Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40

Thread: Boot Recommendations for Tundra

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    9

    Default Boot Recommendations for Tundra

    Hi All -

    Been reading through this forum for about a month - planning on a trip up to Alaska next fall (mid-late September). There is a lot of useful information on here, thank you all for that.

    One thing I'm trying to get a good handle on is what kind of boot I should get for the hunt. A few friends went a few years back and their recommendation was the Kenetrex Mountain Extreme 400. Though they did mention a couple days even it had enough water buildup in the leather that it took 10 minutes to get them on.

    We'll be hunting the Haul road, and I know based on what I've been told and read that the weather conditions can be anything form swampy 40s to icy subzero frozen. In the midwest and mountain hunts I've done, we haven't been out so far away from everything, so footwear hasn't been such a problem. The goal is to bowhunt for a few days to get an idea of where the caribou are, and (assuming we don't all have success bowhunting) hike out the 5+ miles to do some rifle hunting. We tend to be fairly mobile, so I'm expecting to do as much as 10 miles of hiking in a day (that may be a little overzealous given the terrain, but I want to be overprepared).

    I've read up a bit on the tussocks and the challenges they bring, and everyone seems to have an opinion from rubber boots to mountaineering boots. I would just like some feedback on what has worked for you in the past, or what you might recommend.

    If it helps, I have size 12 feet that are a "standard" width (if that's possible). I have fairly strong ankles, but given we (hopefully) will be having times where our packs are up to 100 lbs I want to make sure to protect them. My concern is mountaineering boots and rubber boots may not be able to handle the flat miles, but maybe the more traditional leather hiking/hunting boot may not be waterproof enough. I do have a budget, but I know boots are an item to really spend on as it's arguably one of the most important pieces.

    And I did search the forum and didn't find much info on this, but if I missed anything I apologize - just please point me in the right direction.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

  2. #2
    Member ekberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Indiana, only because that's where the check came from...
    Posts
    150

    Default

    I assume you'll get all sorts of opinions on this, probably from some with more experience than me however, I have made that hunt you're referencing a number of times and the boots that I wear are the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400. I was extremely pleased with their performance. No leather boot will be waterproof so forget that idea, however, these boots are well made and have a closed tongue and in my experience shed water extremely well. When I bought the boots, Kenetrek recommended Nikwax as a leather treatment and that is what I've always used. Other products may give you the same level of "water proof" treatment but this worked well for me. I also found that putting in some SuperFeet insoles really helped with added support. I always wear my boots with a thin liner sock and a heavier outer sock. I highly recommend them, in fact, I just ordered their Safari boot to take on an African hunt. The ankle support I get from a boot of this type of construction is worth every penny on uneven ground, especially where you're talking about hunting.

  3. #3

    Default

    I will let other chime in on boots. However, I will offer up the idea to look into gaiters and Gore-tex socks. More than likely you are going to have wet boots eventually. The gaiters can help with preventing that and the Gore-tex socks will allow you to wear wet boots without getting cold, wet feet.

    BTW, where in Kansas are you?

  4. #4
    Member ekberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Indiana, only because that's where the check came from...
    Posts
    150

    Default

    I'd +1 on the idea of gaiters too. Last year I worn them for the first time on a caribou hunt and they were really helpful in keeping my lower pants dry. I'll be doing that again on this Fall's moose hunt. I have no experience with Gore-tex socks.

    Quote Originally Posted by colonel00 View Post
    I will let other chime in on boots. However, I will offer up the idea to look into gaiters and Gore-tex socks. More than likely you are going to have wet boots eventually. The gaiters can help with preventing that and the Gore-tex socks will allow you to wear wet boots without getting cold, wet feet.

    BTW, where in Kansas are you?

  5. #5

    Default

    Here is what I was referring to for gore-tex socks.

    http://www.rei.com/product/688268/ro...versocks-socks

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by colonel00 View Post
    I will let other chime in on boots. However, I will offer up the idea to look into gaiters and Gore-tex socks. More than likely you are going to have wet boots eventually. The gaiters can help with preventing that and the Gore-tex socks will allow you to wear wet boots without getting cold, wet feet.

    BTW, where in Kansas are you?
    The gaiters idea makes sense. I was waiting on that to get an idea on boots, as if I got rubber boots I'd probably forgo gaiters.
    The Gore-tex socks - are those to help with water going through the boot, or over the boot? Just trying to get a handle on their utility. I have some merino wool socks and then some normal wool socks I normally use. They perform well when wet, but if the Gore-tex will keep them dry longer that'd be nice.

    I'm in Wichita. Did live on the front range in Colorado, but now back in the flatlands

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gimbly View Post
    The gaiters idea makes sense. I was waiting on that to get an idea on boots, as if I got rubber boots I'd probably forgo gaiters.
    The Gore-tex socks - are those to help with water going through the boot, or over the boot? Just trying to get a handle on their utility. I have some merino wool socks and then some normal wool socks I normally use. They perform well when wet, but if the Gore-tex will keep them dry longer that'd be nice.

    I'm in Wichita. Did live on the front range in Colorado, but now back in the flatlands
    The goretex socks are for after you have wet boots. You put those socks on over your regular socks and your feet and regular socks will remain warm and dry even if your boots are soaked. If you are getting rubber boots then both of my suggestions are pretty moot since rubber boots will dry out quickly.

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by colonel00 View Post
    The goretex socks are for after you have wet boots. You put those socks on over your regular socks and your feet and regular socks will remain warm and dry even if your boots are soaked. If you are getting rubber boots then both of my suggestions are pretty moot since rubber boots will dry out quickly.
    I'm following you now thanks.

  9. #9
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    I've successfully hunted the haul road 3 times and have done the 5-mile thing [packed out meat] on the tussocks once. I have worn several pairs of boots from Cabela's Tundra Boots, to varying degrees of insulated rubbers. I wear one pair of socks either Bass Pro Bear Mountains or Cabela's Deluxe Cold-Weather socks. I've not found it necessary to wear gaiters as there is no brush to speak of and most grass is not much higher than just above the ankle. When I've been there has been thin ice and during the day we repeatedly broke through experiencing bone-jarring shockwaves to knees and hips. IMO quality rubber boots being made now have adequate ankle support and fit. I've not had to experience wet feet [nor do I plan to] in my estimated 20 days up there. If more ankle support is what you're looking for try the Tundra boots. They'll come in handy if you need to cross the Sag and hadn't planned [sometimes you might be away from waders in vehicle/camp] on it. I also have a size 12 foot and find them very comfortable.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,892

    Default

    Kenetrex mountain extreme.... Really good Boot... Them gore tex socks are waste of money....
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

  11. #11
    Member tccak71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by colonel00 View Post
    The goretex socks are for after you have wet boots. You put those socks on over your regular socks and your feet and regular socks will remain warm and dry even if your boots are soaked. If you are getting rubber boots then both of my suggestions are pretty moot since rubber boots will dry out quickly.
    What he said. I like Gore Tex socks too, for the reason stated. That or you can buy $400 boots and still have wet feet...

  12. #12

    Default

    Don't get me wrong, good boots are very important. However, speaking from my own experiences at least, when you accidentally do step into a sinkhole and your boot fills up with water or you try to cross a stream that is a little deeper than you expected or whatever the reason, there is nothing more demoralizing than waking up and putting warm, toasty, dry socks into cold wet boots. I have the Gore-tex socks as insurance.

  13. #13
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    For years I've worn la crosse insulated hip boots, but this year I'm going to try a different route. I bought a pair of patagonia hip high boots, and will be going with wader shoes.

    I only got one season out of this last pair of hip boots, so time to give something else a try. They had a hole in the tread, so I couldn't seal it up. Every day was wet cold feet. With the hip highs, I can at least dry everything more easily. The downside is noise.

  14. #14
    Member cjustinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Kotz
    Posts
    1,004

    Default

    I like muck boots for the most part. Mountaineering boots are okay but without gaiters and waterproof pants you'll get wet eventually. Every once in a while you be in a swampy spot that's a little deeper than u thought. I hunted in hip boots some last year

  15. #15
    Member honeybadger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Vikings Country AK
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Love my scarpas, gaiters are a good idea, nylon sock liners and an optional outer sock (I typically roll with just the liner). If you go with mountaineering boots make sure you break them in well ahead of time! Took me 3 months to break in my scarpas. Never tried insulated hip boots, but the regular ones always feel swampy in quick order. I honestly just wear my boots and liners and accept the wet. I just make sure to dry the boots and my feet out thoroughly once I set camp or periodically when I feel they need it.

  16. #16
    Member honeybadger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Vikings Country AK
    Posts
    177

    Default

    If I have to cross a stream or get into the real wet stuff I will take my boots and socks off and roll my pants up and go with it. Not sure this is an approved method, but its what I do.

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    For years I've worn la crosse insulated hip boots, but this year I'm going to try a different route. I bought a pair of patagonia hip high boots, and will be going with wader shoes.

    I only got one season out of this last pair of hip boots, so time to give something else a try. They had a hole in the tread, so I couldn't seal it up. Every day was wet cold feet. With the hip highs, I can at least dry everything more easily. The downside is noise.
    How do you feel the ankle support is in these boots? Do you think it could be fairly easy to roll and ankle on uneven surface, or are you pretty confident your lower leg is well protected?

  18. #18
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybadger View Post
    Love my scarpas, gaiters are a good idea, nylon sock liners and an optional outer sock (I typically roll with just the liner). If you go with mountaineering boots make sure you break them in well ahead of time! Took me 3 months to break in my scarpas. Never tried insulated hip boots, but the regular ones always feel swampy in quick order. I honestly just wear my boots and liners and accept the wet. I just make sure to dry the boots and my feet out thoroughly once I set camp or periodically when I feel they need it.
    If I may ask what model of scarpa boot did you use? 3 months - wow glad I'm asking now. Did you just go walking around town in them to break them in or did you do something more in-depth?

  19. #19
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cjustinm View Post
    I like muck boots for the most part. Mountaineering boots are okay but without gaiters and waterproof pants you'll get wet eventually. Every once in a while you be in a swampy spot that's a little deeper than u thought. I hunted in hip boots some last year
    Would it be safe to say then that you wouldn't recommend muck boots/rubber boots just due to their limitations on depth of water? So you would suggest hip boots or something similar, or in general you'd go with muck? Just curious. Also - Arctic Pro Muck boots, or something different?

    Thanks again to all the responses - this is very helpful info for me.

  20. #20
    Member ekberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Indiana, only because that's where the check came from...
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Gimbly, I know you're trying to learn from others experience and that's the right approach. I do not think you're going to find a boot for all seasons and all terrain and I know that that's not what you're after. The thing that I've noticed the most is that walking on or between tussocks is the killer up there, especially over a long haul with a load. The terrain varies widely and you need to go where the caribou are. For me, it's good ankle support that I look for then a certain amount of waterproofness if you want to call it that. You'll sometimes pick a route that you swear looks dry and you find yourself trying to jump between the high spots to pick a path. Sometimes all you can do is push through it or make a big detour. You said that you have moderately strong ankles but when you get a heavy pack on it's a whole new ball game in that sort of terrain. Certainly if you plan to cross the Sag or any of the feeder streams then you need something totally different than your mountain boot or even the muck boots.

    Personally, I'd not be a happy camper on a long hunt with rubber boots, but they do come in handy from time to time and I have a lot of respect for those who swear by them, they're just not for me if I'm picking one boot for that trip. The previous recommendations about having a well broken in boot should be adhered to. I'd not skimp on quality and that will cost you a little more but my current pair of Kenetreks have seen 4 seasons in AK and more than that elsewhere and they're still going strong. I hope you have a great hunt and most importantly a wonderful time up there.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •