Best Survival Boots: Buying Guide, Need To Knows in 2020

Survival Footwear GuideAsk any experienced backpacker or outdoors-man and they will tell you that the single most important piece of equipment is their shoes. Take away his or her knife, tent, or jacket and a resourceful person may still find a way to survive but without good survival shoes a person’s chances are significantly reduced.

By FerFal, a special guest post for SurvivalCache.com
Author of Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse

Karambit Knife

Survival Footwear: All You Need To Know

Caveman Shoes

Poor footwear limits your ability to move and you lose heat fast through your feet.  In some conditions, taking away a man’s boots is a death sentence.  Given the new Bushcraft and back to basics revival the casual reader may believe that in the good old days people went barefoot.  This isn’t an accurate estimation.

There have been archeological discoveries showing the existence of sandals as far as 500,000 BC.  While some societies did use to go barefoot, mostly thanks to permissive climate and topography, in the same period other civilizations saw the advantage of proper footwear.  The Romans dominated and marched all over the known world using tough hobnailed sandals.  They were made of strips of leather reinforced all over with iron nails and studs for added traction and feet protection.

Survival Shoes

Today, intelligent selection of shoes presents several advantages as well.  While most people will go along with what SHTF Shoesfashion dictates at the time, the modern survivor should have other considerations in mind.  I can relate a couple of good examples of the advantages provided by proper shoe selection.

During a trip to Spain with my wife and two kids we experienced car problems in the middle of the highway.  There was no sidewalk and the only thing we could do was walk along the side of the road between the guardrail and the railway’s fence.  This place was roughly two feet across and full of tall grass and junk, everything from cans to broken glass bottles.  Having trekking shoes made the little ordeal easier.  My wife and oldest son had to advance carefully, and given that had better shoes I could advance with better footing while carrying our youngest child.  The strobe in my LED flashlight proved to be a lifesaver when crossing that highway as well, signaling the cars to stop as we crossed.

In the crowded trains of Buenos Aires, having working boots with steel toe protected my feet from the unavoidable stomping by the human mass of commuters that packed into the wagons like sardines in a can.  Those same shoes proved to be too much during a hand to hand fighting class and I had to change them so as to spar safely with a partner.  It’s nice to know that if the need arises, you can kick with a steel toe shoe.

Footwear Requirements for the Modern Survivalist: Boots!

The shoes you chose should be above all comfortable yet tough so as to tolerate more abuse than common footwear TEOTWAWKI Doomsday Prepper Shoeschosen for esthetics purposes alone. Thanks to the broad selection available, it’s not hard to find something both functional and esthetically pleasing for common casual wear.

Soles should be thick enough to provide adequate insulation as well as being slip resistance. The material surrounding the feet must tolerate a reasonable amount of wear and tear and breathable waterproof layers such as Gore-Tex are preferred.

Cross trainers or hiking shoes would fill these requirements nicely. Columbia, New Balance, Nike, Hi-Tec and Timberland are just some of the better-known brands out there that offer such footwear.

I have found that survival boots and shoes have some of these traits and more.  Usually they will come with oil, slip and electric shock resistant soles, materials that can tolerate chemical spills better, rugged leather construction, steel or reinforced plastic toes and puncture-resistant soles.  Imagine how useful this could prove to be after all kinds of disasters, from earthquakes and tornadoes to terrorist attacks, where debris cover the ground and broken electric cables present danger all around you.  Imagine a 9/11 scenario.  You may have to crawl and climb your way through collapsed structures and then walk miles getting away from the potential danger.

While trekking boots and light trekking shoes are good and look nice, I’ve found that safety shoes such as the ones made by Caterpillar give you more resistance and better capabilities for the money. The cheapest models are more functional and better suited for the work environment, but in most lines of safety shoes, their top of the line offerings will not only be neat looking and well made, but comfortable as well without losing the desirable specifications.


Types of Footwear for Preppers

Footwear for Soft Prepper Work

How active are you and what prepper tasks do you undertake on a daily basis that might require best survival bootsconsiderable walking, running, hiking, or climbing?  Maybe it is a mix of these prepper job tasks.  If your prepper plans and movements demand a lot of time outside, then you will need sturdy, well-made shoes with soles that have soft soil or mud-terrain gripping capabilities.  You don’t want to be slipping and sliding.

For ankle support, check out high top shoes or low top boots with thick enough sides for the support that lace up.  You will want a shoe/boot that can be tightened up around the ankles for full support especially on the ankle bone points.  With laces you can vary the tension as needed.

If you bug In, then comfortable light shoes or boots will work.  These can be slip-on, or even Velcro strap latch which is popular with older folks.  Comfy house shoes are great to shuffle around the house, but at least get the types that can be worn outside if necessary in the grass, dirt, or on wet, snowy days.  Forget cheap fabric construction with light fake material soles.  Keep to leather with non-slip rubberized soles.

Footwear for Hard Prepper Work

If your Bug Out is a camping mode or a remote site on the rough side, then you are going to want heavy-duty boots for most outside activities like perimeter patrolling, hunting, scouting, or defensive actions.  Start by checking outlines of hunting-related boots as these can serve well for cutting wood, working gardens, building projects, fencing, and other tough outside jobs.  You’ll want lace-up, waterproof and insulated versions if the weather is wet and cold.

Again, I strongly consider leather as the base boot material.  Nylon or synthetic uppers can work if weatherproof and thick enough to provide side support.  Look for Vibram lug soles for long-lasting wear and a tread pattern to handle mud and rocks.

Now you know that there’s more to footwear than just walking comfortably, we are going to cover the details on survival boots. I believe these boots are a must-have for all survival situations and should be next to your bug out bag at ALL times ready-to-go.


The Best Survival Shoe is Boots

Best Survival Boots in the market For PreppersHaving the best gear is essential when you’re a prepper. There will be times when you’ll want to escape the SHTF situation in the quickest way possible. This includes a good amount of planning alternative routes since the main routes that most people will take are often congested. This also means escaping on foot as opposed to a vehicle.

If I intend to escape on foot, I need to be prepared to take on any kind of terrain that might be considered rough even for a vehicle. This includes but is not limited to unpaved roads or pathways, grass or wooded areas, shallow bodies of water that may be enough to sweep a vehicle off the roadways (six inches of floodwater can incapacitate a vehicle).

The one thing you need to know is that a pair of sneakers or running shoes isn’t built to withstand rugged terrain. You’re going to need a good pair of survival boots in order to navigate your way around any kind of terrain that may otherwise damage a good pair of shoes. Survival boots are your best chance if you are looking for something with a lot of durabilities.

You want boots that will allow you to move quickly and with agility, not something that will weigh you down. Boots that are made from durable material and are lightweight are what you need.


What To Look For In Survival Boots: Buyer’s Guide

Finding the right kind of survival boot is essential. Since your best course of action in a survival situation is to evade and escape danger, it’s important to keep moving no matter what. Changes in terrain can and will happen depending on the geography. Here are some things you’ll need to look for in the best survival boots:

Durability

No “ifs, ands, or buts” here. You want boots that are guaranteed to hold up very well against abuse and unforgiving rugged terrain. Anything less would be asking for trouble. Here’s what makes survival boots so durable:

Material

The right kind of material is what you need in order for a boot to resist any kind of ripping or tearing. Chances are you’ll be walking through terrain that will have rocks, branches, and other objects that can puncture through soft fabrics. These can create small holes that will eventually get larger over time. Leather is usually much tougher than various fabrics.

Waterproof

Since there’s a good chance that you’ll be encountering bodies of water during your treks through the woods, you’ll want your boots to be waterproof to the point where they will handle water like a champ. Meaning that the material won’t get ruined even after long exposure or even submersion.

Breathability

The last thing you need is a pair of shoes that will make your feet sweat after a long trek. Breathability is one of the key components that make a pair of survival boots a lot more comfortable. Plenty of durable materials will offer your boots plenty of fresh air and make it less likely to smell bad after they have been worn for quite some time.

Protection For Your Ankle

When trekking on rough terrain, the chances of you rolling your ankle as a result of taking the wrong step will increase. Any good pair of survival boots should cover above your ankles. The last thing you want to do when you are on rough terrain and away from any kind of medical help is to sprain or even break your ankle. What might seem harmless at first can be a recipe for a dangerous survival situation. Nature’s elements are one of those things that pay no attention to those who may be stranded and unable to move. Especially when it can get cold at night and cause you to get hypothermia (and eventually exposure, which can be fatal if nothing is done).

Affordability

While a pair of survival boots don’t come cheap, it’s important to find a pair that will fit your budget. If you are looking for a good pair but need to fit it into a specific budget, you’ll need to place quality over all else. In other words, find the best quality that you can afford rather than go for cheap and sacrifice quality.

Lasts Every Season

Here’s the thing about survival boots — they are not ordinary survival boots. They’re not the kind of boots that you only have to wear in the wintertime. In fact, these can be worn year-round by people like yourself and those in professions like law enforcement and the military. Not to be outdone, they can handle any weather conditions nature can dish out. Heat, snow, or rain these boots will protect your feet no matter what.

That being said, this is what I look for in a good pair of survival boots. You’ll see that I stress high importance in quality. Because you’ll never know what you’ll encounter on your off the beaten path adventures. Whether I hike or escape danger, I know that a pair of survival boots will hold up very well whenever I need them most.


Best Survival Boots: Our Top 5 Picks

Best Overall: Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Review 

Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Size Zip Boots reviewSmith & Wesson might have a reputation for making the most reliable handguns on the market. But what you probably don’t realize is that they also manufacture some pretty tough boots as well. These are made from high-quality leather and have rubber soles. The rubber is quite thick to a point where it can absorb a good amount of shock. On uneven terrain, you are more likely to produce shock with every step (and thus it makes it a lot more uncomfortable). Not only can you secure these with good old fashioned laces, but you’ll also zip them up so they stay secure on your feet and will never slip off.

The color preference doesn’t make a difference. Black or brown, you still get a pair that is proven to be tough as nails and will be able to withstand plenty of uneven terrain and abuse. Perfect for when you are hiking, hunting, fishing, or “bugging out”. Just like their pistols, these boots are reliable in times when you need them most.

Pros 

  • Perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, hunting, etc.
  • Superior durability
  • Easy to tie and secure
  • Can last you well over a year or more
  • Lightweight for easy moving and maneuverability

Cons 

  • The zipper may tend to snag or break after a short period of time
  • May not be suitable for extremely cold temperatures

Smith & Wesson Men's Breach 2.0 Tactical Size Zip Boots
  • SMITH & WESSON FOOTWEAR - Known for outstanding quality and attention to fine detail. We're proud to...
  • TOUGH - The leather and nylon construction is made to provide full protection without compromising...
  • COMFORTABLE ALL DAY - An EVA Midsole gives lightweight comfort and cradled support, and for added...

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 07:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Runner-up: 5.11 Military Boots Review

5.11 Men’s ATAC 20.8” Tactical Storm Military Boots review5.11 is a brand that I have long trusted. However, I expect this to at least duke it out with the Smith & Wesson boots for the best overall slot in the not so distant future. These boots were designed to handle plenty of abuse. Not to mention, it will also prevent you from slipping on wet or icy surfaces. This is the perfect pair of boots if you want something that can handle every season of weather from the cold winters to sweltering summers. Of course, you won’t have to worry about your feet sweating since the material is a breathable type of leather.

If you are in law enforcement, the military, or a civilian you’ll get the best protection possible against shock and uneven terrain. Plus, it has plenty of ankle protection so you won’t risk injuring yourself twisting your ankle. This might be one of the best boots that will withstand any demanding conditions.

Pros

  • A perfect fit for many users (depending on size)
  • Does a great job absorbing shock
  • Zips and laces up pretty good. No slippage to speak of
  • Doesn’t take long to break them in
  • Great for those who work in law enforcement or military professions
  • No slippage on ice or wet surfaces

Cons

  • May be hard to get on at first
  • Might feel a little uncomfortable around the ankles at times

5.11 Men's ATAC 2.0 8" Tactical Storm Military Boot, Style 12392, Black, 13...
  • The A.T.A.C 2.0 Storm boot features a full-length dual durometer Ortholite foot bed with Achilles...
  • This tactical boot has a shock mitigation system, strobal construction with lighter weight upper...
  • The Slip and Oil Resistant Outsole with SlipSteam waterproof BBP membrane keep your feet dry and...

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 07:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Budget Survival Boots: LA Police Gear Boots Review

LA Police Gear Men’s Tactical Core Leather Side-Zip Duty/Uniform Boots reviewIf you are looking for an affordable, but high-quality pair of boots I highly suggest you give these boots from LA Police Gear a try. You don’t have to be a member of law enforcement or the military to get your hands on a good pair of boots. If you are looking for a good mix of leather and breathable materials for superior comfort and durability, these boots might be just what you’re looking for. There are times when you might be on your feet all day or constantly on the move without any short periods of rest. You’ll want a pair of boots that will keep your feet protected from shock and prevent any kind of discomfort. For the price that these boots are going for, you’re getting a heck of a steal.

These boots have rubber soles that will absorb shock and prevent slips and falls due to ice and wet surfaces. Not to be outdone, the laces are made from durable nylon that will be hard to fray or rip apart. Longevity is another thing you need for survival boots. And these will have the potential to last you a year and beyond that. Durability and longevity do go hand-in-hand. That’s why it’s so important to place quality over all else when it comes to survival boots that will keep you comfortable and are lightweight enough to get you out of a jam or two.

Pros

  • Affordable for those on a budget
  • Very durable
  • Can handle all kinds of weather
  • Easy to put on and lace-up
  • Great for law enforcement officers and civilians
  • Perfect for the outdoors and tactical applications
  • Lightweight for agile and quick movements

Cons

  • The zipper may tend to break after a while
  • Some say the boots may ride a bit too high

LA Police Gear Men's Tactical Core 8" Leather Side-Zip Duty/Uniform...
  • 8" Duty Boot
  • Slip and Oil Resistant
  • Nylon Laces with Reinforced Lace Eyelets

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 07:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Insulated Survival Boots: Garmont T8 Military Boots Review

Garmont Men’s T8 Extreme GTX Insulated Tactical Military Boots reviewA good pair of boots should keep you warm in the colder months. I hate it when I’m wearing a pair of boots that won’t prevent my feet from getting cold. And that is no picnic when you are ankle-deep in snow as well. These boots from Garmont include the Gore-Tex insulation that is designed to keep your feet warm in even some seriously cold temperatures. I can say that if I had to buy a second pair of survival boots, I want them to be these ones. Or any pair of boots that I know will get me through some of the most extreme cold temperatures.

Durability won’t be an issue with these boots since they are made from high-quality leather (along with the inclusion of durable nylon laces). These are the real deal for those who are constantly outdoors or working the front lines as police officers and military personnel. Garmont may be one of those names you might not have heard of. But they certainly fly under the radar when it comes to delivering excellent quality and protection for those who wear their boots.

Pros

  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Waterproof and handles all kinds of weather
  • Available in wide or medium sizes
  • Perfect for even the most extreme winter weather conditions
  • Excellent for outdoorsmen and tactical applicants

Cons 

  • Medium size might be a bit narrower than expected

LA Police Gear Men's Tactical Core 8" Leather Side-Zip Duty/Uniform...
  • 8" Duty Boot
  • Slip and Oil Resistant
  • Nylon Laces with Reinforced Lace Eyelets

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 07:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Minimalist Survival Boots: Under Armour Boots Review

Under Armour Men’s Jungle Rat Tactical Boots reviewIf you are looking for a minimalist design, Under Armour’s Jungle Rat Boots might be the go-to option for you. Aside from the design, these boots are lined with anti-odor lining, making it comfortable and breathable in every environment imaginable. If you hate it when your boots smell to the point where you can sniff them out a mile away, these will be perfect. Besides, any kind of boots that are not breathable is not worthy to be worn in any outdoor or survival situation. Discomfort is not the kind of thing you want to feel especially in situations where you need to keep moving in order to survive.

These boots ride at a perfect height. So if you are looking for the best in ankle protection, these will definitely save you the trouble of spraining or rolling your ankles. I don’t think I could say no to that. Especially that one time when I twisted my ankle hiking. Thankfully I had a buddy of mine help me out. But imagine going at it alone. Your mobility might be limited and can put you in a grave survival situation. Sometimes, even the little things that may seem like no big deal can take a turn for the worse.

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Doesn’t take long to break-in
  • No discomfort or blisters to speak of
  • Perfect for those with wide feet and/or high arches
  • Excellent quality. Has the potential to last you a long time
  • Great for the summer months

Cons

  • Insoles could be a bit more comfortable

Under Armour Men's Jungle Rat Military and Tactical Boot, Black...
  • UA Storm technology repels water without sacrificing breathability
  • Leather & 900D nylon textile combine for a soft & light upper
  • Quick-dry minimalist design includes medial side drainage vents that help keep your feet dry

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 07:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


FAQs about Survival Boots

How do I weatherproof my boots? 

Weatherproofing your boots is something you should consider doing regularly. However, the method depends on the type of leather your boots have. If your boots have non-suede leather, you can use a sealant coating that is made with cold water and white wine vinegar (Note: do not apply this on bare leather). Liquid shoe polish and conditioner will be used on other types of leather.

Are survival boots waterproof?

Yes. In fact, most of the survival boots have material that won’t absorb all kinds of water even when your feet are submerged under a few inches of water like in a stream or snow.

What are survival boots good for?

Survival boots are perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities like hunting or fishing. If you are in law enforcement or the military, survival boots are great for when you will be walking constantly or standing on your feet all day long.


Verdict 

While there are plenty of choices for survival boots, we recommend the 5.11 Tactical ATAC survival boots. They are lightweight, durable, and built for any given survival or everyday situation. I also know that they have the edge in lasting a bit longer than some of the other boots on the market.

Alternatively, the best option for those on a budget as we mentioned before is the LA Police Gear Tactical Core Leather Boots. They are just as tough and just as comfortable as their 5.11 counterparts. Of course, they are a more affordable alternative when quality matters most.

Photos by: FerFal, Blaircook

Save

49 thoughts on “Best Survival Boots: Buying Guide, Need To Knows in 2020”

    • try out some altimas you can go for the cheaper boots which will last forever and are about $70 but loose traction as soon as you step in mud. (otherwise excellent boots that have helped me make it up a few mountains on a few continents. or the newer style they have that take almost no time to break in are like walking on air. can't say how long they'll last as I kinda got them to close to the fire and melted them. both boots are great once you break them in. Blackhawk makes a great boot. good for any kind of terrain, and comfortable. unfortunately they fall apart very quickly. belleville makes a decent boot if you're a cheapass, but if you have weak ankles you should go elsewhere for boots.
      these are all boots that I've used as an infantryman and have been battle tested in some of the harshest terrain in the world.

      Reply
    • I hiked once in steel-toed boots and found them very uncomfortable. The metal covering doesn't give, and makes the boot very inflexible and heavy. They're designed for concrete-floored factories, not rugged, mucky terrain.

      Reply
    • I own six pair of tactical/ hiking boots. My oldest pair is a reproduction of the WW-2 Type II combat shoe. These are a 6" at the ankle high boon-docker style boot of natural rough-out suede leather. These take on a russet brown coloration once treated with mink-oil for water proofing. These I got whe I did WW-2 reenacting from World War Two Impressions, three other pairs of more tactical type boot are a pair of the issue boot for the Air Forces ABU uniforms. I find these to be painful to wear if you have a high arch and corrisponding instep,

      Reply
      • the other two pairs are a pair of the old black jungle boots with the Panama sole, comfotable when you get a Dr. Shoals workboot or hiking boot insole to replace the mesh issue one, and a pair of all weather desert style combat boots from Bellevelle. The Bellevelles are American made and for me fit great right off the shelf. The next two pairs of field boots I have are a pair of Harley-Davidson 6" high hiking boot style motorcycle boots and a pair of Bates 6" tactical duty boots. I've hiked in all of these through various conditions from, snow, mud, rain, dust, hot, cool, cold, etc. that can be found in eastern and central Kansas. The only two pairs I'm not happy with are the JBs and the ABU steel-toed boots. The JBs because the were from an out sourced contractor and the ABUs because of my instep issue with them.

        Reply
        • The Bellevelles, the Type II Combats, the H-D hikers, and the Bates tacticals I were just about every week trading off with two pairs of cross-trainers and a pair of sport sandals.

          Reply
    • Red Wings. I spent a few years @ US Steel and a simple pair of heavy duty, leather pull-on metatarsal boots has lived through all sorts of industrial strength calamities and protected my feet from disaster to boot, plus they're warm and comfy – even with my bad leg…

      Reply
  1. Agree 100%, I’d also like to add that going with durable wool-blend socks instead of cotton can be a life saver. Cotton won’t insulate when wet and doesn’t insulate well when dry. Wool-blend socks on the other hand tend to regulate temperature pretty well, are pretty durable and very comfortable. Just remember you get what you pay for and footwear/socks are an area that one would be well advised in paying more now for something that will last you for a while.

    I remember back in my construction days, they guys that had the better footwear always seemed to move faster, easier, were more productive and could work longer, the opposite was true of the guys that cheaped out.

    Reply
  2. I agree with both previous posts. I would have liked to have seen some more detail in the article. Specifically, different boots recommended for different occasions. Socks can be just as important as the shoe. You don't want to have wet feet in cotton socks because insulation goes out the window. I also think its a good point to add that it may be advantageous to get certain boots a half size larger to accommodate for 2 layers of socks.

    Before this article came out I was already looking for some good hiking boots. I've tried on some Merrells but wasn't impressed by the fit for the price. After recently completing a 14 mile hike, I decided I need some boots that could take a beating but didn't make my feet feel like they had been through one. I have yet to make a purchase and I am still researching for the right boot. It would have been nice to see some more specific suggestions. Feel free to comment on hiking boot suggestions.

    Reply
    • For actual hiking you want hiking boots not work boots, work boots are made for standing in, hiking boots are made for walking with weight on your back. Some folks have issues with walking long distances with steel toed boots; I've never tried it.

      Reply
      • Oh I know that.

        They're much too heavy and the probability of actually needing steel toe out in the wilderness is pretty low.

        I was curious more as to if a particular shoe was excellent for long distance, slope climbing, etc.

        I suppose I'm on the wrong website to be expecting that much detail about hiking boots.

        Reply
        • my altimas have been awesome for long distance slope climbing. its like a saw cutting up the mountain. they don't do so hot when its muddy out but most boots don't. A lot of guys in my unit are using Asolos, but I'm finding my much cheaper altimas are doing just as well. plus it offers a little more ankle support.

          Reply
    • U really need to try them on for at least 20 min in store and take ur time. I would recommend my personal fav north face Jannu II. Or Asolo boots. I’ve seen both go 50 miles/day Literally right out of the box. They are expensive. But u may have luck at department of goods.com. eastern mountain sports (ems). Or sierra trading post . Still I would try them on locally, then search online for best price

      Reply
    • Solomon Quest 4D GTX for around $215.00. They are rugged, light, and have tons of ankle support. I know some of the upper tier military units use these, but they don't look military, and they come in various colors.

      Reply
  3. Why are there no timestamps or dates for the article? I dont know if this was written last night or last year.

    I went hiking in street boots, which was a horrible mistake. I switched to some mil surplus goretex air force boots. I wish I'd gotten them in a regular and not wide, but if you cinch them tight you get good support, even with regular socks.

    From the hiking forums I've read, it looks like getting proper inserts is really important, and that commonly you have to get some to get the proper fit.

    A lot of people don't seem to like their boots, regardless of the money spent.

    These were $60 delivered and make my daily work boots feel sloppy in comparison. They've got a vibram sole and the goretex really does breathe, amazing stuff, although sometimes I wish Id' gotten the hot weather ones instead. Just because I don't know what I'm missing.

    I tried on some regular old jungle boots. Only as a last resort would I wear those.

    I keep these in my trunk with my bob.

    I have to be honest, it does chap my hide to think of having to spend another $30 on 'green' inserts or something that 'all' the hikers use, but I suppose I'll suck it up and do it in the end. Supposedly they give you an arch support made of hard plastic covered in foam and people rave about them.

    Reply
  4. Good article. I have a pair of Danner quarry that work just fine. Lighter than my combat boots and they didn't have any steel toes in them.

    Reply
  5. I think the reason he did not give specific boot recommendations is because people have different feet. I searched for over 6 months before buying my hiking boots. I have heard good things about many different brands, but they did not fit my feet right. Each person is different. I highly recommend going to someplace like REI, Gander Mountain or Cabelas to look at their boots and try them on, walk around in them a little. REI has an excellent return policy, don't know about Cabelas or Gander Mountain. Do some research, take your time and make the right decision for your feet.

    Reply
  6. If u believe that u get what u pay for, then I will give u the top 5 hiking boots of all time. 5 any boot from Zamberlan. 4 Vasque Sundowners. 3 Solomon Quest. 2 Asolo -any of there boots will do. #1. North Face Jannu II gtx. If u have ever had a better hiking boot with better engineered ortho’s, u should do your homework. This is a big part of my job. They are all well over $150. Comfortable feet are the most important tool any one could EVER have.

    Reply
  7. Footwear expert here (2+ decades w/ several retailers and one manufacturer)

    I agree entirely with everything Adam says above. Read it again and give it much respect.

    Different feet + different needs = different recommendations

    No footwear is the best: there are many great options and there are many more poor ones.

    Price does not always indicate quality, so don't avoid the mid priced options but imho you always get what you pay for when you buy cheap footwear.

    Only you are able to determine what is best for you.

    Reply
  8. Like all your gear, footwear is largely dependent on terrain and environment. In extreme cold, steel-toed boots will cause your toes to freeze. In extreme wet environments, like the Pacific Northwest Coast, water-proofing is important. In extreme hot climates, your feet need to breathe… etc. Overall I agree with those who posted that general purpose combat boots are the best deal both in price and durability.

    Reply
  9. I picked up a pair of desert tactical boots with composit toes and shanks. I have worn them almost daily for 8 months and except the stains and such they’re doing fine. Picked them up from U.S. Calvary for around $110 and another $15 for some Dr.Scholl’s and I have been fine. Worn them in 100 degree desert and 1″ an hour rain and up in the mountain snow. Zero complaints from my feet.

    Totally agree about the socks comments.

    Reply
  10. A good pair of broken in combat boots. After 21 years in the Army using them everywhere. you can walk a long way with them and do hand to hand too if needed. they can take a lot of punishment, you can also take some wet weather boots and put over them if needed, and that helps with insulation too. I have done 12 mile road marches with the over boots on in the winter with no problems. Just make sure you have extra socks and powder and change them during your trek. this will keep your feet healthy

    Reply
  11. I disagree with this: "For actual hiking you want hiking boots not work boots"
    My work boots (Redwings) are just as good as my hiking boots. My Redwings may even be better because they last Much longer.

    Also, Dr.Scholl's bites, they are really really terrible, imho. I've found leather insoles to be far superior. YMMV?

    Reply
  12. I agree with Clark's post about Redwing boots. They have any kind of lace boot you could desire,…steel toe, non steel toe, short, tall, numerous sole types/characteristics and all are very durable. I'm 61 years young this year and I have peripheral neuropathy in mey feet. Look up that definition; its too complex to describe here, suffice to say I must have good footwear. I have worn a pair of Redwing workboots without steel toe for about five years now for yardwork, hunting and exercise. It is a copy of the standard, steel toe, tall work boot that Redwing has sold forever and it has that good sturdy, leather construction that it soooo appreciated. Neatsfoot oil every 6 months or so after water washing (fan dry) is all I do to maintain them. 3 miles a day, 4 times a week for 5 years + around 3,000 miles rounded and they have miles to go before I would consider replacing them. My exercise is on grass I will admit but still thats quite a few miles on a pair.

    Reply
  13. They make several good low top work boots that are comfortable and rugged without the "platform " sole . That would be my choice . That or the new design surplus combat boots if your on a budget . I'll post the brand of C. boots to avoid as soon as I look it up because one manufacturer was bad , the soldiers were complaining that they were falling apart in the extreme heat , when they switched manufactures , the problems stopped .

    Reply
  14. I find that those fabric loop eyelets tear. I look for mid hikers with regular eyelets. I currently have a pair of Keen's, and they are great.

    Reply
  15. Anyone ever think about using Vibram 5 fingers? Thinking of taking my new pair on my camping trip coming up soon.

    Reply
  16. ID LIKE TO THINK IV BEEN TO HELL AND BACK….HEARD NOBOY HERE MENTION wellco..matterhorn..bates..brownings.. people YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. IF BOOTS DONT COST AT LEAST 100.
    00 THEYRE GONNA KILL YOU. I DID HEAR ONE SMART GUY MENTION COTTON SOX…SOMETIMES GRANDPAS DRESS SOX WILL SERVER YOU BETTER UNTIL ITS GETS WET OR COLD. DO YOURE HOMEWORK PEOPLE. IF YA WANNA RUN TO WAL MART AND BUY YOUR BRAHMAS YOULL BUY FIVE OR SX PAR BEFORE I PASS OU ON THE ROADSIDE WITH MY WELLCO OR MATERHORNS.

    Reply
  17. In the long run IMO it comes down to what you are comfortable in since I wear composite military boots everyday and I am on my feet all day I am comfortable in them on noneskid to sand, snow and mud. But 9 years in boondockers will do that to you.

    Reply
  18. Try whites boots folks. they are a custom boot, but well worth the effort and price. I've tried danner, redwing, vasque, and a bunch more. i'm on my feet 10-14 hours a day. These are the best I've worn! been wearing them for 12 years now. will never put anything else on my feet. Dress, work, casual. it doesnt matter. whites boots will not let you down

    Reply
  19. i agree you get what you pay for and everybody is not the same ..for everyday wear my wife wears the reebok freestyles from back in the 80's laceup and 2 velcro straps at the top great ankle support and extremely light weight i wear the newbalance all terrain series for boots i currently am useing the cabelas iron ridge full leather boots and she wears cold weather combat boots with woolblend socks ..

    Reply
  20. Wich ones are better slip on or tie on boots? I have been getting $40 work boots from walmart, and they last twos – three years before I need to get new boots.

    Reply
  21. Something I’ve noticed is lacking in the article is the hunting boot/snake proof boot. I actually own a pair of rocky prolite snake boots and they’re very comfortable for long hikes. Breaking them in was painful because I had to buy a men’s size and it wasn’t a perfect fit, my heels slipped until I got an insole. However, in areas that have many poisonous snakes, or if you have to hike through any sort of tall grass or brush these would be a life and leg saver. I can say they’ve saved me from quite a few nasty gashes and two diamondbacks.

    Reply
  22. VC fought us in sandals made out of tires. Romans as mentioned used sandals. Vikings used something similar to sandals, paired with wool socks in freezing temps. Samurai fought in sandals made from straw. They paired them with wool tabi socks in freezing temp. We have become weak and reliant on technology. Boots deform ones toes, trap sweat, create trench foot, and lower proprioceptive capabilities. I trek in huaraches. If it is freezing I put on 3 tabi socks. two layers of wool with an outer fleece layer. Boots are no good.

    Reply
  23. I prefer jungle-boot-style foot ware with canvas sides and composite/steel toe, mostly for comfort. I usually wear cotton/wool blend socks since any sock when wet will stay wet until removed and dried. For colder/snowy times, I add canvas mukluks (with waterproofing) as an overboot so if I'm going into a heated structure such as workplace, store, etc. for any length of time I can remove them but still have boots on. A pair of heavy socks or felt can be worn between the jungle boot and the mukluks for extra warmth if needed. I try to walk bare-foot at least part-time in fair weather no matter the season because otherwise your feet will be soft and if forced to walk bare-foot SHTF or otherwise, you'll be in trouble! Finally, I suggest that learning to make your own foot ware could be a very important skill to learn, SHTF or not!

    Reply
  24. Danner boots NOT CHEAP then again as has been said you get what you pay for.

    I do not skimp on what defends life and comfort they are:
    Water proof the amount of thinsulate is very important if your out in weather
    Boot height and construction if your in snake country or lots of wait-a-minute vines.

    One thought I see where no one has brought up Gaiters or chaps I guess most are urban minja's
    treated leather uppers outlasts and body form better than man made materials, manmade materials as a sole material are superior for flexion and duability .
    Design is important for ankle support and overall weight focus on weather breathability and resistance to abraision
    and snake bite and impact are more important boots that are not insulated will not keep your feet warm and if not water proof are virtually useless even on a good day early morning dew is as good as a constant shower.

    If you want security and avoid human contact your going to have to find dificult terrain and uninhabital areas
    here that means cactus heavy brush swampy areas or rocky ground we got them all and your boots need to
    thrive in all of these and protect your feet and ankles when carrying loads and incoutering stinging biting critters.
    I would consider your weather flora & fauna carfully.

    I have always stressed a second pair of comfortable footwear your not always going to be climbing the Matterhorn
    or wading through razor grass once you have picked out a long term site relaxation clothing and foot wear are a
    mental and physical moral booster although our mental stance needs to remain condition yellow it is very hard to
    keep that level of awareness.

    Here we have bull nettle vines that will rip denim and lacerate flesh with ease Dewberry patches that can stop a train
    rattle snakes copper heads and cotton mouth scorpions fire ants ticks chiggers and sand fleas and spiders galore some DEET around the top and sole will repel most.
    this is where chaps come in they are not in direct contact with skin unless your cruisin the" bars" in certain parts of town then I don't wanna know.
    for hunting and walking cross country you can reinforce knees against rocks and kneeling these also help protect against axe and machete over swings one thing I have noticed is that folks here think they are immune from accidents or injury, if you hacking through brush all day your going to get tired and will make a bad swing or a vine turning your blade.

    wrist / forearm cuffs along with good elk hide leather gloves foraging requires sticking your arms into brush and thorn beds
    handling things that have a natural defense.

    Bullnettle root is edible boiled and has a lot of good starch and riboflavinoids and your not going to pick many without
    LEATHER gloves I have heard a lot about Mechanics gloves they are for mechanic work not living in the bush they will not minimize catus bullnettle or snake bite they will not last years under rough use I have a couple of pair that are 10 years old and still good I raise a visious Agavi cactus called Green Goblet when it comes to weeding and transplanting mechanics type gloves would be useless even the best gloves you need to be careful.

    Cleaning small game you need to have blood protection as some carry blood borne diseases and treated leather will
    do the trick mechanics type gloves will NOT.
    Until you open the body cavity you have no idea the health of the critter this includes fish and fowl, inspect the internal organs look at the meat does it have eyeballs ? or veining where there should not be any is the liver and heart red or
    flacid or lacks color or has fissures or lesions ? well your in up to your wrists and you find this animal is sick and you have blood all over your hands and if you have the smallest scratch you could be next
    Rabies this is taken from the CDC :

    Approximately 120,000 animals or more are tested for rabies each year in the United States, and approximately 6% are found to be rabid. The proportion of positive animals depends largely on the species of animal and ranges from <1% in domestic animals to >10% of wildlife species.

    your hands and feet are at risk for attack or bites from any animal they may seem dead I know of a dog shot with a 357 mag in the head that lived and was found again a few hours later still alive and staggering around.
    Animals are tough they do not telegraph disease quickly a natural defense from predation.
    bleeding and inspection protection from blood splatter are common sense measures your feet are also at risk when
    raising or field dressing a large animals washing clothing and implements is a must and sunlight / UV light can kill most but not all.
    Proper temp as in over 160 degrees well done and cleanliness is very important I remove the head of any fur bearing animal and bury it the brain and saliva is where it is concentrated.

    It's a bad azz world if your not ready it has thousands of ways to kill you some you never see coming unless your knowledgeable of the dangers IMHO

    Reply
  25. I had a stonefish on the coast of Mombasa, Kenya,
    pierce its spiny fork right through my foot about
    30 years ago. A friend in our group got me to lie
    down, elevate the foot and squeezed lemon and
    lime juice onto it, (Let’s hear it for a Corona with
    a slice for a Baptist pastor!) until the fiery flame
    subsided.
    Over all It's Good.

    Reply

Leave a Comment