Walking boots

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 12:59
ThreadID: 107488 Views:2260 Replies:10 FollowUps:8
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Hi all, me and my beloved are off to Tassie and want to do a bit of walking. Just wondering what type of boot to take.

i have been told not to take leather boots as they way a ton when wet and take forever to dry.

many thanks


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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 13:12

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 13:12
I've got Scarpa boots bought from Paddy Pallin a few years ago - fabric and some leather - they've been fantastic. You pretty much get what you pay for at the reputable camping shops, so long as they are well fitted.
Critical thing if you're serious about bushwalking in Tas is good ankle support and good waterproofing. And at this time of year you'll need gaiters for mud and scrub. Some great walks in this State, but prepare for all eventualities -best option is a selection of layers of clothing, depending on conditions. Some people come to serious grief in our highlands when they think a bright sunny morning at sea level means a bright sunny afternoon on top of a mountain !!
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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 22:52

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 22:52
Ditto on Scarpa boots. I own two pairs and they are fantastic. Each year I do the Jatbula Trail (60+ kms walk from Katherine Gorge to Edith Falls) and you need good comfortable boots to do that trip. Can't fault them.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 14:36

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 14:36
My choice of boot is Rossi Rapor. They are all leather.
I am probably half way through my second pair.
I walked the 100 kms of Kokoda and guess what, dry feet and no blisters.
Others had fancy brands and had blisters with toenails floating on fluid.
Choose wisely Trev.
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 16:47

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 16:47
Gidday pinko

Good to see Rossi bush walking boots get a tick. I have had a good run with their street shoes and boots and they were top of the list to replace a pair of Mack boots that are close to the end of their working life.

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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 15:12

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 15:12
Bushwalking boots are a very individual thing as our feet all vary. What you need will also depend on what type of terrain you will be walking in, for how long, whether you will be walking through creeks and bogs and whether you are carrying a heavy pack or not.

I've done the 5 day Overland track with guides who wore the global benchmark, ... Scarpa brand boots with synthetic uppers, cost of these today is nearly $400. The synthetic uppers don't last as long as leather, but dry out quicker.
I did the Overland Track with a pair of Blundstone lace up bushwalking boots which cost me about $120 and were fantastic.
Many bushwalkers still use Dunlop Volleys, they don't give me enough ankle support.

If you are doing day walks along tracks without a heavy pack, walking/hiking shoes are fine (not boots). There are numerous brands, you can pay a bit more and get those with Goretex membranes to assist in keeping your feet drier.

I still prefer leather boots for greater foot stability and ankle support, but I don't tend to walk in creeks or bogs regularly.
If you provide a bit more information then I can be more specific.

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Follow Up By: Gnomey - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 08:43

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 08:43

My personal choice is also full grain leather. I look for stability and soles thick enough to resist stone strike. People who want to travel far and fast choose very different footwear.

On boots getting wet. Dubbin is your friend. Apply liberally and often. Good for the leather. Good for keeping water out.

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Reply By: Member - gujimbo - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 16:19

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 16:19
I like the ECCO range of boots, well worth having a look.
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 17:47

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 17:47
Best boot I've had so far is the [Hi-Tec V-Lite Altitude Ultra Waterproof Walking Boot] - if I can get them at the right price, I'm staying with them. A web search will turn up plenty of sellers with a huge price range. I paid $150 to my door from the US, 2 years back (Footlocker US - not available the last time I looked) - best local price I've seen is at [www.workwearhub.com.au / non safety section.... they were $185 six months back - now $215). Whatever......web searching can bring up unexpected specials, BUT the mainstream global manufacturers seem to have stitched up online reselling in this segment......now trying to rip us off with local only prices, of course.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 17:49

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 17:49
How much walking are you talking about.

If ya just going for an hour or two wander you realy need nothing special.

I'm not big into walking, though some days I will do 15Km at work and lots of stairs...and carrying stuff.....I do that in steel cap boots.

My wife on the other had is serious into the walking..she has done several of the big walks...most of the Wainrights walks and the Jon agrotes to lands end a couple of times.

Serious walking boots are an a item for much discussion.

If you want to start an argument on a walking forum....post a strong opinion on boots.

They realy are a personal thing and you can spend rediculous amounts of money on them.....even then not get a boot that suits you.

On the silly side...a couple of my brothers mates did the Kokoda track a while back.....experienced walkers with good ( expensive)properly worn in boots....after the second day they where in the vollies they carried as slippers.


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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 22:14

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 22:14
Exactly, if only a few short walks, good comfy runners will generally suffice.

I've moved from full grain leather to lighter leather or cordura type materials, the lightness is far too attractive, as too how fast they dry out.
All boots get wet, but when full grain leather is saturated, it takes days to dry out, and they weight a ton.
Even dry, they are heavy compared to more modern materials.
Each step picking up an extra few hundred grams adds up.

So where are you walking ? How long, etc ?
Tassie can be harsh if you're doing long walks like South Coast Tk, Overland Tk, Frenchmans Cap Tk, The Arthurs / Fed Peak etc, but for Freycinet, runners are fine.

I did wear Scarpas on Kokoda walk some 6 years ago, they were fully split open at the front on the last day walking into there, KT26 Dunlop runners then did me for the north coast and Mt Wilhelm climb over the next 2 weeks.
I loved my Scarpas dearly (2nd pair) but they didn't like the resole on that pair, ended up donated to our Guides nephew.
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Reply By: DKG11 - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 21:40

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 21:40
I had a pair of Rossi lights for about 15 years, I finally had to admit they were past it. Rossi don't make the 'light' any more so I looked around and decided on the Keen 'gypsum'. As a women I wanted something light, comfortable (for wide feet and good ankle support), affordable ($170 is about average these days), easily available (Rays have them) and water proof. I don't do hard core walking but walk a lot in places like the Flinders Rangers (rock, sand, weeds etc) and they have been excellent. They are water proof in the fact that the moisture doesn't get from the outside to your socks/feet but I waterproofed them as well to protect the fabric, which is a mixture of mesh/leather.
Happy walking.
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Reply By: Trevor G - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 08:29

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 08:29
Thanks very much for all the replys. I might do a few full day walks but generally my beloved and I will probably do up to about 5 - 10km.

I have done a bit of walking in my Leather Rossies but got wet first day and took too long to dry. I had a pair of Dunlop K26's which did really well most of the time, although I did loose a bit of bark around one ankle.

I have a few months before we go so Ill have a look around.

Thank you once again for all your comments and advice.

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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 13:32

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 13:32
Don't bother with a Goretex membrane in boots. If it's properly wet outside the leather or synthetic shell won't breathe anyway.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 13:50

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 13:50

I think the primary aim of Gore-tex as a liner in a boot is to provide a waterproof barrier. Thick leather, wet or dry, doesn't breathe that well - putting gore-tex on one side wont change that scenario. Different story if its a Gore-tex jacket.

At the moment I have Zamberland boots - they work fine. Purpose built hiking boots are a bit overpriced but then so are Toyotas and Engels :) . I wouldn't suggest anything without ankle support and coverage...but depends on the nature of the track - if its close to a man made footpath (no sticks, rocks, holes etc) any conformable footwear would probably suffice. Sherpas in Nepal wear thongs (for low altitude stuff), but that may not be by choice I suppose.

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 14:41

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 14:41
I've seen a guide going barefoot on the Overland Tk.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 14:43

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 14:43
A Hobbit?

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 16:08

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 16:08
A hippy.

Trev, a general point: when Tassie decides to rain you can expect to get wet from outside in and damp from inside out no matter how good your gear. No drama if you're just out for a day walk and are coming back to warmth and shelter. Just wear good layers under your shell - synthetic or fine merino thermals, fleece jkt etc. This stuff absorbs little moisture.

High points like Cradle Mtn can get snow or sleet even in summer so go prepared, or prepared to fog up the car windscreen.
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Reply By: Kerry W (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:09

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:09
Hi Trevor,

You seem to be onto it from what you say above and there are some great recommendations from the respondents above.

If my thoughts/experiences below are of any help, they may just confirm what you already know.

Many different ideas on this and many opinions are based on what the retailers "think" you "should" wear. Many buy up big for the one or two walks. In all honesty it depends on what you are comfortable with and what makes walking easy supports your ankles (if they are not conditioned to the stresses and strains of uneven ground) and doesn't tire you out.

Sir Edmund Hillary often pointed out that he walked much of Nepal in comfy soft tennis shoes, and shunning heavier boots unless on a serious high alitude climb.

From personal experience (I have always done a lot of hiking having recently done the Milford Track, Parts Of the Rocky Mountains, Alaska Yukon and am planning a trip to Nepal soon) I use a good cross trainer for track type walking, if Im climbing up rocky tracks or actually climbing over rock Ill use a good solid (but lightweight) non leather ankle supporting boot.

Personally (and I dont suggest you follow my example), I dont mind having wet feet sometimes there is nothing you can do about it and no sense getting annoyed with it. So for me Waterproof boots are only an advantage in snow and high altitudes. Many creek/river crossings require you to simply splosh through and get wet feet and legs, they dry eventually and its good for your circulation to get cold wet feet occasionally.
The only dramas are when your feet stay wet for days which is unlikely unless you are days away from your car or accommodation/camp.

As an aside, I used GP Boots (ex army issue leather with steel plate in the base - so very heavy) for many years as we trained in them and were comfortable and well worn in. They are great for training for a hike as once you go to lighter footwear your body is conditioned to having heavy weights on your feet.

Unless you are literally grovelling around on the ground and scraping your feet and in mud, the old army boots are a good lesson as to why you DON'T bother with leather hiking boots. Once I realised I had been brainwashed by these things my life changed. I now choose comfort and support over dryness and durability.
Kerry W (Qld)
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