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Thread: Best Summer boots for desert heat?

  1. #11
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    Best Summer boots for desert heat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pappabear View Post
    I couldn't find the Salomon boots to try on. I heard great things about the Moab boots from many people. Then I also tried the Vasque breeze boots. So I tried to find either the Vasque or Moab's in a 12.0. Nobody in town had in stock. So I found the Breeze boots in stock online and bought them.

    Thanks for feedback guys

    While at REI, the guy sold me on some Wrightsocks for cool weather. Liked them Sunday. Socks I know where half my problem. I love big thick winter socks but THEY HOT.

    PB
    If you havenít tried them already, Darn Tough makes great socks merino wool socks. Havenít tried them in the desert but Iíve worn them every day for the past four years in Hawaii, among other places.


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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pappabear View Post
    I couldn't find the Salomon boots to try on. I heard great things about the Moab boots from many people. Then I also tried the Vasque breeze boots. So I tried to find either the Vasque or Moab's in a 12.0. Nobody in town had in stock. So I found the Breeze boots in stock online and bought them.

    Thanks for feedback guys

    While at REI, the guy sold me on some Wrightsocks for cool weather. Liked them Sunday. Socks I know where half my problem. I love big thick winter socks but THEY HOT.

    PB
    PB,

    I have not had good luck with Merrillís including the Moab mids. I think for a time back in the day Merrillís were the bomb, but from what Iíve seen (3 pair personally) and what Iíve read their quality has dropped. Thatís what drove me to Salomon.

    So good luck with your Breeze boots. Give us some feedback. Just out of curiosity where was your model priced at? Similar to Vasque? Merrill?

    Thx


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  3. #13
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    Thanks for the replies gents... it sounds like both the XA and the SA are going to let that fine sand in... I’ll keep looking.

  4. #14
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    I just got a couple pair of Danner Combat Hikers - LOVE THEM. I've tried a lot of different tactical boots but these so far are very comfortable. Try the bay - got both of mine for about $50 plus shipping. Also available in an extra wide if you look around...

  5. #15
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    I got this from M4Carbine a few years back and held on to it because of all the good information. Not sure who the author was but he knew what he was talking about.
    **********************************************************************************************************************************************
    I'm disappointed there aren't more replies to this one; quite simply, if you play with guns for a living (and do more with them than clear them in the clearing barrel at the DFAC), and don't live in a Bradley, boots are the most important piece of kit you can own.

    Unfortunately, there is surprisingly little information out there in the ranks of the military in particular, with stubborn NCO's unwilling to admit a lack of knowledge or to try new things. Boot knowledge is gained solely from long (often alpine) expeditions, not just from growing up in the woods.

    Six years as an airborne infantryman in Alaska, various military schools and selection courses, plus time in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Alps, the Dolomites, the Rockies, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalayas have taught me the following with regards to boots: 1)there is no single right answer, and you will spend a lot of money to find out what works for you. 2)You get what you pay for. 3)What works for someone else will not necessarily work for you. 4)If a company has been making sunglasses or athletic shoes, and suddenly starts making boots when a war starts...maybe not the best place to look. 5)Italians, Germans, and Norwegians know their shit. American isn't always best.

    So crack open a beer, boys. This is gonna be a long one. This is for all the 11B's, 18 series, fellas on the teams, and anyone else who sees real trigger time who didn't want to ask questions for fear of looking uninformed. (That shouldn't be the environment in a cohesive unit, but another post for another time.) And I apologize if it seems like I'm insulting your intelligence at times. I just want to be sure everyone's on the same page.

    First: socks, socks, socks. Socks rubbing against your feet cause blisters, not the boots themselves. Socks are to boots as mags are to weapons. (They are the most important part, as they are where everything starts.) Get good merino wool/bamboo socks. Army-issued green socks are surprisingly decent. You can never go wrong with Smartwool. If your feet tend to sweat like mine, and you realized that wool socks make your feet sweat more, get over it. Better than blisters. Powder your shit. DON'T SPRAY ANTIPERSPIRANT ON YOUR FEET, UNLESS YOU WANT TO SMELL LIKE A DOUCHE, AND HAVE ****ED UP FEET. If you prefer longer socks, look at lightweight Smartwool ski socks. Point 6 is another good company that was recently started by the same people who started Smartwool. Bridgedale is another good option, and very popular. Fox River socks are very decent as well. My vote is with Smartwool.

    NOTE: CUT YOUR TOENAILS EVERY FIVE DAYS OR SO. Your will only have to make this mistake once on a deployment to Afghanistan to remember.

    Insoles:
    If you have normal arches, this is not a huge deal. But remember: you will not be twenty one forever. Take care of your knees now. Carrying the equivalent of a midget on your back for years will flatten out your arches in a surprisingly short time, and lead to knee and back problems. Get arch support NOW to prevent that. (Also, running with Vibram Five Fingers or something similar will strengthen your plantar fascia - the muscles in the middle of your feet - and help prevent this.) I suggest custom insoles from a licensed podiatrist (admittedly expensive), even if you don't have if you have low arches. (UNWEIGHTED impressions of your feet, versus standing on the mold for an impression, are key.)

    Superfeet are popular, but my arches are too low for them. If you don't have that problem, go for their custom insoles from a KNOWLEDGEABLE dealer. Just because someone works at an outdoor store and wears a green apron doesn't mean they know anything. Superfeet make black, green, blue, orange, and pink insoles; ask someone who knows what they're doing what the differences are. And forget Dr. Scholls, if just for those idiotic "Are you gellin'?" commercials. Your knees will thank you after you turn twenty five. SOLE insoles are my favorite commercially available insoles. Great arch support, and semi-custom. Pop 'em in the oven (read the ****ing directions), cut 'em to size, throw 'em in the boots, and off you go. They make different thicknesses for different volume shoes. Bring your boots to the store to try the insoles. And bring more than one pair of insoles on a deployment; insoles aren't made of magic. Think a pair a month (at least), particularly if you're going to the 'Stan. Switch them out every day. Just spend the money if you walk around with weight on your back. The muscles in your feet (specifically the plantar fascia) are not strong enough to handle that much weight.

    NOTE: Always keep the original insoles that came with your boots, even if you never plan to use them. That way, you can trace the exact outline of those insoles onto your new ones before you cut them. If you trace from other after-market insoles you previously cut yourself, there's a good chance you'll cut wrong and have an unusable insole; $40-$50 down the drain. Some shittier, Dr. Scholls-type insoles have lines on the bottom for each size of feet. Ignore that shit.

    Finally, on to boots.
    First thing - GET YOUR FEET MEASURED WITH A BRANNOCK DEVICE BY A PROFESSIONAL. The fat drill sergeants at 30th AG who measured your feet don't know dick about fitting boots.

    Jungles:
    The need for these has been pretty much relegated to members of SOCOM, but still worth noting. OTB makes the lightest jungles on the market, the Jungle Lite's; they're extremely comfortable. Forget any kind of boot with "Panama" soles, or anything else you can buy at Clothing and Sales, for that matter. Lowa Elite Jungle's are comfy, but their sole pattern will quickly fill with mud. Altberg makes the absolute best jungle boot in the world, bar none. Custom made. Like a hiker and a jungle boot combined. Amazing. Go with the Jungle Classic. NOTE: The first thing people tend to do is get the steel or hard plastic shank removed from jungle boots. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU PLAN TO PUT ON SERIOUS MILES WITH SERIOUS WEIGHT ON YOUR BACK, PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE FLAT FEET. This will lead to plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis.

    Light deserts:
    If you're just meandering about the FOB, or doing quick DA's/door kicking, there is no way to go wrong with this one. Issued Belleville's are very decent. Oakley/Converse/etc are all comfortable, but not built for long stretches on the feet carrying a lot of LB's. Look at OTB Desert Lite's. Very light, good construction, but admittedly lack the gear-slut look that the kids go for these days. Garmont T8's are very good as well (my favorite "normal" looking boot). Meindl (not the last time I'll bring them up; quite popular with the ninjas) Safari or Safari Mid's are incredible. (At the Meindl website, look under the "Trekking" category.) Look at Lowa Zephyr's. Very comfortable, but not as solid as their Elite Desert's. The Elite Desert's are somewhat a cross between a light boot and a hiker, and tied with Meindl Safari's as my favorite. (FYI - if you see "GTX" in the name, it means they're Gore-tex, and therefore waterproof and slightly warmer.)

    Hikers:
    If you find yourself in Western Iraq, you might not need these too often. If you're in the hills up north, or anywhere near the Euphrates where stomping through tilled farmland is very similar to battling scree, that's a different story. (Scree=loose rock at the base and sides of mountains.) It goes without saying you need a couple pairs in Trashcanistan. Understand, however, many of these boots will feel very heavy compared to desert boots. That's unavoidable. You'll get used to it. Desert boots are actually way underbuilt for the kind of weight you'll routinely carry.

    Issued Danners are decent. Danner Acadia's are also decent option, but lack significant ankle support, and like any hiking boot, are quite heavy. Asolo is a name you'll hear a lot, and for good reason. Fugitive's and Flame's are amazing. I wore a pear of Fugitives in the Anbar province, throughout Alaska (with thicker socks), and to Mt. Everest (not to the summit) with no problem. Asolo Moran's are quite amazing as well. If you can find a pair of Asolo Echo's, snatch them up. Scour the earth for them. (They have been discontinued by Asolo, for some reason.) They have the support of Fugitive's minus the Gore-tex; much better for warm days on the Pakistan border. FYI - they are the boots de rigueur for Tier One types. If you see muscle-bound men in an airport with Asolo Echo's and a Suunto watch on, they are probably bad mother****ers on their way to go kick random ass somewhere. Don't test that theory by stealing their luggage; it will not end well for you. I wouldn't suggest Merrell's (yes, I know Bear Grylls wears them) for the simply fact that most aren't made to handle serious weight. Keen Targhee II's are ridiculously comfortable, but again, not made for serious weight. Feel free to do quick HVT grabs with these guys on, however. La Sportiva are some of the best. I would suggest the Cascade GTX's for serious grip, but with just enough ankle flex to not make you feel like you're wearing ski boots. Meindl's are champions. Jersey, Kansas, or Colorado models (under the "Trekking" menu) or the MFS or MFS Vakuum line are great. Salomons...what can I say besides the fact that they rock? Quest 4d's (for winter), Explorer GTX, Mission GTX, and for hotter days (but not serious walking) XA Pro 3d Mid's. Probably my favorite brand of the bunch. Kayland Zephyr's or Vertigo's can be seen on many feet of OCF types. Scarpa Kailash's or Nangpa's or popular amongst the SOCOM set as well, and for good reason. Lastly, Zamberlan make some incredible boots as well. Their Tundra GT's are quite popular. In the end, I'd suggest the Asolo Echo's if you can find them, one of the Salomons (although not for super-serious walking with weight), or the Asolo Moran, or La Sportiva Cascade GTX.

    For the more serious pursuits (that might involve crampons), Meindl Air Revolutions are money. Asolo Granite GV or Alpinist GV are incredible. La Sportiva Lhotse GTX, Makalu, Karakoram, or Glacier are some of the best boots in the world. These all require fitting at a store, and will be in the $300 to $600 range. I'd say go with the La Sportiva Makalu's or Lhotse. The color of the boots (all mentioned are in the 'tactical' palate) doesn't really matter. You'll be wearing gaiters anyway. And go with Outdoor Research Crocodiles for the gaiters, by the way; best ever made. If it gets really cold, just throw on overboots on top of the boots, under the crampons.

    So that's it. A lot of options, I realize, but if you hear the same names over and over again, that probably means they're good. If you don't to be a creepy vet hanging out at the VA hospital barely able to walk at sixty, take the time to get fitted. Buy good insoles. Your knees and back will thank you.

    I'd also suggest getting them, once you know your sizes, at REI, either at the store or online. You can return anything, at any time, for any reason. And you get back a percentage of what you spend. Get an REI credit card, and it's even more. Use Continental Airline Miles? Log in to Continental.com, and they'll shoot you over to REI's site. Then you'll get miles for the money you spend, plus the percentage back! Can't beat that shit. And in case you're curious-I'm not getting paid by REI.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggammell View Post
    Merrill MOAB ventilators or Lowa Zephyr non gtx or gtx for that matter if you want waterproof.
    I hike over 300 miles per year and wear regular Merrill Moab boots. I have 2 pair - 1 is GTX for cold and/or wet weather, but my hot weather desert boots are non GTX because they are cooler and lighter without it and if they get wet by crossing a creek they dry quicker.
    Last edited by austinN4; 04-25-18 at 15:02.

  7. #17
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    For desert use skip gortex as your feet will get wet from the inside out and your boots/feet will dry faster without Goretex in your foot wear.

    I have had good luck with the Merrill Moab Ventilators and also with the Garmont T8's in addition to the Lowa's.

  8. #18
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    I went with Vasque Breeze III and Im trying some Soloman XA Forces, Both Minus gortex. Hopefully the tootsies with be chilly tomorrow in the 105 degree hide shoot.

    Not likely

    PB
    "Air Force / Policeman / Fireman / Man of God / Friend of mine / R.I.P. Steve Lamy"

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