Who goes for shoes over boots?

mdwest

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I’ve worn danner and new balance hiking boots in Africa numerous times, both while hunting and otherwise adventuring all over the continent. A good hiking boot has never failed me, has been plenty quiet, and provided more than enough comfort for long days in the bush...
 

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Yep, I have a couple of pairs of Russell's that have been to Africa and back and they have served me well. One I will wear on the way and another in the luggage then rotate daily.
Nice, two pairs! I had one pair from kangaroo but too many nights by the fire in Caprivi trying to dry them out ruined them. So I had some made from my black hippo leather and they are great.
 
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I've worn Palladiums which are built like a canvas tennis shoe but with a lugged sole, but I also had a pair of Courtney Trackers along on that trip. I alternated back and forth. The Palladiums are very light and comfortable, but I did have one thorn go right through the sole. It just barely broke the skin and it was easily pulled out with a Leatherman.

I bought a pair of Palladiums in Windhoek, the boots I wore on the plane were giving me problems when I landed. So they went to the PH's kid, (all those Afrikaaner boys are 6'2 at 16 years old).

I don't think Palladium makes a 13.5 though anymore, and that is what I am now.
 
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mdwest

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Meant to add to the post above..

This year I am diverting from the hiking boot tradition, and am going to hunt in a more "african" styled boot. I've got a custom set of James Leddy "Safari Boots" being made from a cape buff hide that should be ready in the next couple of months (very much like courtneys, but fitted to your feet, with your hide, etc.. and using a vibram sole).. and I am very interested in the Tarzan Waxi boot that @IvW has spoken about in another thread.. they appear to be affordable, well made, and are widely used by military personnel in South Africa.. I might pick up a pair of them when I make the trip over this July just to see how they work for me (never hurts to have an affordable back up pair of boots)..
 
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Muskox

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I live in the Chihuahuan Desert in Southern New Mexico about 50 miles north of El Paso, Texas. I normally walk 3 miles a day, and every shoe I have tried get's thorns. We have "goathead" plants Tribulus terrestris, and we have some other thorns I don't know the name of. They penetrate any footwear. I have worn my mountaineering boots from Scarpa on these walks, and they still stick into the harder rubber of those boots.

 

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When one is paying anywhere from $1.5K to $3.5K per day in daily fees I think they know one can afford stuff. But you are right on one thing, if one is toting a Blaser they know one is "a dude" for sure. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
Or a shoulder cannon with a muzzle brake appropriate for a small gun carriage mounted anti-tank gun. Just saying. :A Too Cool: :A Shades:
 

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Nice, two pairs! I had one pair from kangaroo but too many nights by the fire in Caprivi trying to dry them out ruined them. So I had some made from my black hippo leather and they are great.
Russel upland boots are well made but do not fit me well - even a couple of true custom made pairs. They are a design that simply doesn't work for my feet for some reason (I have a high arch that Russell can't seem to accommodate). I owned a pair of Russel PH's (canvas top) that went to Caprivi and worked well in those conditions. However, they still didn't fit all that great and the last four or five trips have been in either a Courtney Selous or Hunter model. For me, in that environment, either is ideal. No longer looking for anything else.
 
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Muskox

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Or a shoulder cannon with a muzzle brake appropriate for a small gun carriage mounted anti-tank gun. Just saying. :A Too Cool: :A Shades:
Guilty!
 
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rookhawk

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So who hunts Africa in tennis shoes or heavy weight hiking shoes like Merrills or Keens? I would be hard pressed to not wear my wide comfy Altra Lone Peak trail runners.

I don't need or want ankle support and want breathability in the heat that leather and thick canvas doesn't have. I see PH's and trackers wearing sandals or converse yet some swear you need $300-400 Courtney's.

So who goes for shoes over boots?


CJW I'd say by and large, Americans are HUGE people compared to Africans, even white africans. So by our weight and size, coupled by the fact that the geology of North America is "mild" we do not have much ankle strength and we need the support badly. I've been in places in Africa that looked like the surface of the moon with round rocks slighly smaller than volleyballs everywhere for half a km. No way to step between them and all of them were loose.

I encourage you to be really sure about your level of confidence in your own feet regarding rocks and ankle support.

Second, you need to understand that evolution is quite an SOB in Africa. Nearly every plant and tree has spikes many inches long and every seed pod is so sharp it requires a needle-nose pliers to remove them from your boots. I've spent 30 minutes in an evening pulling thorns and seed pods out of the soles of my boots in Africa many times. The average American shoe or boot like a Merrell is not designed for Africa whatsoever.

As to your feet getting hot, I don't think so. I assumed that the US Gov't knows best about these things so I spent $400 on a pair of the best desert combat boots I could find and I wore them every day for a month breaking them in for safari. I also bought a pair of courteneys and received them at camp in Africa. (I figured I'd wear them at camp and break them in over course of a year before they are safari-worthy) I was wrong. My feet were miserably hot and uncomfortable in the best boot America had to offer. The Courteneys were the most comfortable boot I had ever worn and I switched to them day-2 of the hunt. They have now been worn at least 150-300 days of hunting and I have 6 pairs of them. (I need a 7th) Two pairs are custom made "combat boot height" which I think are even better than their normal boot as they avoid the need for wearing gaiters, and 4 pairs of shoes I wear in the States for casual use.

I would not consider wearing shoes or merrell boots on safari unless you're positive you have the ankles to handle them and you are very, very thin. (marathon runner might be okay)
 

rookhawk

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Russel upland boots are well made but do not fit me well - even a couple of true custom made pairs. They are a design that simply doesn't work for my feet for some reason (I have a high arch that Russell can't seem to accommodate). I owned a pair of Russel PH's (canvas top) that went to Caprivi and worked well in those conditions. However, they still didn't fit all that great and the last four or five trips have been in either a Courtney Selous or Hunter model. For me, in that environment, either is ideal. No longer looking for anything else.

Russell Boots don't fit anyone, at least if they do its only by accident. I have a $1200 pair new in box over here they sent me after screwing up the first two attempts royally even after giving pages of detailed measurements. No exaggeration, I could have made a better boot than the first pair they sent that were so bizarre as to be laughable. (the vamp/top was like 10" long when it should have been about 5" to fit my size 15.5 foot.

100% Courtney Selous if you're normal weight and size, and 100% get a custom pair of "combat boot height" Selous' made by the factory if you're very tall or moderately overweight.
 
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Cervus elaphus

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CJW I'd say by and large, Americans are HUGE people compared to Africans, even white africans. So by our weight and size, coupled by the fact that the geology of North America is "mild" we do not have much ankle strength and we need the support badly. I've been in places in Africa that looked like the surface of the moon with round rocks slighly smaller than volleyballs everywhere for half a km. No way to step between them and all of them were loose.

I encourage you to be really sure about your level of confidence in your own feet regarding rocks and ankle support.

Second, you need to understand that evolution is quite an SOB in Africa. Nearly every plant and tree has spikes many inches long and every seed pod is so sharp it requires a needle-nose pliers to remove them from your boots. I've spent 30 minutes in an evening pulling thorns and seed pods out of the soles of my boots in Africa many times. The average American shoe or boot like a Merrell is not designed for Africa whatsoever.

As to your feet getting hot, I don't think so. I assumed that the US Gov't knows best about these things so I spent $400 on a pair of the best desert combat boots I could find and I wore them every day for a month breaking them in for safari. I also bought a pair of courteneys and received them at camp in Africa. (I figured I'd wear them at camp and break them in over course of a year before they are safari-worthy) I was wrong. My feet were miserably hot and uncomfortable in the best boot America had to offer. The Courteneys were the most comfortable boot I had ever worn and I switched to them day-2 of the hunt. They have now been worn at least 150-300 days of hunting and I have 6 pairs of them. (I need a 7th) Two pairs are custom made "combat boot height" which I think are even better than their normal boot as they avoid the need for wearing gaiters, and 4 pairs of shoes I wear in the States for casual use.

I would not consider wearing shoes or merrell boots on safari unless you're positive you have the ankles to handle them and you are very, very thin. (marathon runner might be okay)
Makes you wonder how the Masai and other tribes get on running around in bare feet or sandals. Haven't seen too many wearing Nike's
 
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Tanks

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Russell Boots don't fit anyone, at least if they do its only by accident. ..

I think boot fit is very personal. My Russell's fit. I have 3 pairs, two for hunting and one for casual wear. I did buy a pair of Courtney's in Bulawayo on my back to the States on one of my trips. They hurt my feet, digging into the top of my right foot. They are in the back of a closet somewhere worn just a few times.
 
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Muskox

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CJW I'd say by and large, Americans are HUGE people compared to Africans, even white africans. So by our weight and size, coupled by the fact that the geology of North America is "mild" we do not have much ankle strength and we need the support badly. I've been in places in Africa that looked like the surface of the moon with round rocks slighly smaller than volleyballs everywhere for half a km. No way to step between them and all of them were loose.

I encourage you to be really sure about your level of confidence in your own feet regarding rocks and ankle support.

Second, you need to understand that evolution is quite an SOB in Africa. Nearly every plant and tree has spikes many inches long and every seed pod is so sharp it requires a needle-nose pliers to remove them from your boots. I've spent 30 minutes in an evening pulling thorns and seed pods out of the soles of my boots in Africa many times. The average American shoe or boot like a Merrell is not designed for Africa whatsoever.

As to your feet getting hot, I don't think so. I assumed that the US Gov't knows best about these things so I spent $400 on a pair of the best desert combat boots I could find and I wore them every day for a month breaking them in for safari. I also bought a pair of courteneys and received them at camp in Africa. (I figured I'd wear them at camp and break them in over course of a year before they are safari-worthy) I was wrong. My feet were miserably hot and uncomfortable in the best boot America had to offer. The Courteneys were the most comfortable boot I had ever worn and I switched to them day-2 of the hunt. They have now been worn at least 150-300 days of hunting and I have 6 pairs of them. (I need a 7th) Two pairs are custom made "combat boot height" which I think are even better than their normal boot as they avoid the need for wearing gaiters, and 4 pairs of shoes I wear in the States for casual use.

I would not consider wearing shoes or merrell boots on safari unless you're positive you have the ankles to handle them and you are very, very thin. (marathon runner might be okay)
I don't think Americans are any worse walkers than anyone else.

I live a mile from a 11,000 foot mountain and I live in rough desert country in New Mexico.

Have lived all over the world, there are fat people in America, but globally there are getting to be more fat people everywhere. America is not alone.

An office worker anywhere in the world that doesn't walk will have a hard time anywhere they go.

Someone who walks daily will not.
 
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CJW

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CJW I'd say by and large, Americans are HUGE people compared to Africans, even white africans. So by our weight and size, coupled by the fact that the geology of North America is "mild" we do not have much ankle strength and we need the support badly. I've been in places in Africa that looked like the surface of the moon with round rocks slighly smaller than volleyballs everywhere for half a km. No way to step between them and all of them were loose.

I encourage you to be really sure about your level of confidence in your own feet regarding rocks and ankle support.

Second, you need to understand that evolution is quite an SOB in Africa. Nearly every plant and tree has spikes many inches long and every seed pod is so sharp it requires a needle-nose pliers to remove them from your boots. I've spent 30 minutes in an evening pulling thorns and seed pods out of the soles of my boots in Africa many times. The average American shoe or boot like a Merrell is not designed for Africa whatsoever.

As to your feet getting hot, I don't think so. I assumed that the US Gov't knows best about these things so I spent $400 on a pair of the best desert combat boots I could find and I wore them every day for a month breaking them in for safari. I also bought a pair of courteneys and received them at camp in Africa. (I figured I'd wear them at camp and break them in over course of a year before they are safari-worthy) I was wrong. My feet were miserably hot and uncomfortable in the best boot America had to offer. The Courteneys were the most comfortable boot I had ever worn and I switched to them day-2 of the hunt. They have now been worn at least 150-300 days of hunting and I have 6 pairs of them. (I need a 7th) Two pairs are custom made "combat boot height" which I think are even better than their normal boot as they avoid the need for wearing gaiters, and 4 pairs of shoes I wear in the States for casual use.

I would not consider wearing shoes or merrell boots on safari unless you're positive you have the ankles to handle them and you are very, very thin. (marathon runner might be okay)

I know how strong my ankles and lower legs are and I have much experience testing them including mountains and 40-50 pound packs for 20-30 miles a day. The soles of my feet will fall apart before my ankles but even that will take extreme punishment and many many long days. If someone figures they need ankle support then by all means they should wear what works for them. It seems that some people are sprained ankle magnets but I can't say that I have ever even tweaked an ankle. I once jumped across a ditch in the snow and immediately slipped and my ankle turned 90 degrees while the rest of my leg went forward as normal. I was initially startled and my leg felt a bit jarred in the incident but an hour later my ankle was good as new. Maybe my luck will run out someday but I have youth and an athletic build on my side. The last pair of boots I owned with stiff uppers was probably 16 years ago and I didn't like them then. Not allowing my ankle to flex and do it's thing I feel only added to fatigue.

I've seen people here in the midwest buy boots and swear that when they are wearing boots they need ankle support. Why? Every other day of the year you are fine in tennis shoes or dress shoes but as soon as you step into the woods your ankles get weak? Like I said before, most of the time I think it's an unnecessary false sense of security that can do more harm than good. No doubt our modern sedentary lifestyle can play into it but I feel that if you're preparing for something like a safari you should be strengthening your legs and most would be surprised how much it helps and how easy it is.

To each their own.
 

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Considering paying full price for a pair from African Sporting Creations or Westley Richards as much as it makes me want to puke my guts out, as I am a cheap bastard.

I know what you mean. Years ago I was doing outside manual labor for a living and found some Wolverine steel toe boots that I liked for a very reasonable price but still a chunk of change when you buy three pair at a time. I didn't necessarily need to but as soon as you find something you like they discontinue it so I was proactive. I destroyed one pair but still have the other two and one is in pretty decent shape. I could probably oil them up and pair them with a crisp pair of Levi's and dress shirt for a dress casual look. Buying good footwear can hurt initially but it's amazing how long they last. I'm good on work footwear for probably at least the next 15 years.
 

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Dude. My first Rolex GMT Master served me well for 33 years of flying in the USAF, including at least a thousand hours of combat time. There are very few watches that match it. Dude.

Not being a wise guy but for the price of a Rolex, then or now, they had better last.

As an amateur watch aficionado, feel free to post a picture of that gem.
 

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So who hunts Africa in tennis shoes or heavy weight hiking shoes like Merrills or Keens? I would be hard pressed to not wear my wide comfy Altra Lone Peak trail runners.

I don't need or want ankle support and want breathability in the heat that leather and thick canvas doesn't have. I see PH's and trackers wearing sandals or converse yet some swear you need $300-400 Courtney's.

So who goes for shoes over boots?
I hunter elephant in a pair of Ecco Walkers! However, I would suggest boots in real rocky areas.
 
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Cervus elaphus

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I’ve worn danner and new balance hiking boots in Africa numerous times, both while hunting and otherwise adventuring all over the continent. A good hiking boot has never failed me, has been plenty quiet, and provided more than enough comfort for long days in the bush...
I like the New Balance light boots and have worn them in all kinds of terrain mainly because they don't damage my feet and only need one pair of socks. The boots I used to wear were the high-sided Australian ex-Vietnam combat boots with the canvas sides but they weren't lightweights nor were they good for climbing steep hills. Ankle support doesn't bother me, ankle protection does hence canvas gaiters. I think you can get them in gortex these days.
 

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Ancle high boots arethe way to go...ancle support is important...shoes dont make that..
Sock protectors over that and you are good to go
 

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I ordered a pair of Courtney Tracker's from Westley Richards this morning. If they work for me I am going to order a pair of Patrols either from Courteney directly or someone else and wait 6 months for them.

They were in stock in my size and $250. I used to have them in Hippo, and my wife got tired of looking at them after me owning them for 18 years.
 

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