Great Caving Boots

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Great Caving Boots

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 16, 2012 6:19 pm

I'm so happy with my relatively new caving boots. I just went on my 5th cave trip with these boots and love them. Their tread is aggressive which gives me great traction on wet rocks/boulders, plus the tread is far enough apart that they don't get gummed up with mud. Since they are 15" high on the leg my feet stay dry while most everyone else that I cave with ends up with wet/muddy feet. I realize that they are not expensive, but so far they have been great for the type of caving I do.

I paid $37 for mine at the following store, but I believe allot of safety and industrial supply stores carry them. I chose the model without steel toe protection so I have a little more flexibility in tight crawling passages. I have used them in Tumbling Rock, Limrock, Pettijohns x2 and Ellisons.

http://www.anisafety.com/GroupInfo/GroupID/205

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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby LukeM » Jan 16, 2012 6:27 pm

:wtg: I know quite a few cavers who have used these boots, including myself. They strike a great balance of cost, durability, and function. Mine lasted a good 3 years with heavy abuse. By that time the tread was all rounded and cracking and the toes had developed a few holes. I had the steel toe, but wish I had gotten them without it as the steel, and therefore your toes, can get quite cold.

I recently upgraded to Joop (Etche Mic Canyon) boots but a part of me misses these.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby Smells_Familiar » Jan 16, 2012 9:18 pm

I bought these boots locally a few months ago but haven't caved in them yet. I bought them from a bricks and mortar http://www.tractorsupply.com/-640011999
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby Carl Amundson » Jan 17, 2012 10:38 am

Smells_Familiar wrote:I bought these boots locally a few months ago but haven't caved in them yet. I bought them from a bricks and mortar http://www.tractorsupply.com/-640011999

Damn, it looks like they don't fit my feet.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 17, 2012 11:08 am

junkman wrote:Damn, it looks like they don't fit my feet. I wear 8 1/2 EEEE's


My feet are triple wide 9's. I went up to 10's and they fit just fine with no discomfort.

Another thing I reccomend is Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Sport Replacement Insoles. No matter if it's these boots or my older hiking boots my feet were always sore the next day after a long horizontal cave trip, so I put these gel insoles in the boots and it made a big difference. I got the insoles geared for sporting activities.

Here is their website: http://www.drscholls.com/drscholls/prod ... archArg=57

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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby trogman » Jan 17, 2012 1:17 pm

BrianFrank wrote:I'm so happy with my relatively new caving boots. I just went on my 5th cave trip with these boots and love them. Their tread is aggressive which gives me great traction on wet rocks/boulders, plus the tread is far enough apart that they don't get gummed up with mud. Since they are 15" high on the leg my feet stay dry while most everyone else that I cave with ends up with wet/muddy feet. I realize that they are not expensive, but so far they have been great for the type of caving I do.

I paid $37 for mine at the following store, but I believe allot of safety and industrial supply stores carry them. I chose the model without steel toe protection so I have a little more flexibility in tight crawling passages. I have used them in Tumbling Rock, Limrock, Pettijohns x2 and Ellisons.

http://www.anisafety.com/GroupInfo/GroupID/205

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I noticed that of the list of caves you have used these boots in, only one required a long hike to the entrance (Ellisons). I was curious how well they performed not just in the cave, but also on the trail getting to the cave. That has always been my problem with finding the "perfect" caving boot; those that are good in the cave are usually not good on the trail, and vice-versa. Also, a boot needs to perform well for ridgewalking, which is a whole different thing than walking on a nice, worn trail. I own one pair of lightweight boots that does great on trails, but they suck for ridgewalking, because they lack the stiffness and ankle support needed.

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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 17, 2012 1:42 pm

Tall, rubber boots (Wellies) are all I cave in anymore. They don't freeze. The laces don't freeze. You can step in water and not worry about it. Cheap rubber boots will perform as you expect. Good quality rubber boots are worth the money, imo. Check out Muck Boots or Xtra Tuff. Regardless of cost or quality, adding good insoles can make a huge difference. They can stiffen up the sole.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby graveleye » Jan 17, 2012 2:47 pm

how deep are the lugs on those boots? That's one reason I like the Joops is because the deep lugs are a plus when climbing.
As for tall boots, I guess they're fine, but in my opinion there pretty much isn't any boot going to keep your feet dry unless you are truly in a wet cave that the water never gets below a foot deep, and even then water can get in. Not that I have anything against them, but I gave up hope of wet caving with dry feet a long time ago :grin:
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 17, 2012 3:11 pm

trogman wrote:I noticed that of the list of caves you have used these boots in, only one required a long hike to the entrance (Ellisons). I was curious how well they performed not just in the cave, but also on the trail getting to the cave. That has always been my problem with finding the "perfect" caving boot; those that are good in the cave are usually not good on the trail, and vice-versa. Also, a boot needs to perform well for ridgewalking, which is a whole different thing than walking on a nice, worn trail. I own one pair of lightweight boots that does great on trails, but they suck for ridgewalking, because they lack the stiffness and ankle support needed.
Trogman :helmet:


Good question. I may have strong ankles as they do fine for me in both long walking caves like Tumbling Rock/Limrock and walking up the mountain to the dug entrance of Ellisons. But, I see your concern. All I can say is I feel that I got my $37 monies worth.

If you do purchase high boots like this I would NOT get the steel toe version. You don't really need that protection unless you are carrying rocks around the cave or are expecting an avalanche :yikes: . In a tight passage at Pettijohns the only thing I could move to push me forward was my feet and toes as there was nothing but gooey mud to put my hands in (I don't like Pettijohns :down: ). If I was not able to have moved my toes digging them in the mud pushing me forward inch by inch, I may still be there. I'm a little large and my abdomen and back were squeezed pretty tight in the passage. It was one of those passages that you have to take your helmet off and push it in front of you so your head will fit.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 17, 2012 3:14 pm

graveleye wrote:how deep are the lugs on those boots? That's one reason I like the Joops is because the deep lugs are a plus when climbing.
As for tall boots, I guess they're fine, but in my opinion there pretty much isn't any boot going to keep your feet dry unless you are truly in a wet cave that the water never gets below a foot deep, and even then water can get in. Not that I have anything against them, but I gave up hope of wet caving with dry feet a long time ago :grin:


Just at 1/2" deep.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby steven.millett » Jan 21, 2012 8:04 am

The servus XTP boots are standard issue for northeast diggers. Great traction for climbing, walking over slippery rocks. Easy to clean and dries overnight quickly. They are not like other sheep fcker boots, they really stay on your feet and don't pull off easy. They go great with a pair of neoprene socks. I've got them sized so that with neoprene 3mm, the entire boot is really filled up, so once they get wet no more water comes in and it feels like your feet are in a jacuzzi. I've always used the steel toe and shank version. They were designed for people working in animal slaughter houses,so that workers wouldn't slip on animal fats, ect.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby cavemud2 » Jan 30, 2012 6:18 pm

MUCK Boots!! I love em. I made fun of all my buddies for years for wearing them beacause I always saw them with their pants legs tucked into them..that just looked so goofy to me for some reason.Well i tried a pair of my buddies on after a caving trip and was amazed at how warm and snug these felt. So i found a pair that was on sale (85$!! thats a deal for these) and picked them up. I have ditched my rockys now thats for sure.These are about the only thing I wear anymore.They come in different heights and thickness. These are great boots to cave in. Great traction, they are dry and very warm, and even when they are full from wading waist deep water, these keep your feet pretty warm. I now have a few pair because they are so easy for on and off, and great for out working in the mud on the farm.

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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby BrianFrank » Jan 30, 2012 7:13 pm

cavemud2 wrote:MUCK Boots!! I love em. I made fun of all my buddies for years for wearing them beacause I always saw them with their pants legs tucked into them..that just looked so goofy to me for some reason.Well i tried a pair of my buddies on after a caving trip and was amazed at how warm and snug these felt. So i found a pair that was on sale (85$!! thats a deal for these) and picked them up. I have ditched my rockys now thats for sure.These are about the only thing I wear anymore.They come in different heights and thickness. These are great boots to cave in. Great traction, they are dry and very warm, and even when they are full from wading waist deep water, these keep your feet pretty warm. I now have a few pair because they are so easy for on and off, and great for out working in the mud on the farm.

I noticed that the top half of the boots are neoprene. Does water leak through that? Or is the neoprene water proof to the very top?

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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby NZcaver » Jan 30, 2012 7:39 pm

BrianFrank wrote:I noticed that the top half of the boots are neoprene. Does water leak through that? Or is the neoprene water proof to the very top?

The neoprene is waterproof right to the top. I used a pair of Muck Boots for years for caving. Still have them somewhere. The newer versions have better tread for muddy caves than the older ones.
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Re: Great Caving Boots

Postby cavemud2 » Jan 30, 2012 8:27 pm

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Yeh they do great in mud and sloppy conditions. Yes as NZCaver said.. they are waterproof to the top. The inside is made of the same thing kinda just like a bootie? if ya understand me lol. I think thats why when they are full of water they still keep your feet rather warm compared to other boots. They make so many different types. You should really check them out if you want a great warm waterproof boot. The 16" Wetlands i have are 5mm.

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