Great Caving Boots

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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby paul » Jul 23, 2012 6:18 am

BenS wrote:Has anyone tried the Etche "Caving" Boots? I was looking up some stuff and came across those and "Joop" boots on http://www.starlessriver.com/shop/footweargloves It seems like they have a very good price on joop boots although I haven't looked at shipping cost yet. Does anyone have any experience ordering from that website?


Re the website. I can't vouch for ordering from starlessriver.com from in the USA but I have had excellent service here in the UK.

Tony Seddon is a caver and sells caving gear through the website and by travelling around the UK at weekends in a van full of gear.

I know he has been busy caving abroad in the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain very recently (see http://www.oucc.org.uk/expeditions/expedition2012/2012_index.htm).
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby DawgsgoCaving » Jul 11, 2014 12:54 pm

Sorry to bring this thread back...Can someone give me the contact information to get in touch with Mark Joop? I was just reading the Georgia Underground equipment issue and was reading his article about Etche boots. Would love to order myself some. I haven't checked the directory yet. Anyone know if he is listed in there or on cave chat?

Thanks.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby graveleye » Jul 11, 2014 1:30 pm

I seem to recall that he is not selling them anymore. I could be wrong though. You can find his contact info in the members manual.

I bought a second pair from him last year. I decided to go ahead and get the last miles out of my current pair which are starting to crack. When I tried the new ones on they were too big. I remembered him saying that they didn't make my exact size anymore so I agreed to take those - anyway too late to ask to send them back like a year later.

They are approximately size 9 and are currently for sale - never worn. Hit me up if anyone wants to buy them.

Now I am in the market for some new boots so I guess I will finally read this thread lol
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby LukeM » Jul 14, 2014 9:25 am

If Mark doesn't work out Etche boots are available from Expe in France and Starless River in England. You'll have to do the currency conversion and figure out what their international shipping is to determine which is cheapest.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby Lava » Aug 9, 2014 12:42 am

Bumping this thread because I've been looking for a US substitute for my awesome Etche Clark boots for some time now, but I never found something with all the features I was looking for until today. Good timing too, because one of my Clarks recently cracked. Check it out:

http://www.tingleyrubber.com/product/ec ... -boot.html

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- No fine cloth mesh liner to stay wet like in the Servus boots
- No heavy steel shank like the Servus boots
- Super deep tread lug
- Extra-thick material on the toe
- Exact same weight as Clarks
- Only $23, cheaper than Servus and wayyyy cheaper than Clarks
- Bonus: you can buy them at your local Grainger (grainger.com) which are all over the place
- Extra Bonus: they are made by a company called Tingley

Granted, I haven't used them in a cave yet. Who knows if they'll last. But on first blush they appear to be great. Will report back after I use them, but that could be awhile.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby LukeM » Aug 9, 2014 6:04 pm

Good find! At that price I think I'll have to just grab some rather than wait for your report back.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby Jesse63751 » Mar 3, 2015 4:25 pm

Lava wrote:Granted, I haven't used them in a cave yet. Who knows if they'll last. But on first blush they appear to be great. Will report back after I use them, but that could be awhile.


I tried the Tingley 31151 Economy PVC Knee Boots, but they seemed a bit flimsy, and I wasn't quite satisfied with the fit. At something less than $25 (I bought them for $12 at Rural King), they are likely worth a try.

I've been using the Tingley 51144 Better Grade PVC Knee Boots for more than a year. I purchased them on Amazon for around $35. For me, the traction on steep mud banks with these boots is better than any other boot I've tried (hiking boots, Bata boots, Servus XTP). Having said that, these are made with PVC, not rubber, so the Etche Security Clark/Mic Canyon (sold by Starless River and Expe) may have even better traction. Another benefit, as was previously mentioned, is the fact that the Tingley 31151 and 51144 are non-lined; turn them upside down and they drip dry. A note on fit: my normal shoe size is US10.5, and I wear a size 9 in the 51144 boots. I also add a good insole and wear thin wool liner socks under neoprene socks. The bottoms of my oversuit legs go over top of the boots and create a decent seal from splashes or debris. My kneepads keep the oversuit legs held up so they don't work their way down and limit leg flexibility.
http://www.tingleyrubber.com/product/better-grade-pvc-kneeboots.html
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby Lava » Mar 5, 2015 3:47 pm

Those look nice! Do you know what the weight difference is between those and the 31151? I'm frequently hiking out to caves in the backcountry, so lighter is better for me. I still haven't used my 31151s in a hard cave yet (sad, I know), so I still can't comment on their durability. But so far they feel and perform great.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby ohiocaver » Mar 5, 2015 5:26 pm

Half of the Cleveland Grotto (male and female) uses these boots. We prefer the grey and yellow ones. BTW, Tractor Supply has them on sale right now (March 5) for $29 a pair. If you don't see your size on the shelf, ask a clerk...they often only have one or two of each on the shelf at TSC. The womens' boots, blue, are about $5 cheaper. Be aware that some places -- Mammoth Cave's NPS "wild cave" tour, for example -- require laces on boots. Not sure why unless it's a way to keep people from trying to cave in Tivas. Anyway, these Servus boots are excellent, great in mud (they're made for slopping in manure).
[url=http://postimg.org/image/lex35gcbv/][img]http://s9.postimg.org/lex35gcbv/curt_Bryants_Cave_Indiana.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=http://postimg.org/image/eta4ctvar/][img]http://s21.postimg.org/eta4ctvar/cn_oh_isl_coils_cave_curt_sketch.jpg[/img][/url]
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby LukeM » Mar 6, 2015 8:50 am

I bought the Tingley 31151's a few months back and they have been serving me well. They were $21.79 though Grainger which seems like a steal for a good caving boot. I ordered about 1 size down from my normal which seems typical for rubber work boots.

They aren't nearly as stiff as the steel-shanked Servus boots I used to wear but they're light and have nice grippy soles. They clean up real easily too. They are a bit roomy though, so if you have wide/large feet you'll probably like them. I ended up putting two pair of insoles in them to take up some of the room. They also don't grip my heel as well as I'd like, but they function just fine, and I had no issues on a 3 day camp trip recently. I'm really happy that the toes are extra thick since that seems to be where rubber boots fail first.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby Jesse63751 » Mar 6, 2015 4:26 pm

Lava wrote:Those look nice! Do you know what the weight difference is between those and the 31151? I'm frequently hiking out to caves in the backcountry, so lighter is better for me.


I can't tell you the exact weight difference between the Tingley 51144 and the 31151, but I'd guess that the 51144 weighs slightly more than the 31151 and considerably less than the Servus XTP (with the steel shank and cloth lining). I bet if you called Tingley, they'd have a more precise answer.

LukeM wrote:They are a bit roomy though, so if you have wide/large feet you'll probably like them. I ended up putting two pair of insoles in them to take up some of the room. They also don't grip my heel as well as I'd like, but they function just fine, and I had no issues on a 3 day camp trip recently.


You're right about the roominess (as with most rubber/PVC knee boots). I've had good luck with Seirus Neosocks (sold by IMO). In combination with a thick insole, the 2mm neoprene socks seem to fill up the roominess of the boot and also provide a lot of friction so that the boot doesn't come off, even in suck mud. I used to have issues in drier caves where my feet would perspire in the neoprene socks, so I added a pair of thin wool ankle-height socks underneath. Problem solved. Warmbac in the UK makes some nice looking neoprene socks that are designed and constructed specifically with caving in mind. It'd be great to have something similar in the US.
http://www.warmbac.com/listing_accessories.php#socks
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