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12/06/2019 08:07PM
Looking for boot suggestions. Wet foot, so I want something that will shed water. Chotas are NOT an option as they do not offer half sizes, and I have tried multiple pairs and none work for me. Merrell Moabs are my current set and have gone through a few pairs over the years, but their traction when wet is awful. Keen Targhees are oh-so-comfy, but the sole has no soul and departs from the upper within a season.

Thanks in advance for suggestions.
 
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PVnRT
member (17)member
 
12/06/2019 08:50PM
A friend swears by these:

Rocky S2V Enhanced 8 Inch Jungle Boot (Coyote)

I haven't tried, but he says grip on wet slippery rocky can't be beat, supportive, and drain relatively well.
 
12/06/2019 10:04PM
Keen Voyagers. Well ventilated, light weight, and last
 
12/06/2019 10:11PM
The cost initially is high but I will recommend a custom made boot company over anything else. If the budget is there you will be surprised in the difference. The value comes from long term use.
Personally I prefer Russell Moccasin Boots and have several that have lasted faithfully for as long as 20 years and still used, daily. Favorite is the Minimalist in all weatherproof leather.

butthead
 
mschi772
distinguished member (330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/06/2019 10:25PM
Astrals. I'd elaborate, but you have to check-out recommendations for yourself regardless. I wear Astrals not only in the wilderness but also every day. I can't recommend them strongly enough.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
12/07/2019 12:15AM
PVnRT: "Rocky S2V Enhanced 8 Inch Jungle Boot (Coyote) "
These seem like the real deal to me. If they fit securely and snugly with no sliding around inside the boot, I might have to dig (a little deep) into my wallet to buy these.
 
12/07/2019 09:24AM
Had the Keen Voyagers, but had the same problem as with the Targhees. Sole came apart within a season.

Ken, those are some beauties, and I can see getting ordering something from that site for daily use; products look too darn nice to paddle in!
 
12/07/2019 10:42AM


Minimalist I have worn the last 4 years including wetfooting canoe trips. Nearly daily worn.



Mohican Stalkers over 20 years of regular use. Including canoe trips wet footing since 2005.

Both pair in as bought condition now, only a re-sole on the Mohicans.



Insulated Hikers used for winter hunting and hiking 10-15 years of use. Show some use, due to the conditions they are worn in.

butthead
 
12/07/2019 10:56AM
Nice, Ken!

 
12/07/2019 11:14AM
Jackfish: "PVnRT: "Rocky S2V Enhanced 8 Inch Jungle Boot (Coyote) "
These seem like the real deal to me. If they fit securely and snugly with no sliding around inside the boot, I might have to dig (a little deep) into my wallet to buy these."


170 at Amazon. Of course, that could change at any moment.
 
12/07/2019 11:55AM
butthead: "


Minimalist I have worn the last 4 years including wetfooting canoe trips. Nearly daily worn.





Mohican Stalkers over 20 years of regular use. Including canoe trips wet footing since 2005.


Both pair in as bought condition now, only a re-sole on the Mohicans.





Insulated Hikers used for winter hunting and hiking 10-15 years of use. Show some use, due to the conditions they are worn in.


butthead"

Curious how those boots would work for someone with a really high arch like mine. Have tried Steger Mukluks and cannot tolerate them without a significant insert.
 
gymcoachdon
distinguished member (445)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/07/2019 01:55PM
Another vote for Keen Voyageurs. I have had mine four years now, and still going strong.
 
12/07/2019 03:51PM
Ordered a pair of the Rocky boots, only I went with the original S2V Jungle Boot. Twenty Five percent off on their site with free delivery. Looking forward to them!
 
12/07/2019 04:15PM
Frenchy19: "Had the Keen Voyagers, but had the same problem as with the Targhees. Sole came apart within a season. "
Interesting. I've had mine for years and they're still going strong
 
12/07/2019 05:07PM
I see ya order some boots Mark but will answer "Curious how those boots would work for someone with a really high arch like mine.", I have high arches. According to my local cobbler (yes Burlington still has one Itzen's Shoes), and Russell Moccasin when I have been measured for custom boots. I can stick my pudgy finger under my arch when standing on my feet.

butthead
 
12/07/2019 05:41PM
butthead: "I see ya order some boots Mark but will answer "Curious how those boots would work for someone with a really high arch like mine.", I have high arches. According to my local cobbler (yes Burlington still has one Itzen's Shoes), and Russell Moccasin when I have been measured for custom boots. I can stick my pudgy finger under my arch when standing on my feet.


butthead "


Will be my next pair should the Rocky's not work out. Also developed peripheral neuropathy over the past couple years, and that is another literal pain for me to consider. Always appreciate your input, Ken!
 
scramble4a5
distinguished member (497)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/07/2019 10:25PM
PVnRT: "A friend swears by these:


Rocky S2V Enhanced 8 Inch Jungle Boot (Coyote)


I haven't tried, but he says grip on wet slippery rocky can't be beat, supportive, and drain relatively well."


I have them and really like them . I have made two trips with them and they look like they will last many more. They are designed for military use so it stands to reason they would be durable.
 
12/08/2019 03:34PM
I cancelled the Rocky order. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I do not want a boot that runs halfway up my calf.
 
brulu
member (15)member
 
12/08/2019 03:52PM
Frenchy19: "I cancelled the Rocky order. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I do not want a boot that runs halfway up my calf. "

That thought occurred to me when I looked them up for myself.

After doing some research a couple of years ago, I decided that Keen Voyageurs (as others have mentioned) are the best all around option for me. I want to like the Chotas but the ones I have tried on so far (not sure which models) have seemed too soft and stretchy for me, maybe if I swapped out the elastic laces for some real laces I would like them better. But I have been happy with the Voyageurs, they seem like they will last me a few more years (2-3 trips per year plus some non-bwca light hiking). Hopefully the same model will still be available when it's time to replace them.
 
RunningFox
member (39)member
 
12/08/2019 06:16PM
I have Miendl Denali’s (Cabela’s) that offer the support and comfort I enjoy. They have held up fairly well, but for durability you will find it hard to beat Russell moccasins, as butthead reports. Hands down, Russells are the best looking boot I’ve ever seen.

Denali’s are like ski boots. And ugly. I bird hunt and would frequently fall before I tried the Denali’s. The Denali’s are uninsulated. They don’t leak — even after 11 years. But I recently had to glue the sole on both boots — the pair is eleven years old. Never owned Russell’s that didn’t leak, but a waterproof sock will fix that.
 
Ohiopikeman
senior member (100)senior membersenior member
 
12/08/2019 09:47PM
For wet-foot portaging, I have a pair of the Rocky SV2's and I'll tell you that I was totally satisfied with these boots. They drain excellent, dry fast, provide very good ankle support, and have good traction.

I actually wore these boots last year when I ran in the local "Tough Mudder" event. The opening 1 mile or so of the course was some very nasty slippery mud. I'm not much of a runner, but for that opening mile I was literally blowing by the high school and college age kids that were sliding all over the place in their trail running shoes.

Dave
 
moustachesteve
member (13)member
 
12/09/2019 11:14AM
Another vote for Astrals. The Rassler is probably a better dedicated water shoe but I use the Merge M's for a portage/hiking/fly fishing wading shoe due to higher ankle support. They have Vibram soles for good traction on wet rocks plus they drain and dry quickly.
 
RunningFox
member (39)member
 
12/12/2019 01:30PM
In my earlier thread I said how much I liked my Cabela’s Danali boots. It appears Cabela’s is no longer selling Meindl boots. You can still buy this boot: Meindl Vakuum. Made in Germany. Tons of ankle support which I think is a good idea on those Quetico portages with 70 lbs on your back.
 
12/12/2019 05:57PM
Apparently "Santa" (my 22 year old daughter)is bringing me some boots for Christmas. I have a feeling they will be the Keen Targhees (she has a pair and loves them, and she knows I am shopping around), and if that is the case, I will excitedly wear them until they are dead.
 
w_w_w_31
distinguished member (230)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2020 03:12PM
Another vote here for a custom made boot. I am still in my original pair of Whites Packers. love them dearly. I ordered them taller than normal, specifically for wet-footing in the BWCA. They were not cheap at all, but totally worth it in the long run. They have the highest quality leather I have EVER seen in a boot, period. And I have gone through a lot of boots from many companies.
 
unshavenman
distinguished member(1168)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2020 05:27PM
Frenchy19: "Apparently "Santa" (my 22 year old daughter)is bringing me some boots for Christmas. I have a feeling they will be the Keen Targhees (she has a pair and loves them, and she knows I am shopping around), and if that is the case, I will excitedly wear them until they are dead. "
So Frenchy, what did you find under the Christmas tree?
 
01/02/2020 05:56PM
w_w_w_31: "Another vote here for a custom made boot. I am still in my original pair of Whites Packers. love them dearly. I ordered them taller than normal, specifically for wet-footing in the BWCA. They were not cheap at all, but totally worth it in the long run. They have the highest quality leather I have EVER seen in a boot, period. And I have gone through a lot of boots from many companies."

I took a serious look at Whites, but I'm more comfortable with less heel/sole height. Also I'm a cheesehead booster and Russells is about 2 hours north of me in WI. Hard to convince folks who get 6 months to a year of wear that a $500 pair of boots is more of a value! Or that all leather boots will last wetfooting.

butthead
 
OCDave
distinguished member (433)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/02/2020 08:54PM
Frenchy19: "Looking for boot suggestions. Wet foot, so I want something that will shed water. Chotas are NOT an option as they do not offer half sizes, and I have tried multiple pairs and none work for me. Merrell Moabs are my current set and have gone through a few pairs over the years, but their traction when wet is awful. Keen Targhees are oh-so-comfy, but the sole has no soul and departs from the upper within a season.

Thanks in advance for suggestions. "


I really like my Oboz Sawtooth Low Hiking shoes

The sole is sturdy enough to protect my feet from sharp rocks and roots underfoot and the toe-box keeps my toe-nails intact. Traction when wet is satisfactory. The weight when dry is great. They drain and dry reasonably well. I like them enough to have purchased a second pair just because they were on sale.
 
GearGuy
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
01/02/2020 10:57PM
Well, no one has suggested Altama's yet so nobody is using the best shoe for the water. Fact is if you're going with a shoe that's not designed to be in the water, your shoe is going to wear out faster than it was designed to. That's why people have been saying "Oh then the sole came apart" or "They just killlllllleeed my acchilles heel/ankles" or "They didn't have the best traction" or "I resoled them" or They didn't dry fast enough"...Most modern hiking shoes are not designed to be put to work in an underwater environment.

Altama Assaults on the other hand are maritime shoes made for the water. They look and feel like Converse shoes. They're light weight and feel like you're wearing a thin shoe, which is great if you don't like having swollen waterlogged leather cinder blocks on your feet when portaging. They dry in an afternoon, they have drain portages that gush water out, and they fit tight enough around you ankle that they do a pretty good job of keeping everything even sand out of your shoes. The bottom is made up like a snow tire, lots of flexible rubber and grooves to grip things when wet. All of the fabric is made for water, materials are sewn together rather than glued, and they make an amazing dry shoe once they dry in that single afternoon it takes. Did I mention they are way more compact and lighter than all of the other wet shoes suggested? Oh and they cost just $80 and look cool as hell. Have used mine on several trips, they're my travel shoe. I keep the dry shoes bone dry at camp, any chance of water, I wear these, fishing, I wear these, they're always on my feet, they dry as you're wearing them. I wear em at home, at work, all the time. They're bulletproof, no sign of wear other than the mud that darkens the camo pattern.
 
RickyBHangin
 
01/02/2020 11:13PM
I recently bought a pair of Solomon Jungle boots to replace my trusted Muck boots. My mucks are great but don’t offer any flex and my Achilles heel paid dearly for it on the long portage into Tuscarora. The jungle boots have the ankle support I need, drain really well, and are durable. In Spring or fall I use Sealskinz dry socks and in warmer temps just a wool sock. Works great. Good luck in your search, I know it took me awhile scouring these posts! Ha
 
GearGuy
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
01/03/2020 03:28AM
butthead: "The cost initially is high but I will recommend a custom made boot company over anything else. If the budget is there you will be surprised in the difference. The value comes from long term use.
Personally I prefer Russell Moccasin Boots and have several that have lasted faithfully for as long as 20 years and still used, daily. Favorite is the Minimalist in all weatherproof leather.


butthead"


I hate to disagree with you BH cause you're a legend on this website, but a big leather boot for a wet shoe? Cmon man. Support of local businesses is great but leather when properly oiled can tolerate RAIN, submerging leather shoes under water is just a BAD IDEA and just an improper use of Leather footwear. Drying said leather shoes must take forever...And a $500 ish pair of boots at that? Also, weatherproof is FARRRRRRRRR CRY from waterproof. Your BWCA wisdom is great but on this I could not disagree more.
 
01/03/2020 08:05AM
Gear Guy - you've done no BW trips per your profile. Could you be a rep for the Altama Assault boot? Maybe do some trips first in them eh? I checked out the boots and right off the bat I don't like the lace system. Cloth laces that would be a pain in the butt taking off when wet. The tread looks a bit on the thin side too.

I agree about not using leather boots however. I use Chota Hybrids and besides having to glue a sole back down I like them a lot.



 
01/03/2020 09:05AM
GearGuy: " but a big leather boot for a wet shoe? Cmon man. Support of local businesses is great but leather when properly oiled can tolerate RAIN, submerging leather shoes under water is just a BAD IDEA and just an improper use of Leather footwear. Drying said leather shoes must take forever...And a $500 ish pair of boots at that? Also, weatherproof is FARRRRRRRRR CRY from waterproof. "

My boots Minimalist Short Thula Thula in 5" ordered in all leather upper and 1/4 heel lift. 3 pounds 7.1 ounces, over 5 years old used in BWCA and Quetio wetfooting.
2015 Quetico trip I am the short fat guy in red t-shirt green button shirt These are my daily footware also used hiking and hunting. An older pair of Mohican Stalkers purchased before 2000 used on too many trips to count weigh 3 pounds 15.3 ounces just this morning, the Moccasins were re-soled once about 5 years ago. Either drys sufficiently overnite, are suberged regularly. Never claimed waterproof instead well preserved and taken care of. Speaking of submerging boot here is how I take care of them,

Regular washing inside and out with glycerine saddle soap, brushing down when dry the next day followed with cream polish and brush buff.
$500 boots yes! The Mohicans over 20 years old and with the re-sole total $500, $25 per year and still in great condition. The Thula Thula's are 5 years old and look like they will last as long if not longer.
GG do you think 1900's loggers used, nylon? Or kept their leather boots out of the water?
What is the Altma boot weight (I had a pair)? How long will they be serviceable?

butthead
 
GearGuy
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
01/03/2020 07:10PM
GG do you think 1900's loggers used, nylon? Or kept their leather boots out of the water?What is the Altma boot weight (I had a pair)? How long will they be serviceable?

butthead
"


A pair of Altama OTB Assaults weigh 1lb 11oz. They cost $80, and you just hose em down at home and leave em out to dry. I've used them pretty heavily over the past 4 years so haven't had them as long as you have had your boots but I'd be surprised if they didn't go another 4 at least.
 
01/03/2020 09:44PM
Owned a pair of Altma 4168 boots at 4 pounds for the pair. I have EEEE width 8 1/2 size and they were too narrow even though ordered extra wide 9 1/2. Well made all leather will last long even after regular submersion and I welcome a comparison with your boots in another 4 years. Of course my $500 boots will also be down to $20 per year of use.

butthead
 
GearGuy
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
01/03/2020 11:48PM
butthead: "Owned a pair of Altma 4168 boots at 4 pounds for the pair. I have EEEE width 8 1/2 size and they were too narrow even though ordered extra wide 9 1/2. Well made all leather will last long even after regular submersion and I welcome a comparison with your boots in another 4 years. Of course my $500 boots will also be down to $20 per year of use.


butthead"


My shoes are also at $20 a year! So you can't argue that point much. Initial investment is much cheaper. Also, at what point is it not fair to compare a $500 pair of boots that you resole, to an $80 pair of shoes you just replace? Mine will be at $10 per year sooner than your boot, and then I'll just buy a new pair of shoes, assuming they wear out (which so far is unforseen). Let say I buy an $80 pair or shoes every 10 years. That's $160 for 20 years of service, that you spent $500 on. I just don't see the comparison? Also...Leather is just not meant to be submerged lol, I agree that if we were talking about a dry shoe, I would not argue with you at all. But the OP asked for a wet shoe. How in the heck do you justify a damn near 4 lb shoe (WHEN DRY) as a wet shoe? We're talking at least 6 lbs when wet. I've read countless posts from you advocating low pack weight, and here you are talking about 10 ish lbs sitting on your feet alone! I love you BH but this is just...crazy!
 
01/04/2020 12:00AM
Ah I can see you have absolutely no knowledge of well made shoes and boots.
I never referred to anyone choices as foolish, and chide someone over how they chose to spend.
"submerging leather shoes under water is just a BAD IDEA and just an improper use of Leather footwear. Drying said leather shoes must take forever" can you back that up with other than opinion, what leather boots have you worn that justify such a statement. I have worn composite boots and probably before you were born, try 1979 with Early Winters GoreTex Nylon Boots, composite work boots, and several brands of all leather construction.

Mark the OP asked and understands where I am responding from. w_w_w_31 also referred to a pair of custom crafted boots and I directed a response to him but then you probably have never heard of Whites Boots, Nicks, Lowa, Franks, Zamberlan, Daytons, Danner, Limmer,or Russell Mocassins. Enjoy your toss away footwear. No trouble with me.

Ken
 
01/04/2020 12:57PM
GearGuy: "butthead: "Owned a pair of Altma 4168 boots at 4 pounds for the pair. I have EEEE width 8 1/2 size and they were too narrow even though ordered extra wide 9 1/2. Well made all leather will last long even after regular submersion and I welcome a comparison with your boots in another 4 years. Of course my $500 boots will also be down to $20 per year of use.



butthead"



My shoes are also at $20 a year! So you can't argue that point much. Initial investment is much cheaper. Also, at what point is it not fair to compare a $500 pair of boots that you resole, to an $80 pair of shoes you just replace? Mine will be at $10 per year sooner than your boot, and then I'll just buy a new pair of shoes, assuming they wear out (which so far is unforseen). Let say I buy an $80 pair or shoes every 10 years. That's $160 for 20 years of service, that you spent $500 on. I just don't see the comparison? Also...Leather is just not meant to be submerged lol, I agree that if we were talking about a dry shoe, I would not argue with you at all. But the OP asked for a wet shoe. How in the heck do you justify a damn near 4 lb shoe (WHEN DRY) as a wet shoe? We're talking at least 6 lbs when wet. I've read countless posts from you advocating low pack weight, and here you are talking about 10 ish lbs sitting on your feet alone! I love you BH but this is just...crazy!"


What $80 footwear have you purchased that will last 10 years with any real use?

 
01/04/2020 01:56PM
My apologies to followers of this thread. I try to stay away from opinionated topics.
Mark an I are no strangers and his question brought my suggestion.

I will take exception when someone suggests I am foolish for believing something I have long term experience with. I made my suggestion in a helpful manner and supplied personal use descriptions and photos, not hearsay, opinion, or manufacturers claims. Composite footwear has only been in existence a portion of my lifetime with the exception of athletic shoes. Till the late 70's the only option for outdoor boots was all leather, so I just will not accept the idea that "submerging leather shoes under water is just a BAD IDEA and just an improper use of Leather footwear. Drying said leather shoes must take forever". I have too much experience with leather boots to let such baseless claims go unchallenged.

Ken
 
01/04/2020 08:52PM
Ken,

I am definitely in your corner on this one !

Mike
 
01/04/2020 10:38PM
Ken, no need to apologize. I always welcome your take on gear, and I always appreciate and admire that you do not come across like a self righteous, God-of-Good-Gear-Guy. Some here could learn from that.

On the boot front, my daughter did, indeed, get me a pair of Keens for Christmas, and I am a grateful daddy!
 
01/04/2020 10:50PM
Mark, I think you will like them. My son sure does for his work boots. Have tried them on myself but my wide feet cause trouble in short time.

butthead

PS; Hi there Mike P! bh
 
mschi772
distinguished member (330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2020 09:33AM
I'll just chime in with a genuine desire to know how butthead's leather boots don't disintegrate in a couple of years with regular soaking and drying. I worked for years in natural areas restoration and management. In that time I tried the best boots I could afford from a number of different companies. Not Whites, Wescos, or comparable level brands because I wasn't nor am I rich enough to afford the short term cost even if long term life was guaranteed unfortunately (plus it would take most of the rest of my life at this point before they'd last long enough to justify their price compared to burning through cheaper footwear instead). The most I could ever manage to muster in time for new boots was maybe $200. I never had to worry about resoling because not a single boot made it two years without the leather becoming dry, cracked garbage. And that was with diligent cleaning and care. I'm not here to argue. I'm here to learn what magic I was missing. For trips I will continue to wetfoot with Astal Loyaks and dryfoot with Dry-Shod Haymakers, but I still want to know why, despite all of my best efforts I never even saw the faintest hope of getting leather boots to survive the lakes, ponds, pairies, forests, and wetlands I worked in.
 
01/05/2020 09:55AM
mschi772, your close so I'd be happy to let you take a good look and put hands on.
Due to the $$$ invested figured I'd go with the makers recommendations,
Leather Care
Burlington has an old school boot/shoe shop Itzin's and carries many of the brands in Russell's recommendations.
I bought all my boot from him till I went with custom, Dave has measured me for boots since he took over 25+ years ago and I still go there often.

Taking the Russell info, I wash my boots about 4 times a year inside and outside with saddle soap leaving the suds on without rinsing to dry stuffed with newspaper, they get about as heavy as any composite boot not more and dry fully in a day, usually over-nite.
The 2 pairs of Weather Tuff leather boots get a coating of silicone waterproofing, cream polish, brushed well at each step.
The Hikers get washed the same, treated with Obenauf LP, and hard polish, brushed each step.

Basically the same treatment used on my work boots but without the Russell specified materials. I worked for 44 years at Nestle foods, shipping and receiving, primarily with bulk international ingredients shipped by rail. Daily switching RR cars and working outdoor as much as in. Averaged between 5 and 10 years per pair except for the years handling granular bulk sugar, that dried anything out very fast and unloading 1.5 million pounds a week I was lucky to get a year of use. By the way, always wore saftey capped boots Wolverine's, Chippewa's, and Redwing's and was recommended to switch to composites soon as they became available by Dave, no more cold feet in winter!
That's it!

butthead
 
MagicPaddler
distinguished member(1314)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2020 09:57AM
Blatz: "Keen Voyagers. Well ventilated, light weight, and last"
+1 Lasted me several seasons and I replaced them with another pair. Tests
 
mschi772
distinguished member (330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/06/2020 12:21AM
I gave all my boots the same care as you, butthead. Probably 3-5 times per year. Down to the products of Fiebing's saddle soap and Obenaufs LP even. Garbage in 2 years or less every time. Like I said, especially given the economics involved where boots of proper quality are SO expensive these days that they'd literally have to last a lifetime to be worth their price (which is a long time to risk), I simply have no reason to justify gambling my money and all the time that adds up in caring for them. My Dry-shods are wonderful, better than mucks, cheaper than leather, and lasting longer than any leather I ever had.

I get 3-4 years out of each pair of ~$80 Astral Loyaks which are incredibly light and have a wide, flexible sole that allows my feet to work healthier and more naturally instead of being bound-up unnaturally in a tight, restrictive boot. Let me be clear before someone tries to poke holes in this saying that $80 every 3-4 years isn't special. Some people say they have boots that last for years, but they only actually use those boots a fraction of the time throughout those years and are wearing other boots/shoes the other days. I wear my Astrals DAILY. Every single day, not just while camping. I wear them while I work, to the store, on walks around town, mowing the lawn...Literally the only time I don't wear my Astrals is when I'm wearing a dress shoe, when I'm dry-footing on a trip with my Dry-Shod boots, or when I'm working outside for a long period of time in sub-zero temps and wearing my Baffins. That's it. $80 for a pair of Loyaks that survive at least 1000-1400 solid days of use including on a lot of hot asphalt and concrete which is particularly damaging on the super soft rubber that Astral uses for their grippy soles...

I had hoped there was something I was missing and could learn, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Either my luck was bad or my work was much harder on boots than you because I am very particular about caring for my possessions (some of my dress shoes are 40 year old Florsheim wingtips and are still as good as new) and never even saw the faintest glimmer of hope that leather would ever survive my wet work. Perhaps the "solution" was to clean and dress my boots much more often due to the nature of the work they had to endure, but so much time devoted to constantly babysitting boots would have also been a dealbreaker--neither my Dry-shods nor my Astrals require such babying despite enduring the same conditions. Oh well. I don't work in that field anymore thankfully and have no need for such footwear any longer. I now run my own mobile automotive detailing service, and I actually wear my Astrals daily for that as well.

You're satisfied, so keep going. It's silly for others to tell you you should change when you have no reason to.
 
GearGuy
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
01/06/2020 01:13AM
Frenchy19: "Ken, no need to apologize. I always welcome your take on gear, and I always appreciate and admire that you do not come across like a self righteous, God-of-Good-Gear-Guy. Some here could learn from that.


On the boot front, my daughter did, indeed, get me a pair of Keens for Christmas, and I am a grateful daddy! "


We're all friends here, call it what you want but I wouldn't want you to buy a pair of the wrong expensive shoes for the wrong job. Sometimes we can get absurdly branded, and ignore what objectively is the best tool for the job. I refuse to do that!
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member (359)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/06/2020 07:18AM
These days both my son and I have switched to Merrill or Keen vented mid-height boots. I have had my Keens for 2 seasons so far and no signs of the sole delaminating...they are rock solid. I am surprised to hear about the people having trouble.

My son is still growing so his first pair of Merrills came to me and I continue to wear them...so 4 seasons total. His current Merrill Moab boots are 2 seasons old so far and staying in good shape.

No offense to GearGuy, I am sure the boots he mentioned work great for him. But I could never wear anything that "feels like a Converse". I need a stiff, supportive boot. One season I tried a canvas boot and my feet were miserable.

Thirty years ago, I wore full height basic leather work boots (no fancy lining) like you used to be able to buy for a reasonable price. I still have a pair that I wore for 8 years of epic wilderness trips in my youth. They were fantastic. They need some revitalization right now but I have no doubt with a good soaking of leather oil they would be back...but I would also need them resoled as I wore all the tread off.
 
mschi772
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01/06/2020 10:17AM
straighthairedcurly:No offense to GearGuy, I am sure the boots he mentioned work great for him. But I could never wear anything that "feels like a Converse". I need a stiff, supportive boot. One season I tried a canvas boot and my feet were miserable."

There are benefits to allowing your feet to widen and operate more naturally (which both Converse or those Altamas really don't do because they're still quite narrow and restrictive) and allowing your feet and ankles to strengthen and support you without relying on stiff boots, but you can't go from a lifetime of restrictive footwear into it. Your bone structure has been permanently altered by a lifetime of wearing restrictive shoes, and your muscles aren't prepared to support you in the absence of a stiff boot. It's something you have to ease into if you're going to do it. I'm not so extreme as to be a person who barefoots everything or wears Vibram FiveFinger shoes or anything, but I have put some effort into allowing my feet to return as much as they can to a natural shape and now wear shoes that are very light, very flexible, wider in the toe box, and are very low and unsupportive (Astral Loyaks). Now when I wear boots (when I'm dry-footing with my Haymakers for example) I actually have to be careful because walking in them especially in uneven terrain is kind of like trying to hear though ear plugs for me.

If you don't want to do it, don't. I'm just saying that big changes in footwear will never feel like anything but uncomfortable because it's one of those things you have to slowly adapt to.
 
01/06/2020 10:36AM
"We're all friends here, call it what you want but I wouldn't want you to buy a pair of the wrong expensive shoes for the wrong job. Sometimes we can get absurdly branded, and ignore what objectively is the best tool for the job. I refuse to do that!"

Thru-out this thread where did I ever claim other folks choices were bad? You did that.
I have owned Altma's meant to be submerged and some other brand of composites intended for similar use. I own and use all leather boots with the usage described, yet you have continuously indicated either I am lying about my personal experiences or misleading folks. What is the basis of your claims and how do you explain that leather boots have a much longer history of use in wet and frequently submerged conditions? Have you ever owned a pair of high quality leather hiking boots or custom made boots?

" But the OP asked for a wet shoe,"

Mark also mentioned other boots he used and wanted options. Mark and I have met more than once and have mutual admiration for each others opinions.

"How do I justify my recommendation?"

Actual long term personal experience with the item I mentioned.

"How in the heck do you justify a damn near 4 lb shoe (WHEN DRY) as a wet shoe?

Never claimed superior weigh saving with my boots, but through actual use and comparison the pairs I listed are lighter than many comparable boots. I did not use a listed weight, but show on a scale the actual weigh. Want me to weigh a pair wet to display the wet weight? I can and will for anyone asking that question. but In your case GearGuy I fully doubt you can honestly accept such proof. I will tell you you'd be disappointed. 2 pounds of adsorbed water is 2 pints, 1 quart, 32 volumetric ounces, visualize that and take a better guess.
One point I never mentioned is fit. That is personal but another advantage and should be obvious, I have 8 1/2 EEEE foot size, with a high arch. I also do not own a closet of shoes and boots, but own a pair of high hiking boots the Mohican Stalkers 20+ years old, the Minimalist 5+, a pair Heavy Hikers insulated with extra heavy soles no on my grandsons feet, a pairof chuka boots, a pair of slip on canvas low tops, a pair of Iceman boots and a pair of mukluks. That is it, so the Minimalist are worn daily, and for hiking, backpacking, around town, before that the Mohican boots. I did wear separate working boots but they stayed at the factory except for maintenance. That's 3 pair of boots and a pair of slippers for daily use, except for the chuka's they are also used on wet footing canoe trips, backpacking, hiking, and hunting. Is that misleading at all?

Ken


 
01/06/2020 11:29AM
mschi772, along the line of a more natural fit, that is the build philosophy of the Minimalist described. Munson Last describes this and in my experience very worthwhile. RedWing Iron Range and some Chippewa's use their own similar style last's.

butthead
 
w_w_w_31
distinguished member (230)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/06/2020 09:36PM
"I took a serious look at Whites, but I'm more comfortable with less heel/sole height. Also I'm a cheesehead booster and Russells is about 2 hours north of me in WI. Hard to convince folks who get 6 months to a year of wear that a $500 pair of boots is more of a value! Or that all leather boots will last wetfooting."

butthead"

I have had my Packers on at least 6 BWCA trips, normal trip for me is 14 days. I always wet foot, due to paddling light weight canoes. My boots are holding up amazingly well, considering how mych wet-dry they go through. I do treat them quite a bit with Lexol, Whites Paste, and Montana Pine Pitch Blend. I also have the "Red dog" leather from Whites, which is silicone treated from the beginning.

dave
 
w_w_w_31
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01/06/2020 09:41PM
GearGuy:

I hate to disagree with you BH cause you're a legend on this website, but a big leather boot for a wet shoe? Cmon man. Support of local businesses is great but leather when properly oiled can tolerate RAIN, submerging leather shoes under water is just a BAD IDEA and just an improper use of Leather footwear. Drying said leather shoes must take forever...And a $500 ish pair of boots at that? Also, weatherproof is FARRRRRRRRR CRY from waterproof. Your BWCA wisdom is great but on this I could not disagree more. "


Sorry Gear Guy, but I have to use my years and years of experience to disagree with you on your assumption that leather boots do not work in the BWCA. The correct ones do work, and actually excel at it. I was tired of wearing out nice hiking boots every couple years, due to the rugged nature of the terrain. I like to go in the "shoulder seasons", when there is high potential for snow and ice. I need something with good support and protection from the elements, including the sharp rocks. I have ended up with my Whites, and have never doubted my decision. Just like someone else in the thread noted, think about all the loggers in our history that were working around water - do you think they wore cheap, disposable boots? Or do you think they invested in good equipment for the job?

And as far as supporting a local business, Whites are an amazing company, all their boots are made in Spokane, WA. And the other boot makers that butthead mentioned are also good companies. I still prefer and American made boot if I can.

dave
 
01/07/2020 09:40AM
Frenchy19: "Looking for boot suggestions. Wet foot, so I want something that will shed water. "

Using the old "one pound on the feet is like five pounds on the back" (US Army study - actual range was 4.7X to 6.4X) rationale...I switched years ago from heavy boots to lightweight trail runners for mountain backpacking, and do something similar for canoe country.

I've used Five Ten water shoes (no longer made) and Astrals. Prefer a closed shoe to keep debris out, and good drainage is essential. Current shoes weigh 8 oz each (dry) in a size 10.

As I've gotten older the extra weight is harder for me (knees especially) to bear, so I am careful about choosing light gear for when I am portaging.
 
01/07/2020 10:28AM
Boot weight keeps popping up, and it is something to think about.
Why is there an almost universal opinion that leather is so heavy overall?
The Minimalist I show are 3 pound 7 ounce and light compared to other leather boots, 27 ounces each. But I ordered all leather silicone tanned, 7 inch high, with heel wedge, and a mid weight sole, which all added more weight. Could have specified lighter weight leather, 5 inch, canvas insert uppers, no wedge, Calfskin or Soft Cowhide, light sole (this alone could drop 4 ounces). They are custom made boots with optional materials. I specified mine with personal use considerations beyond BWCA portaging which is not as demanding of boots as other activities.

butthead
 
Tomcat
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01/07/2020 11:14AM
 
mschi772
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01/07/2020 11:37AM
butthead: "Boot weight keeps popping up, and it is something to think about.
Why is there an almost universal opinion that leather is so heavy overall?"


I mean, sure leather is heavier than Cordura (for example), but you're right that it's not as big a deal as people are making it. I think what is happening is that people are associating weight with leather because many leather boots, especially the more common, cheaper ones, are built heavy with excess material and, most importantly, very heavy soles. It's not that leather is THAT heavy, it's that it is so often accompanied by other heavier materials and a heavy design.

The other side of this is where I contradict myself and say that leather IS inescapably heavy. While above I admit that leather isn't as much of a big deal as people are making it out to be, here I'll say that it's not so insignificant to some as it is to you. If someone doesn't want or need the overkill of having a higher shoe or the "armor" of leather, your Minimalists at 55 oz per pair are still hulking compared to something like my Loyaks which weigh about 15-16 oz per pair. Even Astral's heavier, more robust shoes like TR1 or Rassler are only like 20-25 oz per pair.

Honestly, I think it's the price that kills leather, not weight (and for me, the slow dry time for saturated leather is also a big bummer). For something truly worthwhile, you're paying $300-500. At $500, if I replace my Astrals every 3-4 years, it'll take me about 20-25 years for those boots to pay for themselves. If they get ruined in some way during those 20 years, they'll NEVER pay for themselves and that's a lot of money spent. A 20-year-old would have to make those boots last until they're 40-45 (nevermind that we're also asking this hypthetical 20-yr-old to be able to afford dropping $500 on boots). I'm 34, so I'll be in my late 50's before the money would be worth it. Sure, there's some added value in "preempting" inflation, but I'll just consider that a wash with the cost of the products to maintain the boots and the resoling. Even a $300 pair (if a custom pair of leather boots at that price is even possible) is a 11-15 year commitment, and that's a long time to hope the boots don't get ruined by something or become uncomfortable.

Do I think you need to abandon leather? Heck no. It's doing what you want it to do, and if there are no improvements you seek, why should you change? This is one of those many things where there isn't a "one-size-fits-all" and all we can do as a community for people asking for advice is to list the available options and their pros/cons...and have a public discussion exploring those pros/cons as we are currently doing. You choose leather boots. I choose Loyaks (and occasionally Dry-Shods). GG chooses Altamas. Others wear Mucks or Chotas or Keens..... They're all different, and while some ARE better than others regardless of who you are, there really is not one or two or even three kings on the throne that anyone gets to point to as being THE only choices.
 
01/07/2020 12:31PM
mschi772, you are closest to understanding what I'm saying. The big problem with custom leather boot/shoes is the initial cost. And mostly just that. I get than and only advocated as an option, certainly not the best or only choice. As I pointed out my choices are based,

1-fit, I have a foot size not found in factory manufactured footwear, 8 1/2 EEEE high arch sole is not a standard last size, and I was often fitted with 9-9 1/2 EEE commercially made. The custom sizing and leather's ability to form fit in use displayed a level of comfort I never found in factory made shoes.

2- build and material options not available in factory production

3- versatility of use. I hike off trail and hunt deep forested broken terrain a lot, canoe trip, camp and hike regular trails year around, expect to use as around town and yard due to the expense. I paid a lot and wanted the most use.

Drying is not that bad either and I'm comparing that to Altma nylon/leather jungle boots, Early Winters Goretex/Nylon hikers, Keen sandals, well you get the idea. Dry as fast as the latest lightweight stuff no, but I think overnight is not so bad, what takes time drying are layers, liners, sole pads added to a lot of boots. The Minamalist use a 2 layer leather foot wrap, single layer upper, no liner, no sole liner and will dry over-nite even in wet camps.
Something else, how much is spent by fishing and hunting enthusiast on the gear the use.
Hunters will often have a locker full of $1000 deer and game rifles that see much less field use than a pair of boots. In know bow hunters who spend well over $500 every 2-3 years on upgrading the archery gear. Same goes for fishing gear, camera, sleeping bags, ---------------
I spend more time in my Minimalist boots than I do in all the other footwear I own combined, more time than my home bed. I have no trouble justifying my choice of footwear. I do notice that all detractors of such choices have never owned or used such equipment, so what is their basis for comparison?

As I posted before I have gotten flack over my personal choices of gear in the past by people who have no experience with the item, yet make absolute statements about suitability. I may be becoming a crotchety opinionated old fart, but decided to actually respond to such. Specifically what does GearGuy know about custom leather boots? He did make suitability statement in fairly absolute terms.

butthead
 
mschi772
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01/07/2020 01:40PM
I feel ya on size, BH. Depending on the manufacturer, the last they use, and which one of my feet we are talking about, I'm anywhere from a 10E to a 10.5EE ideally. It's virtually impossible to get anyone to even offer E width at all. I think more people have wider feet than they realize and instead just crush their feet into the closest thing they can find to a decent fit on store shelves and identify as that size instead. Yeah, with a size far outside of what manufacturers have decided is "normal" custom gets to be ones only option if they actually care about doing footwear correctly. Also, if you simply *enjoy* a $500 boot, that's all the reason you need. No one tells Corvette owners they are wrong simply because Honda Fits exist. No one shames the guy with the beautiful vintage revolver because cheaper modern guns exist. No one argues with the owner of a carbon canoe telling them they should just rent Kevlar. We pay for more than just raw function and practicality all the time, so why should a guy who enjoys a custom leather boots be treated any worse?
 
Beavers
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01/07/2020 02:04PM
Frenchy19: "Looking for boot suggestions. Wet foot, so I want something that will shed water. "

Find any old pair of hiking boots that you like. Take a screw driver or a big nail and heat it up nice and hot over your camp stove then melt/stab a few drain holes around the lower edge of the boots. After a couple steps on the Portage trail all the water squirts out of the holes.
 
w_w_w_31
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01/07/2020 02:35PM
butthead: "As I posted before I have gotten flack over my personal choices of gear in the past by people who have no experience with the item, yet make absolute statements about suitability. I may be becoming a crotchety opinionated old fart, but decided to actually respond to such. Specifically what does GearGuy know about custom leather boots? He did make suitability statement in fairly absolute terms.


butthead"



I second this statement, wholeheartedly. Gear is a personal preference, and we all have our preferences. I've had my Whites for over 15 years, and they are going strong. I still have a few other pairs of boots for other purposes, none work out as good for me in the BWCA as my Whites. On travel days, I generally cover a lot of ground, and go through a lot of portages. It has taken me a long time to refine my gear to what I really like, but it is all just my preference. Some trips I have a cast iron pan, other times I only take titanium. It just all depends.

dave
 
01/07/2020 03:33PM
Beavers: "Frenchy19: "Looking for boot suggestions. Wet foot, so I want something that will shed water. "


Find any old pair of hiking boots that you like. Take a screw driver or a big nail and heat it up nice and hot over your camp stove then melt/stab a few drain holes around the lower edge of the boots. After a couple steps on the Portage trail all the water squirts out of the holes. "


Andy! Long time no hear! Toss an Email my way, I have a bag-full of fibs to share!

butthead
 
Beavers
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01/07/2020 04:13PM
Will do Ken!
 
01/07/2020 07:13PM
A final note, soaked my favorite shoe in hot tap water for 15 minutes let drain for 5 and weighed. the shoe gained 6.6 ounces, 27.7 to 34.3. That is 13.2 ounces water gained wet for the pair.
After 12 hours the weight of water retained dropped to 5 ounces retained and were quite wearable and I did outside in 20 degree temps.

butthead
 
countrybois
member (47)member
 
01/16/2020 03:24PM
Altra lone peak mids - non-waterproof ones. Lightweight, drain and dry fast, and they guarantee them for ~500 miles. Not sure how they determine that, but I have had minor issues and they don't flinch at replacing them.
 
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