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Shoes For A Pinch; Hopefully They Won’t Pinch Your Feet

February 9, 2012 by  

Telling you what shoe to buy for your particular situation makes as much sense as telling you what car you should buy. There are too many variables — budget, environment, terrain, foot shape, etc. — to consider. But there are a few truths you should remember when choosing footwear for the survival scenario.

Shoes are vitally important because your feet may become your only mode of transportation if the grid or supply chain is taken down. If it happens, you’re going to spend a lot of time either working outdoors or hiking out of your area, and this is going to put a big strain on your shoes or boots.

First, consider what you’ll be doing in them. If you anticipate doing a lot of walking or hiking, choose a hiking boot. Hiking boots are preferable to hiking shoes because of the ankle support boots provide. If you anticipate staying put, a work boot might serve you better.

Second, choose quality. Cheap shoes or boots are cheap for a reason. They aren’t designed to endure harsh treatment. Cheap hiking shoes or boots will likely begin to fall apart pretty quickly when they are most needed. Walking all day on rugged, rock-strewn trails can result in serious injury pretty quickly if the shoes aren’t providing support to either the ankles or arches, or if the ill-made shoes are rubbing in ways they shouldn’t. Cheap soles will be shredded in no time, and they won’t turn back cactus needles or long spines from plants. Asolo, Timberland, Columbia, Lowa, Danner, Adidas and Red Wing make excellent products, but some are quite pricey.

Third, consider your environment. If your area is exceptionally dry, waterproof boots aren’t necessary. But in most environments, having a waterproof boot is essential. You should also keep a leather waterproofing oil or wax treatment handy and apply it to your boots often.

Fourth, break them in ahead of time. If you have to bug out on a new set of hiking boots you can expect to have blisters fairly quickly. Wear your boots often for short time periods to get them accustomed to your feet.

You also should wear two pairs of socks, which necessitates getting your boots fitted while wearing two pairs of socks for the proper fit. One pair of socks should be thin and made of a material that wicks moisture. The other pair should be wool. The two layers of socks will help prevent moisture buildup, reduce the chance of blisters and help regulate temperatures on the feet.

Finally, have two pairs of boots. In foul weather it’s very difficult to get your boots — and your feet — dry while wearing them. Having a second pair can save you a lot of discomfort.

If you’ve got experience with a boot that works for you, please share it in the comments section below.

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • FreedomFighter


    Second, choose quality. Cheap shoes or boots are cheap for a reason. They aren’t designed to endure harsh treatment.

    I found this out the hard way once, during a winter outing. I suggest wool socks also, several pair. You will thank yourself for paying the extra money for feet that are not:

    cold, blistered, swollen, bleeding, wet, sweaty, constantly reminding you every step you are a cheapskate.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • Joe H.

      Freedom fighter,
      I have two pairs each of army issue basic black combat boots and jungle boots!!I bought them a couple of years ago when I was having problems finding good boots for a good price. The jungle boots even have the nylon inserts in them. they hold up to ANYTHING!!

  • Fox

    A remarkable, yet inexpensive boot I found at the PX years ago would be, and still is, my choice.

    Magnum Hi-techs.

    This is a hiking boot built on a runners shoe sole. The top is made from leather and goretex, allowing your foot to breathe, yet also allowing water to run out, and to protect your soles and ankles equally. There is also a full leather version available.

    Not only the PX carries these boots; you can usually find them at Kenny’s Shoes offbase as well.

    These boots were not authorized as a uniform item, however, because they take a great spit shine, I was never challenged on wearing them unless it was a formal inspection.

    If you work in a petroleum spill area, I wouldn’t recommend these boots. They wear out fast in that environment. But in the field, they have no equal.

    In a shop environment you will discover the true value of these boots. 8 hours on your feet will feel like you were wearing house slippers all day!

  • David

    Recommendation for good hiking boots?

    • FreedomFighter

      I suggest you goto a place like Cabela’s and try them on, allot of them, your feet will tell you what the best one is.

      Laus Deo
      Semper Fi

  • Marshall

    I hiked the Appalachian Trail (2182 miles; Georgia to Maine) in Aslo boots. If anyone wants to test their “bug-out” ability go on a long distance hike. I am confident of how and what to carry and do because of my hike.

    • s c

      Thanks for the tip, Marshall. The brand is called Asolo, though, not Aslo. At those prices, they should be first-rate, too.

  • B

    For those with Diabetics, need to research on the best kind of footwear for your situations. Keep that in mind.

    What about a good set of foot cushions?

    ~B

  • Traci

    I am a custom bootmaker in Granbury, Texas :) I also do boot and shoe repair. My boots start at 8oo.oo. I sell alot of refurbished used boots.(45$range) So many boots and shoes that were good namebrands 5 years ago were made so much better than the same brands that are now made in china …. fall apart before the season is over (disposable). If they say made in USA have them resoled. If they dont shame on you! I am a princess and the pea kind of girl and know lots of trix on making footwear more comfortable. Silverado Custom Boot Co. ;)

    • Joe H.

      Traci,
      What’s the best way to stretch the boot over the instep in a pair of hand made western boots?? They are the right size, and all but the instep fits fine. they’re 150.00 boots that I was given as a gift.

  • Traci

    Joe, put a plastic walmart sack over your your foot and slide into your boot, then spray outside of boot with a spray bottle of alcohol, wiggle your feet around in your boots and walk around, you should feel imediate results.leave the boots on till alcohol dries…usually 15 minutes. your feet will be their least swollen in the morning time. keep the spray bottle handy and spray instep throughout day till comfortable. In my shop I call this magic spray!

    • Joe H.

      Tried that, a boot maker/seller told me of it. right now I have a streacher in one boot at a time and putting camp dry spray on them. don’t know if THAt will work. They’re good hand tooled and stitched black boots. i hope something works. i can’t wear them long enough to stretch them out!!

  • s c

    Does anybody know how many brands of shoes and boots sold in America are NOT made in funky, greedy countries like China? Find what you need, and then spread the word about quality shoes and boots so we can avoid “the others.”

    • Joe H.

      sc,
      go military surplus and try to get good combat boots. They aren’t insulated, but if you get them a couple of sizes large, use two pair of wool socks and one pair of silk socks. The wool ones insulate and the silk wicks the damp away from th skin!

      • Joe H.

        sc,
        i forgot. If you are worried about cold, get a pair of what the army used to call Mickey mouse boots. They are rubber, they inflate to the foot, and my feet used to sweat in them in germany when I was stationed there in the winter. I’d love to get ahold of a Nam era flight parka, too!! Warmest coat I ever wore. For temperate weather like spring I like the same era flight jacket. i had one and somebody broke the window out of my car to steal it. Guess they wanted it worse than me!!

  • Traci

    made in USA: Anderson Been, Olatha, Rios of Mercedes, claims to be. just look in the inside of the boot for made in USA. Joe, if your boots are hand tooled wetting them can mess up the tooling. next step for me would be measuring your foot and building up a last to your measurements putting them in your boots and let them sit for a few days.

    • Joe H.

      Thanks Traci, I tried them on last nite and it seems to be working with the campdry. i avoid spraying the tooling. I was told they were very expensive boots. I haven’t had a good pair since I pought a pair of tony llamas back when I was in the army. i wore them so much, I went through three sets of soles before the boot repair told me they were beyond repair. those boots were like another skin, comfortable and I loved them!

  • Earl H.

    Hints: Try them on!!!! I normally do not use exclamation points but you cannot expect to just order a pair of shoes or boots from one of the discount outlets and expect them to fit. The exception: Danner has standard lasts for their American made sizes and the Chinese Danners tend to correspond. Nocona/Tony Lama build on 19th Century Justin lasts at both Fort Worth and Mexico, but I had trouble getting a good fit on the Chinese Justins. If you want American made, read inside the shoe. Also, try to get boots that can be resold or recrafted. When a molded sole goes, it is probably gone unless you are an expert with tire tread and Marine Goop.

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