"waterproofness" of Russell Safari PH boots?

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by bdmd5093, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. bdmd5093

    bdmd5093 AH Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am considering a new pair of boots, specifically for use on my trip to RSA in May 2012 (hunting out of Kimberley with Amakulu Safaris). For the past several years, I have hunted out of two pair: insulated/goretex Danner pronghorns purchased in 2005, and uninsulated/goretex Irish Setter Upland DSS boots purchased in 2010. My pronghorns are about worn out, and even though they are goretex, my feet still get damp once the boot is soaked (even with dew). My Irish Setters are adequate, but I am a really skinny fellow, and they bunch up around my lower legs and ankles, and I am just not that confident about walking all day long, 7 days in a row in them. Hence my itch for a new pair.

    Obviously the Russells get very high marks, but I do have one concern: waterproofness. For those of you who wear, or have worn, Russell Safari boots, can you comment on the waterproof quality of the boots? I understand the double and triple vamp models are considered waterproof. For what it is worth, I am leaning towards either the Mountain PH model or the Turtleskin PH model. I have communicated with a few folks who have hunted this May and June in the area where we will be, and they were surprised with the amount of rainfall they had and the amount of water that was on the ground (may be an unusually wet year?).

    Any input will be appreciated! I do realize that if I order a custom pair now, it may be early winter before they arrive--but that should still give me adequate time to get them broken in before the trip.

    Thanks,
    bdmd5093
  2. bdmd5093

    bdmd5093 AH Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Also, I reviewed the recent post in the gear section regarding Russell and Courtney boots, but I did not see any comments on their waterproof qualities.

    Thanks!
    bdmd
  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Blue Ridge
    My Photos:
    53
    Member of:
    SCI NRA DSC life memberships
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada
    The PH's value is in their quick drying qualities rather than being waterproof. I found them great in the Caprivi where we waded up to the thigh every day. I could prop them against the mopani fire and they were ready for the next day before bedtime.
  4. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    9
    Member of:
    NRA, NHA, USSA, QF, CCA, NOGA, SCI,
    You may already know this, but I will put it out there just in case-

    Red Leg has it right it is more about drying out fast in that climate. As for "waterproof" leather boots that is a bit of a misnomer. The only true "water proof" boot is a rubber boot. Leather is essentially cured skin which is permeable, therefore "water proofing" is very difficult. Leather can be made "water resistant" by treating with oils/waxes/silicon. In my experience wax type "water proofing" work best (Sno Seal, Nix Wax, etc.) which are primarily made of bee's wax. The leather stays supple it works into the seams better. After several treatments the leather can be made to repel water, but the weak link is seepage through the stitching, the creases formed in the vamp from constant flexing of the leather while walking & abrasion from grass, dirt/sand, etc...

    Today's technology has brought about leather that can be considered "water proof", but the process requires the leather to be thick and non-permeable (the technology was developed for Firefighting boots), so for a predominately hot & dry climate like Africa you would have a boot that was stiff & hot. Not a good mix.

    I live in Louisiana where usually we are wet. I worry about "water proofing" and dry feet in the winter. In the summer I am more concerned about my footwear drying fast.

    As for recommendations the key would be light leather with ample applications of "water proofing" treatments and, either boot is a good choice as long as you treat them. The combination I use is Sno Seal on a pair of Courtney- Safari in the spring when hog hunting and in the fall when dove hunting. My feet stay dry from the early morning dew or after a light shower. I also use a pair of neoprene ankle gaiters as added insurance. All bets are off if I cross a ditch or get caught in a torrential down pour.

    [​IMG]

    NOTE: The one caveat is if you use a Bee's wax based treatment it has to be applied regularly to get good results.

    Attached Files:

  5. bdmd5093

    bdmd5093 AH Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone for your input. I decided to try a pair of 7" Irish Setter Wingshooter's, the new model with their proprietary UltraDry membrane. I ordered a pair from Cabelas that should be here Monday. At about $200 less than Russell's, I figured they are worth a shot. I have pair of their SoftPaw chukkas that are 5 1/2" that I love, so I have high hopes for this pair.
  6. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    4
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Canada, Kyrgyzstan
    I think you are looking in the wrong direction if you are looking for water proof boots in Africa. If it is going to be wet then it will be likely over ur boots kind of wet. All the goretex in the world cant save you from that. Get two pairs of boots that you like that are quiet in the bush and be ready to have one pair drying every second day if it gets that bad.
  7. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    9
    Member of:
    NRA, NHA, USSA, QF, CCA, NOGA, SCI,
    bdmd5093,
    The SoftPaw chukkas you have are very similar to the Courteney Boot Co.- Safari or the Russell- PH boot, in structure

    A link that shows the boot--

    Irish Setter Soft Paw Chukka Boots, Men's Footwear, Irish Setter at Sportsman's Guide

    Attached Files:

  8. bdmd5093

    bdmd5093 AH Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    yep; I ordered a pair of the Irish Setter 7" wingshooters, but they are a little heavy. So I have now ordered a pair of the 6" wingshooters, and a pair of the softpaws that are waterproof and have a gussetted tongue. I will post my impressions. I like the sole on the wingshooters, it is a vibram-like softer rubberized sole with a good tread pattern and it is quiet on hard surfaces. The sole on my original softpaws is a harder rubberized sole, and seems a little louder to me. Decisions, decisions, decisions...!

Share This Page