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Thread: Plastic Boots

  1. #1

    Default Plastic Boots

    I am considering investing in some plastic boots for sheep hunting. I would like to get some opinions/experiences with the plastic boots before I invest that much. I know people say they work great for climbing and traversing, but how bad are they for flatland use? I typically will hike 5-10 miles over "flat" land before climbing. Also wondering how they would do on spring snowshoe hunts.

  2. #2
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    Smile boots are personal preference

    i have both the koflach plastic boots and the german meindl canada pro. i have hunted sheep and goat with both.

    life is a tradeoff. hiking on flat ground for long distances with the plastic boots is little better than walking in ski boots if you have done that? it sucks.

    however, i feel they protect your feet better than leather boots, keep your feet warmer and you can take the shells off to give your feet a rest and walk around camp in the liners. the liners can go inside your bag at night and you have warm boots in the morning. when the shells get wet from sweat or creek crossing they can be wiped dry in one minute. they are must less fatiging for side hilling. must easier to stand on a narrow ledge and let the boots do the work and not your calves.

    all that be said i now used the meindls. they don't do everything as well as plastic boots, but they do more things well. if that makes sense. they are much faster over flat ground or uneven terrain. they can be used on many more hunts than the plastic boots that are limited to just mtn. hunts. they are lighter and less fatiguing on your knees.

    if any of that makes sense??? i hope that helps you to make the right choice.

    good hunting and warm feet to you.

  3. #3

    Default

    I used Meindels for my first couple of Alpine hunts. Hated them. I now use Scarpa Invernos and love them . I have 9 1/2 EE feet, and the Invernos are the widest plastics I have tried on. On day hiked about 6-7 miles w/ over 100# in the pack, and most of it is what would be considered "flat." Never had a minute's problem. "Flat" really is not flat, so it won't be as bad as you think. Also, you can undo the upper portion of the laces and it is easier, but I have never needed to do that.

    The only time plastics have ever bothered me was walking on the blacktop in summer while on training hikes. Even the unpaved shoulder of a road is "unflat" enough to cure the problem.

    People either love or hate plastics. I can go places with plastics that I could never dream of going with leather. Once leather is wet, it stays wet. Actually, it some how gets wetter overnight when you are sleeping in a tent. If it is below freezing, then the rate of getting wetter as you sleep skyrockets. Plastic liners will dry in a tent. Plus plastics do not lose their ankle support when wet. After crossing the first creek in leathers, my ankles really take a beating.

    But plastics can get you in trouble. I found it is so much easier to go on bad terrain and climbing with them, that I have wound up getting into things that were a little too dicey when trying to climb down. With leathers, I don't have to worry about climbing up where I will have trouble getting down because I am limited by the boot. Double so if they are wet.

  4. #4
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    Default

    If you have any ankle problems Koflachs are the only way to go! Have tried lots of leathers and my bad ankles still roll; not one issue since switching to plastics. Combined with glacier socks cant ask for more. Only my experience though.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Plastic Boots

    Blackfoot,

    I have used plastic boots on many mountain hunts. Can't say how they would be on long approaches as you suggest, but you could lace them down and leave the tops looser. Should work; I've done it at times with longer approaches too.

    Plastics do a lot for you, but as much as I like them, there's really no boot that does it all. Tightly laced plastics almost eliminate ankle movement, transferring it to your knees and hips. This can be really hard on you if you have bad knees. I never really knew how much of the strain of rough ground is accommodated by ones' ankles, but it's true.

    I haven't tried meindls yet, but lots of folks seem to like them. I'm leaning away from leather boots though; once they get wet they stretch and are nearly impossible to dry in the field. THat said, I've heard good things about Lowas too.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  6. #6
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default

    I have used several different plastic boots - they are not for me. I have used meindls since the mid 80's and although not perfect, OVERALL they do more things better than anything else I have used and hence went back to them after plastics. Certain aspects of hunting boots are more important to some people while other aspects are more important to others. As I said, for/to me the Meindl Canada boots have provided the best all round balance of desireable traits for the type of hunting (esp mountain hunting) that I do:comfortable, stable, warm, waterproof, crampon compatable, sat for long approaches but still safe in the steep stuff. Nothing will be a perfect "10" in all areas and final satisfaction will depend to a great degree on your priorities. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Default

    if you have weak or ankel related med' issues, then the plastics are the way to go. no boot is perfect, every boot is a compromise.

  8. #8
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    Default

    I used Scarpa Alphas on my sheep hunt and they worked very well. All of the guides wore some sort of plastic boots with Glacier Socks for stream crossing. I tried several differnt brands and hated them all until I tried the Alphas. The were more like a very stiff hiking boot, and I hiked several miles in mine on "approach". They are bomb-proof when you're going through the rocks, and provide excellent support.

  9. #9

    Default

    If you like big bloody blisters I would go with plastics. One of my hunting partners and I did a goat hunt in '05 on Kodiak and by the time we got to the top of the mountain on our first day, he had developed terrible blisters on both feet. If it weren't for the moleskin that I brought with me our hunt would have been over right then and there. I've had a few other people I know have the same thing happen to them. After seeing those blisters I swore I would never wear plastic boots.

  10. #10
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    Default Blisters

    After seven years and honestly hundreds of miles in two different models of Koflachs I would have to disagree with Akhunter45. I think blisters have more to do with preseaon walking than with the type of boots you wear. Mowing the lawn is not the most enjoyable way to pass the time but throw your pack on with WEIGHT and your hunting boots and you then at least are thinking about hunting. Surprise your woman with evening walks, geared up and you'll score points towards hunting two ways.

  11. #11
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Default I love em

    I have actually worn out a set of Koflach degrees. I think they are great in the steep stuff. For flat land hiking they are obviously not ideal. One big tip is to get a set of super feet inserts for them. The other is that you don't break these boots in, they break you in. Shoot me a PM if you would like the worn out set just to stomp around in.

  12. #12
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    Default mountain boots

    I have now been on a few mountain hunts and after my last hunt decided to buy a decent boot. I previously had used Cabelas Meindels, which did fine but I felt I needed better. So after much searching and contemplating, I chose the Scarpa over Lowa sheephunters The Lowa boot was much more comfortable initially in the store and probably would need little to no break in period for wear. The Scarpa's were much stiffer leather and the end point after breaking in would provide more support in the long run. Bottom line try em on and walk around in the store with them for a while, up and down stairs..... My wife wears Koflachs on our hunts and she can sidehill like a mountain goat but going up or down is painful and slow for her, although she likes her Koflachs more than her leather boots which are crap, IMO.

    Don't know if that helped, but I was bored anyway....

  13. #13
    Member SoldotnaDave's Avatar
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    Plastic boots? Next thing ya know they will be making plastic guns to boot!
    Formerly known as one who clings to guns and religion

  14. #14
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    Wink Sheep boots

    I have also climbed a lot of mountains and know that plastics have been the answer. I have had the exact same experience as MCSWXW. Some things to think about are how hard you hunt, where you are hunting and how many times you will use the boots. Also how much your feet sweat and get cold. In the mountains crossing streams, snow and very steep terrain plastics boots rule. They are the strongest and dryest option. But for a long approach or one time hunt you might do better with hiking boots. I dont know anything about hiking with snowshoes. good luck.

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