Footwear question……

What is your choice for footwear for “survival” situations? I am partial to waterproof hiking shoes myself – but would like to hear what others like. 

Do you have an option that works well for Summer as well as a mild Winter?

Is one brand better than anther from your experience?

Being budget minded – how about around $50-$80?



Combat boots? Sneakers? Flip flops? What is your choice and why?


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  1. I tend to wear pretty minimalist shoes with a real sole. Light, breathe well but I can still run/ ruck etc through pretty nasty terrain with them.

  2. I don’t believe there is one shoe or boot for all occasions. I generally am either barefoot or in sandals around the property, but I have a good pair of hiking shoes for going into the woods and steel toes boots for heavy work. I also have the 18″ LL Bean boots for wet weather hunting. When SHTF, have a variety of types of footwear will be crucial. I also believe that the more you can go barefoot, the better off your feet are. They were not meant to be scrunched up in a pair of sweaty shoes all the time. Don’t forget to have a good supply of socks to go with what ever you are wearing.

  3. I have worn a pair of Irish Setter countrysiders for the last 14 years, rain snow, as my boots on the motorcycle and doing fieldwork. They are the best boots I have ever owned, by far. Waterproof and tough. Before that I wore several different types of hiking, walking boots and nothing has ever come close to these. I am about to retire them, I just started breaking in the new pair of Countrysiders. GREAT boots, but not really cheap. At 6’4″ and 220-30 I need good boots.

  4. can’t cheap out on shoes. we will be walking everywhere post shtf. i wear lowa gortex hiking boots exclusively. 29 years of lowest bidder combat boots did a number on my feet. i wear hi-tec shoes around the house like slippers, but everything else its lowa. 200 a pair but worth every penny. i have spent many hundreds on cheaper shoes that either won’t last or won’t keep me walking.

  5. Foot wear would depend on, what’s the emerency, where you live or will travel to and the time of year. I would suggest not buying the hottest shoe so as to get yourself mugged. If you are a single person put a pair of old, not too beat up boots, near the door so a casual observer won’t know your alone. Flip flops are great for shower areas, a good sole will let you walk on glass or nails, walking/running type shoes give support if going a distance. Rustolum now has a spray on water repelent product. Make sure you have a spair in the vehicle you drive just in case.

  6. I use Solomon Quest 4D GTX but they are a budget buster. Moving light I like trail runners but when you have a load out in steep grades there is nothing like the Solomon particularly in steep down grades.

  7. I have worn Dunham boots since 1969(no not the original pair-smile! )and I still love them .With a good coat of protective water repellant they are super and they last.
    Working around the farm in manure I try to wear rubber boots but even then the Dunhams lasted a year or two.
    The very comfortable Merril work boots are fantastic for hiking and climbing and walking. ( get them on sale 0
    LLBeans winter sneakers/boots are also exc.-very light, waterproof and
    very warm.
    Wearing good socks and airing out your footwear is also essential.
    Catherine H -yes we also used to keep an extra pair of boots/shoes outside of our tent when camping so someone might believe we were inside. Great idea for at home also.
    PSFor icy conditions keeping a removeable pair of ice grippers on one pair of boots really helps walking.

  8. Not exactly budget minded, but I’m on the second pair of Under Armour SpeedFreaks. I prefer the mid-length 8″ boots. Goretex is a must for me since wet feet suck, especially if you are rucking a long way. I’ve had Hi-tec, Keen, and Merrell boots, and by far these are the best pair. I’ve run in them several times, and they have been nothing but comfortable. No blisters, and well constructed. Not big on most of UA’s outdoor gear, but the construction of these is superb. The tread is excellent too, I’ve seen some good boots ruined by absolutely retarded tread. They are non-insulated, but here in VA it’s not a problem that can’t be solved with wool socks and a little walking around. Buy once, cry once. Don’t skimp on cheap footwear, especially if your hiking or backpacking. Consider that what you buy now may be what you’re wearing for a loooooong time.

  9. There is no such thing as a good, cheap pair of boots. Good boots cost good money for a good reason: your feet are what you move on, and if you don’t treat them well, you will suffer for it. I wear an 11-4E–very hard to find anything I can wear. All the big names-Red Wing, Chippewa, and dozens of others, including Danner-they make mil-spec boots for Uncle Sam: all say they don’t make a boot that size. Danner has to be lying or they wouldn’t have a contract-you gotta put shoes on everybody, big and small. Fortunately, Columbia Boots in Georgia does make a boot I can wear. It’s an 8″ loggers boot with a kiltie for $175, and will take you anywhere you have to go under any conditions. Heavy? Yup. Sturdy? Like an anvil. Full support? And then some. Some above have alluded to extra socks-damned good advice. When they get sweaty change out, and then wash and dry when you bivouac. At least 4 spare pair. Good, cheap shoes or boots? No such critter. At 67 I’ve worked many years of construction on dams, highways, and subways to the top of the Hancock, and all sorts of very rugged terrain in between. Just save your money until you can get a good pair of boots. My 1st step-father served on Attu and Kiska in WW2, arriving “when they were still bulldozing bodies into trenches” and he said foot problems took more men out of action than any other cause. I do believe the old boy knew what he was talking about, and I follow his advice to this very day. NO CHEAP SHOE CAN BE A GOOD SHOE!!

  10. I have to agree with everyone here who suggests not to skimp on footwear costs. Buy cheap boots and you will likely end up paying in other ways when your feet hurt, they come apart, etc…. Cabelas has a great selection of hunting, hiking and even a couple of military boots. For everyday wear, I have some mid height tacticals from HAIX. If you can plan what it is you might run into, footwear selection is extremely important. I do try to always stick with a GoreTex liner. You just never know when you will end up in some kind of muck, mud or slush and wet cold feet are a real drawback.

  11. From what I have seen of all the imported crap footwear available in the $50-80 range I can’t imagine them lasting more than a half season of SHTF wear, See further comments at the panhandle rancher post. Regards, D.

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