Sneaky Silent Shoes

Kharn

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What's your opinion on the "silent" shoes? EX: R.M. 'Thula Thula', to be specific these are shoes without a traditional external sole with the idea that these will be quieter than those with traditional rubber grip soles. My biggest concern with this footwear is essentially everything OUTSIDE of stalking... Moving quickly to get behind cover, fleeing a charging animal, any sort of quick sudden 'in the moment motion' that needs to be done 'in the heat of the moment', you ever slipped over? I am hoping more experienced individuals that use or have used these style of shoes/boots will chime in and give their experiences.
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Years ago i ordered but never received pair of Russel mocassins.
Pretty close to what you have pictiured. My only concern would be long sharp thorns penetrating the soles in rocks they should be gtest.

The last boot i used was a canvas leather with vibram similar soles.

Lon
 
What's your opinion on the "silent" shoes? EX: R.M. 'Thula Thula', to be specific these are shoes without a traditional external sole with the idea that these will be quieter than those with traditional rubber grip soles. My biggest concern with this footwear is essentially everything OUTSIDE of stalking... Moving quickly to get behind cover, fleeing a charging animal, any sort of quick sudden 'in the moment motion' that needs to be done 'in the heat of the moment', you ever slipped over? I am hoping more experienced individuals that use or have used these style of shoes/boots will chime in and give their experiences.
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@Kharn, trying to walk up the slightest hill with the slightest moisture on the ground and you will make more noise then a stampede of buffalo - when you Fall flat. I love those boots and had a pair made by Russell identical to them, very comfortable and walking on level ground in dry conditions - traction was no problem. But they were not “magic quiet” and a walk over dry leaves, snapping a twig = noise….AND if there was any slight incline or wet ground = like Ice Skating.
 
I had a pair like yours and they are very quite. (If the wearer knows how to walk quietly) However like mentioned any moisture makes them very slick. Mine had a seam start unraveling and they just didn't hold up. I ditched them after one season. I bought a pair of the wildebeest boots in South africa and have a older danner soft soled stalkers that are my go to quite boots.
 
Great topic. I take hunt footwear very seriously. I just got back from Africa with these newer Russells with this style of Vibram soles. The PH commented very favorably on how quiet I walked. We were in some very steep rocky areas with downed leaves that sounded like rice crispies and there were also some short periods of rain....but my footing was stable AND quiet. That was a great test of footwear and I would highly recommend these standard Vibram soles as they are quiet but supportive.

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I took a pair of Russel PH and a pair of Courteney Selous on a month long safari. The Courteney’s were significantly quieter and more comfortable. I have gone through 3 pair of Russell’s. Perhaps my work on the farm is tougher than a safari, but I can’t keep the damn soles glued on.
 
I've tried to like the Courtenays but my feet are narrow and they feel like clown shoes to me...wide...floppy...flat footed with no arch supports. Shoes are a really personal selection of course and most people love Courtenays but they don't work for me. Part of the solution of course is to get proper footbed support within whatever shoe/boot you select. I've had better success with two pairs of Russell PHs over the years than other brands.
 
What's your opinion on the "silent" shoes? EX: R.M. 'Thula Thula', to be specific these are shoes without a traditional external sole with the idea that these will be quieter than those with traditional rubber grip soles. My biggest concern with this footwear is essentially everything OUTSIDE of stalking... Moving quickly to get behind cover, fleeing a charging animal, any sort of quick sudden 'in the moment motion' that needs to be done 'in the heat of the moment', you ever slipped over? I am hoping more experienced individuals that use or have used these style of shoes/boots will chime in and give their experiences.
View attachment 618786

Run as fast as you can in the other direction. They have had a lot of problems with quality control and are certainly not worth the price they charge. Best boot makers I have found are from Italy. Yes I have a pair of Russels.
 
Most of the American boot makers are crap, except for logger boots
 
LEMs shoes & boots currently have my attention the most (followed close by Gokey) but of the LEMs I am considering one or two pairs of any of these.
LEMS SHOES.png
 
I own a pair of Russell Thula Thula boots and would likely require a day or two to find them. The true moccasin sole is a clever idea - assuming you never use them where a thorn, slick slope, or rock may be encountered. Assuming I can find them, they really need to go to Goodwill. The Russell PH with crepe or tread sole is a superb boot. I used a pair in the Caprivi many years ago. My only issue is that they bind the top of my foot too tightly. For me, hunting dry areas in Africa, I have found nothing better than Courteney.
 
I hunt in a pair of Russel’s exactly like the PH but with full leather uppers instead of canvas. I like them very much. I also own a pair of GoRuck MacV1’s, and they are very comfortable, quiet, and light. They are not much on appearance, but work very well.
 
Here's my 20 year old Russell's on the left still going strong with no repairs after many trips...and my new Russell's with 2 trips on them on the right...and my trainer GoRucks in between with lots of mileage. All great boots with no regrets.

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GOKEY boots also have my attention as previously mentioned, I am considering one or two pairs of any of these. Cannot decide on Shoes & Gaiters OR Just Tall Boots (No Gaiters), I already wear knee high "impenetrable" Blundstone mining boots (980 Extreme) year round (inc summer) without over heating.
GOKEY BOOTS.png
 
Most PHs wear gaiters and I also like them. Keeps your laces from unraveling and the seeds, etc out. Some people like the TAG gaiters but I prefer these by Rigby and they wear like iron without being uncomfortable, stiff or loud.

Rigby-Gaiters-1-scaled.jpg
 
Here's my 20 year old Russell's on the left still going strong with no repairs after many trips...and my new Russell's with 2 trips on them on the right...and my trainer GoRucks in between with lots of mileage. All great boots with no regrets.

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I don’t know how you keep those soles glued on. After 3 pair and multiple returns to Russell I’ve finally given up.
 
Maybe I'm just lucky but I've never had to repair them. The soles have worn like iron. The newer soles are quieter but I have stalked many DG and PG in old and new pairs. The old pair was custom fitted and the newer pair are off the shelf.
 
I really want to like Courteney's, but, I, really, just don't get them. To me, they are not very comfortable and are about as "old school" as you can get.


I've worn Danner's with no problem on my safaris.

Learning how to walk silently is a skill that (IMO) only has a little to do with the boot itself.

I will probably wear Kennetrek Safari's on my next trip to Africa.

Very comfortable, super quality, super insoles.

I think many would consider them too "stiff", but, as a mountain hunter, I would rather err towards durability, than tennis shoe soles.
 

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