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Thread: Best Sheep Boots?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Best Sheep Boots?

    Did some forum archive search and the newest I could find was 2 years old. I may have a chance to go next year so I thought I would see what everyone is saying now about what is the way to go now. I know its been discussed before but would appreciate all of you hardcore sheep guys hashing it out again.

    Pros, Cons. of different boots you have used.

    I do have a small wide foot which make things about impossible for me.

    On an additional note what socks and weight do you use? Do you wear a thin under sock? When doing this how much bigger do you buy over your normal size shoe? I.E. I wear a 7 1/2 wide tennis shoe, what would you recommend?
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    There's not really been a boot nirvana in the last couple of years so the results will be about the same.

    I'm still using Lowa Tibets with great satisfaction. Plastics have their fans and well they should.

    Kind of a general rule is you want boots with torsional rigidity to make sidehilling safer and much easier on the ankles. Taller boots are harder on shins and plastics can be hard on your knees until you learn to walk in them. Cheap, soft boots are about the worst things you could use however.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    As an after thought.....Do any of you change out the insoles to something like Super Feet as well?
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I have been pretty happy with the cabelas/meindl alaskan hunters for the last couple seasons in the mountains. Pretty good ankle support and they stay dry in wet conditions although I recommend gaiters in tall wet grass conditions. I have not changed the insoles to anything other than what they come with. The downside is I can not compare them to any other boot so there may be better ones out there, but they work for me
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    For a dry approach I like Lowa GTX.

    For an approach with multiple stream crossing I like koflach degree with Barney's Glacier socks.

    I use and believe in gaiters.

    Quality insoles are a MUST have for me.

    Rocky Goretex socks, for when my leather boots get wet. The Goretex socks keep my feet dry in wet boots. I like the goretex, because the socks like Seal socks are too thick for me.


    Barn none the best socks I have ever used are DARN TOUGHS, guaranteed for life, just send them in for a free replacement.

    Which ever boot you get, buy some designed for the load you will be hauling. Most hiking boots are NOT made for side hilling or loads over 100 lbs.

    Buy now and start walking in them,, IMHO 100 miles in sheep boots in my personal minimum before a hunt.

    The only hunt I ever had to quit on was because of boots that stretched when they got wet. After 3 days my feet were done.

    Lots of quality boots and no right or wrong, these are the ones that work for ME..

    Good luck

    Steve
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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    I do have a small wide foot which make things about impossible for me.
    Lowa and Kenetrek make boots in EE which might help. In my opinion, Kenetreks are a higher volume boot than most. If you have a small foot you will run out of lacing room, especially when wet.


    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post


    On an additional note what socks and weight do you use? Do you wear a thin under sock? When doing this how much bigger do you buy over your normal size shoe? I.E. I wear a 7 1/2 wide tennis shoe, what would you recommend?
    I wear a single "hiking weight" wool sock and buy normal shoe size from most companies. Hanwags I do have to buy a size up.

    I do use Superfeet, but primary because stock insoles tend to get trashed pretty early on.

    Yk

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Steve:

    What was the cause of your black toes on your latest hunt, boots, socks or what???

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I use the Koflachs as well. I learned my lesson about buying quality boots after trying to hunt in a pair of Danner Pronghorns. The Danners are great for hunting lowland areas, but definitely not mountain boots.


    I like Thorlo socks, I wear the mid weight hiking socks, they dry out really fast when wet, and they kept my feet nice and comfortable. I also like to wear a moisture wicking liner. This turned out to be a good combo on my sheep hunt.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I love my Lowa Tibet GTX boots. Some opt for the "Sheep hunter" (I think it is the Lowa GTX Extreme), but I find that the boot is too tall, making it less comfortable and heavier with no discernable benefit. As for socks, any good lightweight to midweight merino wool sock will do. Darn Tough socks are great, as are Smartwool and others. I don't personally use custom insoles, but my wife (who has the same boots) uses Superfeet and wouldn't be without them.

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    You could look into custom made boots. I had a pair of Russell Moccasins made and they outstanding! Instant fit no break in. Also a made in the USA product.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    Steve:

    What was the cause of your black toes on your latest hunt, boots, socks or what???
    I had the same issue this summer after a 14 mile, 7 peak ridge-running hike. Actually, my toenail that has been purple since July just popped off on Tuesday. Needless to say, my future career as a foot model has been put on hold. In my case, my best guess is that the rubber that wraps over the toe shrank because I had my boots too close to the fire for too long. My boots were overly tight that day (I like a tight fit to begin with), and they did some damage. I took them into Boot Country the next week and they were able to stretch them back to the original size for me, and thereafter I haven't had any more problems.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I had the same issue this summer after a 14 mile, 7 peak ridge-running hike. Actually, my toenail that has been purple since July just popped off on Tuesday. Needless to say, my future career as a foot model has been put on hold. In my case, my best guess is that the rubber that wraps over the toe shrank because I had my boots too close to the fire for too long. My boots were overly tight that day (I like a tight fit to begin with), and they did some damage. I took them into Boot Country the next week and they were able to stretch them back to the original size for me, and thereafter I haven't had any more problems.
    Thanks, but I didn't want to see your feet anyway.

    Do you know if this is the same problem Steve had?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    Thanks, but I didn't want to see your feet anyway.

    Do you know if this is the same problem Steve had?
    I could post a picture, if you'd like.

    As for Steve's problem, it's not an uncommon problem for climbers and such. When descending, if the toe pushes up against the front of the boot too hard for too often, the toenail often pays the price.

  14. #14
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I could post a picture, if you'd like.

    As for Steve's problem, it's not an uncommon problem for climbers and such. When descending, if the toe pushes up against the front of the boot too hard for too often, the toenail often pays the price.
    Thanks, but please hold off the pics, you can save those close ups for Sara.

    You're guess then that the boots aren't too tight or maybe even too loose but just the jamming of the toes into the ends of the boots?

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    Member Jeff Shannon's Avatar
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    Kenetrek Hardscrabble is my boot of choice. I've worn the same pair on successful goat and sheep hunts the last five years in a row. After my successful goat hunt on Kodiak last week I might have to replace the original laces. Other than that, they look and feel as good as new.

    http://www.kenetrek.com/prodinfo.asp?number=KE-420-HK

    I've always been partial to mid-weight merino wool socks with no liners. Smartwool, Kenetrek, and Bridgedale all make good ones. They wick well and feel good, even if you end up in the same pair for several days in a row. Superfeet are great aftermarket footbeds if you don't have custom orthotics. They're definitely better than any stock footbed.

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    I asked elsewhere about boots and got some good answers I HIGHLY recommend going to different stores and trying them all on each boot that I have tried so far has had a different fit and feel. For example the kenetrek mountain guides in 10.5 were too small both heel and toe touching went up to size 11 and good lengthwise but they don't hold my heel at all. The Asolo Pumori's I tried just plain didn't feel right at all and the La Sportivas Karakorums I tried felt good BUT when climbing all over the rock that REI has in their shoe department I could tell the ankle support just wasn't going to happen for sidehilling with respect to the downhill side instep my ankle wanted to roll.

    The guy at REI that helped me told me after the boots were on to scuff my feet on the floor and kick the wall or rock and walk down the rock scuffing my feet to make sure my toes didn't contact the toe of the boot as that would bruise my toes and seriously hurt (not necessarily injure) my feet.

    Trying on the boots definitely made me decide to try boots on first and more leery of ordering them online without trying them on first.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    Steve:

    What was the cause of your black toes on your latest hunt, boots, socks or what???
    I failed to heat mold my koflach degree boots with the glacier socks and when wearing them it made the boots just a little tight in the toe box. It was my fault, did not get the glacier socks in time to properly fit and test them. I should have bought both at the same time and checked for fit. I might even have to go a half size larger to make up for the extra volume they cause in the boots..

    Like I said,, get some miles in, wearing the exact gear you will be using when hunting.

    Broke my own rule and paid the price.
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  18. #18
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I failed to heat mold my koflach degree boots with the glacier socks and when wearing them it made the boots just a little tight in the toe box. It was my fault, did not get the glacier socks in time to properly fit and test them. I should have bought both at the same time and checked for fit. I might even have to go a half size larger to make up for the extra volume they cause in the boots..

    Like I said,, get some miles in, wearing the exact gear you will be using when hunting.

    Broke my own rule and paid the price.
    Thanks for the answer Steve and thanks for not offering pics as Brian did.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I had the same issue this summer after a 14 mile, 7 peak ridge-running hike. Actually, my toenail that has been purple since July just popped off on Tuesday. Needless to say, my future career as a foot model has been put on hold. In my case, my best guess is that the rubber that wraps over the toe shrank because I had my boots too close to the fire for too long. My boots were overly tight that day (I like a tight fit to begin with), and they did some damage. I took them into Boot Country the next week and they were able to stretch them back to the original size for me, and thereafter I haven't had any more problems.
    Yep.....when I was a young'un I lost my left big toe nail once myself, months after a pretty extreme sheep hunt. I wore some of the old mountaineering boots (remember the old waffle stompers with the orange laces?) The rigidity of the leather was great and handled well in the rocks. But these boots where inherited and were a touch too small, so with the downhill decent and whole ram and gear on my back, my toe pounded the tip of the boot.

    After sheep hunting awhile, I finally realized the importance of taking your boots off and soaking your feet in cold water from time to time. Your feet will swell up a bit after rigorous continued pounding and if you have a boot that is just right size wise, even they will tend to feel a bit tight. A few minutes to take advantage of those little runoff creeks and ponds and you'll be glad you did.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  20. #20
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Yep, a good soak and a pair of crocs or some other camp shoe to give the dogs a break.

    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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