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Damian
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 9:23 am 
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Time to que up this ancient topic. Because as I become more ancient I am no closer to a good solution short of logging boots, which I use with 100% success on the beach in extreme wet conditions in the winter.

For mountain hiking I've always used leather/Gortex lined boots.  My experience is that slogging for hours through brush or low berry bushes will inevitably result in wet feet no matter the brand or dough I've spent.  I'm interested in hearing about successful solutions that work well with mostly leather boots.  Not much interested in leather treatment options.  They only work for light water exposure in my experience.  Gortex lined boots work better when new, but are never 100%.  I want 100% dang it.  Ok, even 93% maybe.

I'm seeing boots out there with a rubber coating that rises from the sole up and inch or two.  Perhaps this concept along with gaiters works?
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Windstorm
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 10:02 am 
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Damian wrote:
My experience is that slogging for hours through brush or low berry bushes will inevitably result in wet feet no matter the brand or dough I've spent.

I don't know that I have a great solution, but with my current boots (Asolo TPS 520 GV Evo), most of my water problems have been due to water coming in through the top of the boot. Low berry bushes are a prime example of when this happens. My hiking pants, which I usually have outside my boots, appear to wick water, even under rain pants and/or gaiters, and that water eventually makes its way into my boots.

I haven't gotten annoyed enough to really do anything about it, but changes I've considered run along the lines of tucking my pants into my boots and applying additional waterproofing to my gaiters.
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 1:52 pm 
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All leather boots treated with Obenaufs and wear Gaiters.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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neek
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 2:01 pm 
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I've tried something new this year: waterproof socks as a last line of defense, regardless of what the footwear is.  Not much data yet but I'll be wearing them more as things get wetter and colder.  They fit kind of funny (don't stretch right), still soak through after an hour or so, are expensive, and will probably wear out soon.  Not much of a sales pitch, I know.  But I have circulation problems in hands and feet and am up for trying anything as it can be downright scary when they get chilled.
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iron
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 2:30 pm 
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quick drying tennis shoes.

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

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awilsondc
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 6:50 pm 
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iron wrote:
quick drying tennis shoes.

Really?!?  For slogging through wet brush and berry bushes for hours?  I tried the quick drying trail runners thing.  Stepped in some water and got one shoe soaked and thought I'd just ignore it and let it dry out, since they're breathable and quick drying and all.  It took literally hours of hiking in wet feet for them to dry out.  Maybe five hours?  I ended up with athlete's foot as a result.  Next I tried trail runners with "climashield".  Those wet out in thirty minutes in wet brush and I had wet feet all day again.  Probably not the best solution for this particular problem, although they are definitely great in summer or when you don't really expect sustained water exposure on your footwear.

I've had good luck with waterproof gortex shoes / boots although they definitely fail after a year or two.  Maybe just go with a cheap brand like Hi-Tec and replace them once they fail?  Mountaineering boots tend to hold up a lot longer for some reason, but that's overkill for a lot of situations.  I've also gone the route of bringing extra socks and changing into a fresh pair if the first gets wet which really helps actually.  In reality, I'm not sure there is currently a good solution for total waterproofness outside of rubber boots.  I'll be curious to see if anyone has the answer here.
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Bernardo
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 7:28 pm 
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Why not wear thick warm socks and not worry about the wet?
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SSGHawk
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 7:36 pm 
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STEPHENSON VAPOR BARRIER SOCKS

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SSGHawk
Bless all who voluntarily go into harm's way on our behalf each day, whether they wear Blue, Red or Camo, and also bless those who wait for their return not knowing if.....
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Damian
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 8:30 pm 
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Geeze.  Come on guys.  Wet tennis shoes?  Tolerating wet sox, wet feet.  Overrated leather treatments.  Goretex socks.  Throw your boots away after 4 uses.  Go barefoot.  Already done all this.  Looking for something better.  You know, a “boot system”.  smile.gif.  I know someone here has the real deal.  Come on hydrophobes.  Spill.
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RandyHiker
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PostWed Sep 25, 2019 10:45 pm 
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Reminds me of an ongoing debate at TESC.   The red square was poorly designed and built and always had an inch or more of standing water all winter long.    Some people choose to wear rubber boots -- but developed horrible foot fungus from wearing rubber boots all day in the lecture halls and labs.    Other people wore sneakers and would squish, squish for most of the day.     My choice was Huarache sandals -- back when the soles were actual re-purposed tire treads.   My feet were very cold going across red square, but once I was in a lecture hall or lab, my feet were dry within minutes.   

Doc Martens might have been a good choice, but this was before they were available in the USA.
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SwitchbackFisher
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PostThu Sep 26, 2019 12:17 am 
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I'll second the trail runners idea, that coupled with a pair of good wool socks. Your feet may be wet but they will be warm, and they do dry out fairly soon in my experience. I have tried the gortex boots and found that all it did was guarantee my shoes would be wet for days on end. At least with my Moab vents I'm using now, I can wear my flip flops at camp while shoes dry for the next day. 3 pairs of wool socks 2 for hiking you alternate between let them dry with your shoes and 1 for sleeping in. That's been my go to for years and no plans for changing it.

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Bernardo
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PostThu Sep 26, 2019 4:31 am 
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I actually do wear a nice thick pair of leather gortex lined boots and they have kept my feet more or less dry for a good six years.  The thick leather with a good wool sock keeps my feet warm even if water does get it.  I try to avoid unnecessary exposure to water but as of this Spring they were pretty waterproof after about 7 years of use.  This summer they took a beating so not sure.  These are expensive Meindl boots.  Not sure how other boots will perform. 

If I were going to be in wet brush for hours, I'd expect to get wet feet.

Interesting little story from a hike last winter: I was on my way back to the car, about a mile way and I had to cross a small river about 30 feet wide.  Good flow but only looked about ankle deep.  It was cold, about 20 degrees.  I decided to just walk through it and see how the boots held up and to test my wool socks theory to staying warm.  I walked through and when I got to the other side there was no sign I had been in water.  It was like my boots were hydrophobic.  I don't know what happened but maybe it had something to do with the temperature, or dust, or static electricity?

When I got back to the car and put my hand in the boots to pull put the insole, they felt great, like two little ovens.

Meindl has a long history of making high end boots for military applications.  That's where I came to trust them.
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moonspots
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PostThu Sep 26, 2019 5:27 am 
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Bernardo wrote:
Meindl has a long history of making high end boots for military applications.  That's where I came to trust them.

Where do you buy them? I didn't find a dealer location anywhere in WA, starting with Seattle. I'll continue looking as I await a response. Thanks.

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Bernardo
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PostThu Sep 26, 2019 9:42 am 
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I bought mine in Germany, but I see they have a website for Meindl USA.
Google "Vakuum Hunter."  These are similar to the boots I have but are taylored for hinters.  They are higher and have more waterproofing.
I'm surprised they are made in Germany at that price.   They also are offering more traditional hiking boots and "Extremes."  Based on my experience, these products will work about as well as anything to keep your feet dry and still be functional boot.

So maybe the answer is to look at boots for hunters if staying very dry is important.
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Schroder
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PostThu Sep 26, 2019 10:34 am 
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Are you sure the water is coming in through your boots and not being wicked down from your clothing and socks? In wet brushy conditions I've never had a problem keeping my feet dry in treated leather boots and also wearing rainpants and gaiters.
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