Footwear - what works for you?

Moondog55

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Havta agree with Bill on this as well, when athletes and sports-persons are wearing those low cut shoes you may find that inside their socks they are taped out to the max.
The bigger my pack and the rougher/steeper the terrain the taller, heavier and stiffer my boots get
 

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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Yes the army did issue Docs for soldiers with feet problems still great boots but don't last like they use too.
 

Walker

John McDouall Stuart
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Hello Martnmax and Moondog55,

but I was making reference to walking through the bush, not competitive (team) sports like Lacrosse or specialised ones like mountaineering.

Played a bit of Rubgy Union and yes, high lacing boots tend to be good (at least for forwards!) because they can support the ankle in various snap loads. But, have also done a bit of mountaineering, and usually the walk in is done in low cut shoes/boots, the actual climbing is done in 'high-tops' because they're stiff and support crampons, rope slings, gaiters, and are more thermally effective. (Mountaineers are famous for having really flexible ankle tendons - some can stand on a kerb with their toes on the top lip and their heels in the gutter! It's actually a very good exercise to practice stretching and building leg muscles.)

The choice of footware for walking through the bush, as noted, is definitely horses-for-courses.

Anecdotal evidence from observing bushwalking club members over the years, suggests that those doing regular trips (say, every second weekend) never have ankle problems - inclusive of weekend (heavy pack multi terrain) and day walkers (light pack multi terrain).

Most people don't rush through the bush or do quick turns like those found on sporting fields, so it's not really comparable.

For lightweight trips, Le Loup's suggestion of moccasins looks good - even as a second 'back-up' pair of shoes for around camp.
 

TasMonk

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here's an article written by Roger Caffin
Ah, Mr. Caffin, the leader in overdone American-bashing for the Aussie bushwalking scene. He offers up a lot of possibly useful information, but has that pesky habit of mistaking his own (often amazingly limited) personal perspectives with Absolute Truth. For instance, he can't understand why on earth anyone in Australia might possibly want to use a tarp for shelter, or a hammock for sleeping in... :rolleyes:
 

Wentworth

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Some of the website does deal in absolutes rather than opinion :)

I contributed the hammock camping section about 5 years ago.
 

Bartnmax

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The problem I have is that just because someone has written something or had it published, that does not automatically make them an expert on the subject.
Mr Caffin's stance is based on going light rather than heavy & building/strengthening muscles, etc.
There is much to support that view I think, however; whilst that is a viable practice if you can afford to go around barefoot on a daily basis so as to build the required foot strength (ah la Cody Lundin), the vast majority of people are not able to go through a process adequately.
And so they do not beild the required strength to wear minimal support footwear.
Walk barefoot around the city for long enough & you'll be working on getting needles out of yer feet for most of it.
So the problem then becomes one of working with inadequate support footwear with feet that are not up to adeuqately supporting the human frame without that assistance (ankle support). We can get away with it if we are just generally traveling about the bush (walking trails, etc).
There's much to recommend that in fact as lighter footwear generally means less fatigue & therefore less chance of injury due to incorrect foot placement, etc.
However, when walking 'off road' it is a rare person that has the required strength to get away with using minimal support footwear without suffering injury.
So, whist I do think the use of lightweight footware can be good when hiking in areas that safely allow the practice, I also think we need to be very careful about not extending that pracitce into into areas where it can, & probably will, result in injury.
Yep, I use lightweight footwear (volleys) when hiking trails, etc. I also use lightweight canvas jungle boots when walking/duck hunting in swampy areas, but I turn to stronger boots with top class ankle support when deer hunting in/on terrain that is steep, uneven, & slippery.

Bill A.
 

swampy99

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I used to wear Docs in my old skinhead days in the 80's only problem I had was getting a blow out while running from the police, when the left sole goes it turned out ugly. :linguino:

Now for just everyday use and an afternnon tab on the trail I wear merrells trail trainers and for anything longer Alt Berg Jungles with the Panama sole. Cant recomend them enough all I need to do is just tape up my little toes and heal before a tab and have no probs. For around camp I wear Crocs :88_: I know there is a love hate thing for them but they are light and let the foot breath at the end of the day also not bad for river crossing in.

Swampys 2p worth.
 

Blake

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Im happy with just a good solid waterproof pair of hiking boots with a vibram sole. I've worn the same boots for 3 years and they are still in great condition, but I look after them and clean and waterproof them after most major uses.

For me I've had no problem on any terrain I just manage, I find them to be a great all rounder. No blisters. Being waterproof you get sweaty feet, especially if you wear thick socks but that's about it and it doesn't bother me too much.

http://www.kathmandu.com.au/Hiking_&_Daywalking/Footwear/30339/Barigan_Boot.html
 

Hairyman

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Rossi lites have served me well for the last 20 years or so, and volleys.
Everything with explorer socks even to bed in winter.
 

kobold

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i took crocks for a 6w trip in eastern europe and italy - both urban ad rural environs. they worked surprisingly well, had a hot spot only once, no blisters, and we walked a lot (also barefoot). they are ultra-lightweight and cheap ($5). unfortunately they are plastic, so i will try moccassins and compare.
 

Bushwalker

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My recent experience in NZ has been that "Crocs" make excellent hut/camp shoes and also are very versatile as alternatives in case of blisters or sore feet. They are very light, cheap, long lasting, well drained, and capable of carrying heavy loads (30 kg plus) for long distances. The disadvantages are that the sole is not very comfortable over rocky ground and that as they are a loose fit which can also result in blisters, but usually in a different place to that of you boots.
 
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payney

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while out 4wdriving shooting and camping i wear my trusty oliver AT's steel cap work boots they are super comfortable
with lots of support and my feet are very used to them (that happens when you wear em all day everyday) they are also quite water proof
and my socks (explorers) never get wet until the water comes in the top of the boot. having said all that a good pair of hunting boots
is high on the list for hiking general hunting and backpack hunting.

2011-12-27 21.48.22.jpg
 

XT John

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Bushchef, hotspots are really easy to deal with.
Get a roll of adhesive plaster cloth tape from the chemist, the best kind is the type used to strap up ankles, knees, wrists (athletic tape). It has very good adhesion and is thin & smooth.
As soon as you get the first indication that a hotspot is starting, remove your boot & sock, dry your foot (if sweaty) and apply a piece of the above tape to the area, making sure the edges are well stuck down. The friction caused by the movement of boot & sock will be delivered to the tape and not the skin beneath, no more hotspot!
Using this method, I haven't had a blister in over thirty years.
 

darren

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Hi all. I'm curious to know your thoughts on footwear in the bush. My husband has been reading a book some of you might be acquainted with - titled Ultralight backpackin' tips by Mike Clelland. In the book Mike talks about which shoes are most suitable for trekking outdoors and how to wear them etc etc.. I tried one of his suggestions on firetrail last week, which was to loosen off your boot laces so much that your boots are like slippers. This allows the feet to breathe and can more actively prevent hotspots and blisters. I found that this helped me a little but I still got hotspots.

My feeling is that its a very individual thing as our feet are all so different.. I still don't know what method is best for me, perhaps my feet are just super-sensitive?? I can't seem to avoid getting hotspots when walking on firetrail, no matter what I do!!

What are your thoughts? Any pointers you'd care to share?

Cheers,

BushChef.
Bushcheff
For blisters you might want to try these. http://www.injinji.com/tetratsok/o_crew.htm. They are only thin and i wear a mid weight marino sock over them. I only us this set up for hiking and i wear asolo 520 tps boots. I dont think they are any better than any similar boots they just fit me better.
Darren
 

BushChef

Karen Hood
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Bushchef
For blisters you might want to try these. http://www.injinji.com/tetratsok/o_crew.htm. They are only thin and i wear a mid weight marino sock over them. I only us this set up for hiking and i wear asolo 520 tps boots. I dont think they are any better than any similar boots they just fit me better.
Darren
Hi Darren, thanks for sharing. I am finding that thinner socks suit me better regardless of whether I'm wearing my boots or runners. I'd be interested in giving these a go, as I always end up with hotspots in the same places on my toes. However more recently I bought a pair of shoes which I think are going to solve most of my problems as they have plenty of room for my toes to move, they are ultralight and made for the trail - http://www.columbia.com/Women's-Outpost-™-Hybrid-2/BL3669,default,pd.html
I will wear these for most of my walks and keep my boots only for the trails which require them.
 

TheHessian

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Ive been using King Gee work boots, the tan coloured one with laces. Bought em in Big W for $100. they've lasted nearly 3 years now of daily usage with atleast another 2 years of use from them... so bloody good bit of kit. 300'c fire resistant sole, high ankle support which has stopped many a sprained ankle, anti bacterial and anti fungal pads. Great for $100 I reakon!
 

Greatbloke

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Dunlop Kt 26 runners are my first choice for general walking on open tracks, I used to wear dunlop volleys a lot in the bush too, they are the shoe of choice for roof plumbers; metal roofs can be slippery! But if it's wet....even long wet grass, I'll take my AkU Terrain boots, gortex lined, air 8000 breathable upper and vibam sole. I think it's important to have light footware that stays light in wet and muddy conditions. You have to lift that weight with every step.
 
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