Appropriate Footwear for Outings


Tried and true Wolverine soft-toe work boots.

Quite a few would-be woodsmen choose to camp in soft hiking shoes, sneakers or even sandals.  Of this, I am not a fan.  Boots are the only option for appropriate footwear.  I currently wear and highly recommend Wolverine soft-toe work boots for outings.  Initially purchased at a reasonable price for working, they’ve proved to be incredibly comfortable and useful in the backwoods.

The characteristics most important for backwoods boots are comfort, excellent traction, and a measure of ankle support.  Traction and ankle support could easily save your life.  At home, a slip and a twisted ankle may only mean a day or two on the couch and a limp for a few more days.  Out here, it could keep you from reaching help or walking your way out of the backwoods.

I prefer leather uppers as they tend to be more durable.  I am no cobbler so I can’t identify the many materials that can be made into soles.  Slip-resistance and for lack of a better word, grit, are qualities to look for.  Aggressive tread but not so aggressive as to become “clunky.”  Water-proof is a nice feature.  However, I’ve made many expeditions with boots that proved to be far from waterproof.  As with all of my leather boots, I recommend applying a liberal coating of beeswax or other protective sealant.  This will aid in the waterproofing, but also seems to help protect the leather from undue wear.

A possible addition to your backwoods shoes, should you have room for packing them, is a soft pair of camp shoes.  Think of these as house slippers for your campsite.  These should be extremely lightweight and pack ever so small.  I currently use a pair of Crocs and they are perfect for sitting by the campfire or getting up at night for close-by firewood or relieving the bladder.


4 thoughts on “Appropriate Footwear for Outings

  1. Pingback: Backpacking in the Wild – New York City | A guide to smoothing it in the outdoors.

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  3. Pingback: If the Shoe Fits… Crocs for the Woodsman |

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