15 Fighters: Boots

This Maggie’s Farm post (related link) raised the issue of footgear.

Boots are personal, as are feet, but there are good ones, better ones, and worse ones.

What is your choice, and why?

Links, as always, are important.

Related: Aesop sends.

102 responses to “15 Fighters: Boots

  1. Rocky SV2 composite toe. had for 3 years and wear daily on the job. Nothing more comfortable.

  2. You need at least two types of boots.
    1. Insulated for winter use
    2. Non-insulated or lightly insulated for spring, summer, and fall.

    Both types should be water resistant, lined with Gortex is a good idea.

  3. Belleville mountain boots…which they unfortunately don’t seem to carry any more

    • In 2018 I switched over to the Belleville 950 mountain boot from the old suede Belleville’s and I got them from ebay. Price depends on size and quality. I paid 40.00 but some go for 125.00. They are good quality and keep my feet dry as a bone. I’m surprised they aren’t that warm in winter unless you get a really thick sock. I will say that the foot bed is rather hard as is the vibram sole. But I bought them for that sole for wear properties. You will need a great insole to get the most long term, comfortable use out of them. I use mine for lawn maintenance (commercial) and general camping. They are holding up great. Best so far in my job but not as comfortable as I would like. I walk a lot!!! I like them but I’m looking for something different after using them everyday for a year. As a go to shtf boot they are a great budget option that will last a long time. Right now I’m looking into Danner Arcadia’s and other Danner models like the new Marine boot which looks like the old Belleville’s to me. I love the Danner Rat boots too although the new Marine boot gets the nod for style. Old Rat get’s the nod for that protective toe covering. My footwear takes the abuse right on the toes at work or soles coming unglued. Hence the 950 toe upgrade being better currently. Surprisingly the weight of the 950 and other older Belleville’s is basically the same as advertised Rat and new marine models on my digital scale. Sorry for the long winded post about a boot. I’m a footwear nut.

  4. I can vouch for these boots, though a little on the pricey side compared to some budget boots. Boots may be something that you don’t want to skimp on to save a few dollars as a bad and uncomfortable pair of boots can make patrols and general tomfoolery unbearable.


    If you have to go cheaper, these boots have also served me well – particularly when I did a 5 day canoe trip in Canada. The in-step drainage is invaluable if you are operating in wet locales.


    My advice is always go for the 8 inch boots because the ankle support is necessary when rucking heavy gear. I would have snapped my ankles several times completing a portage with a canoe on my head if I didn’t have those boots.

    And don’t forget the importance of proper sock layers/liners!

  5. Was at Sierra Outpost in Reno Nv, Friday. Boots were on sale, not much of a selection. Size selection was all oddball stuff. But the prices were cheap.


    • Ah, Reno Nevada, I miss it very much. Left it 1 1/2 yrs ago because it turned into a suburb of california. Have a Juicies burger for me….

  6. I’ve got two pair of Danner Rivot TFX non-insulated boots. Very comfortable, decent support, however the soles are a bit soft. I’ve logged 150 miles on one pair (actual wear is double-triple that, as I only log known routes for hiking/walking/rucking) and the soles will likely need to be replaced at 250. I’ve heard that I can and also that I cannot have these resoled, so I’m not sure about the answer. Fording creeks in these is doable-they aren’t waterproof, but switching socks and continuing to walk dries them in about two hours. MSRP at Danner is $340; I bought them from shoes.com for ~$250 with coupon. Those are my summer boots.
    For winter, I have a pair of Hoffman Explorers (https://hoffmanboots.com/8-hoffman-explorer) which are my hands-down favorite boot. They are VERY stable, completely waterproof, and fit my foot very well. I’ve logged over a hundred miles in these boots and have no regrets. They’re not insulated; however they don’t breathe well enough to be a feasible summer boot for me. The GF wears hers all summer, though. I’ve got about 120 miles on these boots, and the hard Vibram sole is holding up very well. They say it’s an 8″ boot, but Italians can’t use rulers apparently. The boots are imported by Hoffman but made by Armand in Italy.
    My other pair of winter boots is the Crispi Nevada GTX uninsulated (https://www.blackovis.com/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/20878/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7NvH6uaQ4AIVlbrACh2FnAiWEAQYBSABEgL3CfD_BwE) These are not as hot as the Hoffmans, but still a tad too hot for me in the summer. I have found them to be very comfortable as well-just not as perfect for me as the Hoffmans. As they are a little shorter, they’re not as stable. Given that the Hoffman is like wearing a cast (seriously, I’ve gone scrambling over wet logs, side-hilling, etc and never once felt like I was going to slip) this is likely not a real issue.
    I live in Montana, and always wear Vermont Darn Tough wool socks. They help to keep my feet and boots dry year-round.

    • I can second that Hoffman Boots are a good boot…I have there Lineman Boots and they are great…Also second the Darn Tough socks it the only socks I wear…

    • lastmanstanding

      Since you are in Montana, check out Bob Ward & Son’s or often just called Bob Ward’s. They are all over the state.

      They have Danner’s and by watching, I have purchased a number of pairs over the year’s for half price or close to it. Pronghorn’s, uplands, Vitals and others. They also carry other brand names but I prefer Danner.

      They buy a shit-ton of boots, clothing, packs, etc. like Sierra Trading and discount the heck out of it. Top brands…North Face, Mountain Hardware, Kavu, Royal Robbins, etc. You just have to keep an eye out. It seems like the sales happen all the time as manufacturers continue to crank out product year after year. I have bought lots of stuff there for .20-.30 cents on the dollar.

      I cover a lot of ground in Big Sky country. Peace brother.

      • Bob Ward’s is great-they carry the Hoffman Explorer there and have a great hunting sale every fall. Plus, the mil discount and no sales tax! Bought my first pair at Hoffman’s in Kellog after trying Kenetrek, Asolo, Meindl, etc. Quality among the high end boots all seems very close-Hoffman just fit me best.

  7. Forgot to mention-I purposely have two pair of summer/winter boots so that each pair has an approximately 36 hour dry-out period between wear. It’s very important for footwear to dry completely whenever it can.

  8. Randy las vegas

    Avoid all chicom copies. Avoid glued down uppers to soles. Select stitch down uppers to the platform and sole base. Vibram or kletterfelt tread patterns perform well as an all season tread like on tires. I stuck with Danners brand for decades. Yes they are priced 289 to 320. Per pair but you will get years of service. They are resolable or can be sent back to them for “recrafting”, rebuilt. A good feature. Acadia insulated 8″, and Fort Lewis 11″ insulated are good models they have many others. Order direct, skip middle man vendors. Boots are top tier priority gear, speaking from experience.

    • Question about the Acadias… my foot on the Brannock scale is a D/Medium bordering on a wide (4.25 inches) but in some shoes; Thoroughgood’s for example, I can wear a EE. Carolina a W or E size. I have an old pair of Danner pronghorns that are a D/Medium. Do you think a D/Medium would be ok in the Acadia? Just wondering how those Acadia’s fit. Sadly these days you can see tons of boots online but stores don’t carry them. Have to buy forst and return if you don’t like them.

  9. My friend’s father used to say that every good shooter ends up with a drawer full of holsters. My life experience with boots is the same way. I worked our land in the Rockies for years with two pairs of Wellco T180s – one covered in Sno Seal for slogging through the drifts. Love ’em.


    However I spent some time chatting up Bates at the SHOT show and like their newest ones with the side zipper. And really light. I’m planning to buy a pair to test out.

  10. Previous 15 fighter questions were generic. But boots come in sizes. Does anyone have a quantity & size chart for the general population to know what to stock? As in X% are size 10, Y% are size 10.5, … Clothes have the same issue.

  11. Personally use each of these. All except the summer RAT are Gor-Tex lined or the manufacturers version of Gor-Tex.

    From Danner, the Marine RAT boot. Both summer and winter versions. Not the more expensive Expeditionary, which I have no experience with. These will stand out in an urban setting, but great in the field. Very little break-in required, extremely comfortable. Virtually indestructible. Can be re-soled. https://www.danner.com/men/military/?sortId=product-family

    Next up is the Vasque Sundowner GTX in brown leather. A Euro style boot that works well in the field and doesn’t scream “Tactical Timmy” when amongst the sheep. Requires break-in and occasional use to keep the boot shaped to ones foot. Have used these about 15 years and found them to be adequate under a moderately heavy ruck in the mountains. Cannot be re-soled and the leather requires the same maintenance as your bush knife sheath.

    Last, the Saloman Quest 4D. A very light backpacking/hiking boot that I use exclusively on our back country excursions. Requires break-in. A solid, high-topped, warm boot that handles extremely well when under a medium weight ruck-sack in our rugged, un-even terrain. A little to warm for the hot summer months, but then, what ain’t. Won’t stand out in a crowd when worn with long pants or slacks. Easy maintenance. Cannot be re-soled. https://www.salomon.com/en-us/shop/product/quest-4d-3-gtxr.html#1191=9956

    Combine one or each of these with a decent set of gaiters, quality wool socks and some PT, and you’ll be good-to-go.

  12. Of all the boots I have worn, Jungle boots are the most comfortable. They protect from nails, are light, and don’t make my feet sweaty.

  13. Location, location, location!

    Where are you using those boots?
    For what?
    When in the year?
    What’s the weather like?

    Answer that, first.
    Make triple-damned sure you got them in the correct size, and get fitted by someone who knows WTF they’re doing, if you can’t work it out for yourself.
    Assume resupply will be a fond dream of happier days.
    Then, buy six pairs. Per person.
    Yes, REALLY.
    Because in SHTF times, a man with one gun probably knows how to use it, and a man with one pair of boots is going to be barefoot in short order.
    You have no idea how fast boots wear out until you blow up a pair.
    Let alone your last pair.

    Then break each pair in, in rotation, one day at a time.
    And replace the laces for all of them with actual multi-line-stranded 550 cord, in the appropriate color.

    Boots with the wrong socks are a disaster waiting to happen.
    You’re buying a walking system, not “a pair of boots”.

    Socks in layers. Enough to change multiple times per day. (Minimum 3x).
    Cotton kills. It also blisters.
    Wool is king.
    Good wicking synthetics are queen.

    And with 6 pairs of boots, you should have about 20 pairs of socks, of any and all types.

    A full care, clean, and polish kit.

    Both boots and socks need blow-out kits:
    Shoe Goo is worth its weight in gold.
    Spare 550 lacing (buy bulk reels).
    Leather awls and heavy upholstery lacing for repairs.
    Sewing kit for socks.

    And your boots aren’t broken in until your feet are broken in, and your body, especially muscles and tendons from your quads down.

    Your blow out kit for feet is called Spenco blister gel pads.


    And Moleskin. Not “molefoam”. (Get the industrial-sized 4-yd. tube roll, not the overpriced little pussy squares they sell at Le Boutique Targét and WallyWorld, if you have any ability to do so.)

    And small, sharp, precise set of scissors or two to trim the moleskin.

    New Skin.

    Foot powder or corn starch.

    Foot first aid:
    a frickin’ foot surgical kit to trim nails, shave calluses, etc.
    That’d be the big toenail clippers, a smaller pair, big cuticle scissors, metal nail file, couple of pair of small (5″) mosquito hemostat to dig out pieces of ingrown nail or embedded small splinters and foreign bodies, pumice stone, a few straight needles for draining blisters, and Betadine© or generic povidone-iodine to clean and disinfect blisters, ingrown nails, cracks, etc.
    A 1″ roll of cloth first aid tape to buddy-tape broken or banged up toes to their healthy neighbors.

    And yes, even duct tape.
    Works on boots.
    Works on feet.

    Anything else that works for you to treat your feet properly, such as:
    Footwash basin
    Bag balm
    Epsom salts

    If your feet, socks, and boots aren’t working together, you’re screwed.
    And if you can’t maintain them and care for them, you’re going to be.

    You can no more get by with “just boots” than you can get by with “just a rifle”, without any magazines, sling, optics, cleaning gear, lubricants, spare parts, tool roll, and ammunition.

    Systems, not items.

    Advanced class:
    How to put a lot of your EDC survival items into your footwear, including hidden or custom pockets.
    Things like a button compass.
    A razor or other very small blade.
    A few fish hooks and line.
    Snare wire.
    Handcuff key or lockpick(s) or shim(s).
    Short length of hacksaw blade
    A gold or silver coin or two, and/or a couple of greenbacks rolled into a section of drinking straw.

    I’m not talking about turning your boots into a fireman’s turnout coat cargo pocket with a 77-pc. Craftsman tool kit and getting ankle and knee injuries from the weight, but a few, small, nearly weightless items that might save your life is always a great idea.

      • For those who may not know, make your 550 cord laces twice as long as the original. I get that electrical heat-shrink tubing (https://www.electriduct.com/2-to-1-Heat-Shrink-Tubing.html) and put a piece 1/2″ piece on each end of the 550 cord lace, as well as a 1″ piece in the middle. I’ve got 12′ laces on all of my boots.
        If I need cordage in an emergency, such as losing all of my other kit and the miles of 550 cord I have in it, I pull the laces from my boots, cut one lace down the middle of the heat shrink tube, and re-lace with the two six-foot pieces. The other 12 foot complete lace may then be used as cordage.

    • “Boots with the wrong socks are a disaster waiting to happen.
      You’re buying a walking system, not “a pair of boots”.”

      Best advise of the entire thread. Ribbed wool all the way to the toe if you can find them. In winter wool calf high or over the knee boot socks. Made all the difference for me when hunting.

    • SemperFi, 0321

      Duct tape works great on blisters, I always carry 2 types (regular and Gorilla) wrapped around my trekking poles, or first aid kit.
      Orbital sander is great for sanding calluses. I work hard to keep my feet in excellent shape, and that means trimming and sanding too. Helps your socks last longer also.

    • Johnny Paratrooper

      This is all true. Also, May I add a extra wet weather bag for putting your boots in at night and sticking in the bottom of your sleeping bag.

      If not, your boots will be rock solid frozen in the morning and/or they will be soaking wet from a rain during your rack time.

      If the weather is below freezing and your boots are not in your rucksack, they will freeze into rock solid icicles.

      As for the mole skin, I have never had great effect with any brand I have tried.

      The menthol foot powders are quite nice IMHO. And the “New Skin” products hurt like hell, but are effective.

    • Aesop’s Raconteur Report post about boots is worth a look see and then comply with. The importance can’t be over indicated.

  14. On my 2nd set of Salomon gtx forces. They have a great warranty and it took 2 years for me to destroy my first pair. Replacements were done under warranty.

  15. Danners Go Devils , served me well for 26 years. Resoled twice. Historically I’ve worn tan colored boots in my life. I just had my back repaired last week,

    I’m finally able to put boots on, feels good to wear em again.

    Currantly wearing tan Rockies, very comfortable, but a bit heavy. Have several sets of Danners, Asolo and other brands of very comfortable hiking style boots. Like ten years ago I was wearing the new to the market “Oakley’s”. Very lite, very comfortable.

    I live in volcano country, sharp jagged rock. The Oakleys did not perform well in this environment. In fact I destroyed them. For Urban use those boots would be a great choice.

    My Danner “Go Devils” performed exceptionally well in the tougher terrain. I need to purchase a new set of these.

    I noticed a set of boots at Sierra outpost Friday, I wore as a young man. Made in Italy, their heavy mountaineering boots. Tan thick “rough out” leather, with red heavy shoe strings.

    Gotta be three pounds apiece. I’m going back to them. Didn’t have my size the other night so I didn’t get them. Usually 300/400. On sale for 135.00.

    Their big, their ugly, their life time boots.

    I find myself going backwards. I’m not interested in the latest greatest shit anymore. I’m going back to older gear that stood a lifetime of wear. Older designed rifles aswell.

    G-3 FN, m-14 m-1, old shit that just works and works and works.


    • Glad your back op is over.

      Follow doc’s advice.

      • I’m pretty much pain free. From four oxi 10s a day, to zero. Yes I’m a happy camper. Meds done Friday, then weight reduction goal is 210, anything less and I’m lying to myself.

        Doc says I’ll get 12/16 months, then the nerves will grow back together. No problem well just cauterize em again! Easy Peasy!


    • SemperFi, 0321

      My VA foot Dr. told me the majority of his patients are there because of inadequate footwear. When I told him I wear heavy Meindl hunting/hiking boots he said to keep wearing them, there is no substitute for quality foot support and protection.
      All these younger hikers/backpackers are wearing glorified running shoes, and have no support whatsoever to them. They’ll learn the hard way thru foot injuries that you need heavier foot and ankle support. But that’s the current fad today, ultra-light shoes for mountain hiking.
      My first heavy waffle stompers in the 70’s were Fabiano from Italy, great boots. Today nothing but Meindl for me, quality all the way. The German and Brit troops in A’stan are wearing Meindl Desert Fox boots.

      • lastmanstanding

        I tell people, “your feet are your connection to the earth”.

        It’s important to walk barefoot in the grass occasionally…if it’s wet, all the better.

      • I am impressed with gel technology (e.g. ASICS)
        Certainly these shoes are not as durable, but anyone seeking treatment for their feet will think they have gone to Heaven.
        Ask your pod about ASICS gel shoes (model names change every year), about $80/pair.

  16. robroysimmons

    I’d be careful about buying a pair of military rejects from mail order. I spent 80 dollars for some RAT boots that had been rejected by the USMC. While they are durable the sizing is off and unless I have different sized feet the pair I have is not matched.

    So Becky from Bates boot company you did not do your one job very well at all (this was the inspection slip gal whose work the USMC rejected)

    • I had an honest young lady in the big Ft Collins outfitter [ https://www.jaxgoods.com – recommended] educate me on reject Danner USMC boots a few years back. Seam along the Achilles tendon was bobbled and would have been a slicer.

      My key learning: once you find something that works, get a second pair.

  17. Johnny Paytoilet

    Ole Johnny has been wearing Chippewa boots for well over 50 years. Got a pair of ’em on right now. Damn comfortable but a sonofabitch breaking ’em in on occasion. Not cheap but good quality. Still made in the FUSA. Also, have a pair of Allen Edmonds WW2 Normandy boots. Wear ’em every once in a while. Good quality, too. On sale right now at $257 + free shipping.

  18. SemperFi, 0321

    Any decent boot NOT made in China. Most of their footwear is junk, especially all the tacticool ones.

    I wear Whites, German Meindl’s and Romanian Asolos, with American made Keens for everyday wear.
    Darn Tough socks of various thickness.

    • Love my all leather Asolos Brother and my Darn Tough Socks…

    • Can’t argue with a single point. Wool year round and Whites are rebuild able unless you wear them too far out before you get them sent off. Better have three pairs of Smoke Jumpers in rotation. A pair of Packers aren’t a bad idea if there could be saddle time in your future.

      If you ever think you’ll need waterproof, just keep some sealskin liners on hand. Gore Tex lining just makes boots hot all the time.

      • SemperFi, 0321

        Exactly what I had. 2pr Whites Smokejumpers (1pr so bad I threw them away, 1pr was rebuilt about 3 yrs ago, now 20 yrs old, and a pr of Nicks corked loggers too. Got them for logging in the Black Hills 2 decades ago.) A pr of custom Whites 12″ packers which are still like new after 25 yrs. Another pr of Whites shoepacs, the earlier ones with LaCrosse lowers.
        Top notch footwear to last you decades of good service. Wash, oil and treat them like a good firearm.

  19. I live in the Ohio Valley. This week we expect three days of near zero temps. By Saturday it’s supposed to be 65Deg.F. We get winters that can range from -20F. (Jan 1994) to the mid 70’s.In the same week. “Unpredictable” to say the least. Summers are normally HOT. Like +95 to 105F with 90+% humidity. It’s 52F. now . It is supposed to be -5 by Wen. You might need everything from jungle boots to bunny boots here, in the winter, and Jungle boots all summer.

    • Johnny Paytoilet

      Ray, your right! I’m down here in the south central part of the Buckeye State, along the Ohio River, just off US 52. Going to be really cold from late Tuesday to early Friday morning. Have my handheld ham radio transceiver always tuned to the NOAA radio station for updates. We also have to contend with flooding & fog in these parts throughout the year.

    • Glad someone brought up bunny boots.

      Going down to -30 this week, high of -12 on Thursday, and bunny boots (Mickey Mouse for the guys sweating their nuts off now) and a pair of nylon dress socks are all you need for the day.

      Don’t ever wear steel-toes when it’s below zero, even pac-boots. Ask me how I know that, and how spray cans can be rotated from under your jacket down to -10, and at that temp and below logging equipment tends to just snap…

  20. Practical Man

    My last two pairs of weekend boots have been Merrill’s. Excellent quality boots for medium width feet.
    Had one pair of Asolo. Also very good.
    Tried a pair of Keens. They seem cut wider than Asolo or Merrill. Might work well for those with wider feet.
    Current work boots are Red Wing. Very comfortable and durable.

    Some thoughts on boots.
    – try on at end of day when feet are a little swollen. If you plan to hike with the boots then try on wearing your pack. It makes a difference.
    – quality leather and sewn welt so you can replace soles. Most Current production hiking boots aren’t re-soleable so I’m looking for alternatives like Red Wing.
    – I prefer all leather uppers treated with a water resistant wax. Huber’s boot grease or similar. Fabric uppers have been more trouble than they are worth, especially with a goretex bootie.
    – I’m anti goretex. After years of wearing Gore Coated fabrics I’ve given up on the idea. It doesn’t allow vapor to escape as advertised so I just end up soaked anyway.
    – Socks make a huge difference. Spend the money to get good quality wool or wool blend socks. Get a lot of them and change them often.

    Buying boots from the inter webs is a gamble unless replacing a known good model that fits well. Even then small variations in size might make a huge comfort difference. It’s worth the effort to go to a store that specializes in boots to get properly fitted. Those stores are becoming relatively rarer.

    Boots to avoid, IMHO: anything made by new balance, or current Army Issue.

    • Why does it matter if they are resoleable? If we’re talking “send lawyers guns and money” time, then who is going to resole them for you? Stitched down 300$ chip/rw/etc soles wear down just like 100$ vasques. I can run up a 15m mountain trail with merrels and a pack. If I wore .mil or squat boots I’d be DED. Marius’ mules wore spiked sandals..
      FYI- Rocky Mountain Resole Will resole glued soles ala asolo 520 etc.

      • Practical Man


        Replaceable soles are personal preference. I suspect everyone has different experience and expectations.

        I have had the molded one piece soles fail in odd ways and inconvenient times. As you point out, sewn welts can and do fail too. They are just easier to repair with Barge Cement, an awl, and waxed thread. Not perfect for sure. Just easier. Of course not as easy as asking the Supply sergeant for new boots after ya get off the mountain and back to COP. As you note, current issue military boots leave much to be desired.

        I’m just offering my experience and preferences. We all pay our money and make our choices.

      • Resole? Ever see one of those tiny shops that do shoe & luggage repair, cuts keys, and other assorted stuff? Small business owner, probaby tired of government regulation. Dollars to doughnuts he has a heavy duty sewing machine in back that could make or repair all kinds of stuff and has wholesale sources of supply. Not everyone is going to be a gunner, this guy sounds like a worthwhile addition to the logistics team. Maybe he can offer a discount to local feds and gain some information for S2 to process. He’s probably seen more worn out boots than anyone, ask him if resoling is worth the effort, good brands, what to look for when buying new. Stop in. Make friends. Local, local, local.

  21. Definitely don’t forget quality replacement laces (several
    pairs) for all your boots; nothing sucks more than to be
    walking and have one snap/give way and then realize
    you don’t have a replacement set (and no, string WON’T
    do, except for a very short time).

    Also doesn’t need to be said to have ways to keep your
    boots from deteriorating from use/elements..whether it’s
    polish/treatments or a way to suspend them upside down
    to air out or dry properly if wet. Make sure to have sets
    of the proper inner soles (Dr. Sch, etc) to take care of
    one’s feet…speaking of which, don’t let the toenails
    get out of control and become mini-goat-hooves..
    clip them BEFORE you experience the ‘joy’ of an ingrown
    nail on a hike or longer…there’s treatment or prevention.

    Hope that helps.

    NorthGunner – The Truth Is It’s OWN Defense!

    • Just had to share this..as it’s on topic.

      “That’s a Leader”

      NorthGunner – The Truth Is It’s OWN Defense!

  22. There is no such thing as ankle supporting boots, unless we’re talking about ski boots. Read any hiking site or forum. Merrel(decent longevity, lightest and most comfortable)Salomon, Lowa, vasque(toughest uppers of these hikers). I Don’t recommend keen or oboz. 99% of people out there can’t hike anyway so there is no need to search for knee destroying combat boots. Goretex is nice but it’s hot. Danner low top combats seem good, asolo leather and goretex 520s are a close second for a work/hiker. I’m still working on which winter hiker is the best for me.

  23. Any good, solid, boot made in the US EXCEPT jungle boots! Worst idea to be translated from the SE Asia conflict to the following generations of the US military and civilian world! A simple reason: No. Ankle. Support. More people have twisted up their ankles (but looking all salty while they do it) wearing jungle boots than can possibly be counted, including me. I have strong feet, ankles and legs, BTW. Those who know me know what kind of conditioning hikes I do.)

    Personally, I like Danners & Merrills. I haven’t found anything as tough as a good, first quality Danner, such as the Ft Lewis uninsulated, nor as light and tough as the Merrill hikers. Too bad they don’t make the Merill’s in 8 inch high boots….I’d probably forsake the Danners, as they’re heavy as most here know.

    Socks make up part of boot system, and the only socks I’m using are Vermont Darn Tough Socks, in varying weights for varying applications. Heavy for winter for use with pac & muks, medium for 3 season use, and light for hot summer. Their guarantee is bomb proof, so long as peace holds out. Just used it, too. No questions, no BS, simply follow their instructions, return the socks clean (yes, some people send back nasty dirty socks) and you get any pair they sell up to the value of the socks you returned, including an exact replacement. I’ve had their socks for about 5 years now, and own more than 3 dozen pair, and this is the first time EVER I sent a pair back. It had gotten a small pin hole on the ball of the foot somehow.

    But, as usual, YMMV.

    • lastmanstanding

      Thank God…finally someone else who hates jungle boots. Had a pair when I was a kid. I can still remember how stiff the soles were and how uncomfortable they were.

      But at 13, son of a Marine tank commander, I sure as hell looked salty! 😉

  24. Anything by Redwing, especially their Vasque– toughest damn boot on the planet and resoleable. Been wearing the same pair close to fifty years, then my feet decided to grow to an XXwide and had to hang them up. Still look great, though.

    For winter wear, Mukluks arer the way to go. Steger wears them on all his polar expeditions, as do all others attempting the same feats. Best (and most spendy) mukluks made are made in Ely, MN, by Steger Mukluks (dot com, IIRC). Pull a pair of these on when it’s fifty below and you’ll be surprised how hot your feet are, will be tempted to remove your sox. (OK, I’m lying there, but I was born a comic-wannabe, OK?)

    Socks… I’ve been wearing them forever, it seems, have several pair that truly are older than my woman by several years. My opinion on what works best is still with the jury. I like cotton- but only white since my feet stink when I wear colored types. Dunno why that is, but it is. Some say cotton absorbs moisture and makes you cold. Again, I’m not sure I agree, though it may be true, just don’t get them wet. Wool is only good if it’s Marino Wool, which can come in a good rag style weave that I love– but buy oversize footwear. When wearing ‘cheap’ wool, my feet always feel clammy and it’s debilitatingly irritating. I stay as far away from Dacron sox as I can. Tried nylons once. Don’t ask. Dunno how the hell Namath sold it as long as he did.

    For cold weather, be sure you layer sox. Some advocate poly beneath wool. Again, poly for me is taboo– but I’m a redneck Bible thumping gun toter who only likes racist white women, so YMMV. One additional note on cold weather: the farther you can keep your feet from contact with the ground, the warmer you will be; and, a grandfather’s expression, “Feet cold? Put on your hat.” Works nearly 100% of the time.

  25. The absolute KEY to boot fit is getting your feet measured with the shoe department tool. The one you stand on, and move a toe level to fit your exact foot. And width.

    NOTHING will work correctly without knowing exactly the size and width of your foot.

    I can’t think of the name of the tool. They’ve been around since I was a kid. All my old high speed buddies tell me this EVERYTIME.

    It’s not enough to measure width and length one time and call it good. Your feet need to be measured with good socks on EVERYTIME. Buying on line is handy but without a foot fit each time, you will eventually find a problem.

    I actually measured my feet at Sierra Outpost/ Trading post last Friday. My left foot has grown wider substantially since last time.

    I attribute this width growing to wearing “Crocs” everyday, all day.

    Dirk Williams

    • lastmanstanding

      Once your down to 210, your feet will return to normal.

      Well, it just makes sense! Glad all went well. 🙂

  26. Sadly, Herman Survivors are not made in the US any longer, and haven’t been for years. When they were, they were about the only things that would survive working the ramp (very abrasive concrete wore soles out most ricky tick, and the elements on the ATL ramp year round went from ice storms, to daily afternoon t-storms, to 100 degree temp/99% humidity)
    Have experimented and tested for years to find replacement, but can say that clean dry socks, sno-seal, and everything Aesop said – is gold. If your feet ain’t right, you’re out of the fight, period full stop. Seen guys nearly crippled in VN by not caring for their feet. In my 60s now and a type 1 diabetic, I take care of my feet every day. If you go barefoot around the house, baby wipe your feet and then put good quality foot cream on before you swing your legs up into bed.
    You can have all the tactical shit you want, but if you can’t walk without pain you’re fucked. As for boots, I appreciate the info here, my search continues. Thanks, brothers.

  27. A lot of good information here; thanks to all who contribute.

  28. Don’t see why we can’t discuss this here. I like thesehttps://www.amazon.com/Danner-USMC-Rat-8IN-Boot/dp/B07CLBNSKP
    I found some on sale a while back that had cosmetic blemishes. They’re tough, well made and comfortable.

  29. Danner Fort Lewis boots. Love them. Great ankle support for my aging bones.

  30. SemperFi, 0321

    A word of caution on Meindl boots. There are the German made Meindls and the Croatian made Meindls, make sure you buy the German made ones, not the ones that say ‘Imported’ (Croatia). Big difference, since they are cutting corners on their ‘cheaper’ hiking models.
    Cabelas is the exclusive importer in the USA, and I’m told they cut some corners on leather quality, etc vs the ones you can buy in Europe or Canada. That said, Meindls are still top notch mountaineering/hunting boots for hunting in rough terrain like Alaska and the Rockies. They’re one of those boots you can almost wear out of the box and go hunting all day.

    Same goes for Asolo. Look at country of mfg, some places like Sierra Trading Post will state where they are made. I stick with the European made Asolos; Italy or Romania, no Chinese crap. They’re just not the same quality.

  31. Oh since someone mentioned Moleskin – Colorado Mountaineering Club has shifted to Leukotape P. I tried it. Superior. Wind a few feet on a piece of PVC pipe for your bag.

    BSN Medical BEI076168 Leukotape P… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E59HXC

  32. If you want waterproof boots that are indestructible in a way I have never seen a boot be then the Danner Crater Rim is the version they sell like what they issued soldiers going to Afghanistan for a period. They are also crazy hot and super heavy and take some break in though. https://www.danner.com/crater-rim-6-brown.html
    Another option of very tough boot that is virtually waterproof, very supportive but still light and requires no break in is the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX.
    Lastly the Danner 600 comes in both standard and insulated. It is a very well made boot but felt as comfortable as a pair of sneakers since day 1. https://www.danner.com/mountain-600-4-5-saddle-tan.html
    The second and third option are the least military looking. I think the worst option anyone can suggest is a pair of traditional army issue brown suede boots (notice the boots I recommended are a civilian version of an issue boot most people have no idea was an issue boot). Nothing says “kill me first” like a guy wearing those, beware of anyone giving this advice.

  33. https://www.lowaboots.com/mens/task-force-tactical-hunting/zephyr-gtx-mid-tf-desert

    Have worn out one pair of these and working on a second. I wear them everyday and generally get 3 years out of them.

    Also have the RAT USMC boots and they are also great.

  34. unknownsailor

    I see lots of good suggestions, but how about some love for those of us who live in sizes bigger than 13?
    I can only dream of a nice pair of Danners, they don’t go bigger than 14, and I take 16s.

  35. John Stevens

    Been wearing American made Justin lace ups for years and they hold up well. I have them re-soled with Vibram soles and they do just fine. In North Texas not much need for insulated boots. Smart wool socks and poly pro liners do well enough. I have a pair of Justin insulated boots but it hasn’t really been cold enough in the winter sitting in a deer stand to use them. Justin lace ups also do not look tactical and makes it easier to blend in with the sheep. I regularly hike with them with a 50 pound ruck and have not had any foot issues from them. They aren’t cheap but quality never is.

  36. I have a pair of Red Wings that work very well, previous pair I had lasted 7 years, the ones I have now did cost $200. but were worth every penny.

  37. anon white bulking up

    I did a lot of research into this. Real special forces dudes doing real dangerous stuff in dangerous places wear trail running shoes, not heavy boots. Movement and speed is the most important thing. The same reason Solomon trail running shoes are the best for navigating the woods during these “pre-collapse” times are the same reasons that is a superior shoe even post-collapse. Now, they can wear out faster than leather. Okay, buy them now while cheap. Better to have 10 pairs of Solomon trail running shoes than 2 pairs of heavy boots that will cause shin splints.

    In short, no actual soldier wears “combat boots”. When they get a choice, they were lightweight running shoes.

    • ” When they get a choice, they were lightweight running shoes.”


    • “Actual soldiers” do wear combat boots. They also, in the case of the Afghans and others, will wear sandals made from donkey rawhide and old Goodyears. When guys get a choice, they go with what fits their foot well, what they are comfortable with, what works for their mission, and what they are willing to spend. “Real special forces dudes” are no exception. Some will wear trail runners, some will wear high-end mountain boots, some will wear desert boots, and some will wear jungle boots that they hit with Krylon. Anyone who has spent time in the High Altitude Gym of Afghanistan will attest to that. I saw guys wearing the full spectrum of footwear during my tours in that country.

    • SemperFi, 0321

      And when you run out of cheap Chinese made running shoes (Solomon, Merrell, etc) you will be barefoot. I love the soft tennis shoe type hiking shoes, but they’re shit for quality. The SF guys get new ones whenever they want, all bought with a FedGov credit card.
      I live in the Wind River Mtn’s of Wyoming, backpack and hunt, and will never wear cheap footgear ever again when it counts. Rocks, rivers, snow, scree fields that will snap an ankle are all in abundance here.
      Laugh all you want at heavy boots, see what the hunting outfitters tell their clients concerning a sheep hunt above 8,000′. Not one single one here or Alaska will tell you to bring some cheap SF combat running shoes. Spend your money wisely and you’ll save your feet.
      This information does not apply to those of you in warm low climates, you can wear sandals for all I care.

      • Right on point, Seller Fi. Rough country is no place for crap shoes with no support. I fought the expensive mountain boot purchase for a long time, and like many things, I wish I would have done it years ago. They are essential gear here in western Montana.

  38. I love my Danner’s Fort Lewis 10″, American made too, wear them every day, anywhere & everywhere in any weather.

  39. I splurged a while back and bought some pricey boots while they were on sale at MidwayUSA. Zamberlan, made in Italy. I can’t recommend them enough. Very comfortable from the get-go and the Vibram soles show zero wear in a half a years use. And I’m not easy on boots.

  40. forget all this kit for 15 peeps stuff. tell me where the hell i find 15 reliable like minded fellow sophisticates anywhere. that aren’t informers for Flowers By Irene or the like. i was a fireman in the eastern part of LA county for 24 yrs. most of the assholes i worked with were only reliable because they were paid to be. off the job, totally IGMFU. some family and most neighbors just as useless and hive minded. good news is , i got everyone surrounded from the inside. simplifies the problem.

    • Old Gray Wolf

      You and me both, man. After twenty plus years of working at it I have two guys who I know I can trust. Both are older than me. Neither have family. I have known a lot of guys. Two proved out to be worthwhile. In twenty plus years. Give me 15 heartless bastards, and we could put the hurts on some commies, even barefoot. I need to get out more, see where CA is meeting people, I guess!

      • The concept is a WAG at the most anyone will have to think about. 4 threes or 3 fours, plus 2 senior men and some kind of medic.

        Maybe there’s an RTO a la this series: https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/danmorgan76-the-patrol-chapter-9/

        Maybe there is no need for same.

        Fifteen “pipe hitters” would be formidable, especially being sufficiently capable to scale up (with other 15s and/or specialty teams) or down to two.

        The logistics and gear will scale that way, too.

      • “Both are older than me. Neither have family. ”

        in reality, this is what freefor really consists of ^^

        family men-CUCKS had their balls snipped off the day they were married.
        count on them for nothing, except being cowards and turning you in. even a former SF guy just said he backed down from a fight because of his family…

        less than useless is the family man…

        trust them at your own peril

        • Family men have other considerations right now. When everyone’s dancing at the party they’ll be there too. Just not right now when the consequences are more legal than lethal. There’s a difference between being in something as large and supported as say the Chetniks and being in something hunted and illegal as say the French OAS. Timing is everything.

        • Some of us still have balls, tfAtass fuck. Contribute worthwhile, or – as many have asked before, shut your cockholster. Your island fortress ain’t impenetrable for a motivated Marine. I would trust almost any family man before I trust you, cunt.

  41. You are correct – boots are intensely personal. Flat feet, high arches, pronation, weather, terrain, load, width…all are factors.

    I found the USA-made Danner Light II https://www.danner.com/danner-light-ii-6-brown.html comfortable; during that era, the Asolo was often a popular boot (and often from Sierra) for the casual adventurer. I allowed the purchase of a second pair of Danners with provided funds. They are stitch down, which means they can be repaired by someone with hand tools or cobbling skills.

    The boot of choice later became things like Merrell or similar trail runners for warmer places sans load; I fell in love with Scarpa approach shoes, which wear really well.

    I hear Salomons are the ticket these days.

  42. Fabiano 772/2 pairs. Belleville 590 3 pair. Belleville 790 3 pair. Cold weather boots Baffin Apex. Sorels high and low models. 2 white and one black. Keene Targhee III. mid weight easy on the feet. Wool blend Patagonia or Smart wool socks. Fox River Wick Dry liners.
    Due to multiple foot injuries I pamper the shit out of my feet. Mortons neuroma,broken heel,torn achilles. Cut off two toes/reattatched. Percheron crushed one foot. Take care of your feet. They are your foundation

    • SemperFi, 0321

      Sucks to be you, huh? 🙂
      Same here, Mortons Neuroma right foot (got a shot last May between the toes, still no pain!!!) spreading feet, high arches, heel spurs, etc, and I won’t quit hiking either. I do 8-12 miles, couple thousand vertical feet, hobble to my Jeep almost in tears and do it again in a few days.
      If you quit, the couch won.

  43. A neighbor gave me a pair of his WELLCO boots from his
    11Bravo days in Iraq, He insisted, but told me not to ever
    wash them to keep the sand there in his memory, so I accepted
    them with honor and have not washed and fit me perfectly, though
    thicker layer socks a must plus sole cushion needed.
    Used to quarterback him and other younger kids around the
    block playing pavement street football.

  44. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.

  45. European American

    Amazing how “Boots” have brought everyone together, here at WRSA. I believe we have a consensus.

  46. Blauer all the way.

    Comfortable as slippers. Nigh indestructible.

    I walk on average 120 miles a month in mine, and after six months are still good as new.

    This counts everything from carpet to rock climbing in New Guinea.