hiking boots

Discuss caving lights, packs, helmets, clothing, etc.
For rope and vertical equipment, go to the On Rope! forum.
Cave electronics enthusiasts can also visit the Communications and Electronics Section forum.

Moderator: Moderators

hiking boots

Postby machine23 » Jan 1, 2008 2:38 pm

whats the better comfy brand for caving, mud, muck, water, whatever i could run into in a cave. i know about merrell. and i know to look for gore-tex waterproof material. but is there anything else i should look for?
caves rock...no pun intended
machine23
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 20, 2007 5:12 am
Location: Grass Valley, CA
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby wendy » Jan 1, 2008 6:01 pm

A lot of us joop boots, but since you are in northern california and will probably be hitting some lava tubes, the lava will shred the rubber soles of the joop boots. When I was in northern CA in may I brought my military issue desert storm boots. They have a hard lug sole, perfect for the lava tubes. If you are itnerested in the joop boots you can search the forum, there is a huge discussion on them somewhere.
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time." - Tallulah Bankhead
User avatar
wendy
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1527
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 10:51 am
Location: florida
Name: Wendy
NSS #: 53923
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flint River Grotto
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby mgmills » Jan 1, 2008 7:20 pm

machine23 wrote:whats the better comfy brand for caving, mud, muck, water, whatever i could run into in a cave. i know about merrell. and i know to look for gore-tex waterproof material. but is there anything else i should look for?


Boots are a big topic with cavers. There is no perfect boot. Different people look for different features. Some things are regional. This post is long so I hope I don't bore you but I've experimented a good bit with various boots during my 13 years of caving.

I know in the late 90's when I went on a week long caving adventure with a group in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico we were told to wear boots with a non-marking sole (like gum soles). Until that time my favorite caving boots had been military issue jungle boots (cloth and leather with drain holes) but for the New Mexico trip I bought some tan "work boots" with gum soles and they are now my favorite caving boots. (edited to clarify - I'm not wearing the same pair of boots but the same style.) If I know I have a long hike over rough terrain I will sometimes wear hiking boots to get to the cave and change at the entrance.

Water proof gortex boots are only waterproof if you keep the tops of the boots above the water level. If you are in waist deep water the water will be in your boots. That is why I liked the jungle boots . . . the water would drain out. The work boots don't have drain holes but they aren't insulated like most hiking boots so they don't hold the water in too much. If I know I'm going to be in a wet cave I usually wear neoprene booties instead of socks. (Again for the hike to the cave I may wear hiking socks and change at the entrance.)

I find that generally the cheap "k-mart of walmart brands" of boys work boots hold up pretty well to caving. Having a small female foot I find a size 5 from the boys department usually works out pretty good for me. If you buy them in the men's dept they will probably cost a bit more than I pay for mine. Avoid steel toes (you generally don't need that kind of protection caving).

I have caved in a pair of Vasque boots (they had a light weight lining) that I found in a thrift store that worked out pretty well, but I didn't think they had the traction I get from the work boots (or the jungle boots when I used to wear them).

I've never used the "Joop" boot that Wendy mentioned. I do know several cavers who like to cave in "Wellies". If you get in deep water in them they really hold the water. I tried caving in "Wellies" a time or two but didn't feel I had enough ankle support.

A lot of people I know retire their old hiking boots to caving boots when they buy new hiking boots. I'd say experiment and see what works for you.
Martha Mills
NSS 39864
User avatar
mgmills
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Sewanee TN
Name: Martha Mills
NSS #: 39864
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Dogwood City Grotto
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby machine23 » Jan 1, 2008 8:53 pm

wendy wrote:A lot of us joop boots


eh? joop? What do you mean?
caves rock...no pun intended
machine23
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 20, 2007 5:12 am
Location: Grass Valley, CA
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby mgmills » Jan 1, 2008 9:17 pm

machine23 wrote:
wendy wrote:A lot of us joop boots


eh? joop? What do you mean?


Check out this link to a previous thread on this Discussion Board.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4095&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

There is a picture of the boot somewhere in the thread. I think it is a manufactured in France. "Joop" is the last name of a Tennessee Caver who imports the boots. There is also a link in the thread I linked you to that goes to another thread discussing boots.

For equipment issues try using the "search" feature of this Discussion Board. Feel free to ask questions but the answer may already be here :kewl:
Martha Mills
NSS 39864
User avatar
mgmills
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Sewanee TN
Name: Martha Mills
NSS #: 39864
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Dogwood City Grotto
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby Teresa » Jan 1, 2008 9:39 pm

On the topic of boots-- anyone know a source for women's 7.5 EE or men's 6.5 D/E hiking boots? I used to get them from Dunham, but they quit making them in my size. Dunham is a division of New Balance, so don't suggest them-- not there. Not picky on color as long as they are neutral and not garishly loud(tan/brown, gray/black). Can be smooth finish or nubuck (suede)/nylon. Must be 3/4 height -- ankle collar style laceups. Mens 7s are too long.

I keep gluing/restitching my old ones, but they are going. Before you suggest: I've been over the Net: Zappos, Wide Shoes, ShoeBuy, etc. Nada. PM me if you'd like.

TIA
Teresa
Teresa
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: Dec 31, 2005 9:06 pm
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby ek » Jan 3, 2008 7:38 am

On the topic of Gore-Tex: While Gore-Tex boots only keep out water when the water is below the top of the boot, Gore-Tex allows the water in the boot to slowly evaporate from your body heat once you're out of the water (water vapor penetrates--liquid water nominally does not). I cave in hiking boots with Gore-Tex. An important drawback to remember is that once the Gore-Tex is ripped up, as is wont to happen in a cave environment, it's no longer waterproof.
Eliah Kagan
NSS 57892
Syracuse University Outing Club

Fund vital White Nose Syndrome research--donate to the NSS and select the WNS Rapid Response Fund.
Facebook users can also donate here.
User avatar
ek
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1040
Joined: Apr 3, 2007 2:45 am
Location: Syracuse, NY
Name: Eliah Kagan
NSS #: 57892
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Syracuse University Outing Club
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby NZcaver » Jan 3, 2008 11:57 am

Further to ek's info, Gore-Tex socks can also be a nice option for hiking and possibly some caving trips.

Then you can buy the cheapy boots (like I often do) and if you need to, just use waterproof/breathable socks. I have a short pair and a long pair. The long ones come up to just under my knees, and have a little velcro tab to secure the top above the calf muscle. They have lasted me over 10 years of occasional use (I've probably gone through 6 or 8 sets of boots in the same time frame), and they keep my feet dry/warmer as long as the water level doesn't get up to my knees. Plus they dry real quick when you hang them out. I don't wear them much in caves, but I though they'd be worth a mention.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6364
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Re: hiking boots and socks

Postby cavedoc » Jan 3, 2008 2:26 pm

NZcaver wrote:Further to ek's info, Gore-Tex socks can also be a nice option for hiking and possibly some caving trips.


Second that. I wore Gore-Tex socks for a few years and was pretty pleased with them. The pair I had did creep down into the boot after a while but if I pulled them up from time to time they were fine. Eventually they got small hole which made them no longer completely water proof. But my feet were toasty warm while I used them. Eventually moved on to neoprene over polypro liner which was nice too. Now I'm back to polypro and wool. Just not in the water that much.

Anyone ever use Hamlet socks?

Roger
Roger Mortimer
User avatar
cavedoc
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Fresno, CA
Name: Roger Mortimer
NSS #: 26529
Primary Grotto Affiliation: San Joaquin Valley Grotto
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby paul » Jan 3, 2008 3:02 pm

Wellies.
paul
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 513
Joined: Dec 9, 2005 7:46 am
Location: Peak District, UK
Name: Paul Lydon
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby NZcaver » Jan 3, 2008 7:07 pm

User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6364
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby Evan G » Jan 3, 2008 7:29 pm

I don't prescribe to the one boot fit alls occasions. I have a whole quiver of them about 22 in all. Can you say boot (y?) fetish!!
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 3, 2008 7:42 pm

Evan wrote:Can you say boot (y?) fetish!!

:laughing:

You have more shoes than my wife. :shock: :rofl:
Scott McCrea
SWAYGO
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby mgmills » Jan 3, 2008 8:20 pm

paul wrote:Wellies.


Seeing where you live that doesn't surprise me. I know a few American Cavers who wear them.

Evan wrote:I don't prescribe to the one boot fit alls occasions. I have a whole quiver of them about 22 in all. Can you say boot (y?) fetish!!


Geez - I thought having 10 pairs of boots was a lot (and two of those pairs of boots are "cowboy boots" and not at all suited to caving). :tonguecheek:

I agree though with the concept of different boots for different types of caving. :-) About the only time I wear hiking boots for caving is when I'm strictly "pit bouncing" or if I need a new pair of "caving boots" and don't have time to go shopping. Hiking boots don't seem to give me good traction in cave once they get a coating of mud.
Martha Mills
NSS 39864
User avatar
mgmills
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Sewanee TN
Name: Martha Mills
NSS #: 39864
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Dogwood City Grotto
  

Re: hiking boots

Postby Evan G » Jan 3, 2008 8:40 pm

M wrote:
Evan wrote:I don't prescribe to the one boot fit alls occasions. I have a whole quiver of them about 22 in all. Can you say boot (y?) fetish!!


Geez - I thought having 10 pairs of boots was a lot (and two of those pairs of boots are "cowboy boots" and not at all suited to caving). :tonguecheek:

I agree though with the concept of different boots for different types of caving. :-) About the only time I wear hiking boots for caving is when I'm strictly "pit bouncing" or if I need a new pair of "caving boots" and don't have time to go shopping. Hiking boots don't seem to give me good traction in cave once they get a coating of mud.


We have muddy caves, ice caves, dry caves, stream (39 deg H2O) caves and the approach, Holy CAVE!!! The approach sometimes is what selects the boot! A six mile hike (in then six miles out) in a pair of wellies would kill me! All 22 pairs of boots are either from wellies to full on mountaineering boots. There are alot of caves that right now with 3 to 4 feet of snow outside there entrance and the right boot will keep your toes nice a cozy! :big grin:

In the "hiking boot realm" there are light hikers, trail boots, scree boots, Pak Boots, or a mountain boot. This is what I'm wearing right now Image
Which is a insulated semi-heavy mountain boot, which yes I do cave in these. They have a very nice sticky sole which helps in the cave and they are warm for hiking out.
Evan G
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mar 12, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Name: EEG
NSS #: 28685
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NRMG
  

Next

Return to Equipment Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]

cron