Shoes and boots? I need help!

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by gesch, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    I hunted the Kalahari and used hiking shoes, I should have used Teva’s. Lots of loose and packed sand.
     
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  2. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Yes, that Kalahari sand is something else and difficult to adequately explain. It is very fine textured where I've been in it in Botswana. I asked the locals about it and they knew exactly the reason for it which was confirmed by some documentary I watched a while back. The sand in the Kalahari is very old so it has been blown and washed around longer than most all other sand formations on Earth. Therefore, each particle is somewhat polished... so it feels kind of "slick" underfoot (for lack of a better description). I had to modify my method of walking in it so as to no completely wear myself out. I found my tyre tread soled Courteney's worked very well for covering distance in that sand. If you get an opportunity to track eland there, you'll understand :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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  3. gesch

    gesch AH Veteran

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    Thanks for all the input. I have a lot to think about! Some of you are excellent and funny writers. Thanks for the thoughtful help. I’ll let you know what I decide to do. If I can get kgesch to help me I will add some pictures of my purchase. It will likely be awhile as Christmas presents are a ways off! Waiting till someone may buy me a present is part of that frugality gene we Wisconsinites carry and that Rookhawk so accurately described!
     

  4. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    A good pair of Red Head leather hunting boots are going with me, never had a pair let me down and they keep your feet dry, comfortable, and don’t weigh a ton and tire you out. Normally about $150 a pair so they won’t break the bank either...
     

  5. GL1960

    GL1960 AH Senior Member

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    I've worn Russell PH's for years - the same pair. They've gotten me from China to South Africa in comfort. And they'll be going with me back to Africa next July.
     
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  6. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    When I said a pair of Teva's I was not trying to be a funny writer and I am still not. That sand will whip you fast. I walk at least 5k per day on a 15 degree incline at 3.5 miles per hour and I was whipped after the first long hike. It would have been easier to walk barefoot than to have been wearing hiking shoes. They're is a reason on some of the TV hunting shows you see the PH walking barefoot.
     

  7. Ernie Shipman

    Ernie Shipman AH Veteran

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    I bought a pair of Meindl Perfekt Walkers at Cabelas in the bargain bin 6 years ago. Took them to Africa for a month in 2015. Worked fantastic. Bought a pair of their Light Hikers to take in 2017. All day comfort, great support, zero issues, held up well to the thorns. Light but very tough and great support. I am somewhat flat footed. They are my go to Africa boots. I live in NH and the terrain can be very demanding here. I use them in the foothills and around the woods of my farm on a daily basis. The African landscape is not so demanding (Limpopo & Natal provinces) that you will need a super heavy or rugged technical boot. I have also used my Under Armor Valsetz’s in Africa, but only where it wasn’t thorny. Very cool and comfy boots as well. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!
     
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  8. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    I feel ya', amigo. I wear 14A or 13B.
     
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  9. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    He made me a pair of boots and took the time to fit them to my very degenerated right big toe joint. You can actually see on the side of the boots where he worked the leather out to make some extra room.
     
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  10. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    you can't talk boots without talking socks.
    ideally 2 pairs of socks is good.
    a thicker outer pair, elasticed in the right places to keep them where they need to be.
    against the skin a thin cotton sock.
    the socks rub against each other and thus cause no blisters.
    of course the boot needs to fit this setup.
    and remember that feet swell when worked hard in hot conditions.
    bruce.
     
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  11. PatrickMa Ward

    PatrickMa Ward AH Member

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    Just bought Russell Moccasin PH 2 and they are fantastic.
     
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  12. gordon kings langley

    gordon kings langley AH Senior Member

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    Forget all the above, Courtney Boots is the only option
     

  13. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    So I hear the love for Russell Moccasins a lot. And for Courteney Boots.

    Some data points for you:

    I know of no complaints for Courteney whatsoever. Any issues have been addressed straight away. They are also HALF the price of a Russell Mocassin.

    As to Russell Moccassins, there are many, many complaints noted if you do a quick google search.

    And my personal testamonial:

    Russell sent me the boots custom ordered and pictured below. Truly incompetent. I could have made a better pattern. They literally made the boot a full 1-1/4" too long in the toe and vamp. This is amateur errors. They owned up to those errors and said they'd make a new pair. I told them explicitly, I AM GETTING ON A PLANE ON X DATE, I need them BEFORE X date. They sent a new pair THE DAY AFTER the drop-dead date so they sat in the elements for a month on my porch while I was on safari. How any company could look at a pair of boots and say "these look right, regardless of shoe size" escapes me. Look at the pictures and tell me if you think that looks like it would fit anyone of any size? The pointer marks where my toe is at. Keep in mind, THEY built a pattern based on the drawings of my feet? Gayle Rice of Courteney would NEVER make this sort of error, yet Russell does this stuff all the time.

    Add to that, the russell moccassins have no ankle support and are mushy. Look at the amount of used-refurb-return boots they sell per year compared to NO defective returns sold by Courteney.

    Some gems from their two out of five-star overall YELP Reviews can be found here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/russell-w-c-moccasin-berlin

    IMG_2749.JPG IMG_2750.JPG IMG_2752.JPG
     

  14. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Interesting posts. I just finished a full month of hunting in Zim, RSA and Namibia. We walked 100+ miles in 9 days chasing buff in the Zambezi Valley. I took a pair of Russels and a pair or Courtney’s intending to switch every day to draw a comparison. Bottom line, after two weeks of switching daily I just stuck with the Courtney’s. They are quieter, more comfortable, and interestingly stat tied much better than the Russell’s. Two of our 3 PH’s had Russell’s. Both were struggling to keep the soles on and had re-glued them multiple times. This has happened to me 3x with Russell’s until I finally gave up on their stalking sole. I am now solidly in the Courteney camp. Mine are the kudu selous Model.
     
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  15. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    compared to decent modern boots like scarpa, the ones in the pictures look like a design from the dark ages.
    bruce.
     

  16. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Yikes on the Russells! Had looked at them for years... before I could afford good stuff. Glad now I wasn't able to. Stumbled into a pair of Courteneys in Bulawayo a few years ago and currently have two pair. For most of what Africa is.... walking long distances in warm/hot weather through sand and scattered rock regolith and thorn bush... I am 100% pleased with the Courteneys. They are NOT for technical rock climbing nor for wet, soggy tundra and were never intended for that purpose! Being all leather they require some break in. But break in correctly they do! If you get some high tech polymer (plastic) skeleton based space age footwear that is supposed to be the bee's knees... then just hope they are correct for your feet from the get go because they do not break in nor are they designed to. Plus, I've never found any of the synthetics to breathe correctly in the heat whereas all leather footwear like the Courteney is infinitely more comfortable for me in hot conditions. But, in the end, it is whatever floats your boat and fits and best suits the purpose.
     

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