socks?ti=UExQIENhdDpNaWR3ZWlnaHQgSGlraW5nIFNvY2tzO jE6NzpjYXQxMDAyMDA1OTg&skid=DRN0016-OAT-M) and prefer my ole uninsulated Danner pronghorns for anything but the steepest mountains. Getting boots that fit, are properly broke in (before you hunt) and retying is vital, especially when going downhill. I stop and retie as often as necessary to keep my heel in the pocket or my toe nails start changing color. There are many ways to lace up boots and i often use this approach.

[video=youtube;SOE28brAcEc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOE28brAcEc[/video]
 

smithstation

Well-known member
I have a pair of Whites that were custom fitted when I worked for CDF. I still wear them to hunt in but they are really heavy...... During archery season and when its really hot and dry I wear a pair of convers that fit really well. I have several light hiking boots that I will wear as well. Socks don't seem to make much of a difference to me...... I think everyones feet are different and the best thing is trial end error.....
 

CaliforniaKid

Well-known member
I hunt in the heat and the cold. I wear the Schnees Wilderness Boots. Have been wearing them for three seasons. I found that much of it also depends on the socks you wear. Stay away from cotton and different tyoes of wool. The merino wool works for some, but not all. I hated the wool socks. Made my feet too hot. i switched to wearing SealSkinz socks and I have put a 50-75 miles on the sock/boot combo with not even a hot spot this year. The combo works for sure.
 

solus

Well-known member
Vinceh i use Rocky brand snake boots. They are waterproof but work great. The key is to get socks for hiking that wick away the moister. I buy the redhead brand of socks from basspro. They come in different types. I buy the hiking socks. When im on a good hike all day i can go with minimal sweat in them. Im sure the boots help as well. The bottom of the boot is built like a shoe for comfort but it provides great heal and ankle support. This is coming from me; an overweight sweaty hunter. Good luck choosing your next pair of boots.
 

ambush1

Well-known member
I wear Danner Pronghorng with 400 G insulation in Ca. I teamed them up with First Lite Compression socks and have hike the summer in Ca and hunted elk this year in Colorado this and everything worked great.
 

quicknick

Well-known member
I bought a pair of Lowa renegades and then as a test took them on a 22 mile back pack trip with 4000 feet elevation gain and loss over two days with almost no break in, I also bought a pair of darn tough merino wool socks, both performed flawless. I had only one hot spot develop at the end of the trip but it did not develop into a blister. I told my dad to take a look at them and he hasnt taken them off in two months. Super comfortable with no break in. The darn tough socks are worth their weight in gold as well.
 

signguy

Well-known member
Having spent a few years fitting ski boots to the rich and famous I really learned how a shoe/boot should fit and what works-
Number one: The single best thing you can do for your feet once you find a boot that reasonably fits is take out the crummy foot bed most boots come with and get a carbon (light weight) orthotic in there that fits your arch. Right there you have made the shoes "custom". Your comfort level will go way up and chance of blisters goes way down. You will also be a lot less fatigued at the end of the day.
Number two: Start with a boot that is the right width for your feet. I have found that I can make most boots fit fairly well with a proper footbed so long as they are the proper width to begin with. However, too narrow or too wide and you have a recipe for disaster regardless of the footbed. Most people are wearing too wide a shoe/boot and its because they have broken down arches from not having good orthotics in their shoes. You don't need as wide a shoe/boot if your arch is properly supported.
My suggestion for those interested- Go to a store that specializes in running shoes. If that's not available- go to a Red Wings store. These places should have professional "shoe fitters" who know how to properly fit shoes and can watch you walk and understand what your feet need to work right. Call ahead and tell them- you need help getting properly fitted shoes and want to come in when the best guy is available... Investing in a good pair of running shoes or a new pair of work boots and leaving with the knowledge of what your feet require is a small price to pay. Guaranteed you will leave saying you should have done this years earlier!
Lastly- break in is important. Hunting boots are best broken in hunting or hiking where they won't pick up smells like cleaning solutions from restroom floors or spilled gasoline/oil from a gas station.
Finally- dry socks are a must. Take several pairs and switch socks midday if needed.
I currently have insulated and uninsulated Under Armor and Vasque boots and they work pretty good for me- and the price for what you get is very fair imo.
 


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