Want Long-Lasting Boots? These Are the Qualities You Should Look For

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I’ve written before about the kinds of characteristics preppers should look for in a pair of shoes or boots. There are definitely a lot of factors to consider, including what kind of situation you’re prepping for and the environment you’re living in. And there’s a good chance that whatever benefits your choice of shoe has, there are going to be drawbacks as well. There isn’t any kind of footwear that is perfect for all situations.

With that said, perhaps the most important quality a prepper can for in a pair of shoes is durability. That’s because no matter what kind of shoes you buy, they’re probably not going to be collecting dust in your closet. You’re going to want to get your money’s worth, and use them. And if you’re going to be using them on a semi-regular basis, they had better still be in good condition in the event of a serious disaster. So if you’re in the market for a really durable pair of boots, here’s what you should be looking for.

The Sole And Heel

There’s only one characteristic that practically guarantees that the sole of your boots won’t wear down quickly. Your soles need to be made out of high density rubber. It’s also surprisingly difficult to find shoes with this trait, because most people in our society don’t spend a lot of time on their feet. They’re not walking several miles a day on pavement and concrete.

They sit at work, they sit at home, and in-between they sit behind the wheel. So they’re more concerned with how comfortable their shoes are, rather than how durable they are. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find shoes that have both qualities. The more dense your sole is the less comfortable it will be, because it lacks flexibility. So if you decide to buy really durable boots, make sure you invest in a really comfortable pair of inserts

But I digress. If you’re willing to overlook that, and you still want really long-lasting boots, you’re going to want a really tough and dense rubber sole. When you’re picking out boots, try to bend the sole. If you feel a lot of resistance, then it’s probably very dense. Also try knocking on the rubber with your knuckles. If it’s really tough, then it’ll probably sound like you’re knocking on wood, and it’ll probably sting your knuckles a little.

Also, consider the tread. It should have a significant surface area. If there’s a lot of space between the treads, then it will wear down faster. And skip boots that have air cushions in the soles. As the tread wears down, you’ll wind up with deep gaping holes that rocks will get stuck in.

The Upper

The upper portion of your boots are the most important. While soles can be replaced, uppers are more difficult to fix. Once they wear out you’ll have to buy new boots, so choose your upper carefully.

The longest lasting material for boots is also the oldest material to be used for footwear. You want leather, and not just any kind. It should be made out of full grain leather. You’ll know its full grain when you feel it. It has texture. Most leather boots on the other hand, are smooth.

Skip boots with uppers that are mixed with other materials like canvas or nylon. Those fabrics will wear out faster than the leather. They may breathe well, which will also help your boots last longer, but they’re not necessary. Leather also breathes fairly well, especially if you take my next piece of advice.

Look for pull-on boots, rather than boots with laces. That’s because the upper portion of these boots is mostly just one piece, so there aren’t many weak points. Boots that consist of multiple pieces of leather and fabric stitched together, have many ways of unraveling. Every stitch and eyelet is a liability. And yes, leather boots that can be pulled on will breathe very well.

 

Aside from that, you should consider the cost. Not all expensive footwear is long-lasting, but long-lasting boots that are new will probably cost at least $150. And it should go without saying that you should buy American. There are good brands overseas, but if a shoe company has managed to avoid moving its operations to another country, it means that it has a good reputation. People are willing to pay top dollar for their products no matter what, and they love their shoes for very good reasons.

Read More:

What Preppers Need most of All in Their Shoes

How To Retread Your Old Shoes With a Car Tire

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Get Medieval With Chainmail Barefoot Shoes

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Get Medieval With Chainmail Barefoot Shoes Unless your feet are covered by thick slabs of callus, you won’t be running around barefoot anytime soon. If you want your feet to interact with the environment as nature intended, but don’t want to risk pain an injury to your sensitive feet, these chainmail barefoot sleeves may help. Although …

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Ask a Prepper Series: What is Your Bug Out Shoe of Choice?

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Ask a Prepper Series: What is Your Bug Out Shoe of Choice? What shoes or boots do you plan on wearing when you have to bug out, and why? This is the simple question we posed to the team over at TruePrepper. Everyone responded pretty quickly and didn’t have to mull it over that long. …

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KEEN Men’s Newport H2 Review: AKA “The Mandal”

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Mobility is important but so is being comfortable.  While wearing flip flops isn’t exactly optimal neither is sporting a dedicated full hiking boot while in warmer temps.  There has to be a good solution, a hybrid of sorts which would allow one’s feet to breathe but also be sturdy enough to navigate some decent terrain or even jog through broken glass and jump a fence (think worst case scenario).  Enter the Keen Newport H2, referred to by many as the mandal.

Keen Newport H2

Keen’s in action while in a river

I’ve had my Keen’s for 6 months and have worn them in a tropical rainforest, in the rocky mountains, in pools / waterfalls, everyday around town wear and have even jogged in them (long story).  They are a great all around sandal/shoe hybrid which allows one to recreate while still providing a decent amount of support and protection for the feet.  Here’s the rundown.

The Good.

  • Closed in toe box just like a regular Keen hiking shoe which is great for protection, unlike a standard sandal which leaves the toes exposed.
  • Great fit all the way around, no sliding around while wearing them.
  • Sole is great, nice grip for moving around over land or in a stream on slippery rocks.
  • Good arch support, definitely not an afterthought when producing this model.
  • Webbing material which the sandal is made of dries easily after getting wet.

The Not So Good.

  • It’s a sandal and therefore your foot is not entirely closed in while wearing it, as such if you are on a dusty trail little rocks can get inside and get under your feet which can be annoying.
  • Not the most fashionable sandal ever, pretty ugly as a matter of fact.
  • You will drop over $100 for a pair of these so they aren’t exactly cheap.

The Bottom Line.

I purchased the Keen’s because I was looking for a good warm weather shoe/sandal which would still allow for good mobility while not sacrificing comfort.  They have exceeded my expectations and have proven to be one of my favorite pair of footwear.  If you are in the market I highly suggest checking them out at your local retailer.

 

 

The Best Footwear For TEOTWAWKI

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Footwear For TEOTWAWKII have wanted to write an article on boots and shoes for some time now, but I see and hear so many different opinions that I have not been sure of exactly what to say. After thinking about it for a while, I have come to the conclusion that there is no one brand or type of boot that I can recommend over every other. There are many good shoes and boots for TEOTWAWKI, so I am going to give you some general guidelines.

Because of where I live, I have good military style boots, but also snow boots and several pairs of running/hiking shoes. My wife has a good selection of boots, snow boots and running/hiking shoes.

boots for TEOTWAWKI

The pair of boots on the left are the only one that I paid full price for.

In addition, we both have our everyday shoes.

When it comes to boots, I look for several things:

  • Good ankle support. I like at least an 8-inch boot that will keep me from twisting an ankle when in the mountains.
  • Comfort. A boot needs to fit you well; they should not cause blisters or hot spots. They need to be well broken in. Put some miles on them and learn what type of socks work best for you in different types of weather. Generally, wool socks will be best, although nowadays, even athletic socks are hi-tech, with breathability and wicking technology. Smartwool is one brand that is highly recommended.
  • Warm and dry. You should have boots that are suitable for the weather and terrain in which you live. I have not yet found one pair of boots that will work for winter and summer in the mountains. The best compromise that I have found is a good pair of insulated leather boots similar to my Danners. They are comfortable most of the year, although in the middle of summer they can be a bit warm and in the deep snow not as warm as I’d like. When shopping for boots, buying a waterproof pair is generally the best way to go, regardless of the season.
  • Long lasting.  First, buy good quality leather boots, and avoid boots from China and the cheaper discount houses. Second, you have to take care of them. Here is a link to a post I wrote on Preserving your Leather Boots.

I keep several pairs of boots for different weather, terrain, and comfort. I have four pairs of leather boots and a couple of pairs of snow boots. Three pairs of my leather boots came from garage sales, which are a great source for finding prepping treasures.

The only ones I bought new were the Danners. The other three pair cost a couple of bucks each.  One is a pair of Wellco lightweight boots, a second pair came from a returning serviceman and are good, well-insulated boots that were brand new when I got them. The third pair is older non-insulated military issue boots. This lets me wear boots that are appropriate to the weather and to rotate them.

If you live in snow country, get boots that are suitable for where you live and travel. I always take a good pair of snow boots when going up into the mountains in the winter.

Beyond boots, you should have several pairs of good serviceable running/hiking shoes, what we used to call “tennis shoes”. For everyday use around your home, these are comfortable. If you have to travel cross county you can carry a lightweight pair of these for extra shoes. These are good for sneaking around in the brush; they make less noise than heavy leather boots.

If you are thinking about picking up inexpensive shoes in garage sales for future trade stock, concentrate on women’s shoes. Most men have at least one pair of boots and tennis shoes. When I look in a women’s closet all I see are high heels and little light shoes that would wear out very fast.

Buy the best shoes and boots for TEOTWAWKI that you can afford and wear them enough to know that they are comfortable and are well broken in. A few extra accessories to have on hand are Shoe-Goo, inserts to help with arch support and overall comfort, extra shoelaces in the necessary lengths, and, always, a few extra pairs of good quality socks.

Howard

UPDATED July 28, 2016

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How A Quick Winter Walk Can Transform Your Health

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How A Quick Winter Walk Can Transform Your Health

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You may rather reach for blankets when you look out your window during the cold months, but there are some good reasons to pull on some boots and go for a walk. Cold temperatures and some snow should not stand in the way of enjoying the season and staying healthy.

There are both mental and physical benefits of this cold-weather walking, so grab a friend or two and head outside to experience what walking in the winter has to offer.

Benefits

With the lack of sun in the colder months, walking is a great way to keep your spirits up. Walking reduces stress as more sun equals more serotonin, which helps slow and stop food cravings. Winter walking also helps in weight loss regimes, because you have to work harder when walking through snow (that is, unless you have a sidewalk or clear street).

Walking in the winter, it may come as a surprise, actually helps fight infections. The infection-fighting cells will increase when you go out in the cold.

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Walking in colder temperatures makes your body burn more calories than in warm weather. This is because you need to work harder to become and stay warm. Once the blood starts really pumping, endorphins are released, helping you feel great.

The sun gives us Vitamin D, and by walking for just 15 minutes three times a week, you can get enough Vitamin D to help strengthen your bones and other parts of your body. The sun causes your body to produce Vitamin D, so get outside and let the sun shine on you for a while.

Physically, walking improves balance and coordination, lowers blood-pressure and strengthens bones. It also increases energy and encourages better sleep patterns. Inflammation, swelling and joint pain are also reduced.

Mentally, walking improves concentration and acts like an anti-depressant.

Preparation

How A Quick Winter Walk Can Transform Your Health

Image source: Pixabay.com

Of course, we should take precautions when walking in the winter. Know your route and surroundings. Be aware of the terrain. Remember to check the temperature as well. Sometimes taking two or three shorter walks is better than taking one really long one. Yes, sometimes it is just too cold. For the shorter walks, you may have to walk a little quicker than on the long one, but the outcome will be the same.

As with any form of exercise, always check with your doctor before you start. Begin slowly, and build up to your desired walk time. This will allow your body to get stronger and adjust to the cooler weather.

Walk with friends, or at least tell someone when and where you will be walking.

Bring water! Even if it is cold, you will still need to stay hydrated and will get thirsty. Have a warm up and go at a good, comfortable pace. There is no need to race.

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Carrying a cell phone is always a good precaution, and you will still need to carry sunglasses and sun block. The winter sun’s strong rays can be deceiving, although warm.

What to Wear

Pick good, appropriate footwear. Don’t grab shoes or boots with flat or smooth soles. Put on a pair of well-tractioned boots or shoes, made with non-slip soles.

Put mitts or gloves on and keep your hands moving. Your center of balance is affected when you keep your hands in your coat pockets as you walk.

Wear a hat, scarf and mitts; those items are a must. Wear bright clothing so drivers and other people can see you clearly.

It is a very good idea to wear layers, and make sure your clothing is comfortable, not clumsy or bulky. This way, you can adjust to the workout you are getting from the walk.

Things to Remember

If possible, walk during the first half of the day. Morning and lunchtime is perfect winter-walking weather. You will have plenty of daylight hours and often have the warmest temperatures of the day.

You will need to rehydrate after your walk, even if you don’t feel like you’ve worked up a sweat. Drink some room-temperature water.

Be aware of frostbite, what it looks like and how to prevent it.

Enjoy your winter walks by being prepared, staying safe and finding joy in your surroundings. It is a great activity to do with the family or with friends. What better way to stay healthy than by doing something fun that you enjoy. Bring a camera — and create some memories along the way.

What are your tips for walking during winter? Share them in the section below:

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Survival Clothing

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Survival Clothing One of the most overlooked aspects of survival has to be clothing. Most preppers already know they shouldn’t be wearing survival clothing such as camo or all-black outfits unless they want to become a target for both the unscrupulous angry mobs as well as the law enforcement… but there are a few more […]

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The Right Shoes

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gphsDisasters.   Sometimes you get warning, such as a big snow storm or hurricane approaching.  Most of the time they come as a complete surprise with little to no warning.  Think of the Boston marathon bombing….no warning at all.  What about a natural disaster like a tornado, very little warning or time to prepare. One […]

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