Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Boots On The Ground

Pair of old boots

Decided to take a break from reading commentaries on St. Augustine and "freedom" to write about boots. I've been using a pair of 8" Bates desert boots with suede & nylon uppers, vibram Durashock soles and goretex inners. A very comfortable boot with good traction and until recently, surprisingly waterproof - waded about in the shallows off Aberystwyth a few months ago and came out completely dry. They've held up well too knocking about the country - in the brush, along half dry creek beds and at the stables; so along with the U.S. military I guess I'd recommend them. But they're not without problems.

On mine the sole started to delaminate from the upper; I solved this with Locktite superglue, which has held up well but its annoying to have to use it at all.

Superglue Solution

More seriously, I discovered that when they leak they hold water and refuse to dry. What seems to happen is that water gets held between the leather/nylon upper and the goretex inner lining, with the whole boot acting as a kind of heavy squelching sponge. Granted it took a storm to get this effect but still, the boot's effectiveness was seriously compromised by its inability to lose the water and dry out. A real problem for anyone having to wear them for any length of time in wet conditions. Solution? Heavy duty, breathable, waterproof spray - I think. Better yet, a system that doesn't trap water in the boot. Also, for Texan country use, the Bates boot doesn't give much protection against snakes, which is fine until it isn't.

With that in mind and looking for something that'd be inexpensive, better at the stables and still good for getting out in the field, I went down to the local Tractor Supply Store and bought a pair of 10" Wolverines.

New Wolverines

They seem sturdy, comparatively well made and comfortable. Also they don't have the treacherous goretex lining which I've grown to suspect; I'll see how they hold up. In the meanwhile, the Bates pair still have plenty of life in them.

Back to the African Doctor now.




LL said...

I had a similar problem with the Converse boots. The soles delaminated partly because I put my feet near the fire in the cold. I tried to fix them but in the end spend money on the Oakley Boots favored by SpecWar operators.

LSP said...

Delamination's annoying - I was surprised to find that Locktite fixed the problem (probably wouldn't in really arduous situations).

How d'you find the Oakleys?

Anonymous said...

That is good to know.

I never had that happen until recently. What I used was a 3M Rubber Cement which worked very well but also was quite messy in the beginning to work with.

LSP said...

Found Locktite (keep it in my gun box) good for a quick & easy repair - sets really fast.

tom said...

These work well for waterproof, as well they should for costing about as much as a rack grade home defense shotgun...but since it never torentially rains in Texas of late, except if I meet a Parson at the range, my 5.11s are cooler in the summer (important because my feet sweat a lot) though not at all waterproofed. Combat Sandals are more my style in the summer except if I really need a boot's ankle support.

LSP said...

Thanks Tom - Belleville seems to make a good boot; pricey though.