￼The 5.11 brand XPRT 2.0 Tactical Urban boot features a highly durable/breathable upper complete with waterproof Helcor leather overlays and 5.11 kick toe. The exterior is also composited of lightweight Ripstop nylon panels. The tough frame is protective yet breathable due to the eVent waterproof/blood borne pathogen-resistant membrane, keeping you cool and dry. (511tactical.com; 866-451-1726)
￼￼￼Engineered for superior breathability and quick-drying characteristics, the Skyweight Rapid Dry Boot is crafted from durable 1200D nylon and Clarino suedge. The lightweight frame includes a full CMEVA midsole and nylon shank increases torsional rigidity and stability. This boot provides excellent traction over any surface. (511tactical.com; 866-451-1726)
This waterproof, seam-sealed and insu- lated winter boot is a true workhorse for cold weather activities. Hardware includes bomb- proof eyelets for easy and secure lacing, and double rivets for durability. The reflective lining traps body heat to amplify the warming power of the Omni-Heat insulation (columbia.com; 800-622-6953)
When bugging out pushes you to the vertical limit, the proper footwear and attachments can be all the difference between making base camp and getting caught out in the cold. Hanwag’s Friction GTX boot comes upgraded with special thermal insulation, a graded memory insole and a “Click Clamp” for two-zone lacing. The reinforced rest for the heel lever makes it easy to add crampons for added traction and friction when trekking along icy glaciers, alpine routes and while rock climbing. (hanwagboot.com; 855-996-3746)
Perfect for any type of terrain, the Valkyrie i WP has a Vibram rubber outsole that provides durability and outstanding traction. A water- proof leather upper provides durability and comfort while a waterproof Dri-Tec, breathable membrane keeps feet dry. An abrasion-resis- tant rubber toe and heel give added protec- tion. The boot’s OrthoLite sock liner delivers superior cushioning and has anti-odor and anti-microbial properties, and a steel shank provides trusted support and stability to every step. (us.hi-tec.com; 800-521-1698)
Based in New Hampshire, the Peter Limmer & Sons Company boasts a multi-generational family pedigree of master shoe-makers dating back to the 1920s in Germany. Renowned for their custom-fit, handcrafted leather hiking boots and old-world craftsmanship standards, the waiting list for a pair of the company’s boots varies, but per the customer testimonials online, it appears to be well worth it. These custom boots are routinely sought by two types of buyers— those with irregular foot dimensions and, more often, those highly discerning hikers/packers who seek out the very finest quality. (limmercustomboot. com; 603-356-5378)
Tall and tough, the Elite Spider 8.0 is a hybrid work and athletic boot. With a suede and denier nylon upper, and a highly breathable aero mesh and SpiderMesh lining, the Elite Spider 8.0 is a master of moisture control. The con- toured, removable sock liner, composite shank and Vibram sole offer elite comfort and fit. (us.magnumboots.com; 800-853-2896)
The Halifax series features a full-grain leather and textile upper, along with a moisture-wick- ing lining and waterproof bootie membrane. A TPU toe and heel guard, along with a composite safety toe, make this perfect for the working man in all situations. A com- pression-molded, impact-absorbing midsole provides all-day comfort. There is a slip- and oil-resistant rubber outsole with toe traction and heel brake zone perfect for handling a variety of terrain. (us.magnumboots.com; 800-853-2896)
This water-resistant, high-speed backpacking shoe has a waterproof membrane to keep feet dry through wet and warm conditions. The Chameleon 5 delivers responsive, athletic control on the trail as well as a bruise-protective plate and supportive insole suitable for carrying a light pack. An upper made from breathable mesh and a bellows tongue helps keep out debris while in the wilderness. (merrell.com; 800-288-3124)
Rocky’s S2V Tactical boot was built for speed in the field and agility in executing tacti- cal maneuvers. The boot’s features include flash-resistant materials, super-fabric insteps, triple-stitched uppers and Vibram wraparound outsoles. The inner drainage vents allow you to go amphibious by forcing water out of the boots, thereby enabling you to move full speed ahead while keeping your feet dry. The S2V comes in four color selections: black, desert tan, coyote and sage green. (rockyboots.com; 866-442-4908)
When an ultra-light, stealthy footprint for bugging out, jogging or running on mostly even terrain (think urban streets) is desired, the Vibram line of FiveFinger running shoes may fit the bill. The TrekSport are ultra-lightweight shoes for outdoor enthusiasts that are so flexible that they can be rolled up like a sock and packed into the most compact bug-out bag. The TrekSport includes abrasion-resistant Coconut Active Carbon in the upper for natural breathability, 4mm EVA plating protection in the midsole and a lightly cleated rubber outsole for extra traction on all terrains. (vibramfivefingers.com; 978-318-0000)
Voodoo Tactical’s 6-inch Low Cut Tactical Action Boots come in black and desert tan, and incorporate leather with breathable nylon uppers and a padded collar and tongue. Slip-resistant DuraGrip outsoles help keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, while the removable footbed, with a moisture-wicking lining, keeps your digits comfortable and dry on the inside. The Tactical Action Boots are also available in a 9-inch, high-ankle version. (voodootactical.com; 877-336-2567)
When you’re putting marching miles on your rubber soles and trudging your boots over treacherous terrain, you want to pay close attention to how your entire footwear system is impacting your primary source of mobility: your feet. After all, if you take care of your feet, they should be able to take you wherever you want to go.
The alternative is a good deal of uncomfortable chafing, perspiration and uneven friction, all of which could result in painful and potentially infected blisters and other foot-related nightmares in a short amount of time. This isn’t something you want to face when the uncertain road ahead stretches on for miles, with no reprieve in sight.
The potential for becoming an immobile liability to your traveling group, or worse, stranded and alone, can be reduced by taking a few basic preparedness measures when considering footwear. Like any survival tool, picking the right shoes and accessories for the job is essential, and practice makes perfect. Ask yourself what terrain you might be faced with, assess whether safe travel by foot may rely more on stealth and speed, and if the potential hazards you might encounter dictate a certain level of protection.
You may not know what every turn will bring, but as a general rule try to remember: Break in your footwear before you bug out!
- rockyboots.com; 866-442-4908
- voodootactical.com; 877-336-2567
- hanwagboot.com; 855-996-3746
- limmercustomboot.com; 603-356-5378
- merrell.com; 800-288-3124
- vibramfivefingers.com; 978-318-0000
- us.magnumboots.com; 800-853-2896
- us.hi-tec.com; 800-521-1698
- columbia.com; 800-622-6953
- 511tactical.com; 866-451-1726
Save a couple hundred bucks and learn to craft your own traditional archery back quiver!
by Michael R. Shea / Feb 3, 2015