yet another boot question

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yet another boot question

Postby cheshire » Apr 2, 2013 8:32 am

It looks like my local clothing reseller has a couple of pairs of Altama combat boots for a GREAT price. (I've loved using jungle boots for my caving, and would love to get another pair when it's time to replace my dying pair) But these boots at the reseller are the desert boots. They look like they are made of some sort of tough suade. Now, I I know these things won't ever look the same if I take them into a cave, but I'm wondering if the leather would even hold up to a couple of uses in a cave? Is the mud just going to destroy these things, or will they just look dingy afterward? How many uses are they likely to withstand, and is there any sort of care I could give them to lengthen the lifespan? For the price of $24, they just seem too good to pass up, but I don't want to snag them if they're just going to fall apart immediately.
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Re: yet another boot question

Postby Phil Winkler » Apr 2, 2013 12:26 pm

I'd be concerned with where they are made and what quality they are. Knock-off jungle boots fell apart quickly while the standard Army issue ones lasted for years. Still, at $24 it might be worth the risk.
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Re: yet another boot question

Postby Cheryl Jones » Apr 2, 2013 2:26 pm

I'm caving now in (authentic) desert boots, because I too was a jungle boot fan. First I cleaned the toes and covered them a couple thin layers of epoxy, as I did my jungle boots. Then I impregnated the leather well with Sno-Seal or some other liquid/soft wax type waterproofing (this flattens down the suede) to reduce the amount of water they absorb and make them easier to clean. They're working out great, just like jungle boots! FWIW: In sloshy caves I wear neoprene socks.

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Re: yet another boot question

Postby rebelfirefighter » Apr 3, 2013 4:20 am

I've been caving in Marine desert boots for a while and they are holding up great. Best caving boot I've ever had.
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Re: yet another boot question

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Apr 3, 2013 10:28 am

Altama is a great brand. You should get at least a year out of them if they are in good shape. I agree with Cheryl that you should reinforce them with shoe goo, seam grip, etc.
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Re: yet another boot question

Postby Cheryl Jones » Apr 4, 2013 10:22 pm

You should get at least a year out of them if they are in good shape. I agree with Cheryl that you should reinforce them with shoe goo, seam grip, etc.

I even reinforce the stitching on the uppers with a flexible sealant/adhesive -- at the sides of the boots between the leather pieces at the arch and on the outside, and between the leather and fabric. I found that these areas, particularly the inside , seem to get a lot of wear and the stitching goes.

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Re: yet another boot question

Postby ohiocaver » Apr 19, 2013 4:45 pm

A number of us use Wellington-style boots available at most farm supply stores. They are rubber, just short of knee high. They do not have laces (so don't freeze up in the winter). Our preferred boots are by Servus and available at Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) and similar for about $34 a pair and a bit more on-line. The ones with the grey-and-yellow soles have excellent traction in mud and slime (they are made for walking in manure...you get the picture). They are equal in edging and traction to a basic climbing boot. They have a steel toe cap which some folks like and some don't...until they stub their toes on a rock. Do not get the lined ones or the other fancy ones. TSC stocks only men's full sizes down to about 7 (too big for women) but women can get their size (which is mens-minus-two: a woman's 6 is a men's 4) online. They even have pink for the women. Be sure to get the non-skid sole, however. Website is www.servusproducts.com . We've used them in caves everywhere from TAG to New York and love 'em.
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