Combat boots for hunting?

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Good morning, afternoon or evening to you all!

I just had a quick question about boots. I'm heading out on my first Safari in 2017 and I want to make sure I'll do alright as far as footwear is concerned. When I was deployed to ye-old sandbox back in 2004 the military issued a pair of desert that look pretty much exactly like these http://www.militaryclothing.com/Wat...wkmQxarpB6fwOyz6grGRoCl9bw_wcB&ad=76800669869 . I doubt that mine are exactly that nice (let's be honest, "military spec" means "made by lowest bidder") but they are in good shape, little ripping in the mesh and of course the treads have nicks and cuts in them and are a little worn down because, you know, hiking all over everywhere with full gear, but overall still good.
I have seen a lot on here about White, Russell and Courtney boots as well as one or two others. These are all very nice looking (but pricey for me) boots and I wanted to know if my old combat boots, with new insoles of some sort ( very open to suggestions in that department) would work just fine for a plains game hunt with some decent walking required? I know that those listed boots are all nice, I know they are all probably worth every penny, but when you lack the pennies...well you know heh.

Any input would be welcome, and thank you all in advance!
 

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K-man

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First, welcome and thanks for asking questions. (1) do they fit and are comfortable? Then, are they quiet and broke in? Then, depending on where and when you are going, are they cool/water resistant, etc? Is there enough life left in them to go 12 - 14 miles per day if necessary, if so, you are ready. If not, next to your gun and optics, your boots are the most important gear you will use. if you want a new pair, get them soon and break them in. I always take 2 pair when I go, you can trade off or just feel different.
 

rookhawk

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I'm a big guy with size 15 feet and to top it off I have many screws holding my left leg together. As I go trekking into Africa and elsewhere I really need something quiet. I brought two pairs of boots to Africa on my first trip:

1.) a pair of danner hot weather combat boots that were broken in for 6 weeks of daily wear.

2.) a brand new never worn pair of Courtney Selous boots. (Picked them up in Zim to avoid shipping to USA)

The danner boots had a foul smell after the first three days. Two days on airplanes and one hunting. They never smelled at home. They also aren't very comfy and they are medium noisy and pretty heavy in size 16.

Guess which pair felt best? Guess which was silent? (Really, a nearly 7' fat guy can sneak up on you!) Guess which one needed no break in? After 200 days of use guess which boot smells like a brand new leather hide with zero odor?

I now own two pair of Courtney Selous and will not wear those danner combat boots again or any other brand. (I've worn many brands of quality combat boots too...Courtney were better for me)

I'm not sure a size 9.5 guy would really care but if you're very tall of have big feet you really appreciate how comfortable a good boot can be. The Courtney boots are knock-offs of Clarks walking shoes all the upper middle class senior citizens wear. (Courtney founder was trained by Clarks) The fogies know something! The way these types of shoes are stitched makes them very easy on the feet.

Ever bruise your big toe stubbing it? You can't do that because of how a Courtney boots are made.

Just my opinion. I won a high end pair of custom Russell PH moccasins recently so I'll update my report if there is anything better about them than a Courtney. I doubt they will beat my selous. Best boot I've ever owned.
 

rookhawk

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Random theory here about the selous boots:

Normal boots are usually made comfortable by insoles. All that material and synthetics absorb smell and can create squeaky noises too. Selous boots don't seem to have anything but a piece of leather for an insole. No place to harbor smells. All the shock absorption comes from the outsole because it's thick and soft.

I don't know why this approach is better for me but it is really easy on my back.
 
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First, welcome and thanks for asking questions. (1) do they fit and are comfortable? Then, are they quiet and broke in? Then, depending on where and when you are going, are they cool/water resistant, etc? Is there enough life left in them to go 12 - 14 miles per day if necessary, if so, you are ready. If not, next to your gun and optics, your boots are the most important gear you will use. if you want a new pair, get them soon and break them in. I always take 2 pair when I go, you can trade off or just feel different.

Hey there! So lets see. They are fairly comfortable, if I remember right the back leather is kind of stiff and rubs my ankle a little, but just a very little and I'm pretty sure thick socks would take care of that. They are defiantly broken in but I have tinnitus and so how "quiet" something is can be hard for me to judge. I mean...I can hear myself walking, but then I can always here myself walking so that's no help lol. They don't squeak or anything if that's what you mean though. I'm going to South Africa, hopefully in August 2017, I have no earthly idea if they are water resistant because I didn't encounter a lot of standing water to test them in...I would guess no because of the mesh, but maybe? I'm really uninformed here, I'm sorry. I'd say they have life left in them, but again I've been known to duct-tape life back into shoes I really liked before so my perception might be skewed lol. I will say they are not duck-tape ready though, just a bit banged up and some of the mesh has come undone so they have 1 hole there, about nickle size I'd guess.
Frankly I might end up going with them anyway because I'm not sure I can afford $220.00 boots, even if they are awesome, so if anyone has any good tips on some cheaper alternatives I'd love to hear about it. If not, but you have a good insole that I could stick in these that would also work. Again, thanks in advance!
 

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I had a $100 pair of Cabelas and a $70 pair of New Balance I got at Bass Pro and I was just fine for 13 days of hunting all day long. We were hunting spot and stalk.
I would suggest new books but I did very well with lesser boots. The may be worth the money but what I had worked just fine.
After the 1st day I wore the New Balance ones only. That will be the only pair I take in 2017 when I go back.
 

rinehart0050

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When it comes to footwear, its all about comfort which comes from fit and breaking in. I've been in the military for 15 years, worn just about every type of boot out there. I finally found the Rocky SV2s. They're not cheap- $200+, but they are all I wear now. For me, I can buy a new pair and they fit instantly. I've walked probably thousands of miles in them over the past decade and couldn't be happier.

... but that's me. You'll need to find the boot that's right for you. And if there's even minor discomfort or rubbing when you put a boot on, its not the right boot. Those issues will be magnified 100x fold when you're 10 miles into a hike.
 

petrusg

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in my opinion the best hunting shoes ever built are Courtney boots.
 

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I use only Salomon trekking or walking shoes, the semilow versions on dry safaris. They are light an comfy, and also waterproof. And i use gaiters from Courtney...
 

Dwight Beagle

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My feet measure 10.5 EEE, my arch measures 14.5. Any footwear made hurts my feet so that is why I have to wear orthotics. The way my feet are shaped tears up footwear very fast. I will go in to debt to have the best footwear available. $300.00 is very cheap for me. Wish it wasn't so. Almost all of my footwear is handmade.

I guess I need to take a picture of my hunting boots one day.

image.jpeg
 
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CAustin

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Welcome to a AH and thank you for your service. Why not wear them? If they are broken in well and give you support.....put them on and hunt!
 

Pheroze

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Hey there! So lets see. They are fairly comfortable, if I remember right the back leather is kind of stiff and rubs my ankle a little, but just a very little and I'm pretty sure thick socks would take care of that. They are defiantly broken in but I have tinnitus and so how "quiet" something is can be hard for me to judge. I mean...I can hear myself walking, but then I can always here myself walking so that's no help lol. They don't squeak or anything if that's what you mean though. I'm going to South Africa, hopefully in August 2017, I have no earthly idea if they are water resistant because I didn't encounter a lot of standing water to test them in...I would guess no because of the mesh, but maybe? I'm really uninformed here, I'm sorry. I'd say they have life left in them, but again I've been known to duct-tape life back into shoes I really liked before so my perception might be skewed lol. I will say they are not duck-tape ready though, just a bit banged up and some of the mesh has come undone so they have 1 hole there, about nickle size I'd guess.
Frankly I might end up going with them anyway because I'm not sure I can afford $220.00 boots, even if they are awesome, so if anyone has any good tips on some cheaper alternatives I'd love to hear about it. If not, but you have a good insole that I could stick in these that would also work. Again, thanks in advance!

For insoles try Superfeet. I use the green ones but they have many different types.

Good luck!
 
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Thank you all for the responses! I think what I am going to do is try to make it work with them. I'm not going until 2017 so I'll just wear them to work/around everyday to see if that heal problem persists or can be worked around. I'll also definitely look into those Superfeet insoles that Pheroze suggested. Looks like I might be springing for a second pair as well, it never occurred to me that I'd new two sets of shoes heh. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever gone anywhere with more than the set of shoes I was already wearing so if you all hadn't brought it up I'm sure I wouldn't have given it a second thought! So quick question on that, is there any reason to go for boots, or will shoes work fine?

Thanks!
 

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If youre a veteran, or law enforcement, or "friend of the industry" (camp guide, PH, etc..) you are eligible for the "Pro Deal" that Merrell offers online.

I haven't bought anything from them for a while.. but I usually pick up a pair of hiking boots once every couple of years..

Typically you get a 25-50% discount off of retail for being a member...

Great boots for a great price.. http://www.merrell.com/US/en/pro
 

rookhawk

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http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/shoe-square/item/77803/items/co5099.htmlRemember those hippie shoes that were suede moccasins in the 70s and 80s? I think some called them "earth shoes". They had a thick soft crepe sole. The Afrikaans call them "vaalies" (fellies).

Anyway, they are just like what the PHs use barefoot. I'd search around for a pair at a thrift store or even new cheap. Bring those as a backup to your combat boots.

Trying to think of what will serve you well but be frugal.short suede moccasin crepe sole
 
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If youre a veteran, or law enforcement, or "friend of the industry" (camp guide, PH, etc..) you are eligible for the "Pro Deal" that Merrell offers online.

I haven't bought anything from them for a while.. but I usually pick up a pair of hiking boots once every couple of years..

Typically you get a 25-50% discount off of retail for being a member...

Great boots for a great price.. http://www.merrell.com/US/en/pro

Thank you for the tip! I went ahead and applied, we will see if they accept me or not. Either way I still appreciate the heads up, and knowing they support folks like that I'll give their stuff a good hard look.
 
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http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/shoe-square/item/77803/items/co5099.htmlRemember those hippie shoes that were suede moccasins in the 70s and 80s? I think some called them "earth shoes". They had a thick soft crepe sole. The Afrikaans call them "vaalies" (fellies).

Anyway, they are just like what the PHs use barefoot. I'd search around for a pair at a thrift store or even new cheap. Bring those as a backup to your combat boots.

Trying to think of what will serve you well but be frugal.short suede moccasin crepe sole

That's a great idea! I know some folks have a problem with used footwear but I also know that people get rid of things that still have many adventures left in them. Thank you for the tip!
 

adgunner

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Eventually Africa, I use my army issue desert boots when in Africa. I have two pairs and rotate them back and forth just like when on mission and they have carried me through three hunts in Africa. I broke mine in in Africa on a seven month stint so they are well worn and comfortable and that like everyone else says is the key. Price tags aren't the key, how they fit you is. That being said I am picking up a pair of Courtney boots this year ... have to figure out for myself what all the hype is about:)

As an aside Oakley does deep discounts for active duty and vets as well and well worth looking into...
 
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Eventually Africa, I use my army issue desert boots when in Africa. I have two pairs and rotate them back and forth just like when on mission and they have carried me through three hunts in Africa. I broke mine in in Africa on a seven month stint so they are well worn and comfortable and that like everyone else says is the key. Price tags aren't the key, how they fit you is. That being said I am picking up a pair of Courtney boots this year ... have to figure out for myself what all the hype is about:)

As an aside Oakley does deep discounts for active duty and vets as well and well worth looking into...

Awesome, glad to see that someone else at some point had the same question as me and decided to try out their old boots. I think I'll take mine and just grab a secondary pair of something to go with. Also thanks for the heads up on Oakley, I'll look into that!
 

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Welcome to the forum! As an ex-grunt I have put many miles on my dogs with jungle boots and never complained too much, but I also was drawing enlisted salary and could not afford upgrades until I was E4. I was moving a few years ago and found my Cochran Jump Boots and had to slip them "comfy" boots on for old time sake. They were worst than I ever remembered and I put my red wings back on immediately. Lol. I recommend walking in them a bit since its been 12 years since you had the pleasure of Uncle Sams foot wear. But if they still feel fine, wear em, there are no fashion police in the bush.
Cheers,
Cody
 

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