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Hunting Boot Help - Vellies / Veldskoens

This is a discussion on Hunting Boot Help - Vellies / Veldskoens within the Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; I just got back from RSA last week. During my hunt, the Keen boots I love developed (or maybe I ...

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    Default Hunting Boot Help - Vellies / Veldskoens

    I just got back from RSA last week. During my hunt, the Keen boots I love developed (or maybe I just had never noticed before) a squeek in the heels and made noise almost every time I stepped. Squeeking shoes and bowhunting on foot doesn't equal success, so I ended up hunting in some Clark deck shoes I had brought for camp (which worked great btw).

    My PH, on the other hand, wore boots that were completely silent. He later told me they were called vellies, short for veldskoens, and that they are a traditional Southern African shoe and very comfortable once broken in. We had planned to go to a general store before I left where he said I could buy some for around $30 USD, but we ran out of time; and now he is back in the bush hunting again and unreachable for a while.

    Can anyone recommend a few traditional vellies (brand and model) that would be suitable for hunting? I'm sure Courteneys are fine, but I'd rather go with more of an "everyman" brand. I want traditional, simple, quiet, and comfortable. Thanks for your help.

    Houston

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    Welcome to AH Houston!

    I have never owned a pair myself but these type of shoes are indeed very popular in Southern Africa. Here is the website of a retail store called Safariland in Namibia, they offer the typical shoes that PHs and hunting guides wear in this part of the world... in particular the Kudu leather shoes and the handmade Seal boots, which are very durable by the way, that you will find on that page. Not that you have to buy the shoes/boots from them or that you even can but it will be a start for your search and a good point of reference. Here is the link: Shoes

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    Here below is from Wikipedia for everyone's information...Houston note the shoe/Veldskoen brands named in the 3rd paragraph.


    Veldskoen (or vellie, colloquial, veldskoene plural, alternately velskoens or velskoene plural; pronounced "FELL-skoons") are Southern African walking shoes made from veg tanned leather or soft rawhide uppers attached to a leather footbed and rubber sole without tacks or nails.

    The name comes from Afrikaans vel ("skin") (later assimilated to veld ("field")) and skoen ("shoe"), and their design is believed to be based on the traditional Khoisan footwear observed by the first Dutch settlers in South Africa. The footwear was later enculturated into the Afrikaans psyche when the velskoen was used as the footwear of the Great Trek. Easy to make, lightweight and extremely tough wearing the vellie could withstand the harsh conditions of the great migration north.

    Since those days the vellie has become a huge part of South African and Namibian society, worn by all classes and professions. The most famous brand is the Brother velskoen, manufactured in Swakopmund, Namibia since 1938. Clarks made the desert boot famous but the Clark shape is modeled after the same round toe last used to manufacture velskoen. Nathan Clark was inspired by the shape and design of the velskoen he discovered for sale in the bazars of Cairo, which were imported to Egypt from South Africa.

    They are sometimes considered light boots, although their topline is considerably lower than those of chukka boots or desert boots, which are otherwise similar. Veldskoen soles are sometimes cut from old car tyres rather than crepe rubber.

    Veldskoens are familiarly referred to as "vellies" in South African slang.

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    Welcome to AH Houston! Let us know how that research works out a few of us sneaky buggers on here may need to get us a pair as well.
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    Good luck with mail order from RSA. I've been trying to get some 'Farmers Shirts' (The two tone shirts they all wear) for some time. Emails have had no replies.

    Any suede moccassion with a rubber sole will pass as a Vellie. Traditionally worn without socks (so thorns won't stick into the sock and 'worry' your ankles) they can also come in leather. Here is a pair I bought in Bulawayo in 1988 for considerably cheaper than those listed by Jerome.



    I'm sure the courteney boot have a 'big white hunter' premium attached to the price. Despite this they seem to be de rigueur for most visiting hunters.

    I've had two pairs, the leather and a suede pair. When there is not the presence of certain species of thorn, any comfortable runner style will do as you found out
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    Thanks for the kind welcome and info, fellas. I will look into all of those brands. Safariland's website appears to have the ability to ship abroad if I end up buying from them. Code4, the soles on your vellies look like they would be very comfortable and quiet - hopefully, I can find something similar. Any more recommendations are appreciated.

    Houston

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    Welcome to AH, Houston !

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    Jim Green footwear in Natal, South Africa make a really classy vellie. The quality is superb. I hunt in Jim Green boots & wear the vellies casually in camp.

    Jim Green Footwear - Veltskoen Suede & Leather Shoe

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    It appears that shipping from RSA or Namibia can take 4-12 weeks and basically doubles the cost of the shoes, shoes are USD $50, shipping is USD $50. Rogue has a distributor in the US, and their vellies sell for $95. Both Courteney and Brothers Vellies sell in the US, but I'm not spending $180-$200 on vellies. The 4-12 weeks for shipping seems long, I may call to see if that's right (but what do I know).

    My dad goes to Botswana on an elephant hunt in August, so I may see if he has time to stop into some stores during his trip (via TAMBO), but I'm not really sure where to direct him or if he will have time.

    Looks like Rogue may be my best option at this time. Thanks again for your help.

    Houston

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    I have found the Courtney kudu shoes to be very comfortable and long wearing. I got my dad a pair from Zim in 96 and he wore them for years, his favorite shoe. I still take mine to Africa when I go and usually switch shoes at mid day for comfort, boots early Courtneys after. My Zim PH last trip - 2011, called them my "farmer shoes"! Whatever! I like them. I believe they are available stateside.

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    Houston,

    The vellies I used to have had no arch support. This made it harder for me to walk in all day. If you try to put an arch insert into the vellie you can loose toe room which you don't have much of anyway due to the way the shoes are made.

    Two things you might have your dad check for you are:

    Do any of the companies make them with arch support.
    Is there room for your toes in the shoe without them touching the top of the shoe.

    I am not trying to be discouraging. These things may not matter to you but they do make a difference to me.

    Hope you find what you want.
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    Anyone remember "wallabies" from the 70's? They had that soft, unsupported upper and a semi-clear gum-sole? I used to have to get one pair of those each year when I was growing up for school.

    Fast forward 40 years...I keep thinking just how PERFECT Those things would be for short range stalking.

    PS: I used Merrell Ridgeline light hikers with SOLE Insoles. They worked great and I'd do it again. I have VERY sensitive feet (high arches, thin skin) and getting a fit that won't blister me into oblivion is a constant challenge.

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    Wallab-ies you want, Wallab-ees you get:

    Wallabee Boot-Men in Brown Leather - Mens Boots from Clarks

    Those do look like a stalking shoe. I ran across some Bata vellies at Tag Safari; but they only had a few sizes, none which fit. Ha - it's not surprising that I am enjoying my "hunt" for vellies.

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