Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

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Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Murph » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:03 am

Welcome to Tactical Tuesday!

Today we'll be discussing the importance of footwear. I can hear the crowd sigh now! "But Murph, isn't it all about the guns?!" No, you horde of dumb-ass zombies, being ready for a violent encounter is fully encompassing endeavor. So let's work from the ground up!

Having solid footwear, whether it be shoes, boots, sneakers, high-tops will provide a number of distinct advantanges. When you're looking at buying footwear it's also good to throughly inspect the construction of it. That pair of sweat-shop-sneakers may be super comfortable, but if they fall apart after a few months, that won't do.

Things to look for in good footwear should include:
Solid ankle support
Good arch support
Deep tread
Double stitched seams

The reasons being:
Less chance of twisting an ankle
Help support extra weight of gear
Provides more traction
Less chance of seam blowouts

Good footwear will help evacuate if needed, and avoid most foot related medical problems. Also, if you do get into a violent confrontation, having good footwear will give you a solid connection to the ground from which to fight from, and also be able to move dynamically between cover.

Take a moment and look over what you wear daily and see what kind of condition it's in. Do the same for other pairs of footwear that you wear less often. If anything looks like it is nearing the end, start looking for replacements now, and keep the above considerations in mind.

Thanks!
Last edited by Murph on Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Chris@MTCT » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:08 am

http://www.altama.com/products/39-Tan-D ... -TacX-Boot" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by TravisM.1 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:09 am

I like Rocky boots and New Balance sneakers.

I get better wear out of a pair of Rocky boots than I get out of any others. Once they're broken in, they feel like a pair of high tops. The only thing I do is replace the laces from those skinny little boot laces to a pair of those big chunky laces made for hiking boots.

I've had Nikes, Reeboks, Adidas, K-Swiss and a few other brands of shoes. Almost all of the current designs (NB included) have that goddamned sole that wraps up onto the front of the toes, and that's been the failure point on all of them that I've had, except the NB sneakers.

Anyone who thinks that footwear isn't important hasn't spent a day in a pair that didn't fit, or a pair of junk shoes/boots.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Murph » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:24 am

TravisM.1 brings up a good point that I didn't know where to fit into the OP. Having good solid laces. (and spares!) Footwear that doesn't stay on your foot isn't good for much. :wink:
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by EricinVirginia » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:05 am

I've got a pair of Converse tactical boots and love them. Don't weigh much and I feel indestructible wearing them. Wearing and breaking in a pair of Wolverine hiking boots right now. It's worth noting that hiking boots usually run a 0.5 size smaller than regular shoes.

Someone put up kevlar boot laces off of duluth trading company. I had found a set of black ones somewhere else but the moment passed and now I can't find them or remember where I had seen them.

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Murph » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:18 am

Kevlar laces sound great on the surface, but if anything you want the lace to be the point of failure, not the eyelet on the footwear. It's a lot easier to replace a lace than it is to fix an eyelet.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Chase The hero » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:22 am

Murph wrote:
No, you hoard of dumb-ass zombies,
its actually horde. unless you are collecting a shitton of zombies.

and I have a pair of sweet backpacking boots i bought for cabelas like 60% off. they ARE a weird teal color, but it was on sale, and they work fine (backpacking and constant camping/hiking).
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Murph » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:32 am

Nice catch Chase! Imagunnaeditedit. :wink:
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by EricinVirginia » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:40 am

So, I've been wearing some Wolverine brand hikers - goretex, waterproof, etc. They're pretty comfortable and I get a kick out of them. However, I bit the bullet on a some much nicer Asolo boots. When looking at them, my mom asked the question, "What makes this boot (Asolo $240) better than those (Wolverine $80)?"

I pointed to the fact that you're looking at completely different quality of material and how the overall boot is assembled. But as Murph just noted, it's the failure points you really want to pay attention to.
- Sole
- Where the sole connects to the boot
- The toe edges... mine always seem to split just under my big toe where sole meets the actual boot.

I had not thought of eyelets as a failure point as I always keep my boots snug, but have pulled them tight. It seems you could design a list of failure points and using that solely as a critieria set, you could design or find your perfect end of days boot.

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Der Wanderer » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:55 am

I think survival is about making decisions, this thread is great because instead of just stating X is the best boot it helps making decisions. In that line I will widen the focus a bit:

Ankle Support
Murph wrote:Things to look for in good footwear should include: Solid ankle support
The reasons being: Less chance of twisting an ankle
I think that is an oversimplification, solid ankle support is great but has also drawbacks:
- Walking is more tiresome
- You can't run as fast
- If you are not carefull the ankle support might reduce blood flow to your feet
- More material = More Weight
Some more advantages
- Keeps your feet dry when crossing a creek

I usually prefer trekking shoes (low) or hiking boots (half high) to combat boots (high). Trekking shoes and a separate ankle brace or bandage (similar to the pictures below) allow for more versatility.
ImageImage


Other Stuff
Metal Cap: While nice to protect your toes, the sole tends to break as a result (I had three pairs, it happend with all of them)
Antimicrobial: Reduces foot odor and keeps your foot healty.
Socks: Get a pair of good socks (one for hot weather and one for cold). Good socks should protect against shear, prevent pressure points and keep your feet comfortable (wicking sweat away, controlling temperature) and thereby improve your hiking experience.

Soles (Most of my shoes its the soles that fail first):
Soft (As in running shoes): Fastest running and excellent on solid ground, bad for cross country. Generally this kind of shoes loose traction when it gets wet. Soles don't last long.
Medium Hard Soles (Trekking shoes, hiking boots and combat boots): Probably best overal utility.
Hard Soles (Bouldering Shoes): Excellent for really rough / rocky terrain and climbing (besides dedicated climbing shoes), good for cross country, least confortable on pavement (especially running). The durability of the sole is the highest. The stiff sole is also excellent if you have a foot wound (e.g. after I punctured my foot with a nail these kind of shoes were the most confortable).


Most trusted brand: North Face and Mammuth
Rule 9: Guns Are for Hunting, Not for Zombie Killing: When your running who has time to stop for bullets? Keeping a shotgun on hand is important but only when your pinned in and need a quick getaway. Its not a proper means for killing zombies as they run out of ammo and need reloading. Remember a Cricket Bat, or Toilet Lid do not need loading!

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Der Wanderer » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:09 am

Failure Points:
Eyelets:
EricinMaryland wrote:I had not thought of eyelets as a failure point as I always keep my boots snug, but have pulled them tight. It seems you could design a list of failure points and using that solely as a critieria set, you could design or find your perfect end of days boot.
I had this happen twice, however, both times in was after the original sole was used up and redone by a shoemaker. Also in both cases it could be fixed by the shoemaker.

Connection of the sole to the shoe: Strangely enough this has been a common problem in the past. My last shoes (all North Face or Mammuth) it never happened anymore. If you clean it well you can actually glue the sole easily.
Rule 9: Guns Are for Hunting, Not for Zombie Killing: When your running who has time to stop for bullets? Keeping a shotgun on hand is important but only when your pinned in and need a quick getaway. Its not a proper means for killing zombies as they run out of ammo and need reloading. Remember a Cricket Bat, or Toilet Lid do not need loading!

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Murph » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:35 am

Thanks Der Wanderer! Some excellent additions to the topic.
Der Wanderer wrote: Socks: Get a pair of good socks (one for hot weather and one for cold). Good socks should protect against shear, prevent pressure points and keep your feet comfortable (wicking sweat away, controlling temperature) and thereby improve your hiking experience.
You bring up a great point about socks. I was tempted to do a followed Tactical Tuesday, just about socks... But it really belongs here. I'd say once you find a pair for both hot & cold weather that you like, do yourself a favor a buy at least two more pairs of each. This will allow you to rotate through them on a regular basis, allowing used ones to dry.

My personal preference is UnderArmour boot socks. I also have a pair of Seal Skinz incase of extremely wet weather. Alternatively, lots of people also swear by wool and wool blends. Find what's best for you, and buy extra pairs.

Also, look forward to tommorrow's TT on Web Belt Equipment!
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by phil_in_cs » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:46 am

I'm a 'two sock' kind of guy. I have some thin wicking athletic socks I got at Target, and some Smart Wool boot socks. They keep my feet nicely dry, and do a great job of blister prevention. Please note that I am in a hot climate; very wet November to March and dry to very dry the rest of the year.

A point not to miss on socks is to be sure you wear you hiking socks to the store when you try on your boots. Don't assume they will fit properly with your other socks on.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Lonely Raven » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:05 am

Great thread!

I'm a big fan of quality socks. Growing up my mom would always buy the cheapest socks she could find, always with the "you'll out grow them so fast I'm not spending money on good socks"...not that she'd know what good socks are. I swear one of the first things I did when I got my first job in High-school was to stock up on good socks and shoes.

Currently I'm wearing some 5.11 Gear ATAC Storm Side Zip with the free 5.11 gear socks they give you. These are moisture wicking socks that seem to hold well on the calf. I chose a side zip boot because I f'n *hate* how long it takes to lace up boots properly when you need to GET GOING, so side zip with laces is a good compromise. These are probably one of the top two pairs of boots I've EVER had. Awesome comfort, solid support, and not too heavy considering their size and the size of tread.


Image


My previous boots were a $200 pair of Danner that I needed for work. I needed something with toe protection and splash protection(I worked IT for a petroleum laboratory), but these Danners, as awesome as they are, feel like boat anchors by the end of the day...way too damn heavy.

Image

My runner up to the 5.11 gear are my BMW All Around Boots. These won me over to side zip over straight lace up. While motorcycle boots are designed for extra ankle protection (see the semi-hard ankle cap in the photo - circle in the leather) and are usually quite stiff, these are made for people who might actually get off the motorcycle to go shopping or get some dinner. These are also super comfortable, but not great for long distance walking. They somehow keeps my feet warm, but not hot. Gortex is like magic I guess.


Image


I also wear a lot of Wigwam socks, though they don't seem to have the durability I'm expecting in socks. Some cheap Gold Toe socks I picked up from Sam's club have outlasted my (expensive) Wigwam socks, but the Wigwam are certainly a high class product that do what they are designed to do. I was at Cabela's last night, and saw Under Armour has some all season 9" socks in black...I was going to pick them up to try out, but I already had quite a bit in my shopping cart....I'll try them another time and report back.

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Der Wanderer » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:17 am

I would like to add something else to the pool: Medical Tape
There is nothing better to prevent blisters if you tape up at the first feel of some shearing...
Rule 9: Guns Are for Hunting, Not for Zombie Killing: When your running who has time to stop for bullets? Keeping a shotgun on hand is important but only when your pinned in and need a quick getaway. Its not a proper means for killing zombies as they run out of ammo and need reloading. Remember a Cricket Bat, or Toilet Lid do not need loading!

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Murph » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:33 am

I have a pair of Wigwam inGenius socks too. They've very nice, but more often than not I grab for my UnderArmour ones first, and then the inGenius, and then anything else.

Blisters are also a reality. In an ideal world they'd never happen, but in the meantime make sure you're boots are broken in well before you wear them out in the field. Also, make sure to bring something to repair your feet if you do get blisters, medical tape, duct tape, mole skin are all proven methods.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Lonely Raven » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:56 am

Murph wrote:I have a pair of Wigwam inGenius socks too. They've very nice, but more often than not I grab for my UnderArmour ones first, and then the inGenius, and then anything else.
Why the UA Gear first? Any particular reason? I've not bought mine yet, and I also just noticed that the Cabela's socks for life (lifetime replacement $9.99 socks) happen to be Wigwam Ultimax. So if they will replace them for life (assuming I don't lose the receipt) then that makes those a great deal for me. But if the UA are a solid performer for $5 each (4 pack for $20), then I'll try those instead.

A plus side to the UA, is they have simple black and white...the Ultimax have colors, but greys and greens basically.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by wagdhead » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:05 am

Good post Murph!

As a suit and tie guy who wears these almost everyday: http://www.johnstonmurphy.com/product.a ... earch=deer" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
with thin ass dress socks I am overly conscious of the need to keep good footwear around.

Since I drive everywhere I keep two pairs of boots in my SUV get home kit:

1) These are when I go to jobsites, so I can tuck my suit pants in them and not have to pull my pants up and do the mud hop ballet. http://www.redwingshoes.com/productdeta ... rodid=1194" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

2) These stay in my truck for three seasons and are great boots,but are hot as hell in the summer. http://www.irishsetterboots.com/irishse ... wn-maderia" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

My "hot" boots died after 15 years and three resoles, so I am looking for a new pair. Recommendations are welcome. I prefer Smartwool over all else, but i bought a pair of the Underarmor to try out.

I have found boots that are the "best" on hiking trails, pavement etc..., die a quick and horrible death when you take them through the hills, streams, woods and briars, so I always work a pair of boots hard during hunting season before they get my approval. I replace my laces every six months even if they don't need it because I have had too many failures of laces that look ok, but breaks due to wear.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Lonely Raven » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:19 am

wagdhead wrote:
I have found boots that are the "best" on hiking trails, pavement etc..., die a quick and horrible death when you take them through the hills, streams, woods and briars, so I always work a pair of boots hard during hunting season before they get my approval. I replace my laces every six months even if they don't need it because I have had too many failures of laces that look ok, but breaks due to wear.
Some great tips there.

Those look like great boots, but heavy?
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Murph » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:23 am

Lonely Raven wrote:
Murph wrote:I have a pair of Wigwam inGenius socks too. They've very nice, but more often than not I grab for my UnderArmour ones first, and then the inGenius, and then anything else.
Why the UA Gear first? Any particular reason? I've not bought mine yet, and I also just noticed that the Cabela's socks for life (lifetime replacement $9.99 socks) happen to be Wigwam Ultimax. So if they will replace them for life (assuming I don't lose the receipt) then that makes those a great deal for me. But if the UA are a solid performer for $5 each (4 pack for $20), then I'll try those instead.

A plus side to the UA, is they have simple black and white...the Ultimax have colors, but greys and greens basically.
Here's what and where I ordered my Under Armour Socks. They're what I found work best for me, and my boots. Like I said, I liked the inGenius socks, but they didn't keep me as warm as I would have liked in the winter. They're a good in-between, but I find them bulky compared to my UA ones.

Hot Weather Pair: http://www.lapolicegear.com/unar51boso.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Cold Weather Pair: http://www.lapolicegear.com/unar55ouboso.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Lonely Raven » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:20 pm

Damn, I just put in a big order with LAPG that came on Friday (well, some of it did).

I'll have to try some of these UA. I never noticed them there before.

Oh, and on a similar thought, my fiance (Peanut here in the forums), just picked up a pair of the UA Trail shoes. After she breaks them in walking the dog and on the treadmill, I'll get her thoughts on them. Until yesterday, I had no idea UA did shoes and socks!
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by EricinVirginia » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:46 pm

I've been using UnderArmor Coolmax medium hiking socks since October. I'm getting about 2 weeks of hiking and wear out of them before the smell is comparable to wearing socks for an entire day. I love them. Very comfortable. Yes, I smell tested them. Once your feet start sweating with warmer weather, these last only about half the time before smell becomes an issue, but the thing that gets me is that they are quite resistant on compression. Air dry them and they retain their pile quite nicely.

So, things I thought to add...
- Water resistance is not the same as water proof'd. WR boots will do a better job in warmer months keeping your feet comfortable as sweat evaporates more quickly. If you submerge them for more than a few seconds, they will be slowly become saturated and weighed down with water. The price difference for the Asolo boots I was looking at was about $30 more for water proof, but they weighed about 10% more. Since you can water proof with other ways, I went resistance.
- Sizing. Almost always seems to run half a size smaller for boots. You have to try them on as every boot manufacturer seems to have a different sizing theme.
- Breaking them in. There are other good threads on ZS about this, but wearing them is only half of the break in. You have to actually go out and do the things you'll be doing in them. Casual wear of trek boots will help break them in, but does a crappy job getting them to that happy place where you can toss them on your feet and you're good to go.

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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by wagdhead » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:59 pm

quote]

Some great tips there.

Those look like great boots, but heavy?[/quote]

They are about 4.5 lbs, so heavier than some, but I want a leather/heavy boot for my use. Cordura boots get shredded in briars when I rabbit/bird hunt to the point they look like fuzzy socks. I also walk on the inside of my feet so I need all the support I can get. I prefer the wool type socks because allot of my time spent out doors is spent either in ankle deep water at the edge of a duck pond or on a stand so the wool socks keep my feet warmer. The UA product I wear when am doing more walking activities/hunting, like grouse hunting in the mountains. The only drawback with the Elk Hunter boots is that they are tall so you need an over the calf sock to eliminate chaffing. The best thing about Redwings is that you can take them to the store and they will clean and reoil them for free.
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Re: Tactical Tuesday presents: Footwear

Post by Dr D » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:00 pm

Good thread. Some more things I would like to add:

Whatever you buy, break them in before your "big trip(s)". I am surprised only one person mentioned this specifically (woot to you).

Buy half a size larger. After a few days of walking your feet swell slightly. Then you're wearing thicker socks or socks+liners. When you go shopping wear your outdoor socks.

Also, Superfeet insoles. :wink:

Hiking poles, call me a pansy but these rule. Takes some of the load off your feet.

Your boot or shoe style should match the activity you plan to be doing.
Day hikes or just lightweight hiking and on established, well maintained trails? Trail Runners! (ps: if the sky falls down these dry up pretty quick)
Nasty trails or good trails in nasty weather? Opt for a boot. Or a lightweight boot.
Serious bushwhacking through undergrowth with or without nasty weather? Yea get some serious business boots.

Be picky about weight too. What feels "eh, that's manageable" on a boot will feel very heavy come 4pm after a day of walking with one more hour to go. I've seen a guy take big honkin boots (not broken in either) for a simple week long AT hike. Come the second afternoon and every afternoon for the rest of the week his feet were unconsciously bumping into rocks and roots due to fatigue. And he used a lot of my gorilla tape to cover just about any pressure point on his foot. When we finished the boots were thrown away, the top portion above the toes looked like somebody attacked them with a weed-whacker.

Also one thing I love about trail runners is they can come off fairly easily. Bathing your bare feet in a cold stream in june/july rules.

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