The Best Footwear For TEOTWAWKI

I have wanted to write an article on boots and shoes for some time now, but I see and hear so many different opinions that I have not been sure of exactly what to say. After thinking about it for a while, I have come to the conclusion that there is no one brand or type of boot that I can recommend over every other. There are many good shoes and boots for TEOTWAWKI, so I am going to give you some general guidelines.

Because of where I live, I have good military style boots, but also snow boots and several pairs of running/hiking shoes. My wife has a good selection of boots, snow boots and running/hiking shoes.

boots for TEOTWAWKI
The pair of boots on the left are the only one that I paid full price for.

In addition, we both have our everyday shoes.

When it comes to boots, I look for several things:

  • Good ankle support. I like at least an 8-inch boot that will keep me from twisting an ankle when in the mountains.
  • Comfort. A boot needs to fit you well; they should not cause blisters or hot spots. They need to be well broken in. Put some miles on them and learn what type of socks work best for you in different types of weather. Generally, wool socks will be best, although nowadays, even athletic socks are hi-tech, with breathability and wicking technology. Smartwool is one brand that is highly recommended.
  • Warm and dry. You should have boots that are suitable for the weather and terrain in which you live. I have not yet found one pair of boots that will work for winter and summer in the mountains. The best compromise that I have found is a good pair of insulated leather boots similar to my Danners. They are comfortable most of the year, although in the middle of summer they can be a bit warm and in the deep snow not as warm as I’d like. When shopping for boots, buying a waterproof pair is generally the best way to go, regardless of the season.
  • Long lasting.  First, buy good quality leather boots, and avoid boots from China and the cheaper discount houses. Second, you have to take care of them. Here is a link to a post I wrote on Preserving your Leather Boots.
See also  Realistic Expectations for TEOTWAWKI

I keep several pairs of boots for different weather, terrain, and comfort. I have four pairs of leather boots and a couple of pairs of snow boots. Three pairs of my leather boots came from garage sales, which are a great source for finding prepping treasures.

The only ones I bought new were the Danners. The other three pair cost a couple of bucks each.  One is a pair of Wellco lightweight boots, a second pair came from a returning serviceman and are good, well-insulated boots that were brand new when I got them. The third pair is older non-insulated military issue boots. This lets me wear boots that are appropriate to the weather and to rotate them.

If you live in snow country, get boots that are suitable for where you live and travel. I always take a good pair of snow boots when going up into the mountains in the winter.

Beyond boots, you should have several pairs of good serviceable running/hiking shoes, what we used to call “tennis shoes”. For everyday use around your home, these are comfortable. If you have to travel cross county you can carry a lightweight pair of these for extra shoes. These are good for sneaking around in the brush; they make less noise than heavy leather boots.

If you are thinking about picking up inexpensive shoes in garage sales for future trade stock, concentrate on women’s shoes. Most men have at least one pair of boots and tennis shoes. When I look in a women’s closet all I see are high heels and little light shoes that would wear out very fast.

Buy the best shoes and boots for TEOTWAWKI that you can afford and wear them enough to know that they are comfortable and are well broken in. A few extra accessories to have on hand are Shoe-Goo, inserts to help with arch support and overall comfort, extra shoelaces in the necessary lengths, and, always, a few extra pairs of good quality socks.


UPDATED July 28, 2016

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6 thoughts on “The Best Footwear For TEOTWAWKI”

  1. I have several pairs of new boots & tennis shoes packed away that are very comfortable. I figured that even if something doesn’t happen here to stop the supply, it can come from where they are made. Plus, like everything, things just keep going up in price. I’m making more money than keeping it in the bank.

  2. I will strongly recommend both Danner and Lowa boots. They are very robust, and will last longer than most other brands. Danner boots are generally made on a narrower last than Lowa, I personally prefer the Lowas after wearing various styles of both- but the shape of your foot will make the decision for you. I have worn both through much arduous training and operational deployments, neither failed. Neither brand are bargain priced (unless you look hard or get a good deal), but your feet-knees-hips-back-health, are worth paying some money for.

    1. I agree with the Lowas . I bought mine while living in Belgium and wore them until the heel blew 14 years later. As soon as I can afford a new pair, I will be replacing them.

  3. Besides having several sturdy pairs of hiking boots, winter boots, walking shoes and cross trainers, do not neglect replaceable insoles to provide additional heel and arch support, as well as added protection. In one study, [Baxter, M.L, Baycroft, C., and Baxter, G.D. Lower limb injuries in soldiers: feasibility of reduction through implementation of a novel Orthotic screening protocol. Mil Med 2011 Mar;176(3):291-6.] 10% of Infantry soldiers developed plantar fasciitis or other injuries. Over three months, to have 10% of your troops down with stress fractures and other foot injuries is unacceptable, especially when all this could have been prevented. When the troops who had developed injuries received orthotic insoles, all injuries except stress fracture of the femur and overuse injuries significantly improved.

    Plantar fasciitis affects runners as well as those in the military because of repetitive stress placed upon the heel. The best treatment is therapeutic exercises and orthotics to correct the biomechanical flaws in the walk, according to Army researchers.

    An insole put into a shoe or boot can correct alignment of the foot, ankle, knee and hip and help prevent much distress. Alignment eliminates the pain eventually, although it takes time for an injury to heal.

    My orthopaedic surgeon recommended SuperFeet “green” insoles for all of my work shoes, mountaineering boots and athletic shoes. I consider it money well spent. I got mine from REI.

  4. Pingback: The best footwear, shoes and boots for TEOTWAWKIPreparedness Advice – Wolfdancer's Den

  5. I use redback boots. If you are in Australia, you know pretty much everything is out to kill us, and these are the best all rounders. I have tried SWAT boots, (great high ankle protection), but not suitable for my. The redbacks are the best all rounders I have ever used. I used this brand of boots for at least 8 years now for work, riding motorbikes, and even bushwalking. I use steel capped boots (but I do have a spare pair of non-steel capped ready).
    My boots tend to last me 4 years, and that is everyday use, and yes, I push them.

    My advice, is have cordage, as well as spare boot laces in with your BOB. In my BOB, I won’t carry spare boots, but extra socks, and shoelaces are a must. Socks should be thick sport socks. Pay extra for ones that can help reduce sweat, and not trap heat.
    In a SHTF scenario, you want to have 4 pairs of socks, so that you can change regularly, and wash them. Foot hygiene is a must.

    baby powder is also a good idea. I use it on my feet before workouts, and can reduce chaffing. You wont get far without it, so be sure there is some in your BOB.

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