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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a lot of general "prepper" topics that are so glaringly obvious they can get overlooked. Proper prepper footwear is one of these, and maybe it deserves a look. Whether your plans include bugging out, bugging in, or a combination of the two, having the right footwear can make a huge difference.

Choosing the right footwear can be a daunting task. Do you go with full height, mid height, or low boots? Do you go with insulated or ventilated boots? Do you choose natural materials or synthetic materials? What construction details are important and which are just gimmicks? How much support do you really need?

There are a lot of factors to consider, and making an informed choice depends on your intended use, your local terrain, your local climate, how heavy a load you think you will be carrying, and so on. No single style of boot is ideal for everyone or every situation.

The right socks are almost as important, at least in my opinion. High quality, well made socks are an important part of the whole "foot happiness" thing, and if you don't keep your feet happy, you will be miserable!

So let's hear it folks. What kind of boots do you use and why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, I guess I should have answered my own question to get this started.

My current goal is to reduce weight where possible, so I picked the lowest boots that would provide enough support for carrying a medium/light load. I am in a warm climate, so I don't need insulated boots. I'm not all that afraid of getting bitten by snakes, so low boots are ok, though I may add a pair of gaiters for some additional protection. I'm planning for a possibility where boots may become unavailable, so durability is important to me. I ended up going with the Merrell MOAB mid waterproof. (I reviewed these down in the review section)

I wear 2 pairs of socks when out tramping around in the wild. I use a thin ankle length cotton inner to wick away moisture, and a good thick wool outer sock to provide a little extra cushion. Wearing a double layer of socks goes a long way to preventing blisters.

In a SHTF situation, keeping your feet happy and healthy could literally be a matter of life or death.
 

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You pick what works for you like always. I believe it's a benefit to tone down how you look post shtf and bugging out. The less threating you look the less attention you'll draw. A military look always draws attention. Of fear in the sheeple and interest in the sheep dogs of wolves. Sad to say as much as I'd like to tone down my bugout gear, the less toned down it becomes. Hard to tone down with a battle rifle or carbine in your hands and spare mags in pouches. I've simply decided to hell with it if I have to revert to packing out on foot, but if I'm not it's a another thing.

I favor combat boots. Probably because I got attached to them in the military and found how durable there were and built for fighting and rucking heavy gear. Good ankle and calf support, heavy leather exterior, traction soles and cushy insoles. I'm not in the military anymore but do work now that I still wear them. In turn, I'd turn to them and be wearing one of the various pairs I have when bugging out or bugging in for working outside, guarding, hunting, etc. There are great hiking boots out there though and I have some, but I still won't be turning to them for most shtf. A current pair of assault boots I've been running hard now for about 6 months and one hell of a great pair of boots for the money in my opinion is Bellvilles Tactical Research Kiowa's. Very comfortable after a little break in, better insoles, tough, great traction, support, and light. I've been thinking of buying another set.

KIOWA TR909 Black hot weather lightweight assault boot from Tactical Research

TR909-BLK-2.jpg
 

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My latest pick up are a pair of Cabela's Trekkers. They are non insualted, have an aqua shield liner, 8 in uppers, and as a pair weigh 3lbs. So far they have performed admirably hiling around a local lake over uneven and wet terrain. They also only cost $70!

I have a pair of, of all things, steel toed Florsheims that are all leather and quite comfy and good for moderat hiking. But, I do have some Bellvilles that are hard to beat.
 

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I spend 8hrs a day in a pair of Bates Durashocks standing on concrete and running up and down stairs. They're comfortable and inexpensive, require little break in and hold up really well. I got 2 years out of the last pair and I paid $120 for them. I think you can get replacement insoles for them too from Bates which should help longevity. I'd have no issues with these being my main boot after SHTF. They are uninsulated so for colder weather I'd probably go to my hunting boots.

-Infidel
 

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New balance OTB jungle swamp boots !!! I've put them threw hell and back mud runs hunting hiking beat them to hell and they stand up great do awesome in water swimming climbing hills mud I've gone threw a lot of combat boots and they are hands down my fave for great feel great amazon support even when under heavy load carrying a 90+ pound pack I've never found any thing to beat them my self
 

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A few years back i found cat boots for work were very comfy.. After breaking them in and found i loved em i went back and bought 4 more pairs.. They sit in boxes awaiting use.. I buy new ones when i pull another pair out of a box. Im good for a long time with footwear. I do the same for my shoes...
 

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My day-to-day boots are a beat up pair of Ariats. The leather was starting to stretch out a bit more than I like so I bought a pair of the Dr Scholls gel inserts for them. They feel like almost brand new boots again even though they look like hell. I can (and regularly do) walk for miles in them comfortably carrying around 30 lbs. When it snows I revert to a pair of low-rise Red Wings to get better traction.

But I do agree with Prepadoodle, socks are at least as important as the boots.
 

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I wear timberland pro steel toe workboots. They're expensive, around $150 but they last longer than any other I've tried. The best thing about them is that they are very comfortable. I usually keep at least two pairs of workboots on hand as well as a pair of waterproof winter snow boots. -Mike
 
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Well, I have 2 pairs of boots already put away but I thought about it the other day and I am now trying to break in at least 1 of the pair now and the other pair later. A properly wore in pair of boots will keep your feet from blistering unlike a new set of boots you purchased and put away....


Doc
 
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If you look to what Appalachian Trail thru-hikers are going to (folks who walk about 2,000 miles in 5 or 6 months carrying their home on their back) the trend is to trail runners.
 

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If you look at what the back-packers in the Cascades are wearing you will find a different footwear is preferred.

It depends on the condition in which you will be traveling. Terrain, weather, and what you tolerate are all things that will determine your footwear and everything you wear or carry.
 
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Great topic and almost universally under-disscussed. Footwear is the original off-road vehicle and you are exactly right. It does not matter if you are bugging in or bugging out, you will need to be able to move about your environment on your feet. If the shoe doesn't fit, isn't waterproof (as needed), doesn't provided enough support, or whatever, you will soon become immobile and a static target. Also, what about resupply of footwear. How long does your current favorite pair last and what are your plans when they wear out? I like my Schnees Pac Boots for snow, my Meindel's for the rocky mountains, and a pair of mid weight Cabelas style sneaker boots for late Spring to early Fall in Northern California.
 

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Well, I have 2 pairs of boots already put away but I thought about it the other day and I am now trying to break in at least 1 of the pair now and the other pair later. A properly wore in pair of boots will keep your feet from blistering unlike a new set of boots you purchased and put away....

Doc
Takes me two years to wear out a pair.. That is if i dont resew em. I like cat boots being they are leather... and very repairable.
 

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It is hard to beat issue military boots. They come in a variety of types (hot weather, cold weather, wet weather, steel toe, etc), just about every conceivable size and the price is right.

Waterproof (Goretex, etc) boots generally don't work out very well long term. Once they get wet they never dry.
 

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I'm wearing USMC RAT boots as we speak.
 
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