Hi everyone, I have a quick question about recommendations for tropical footwear. I'm going to be doing fieldwork in Belize this summer, and I am looking to buy a new pair of hiking boots and also a pair of lightweight "amphibious" shoes. Do you have any recommendations for specific models that will be optimal for working in a a tropical environment during the rainy season? For the boots I'd like something as waterproof as possible but also as breathable as possible to avoid foot problems from being moist all the time.
IMHO, you should forget the "waterproof" bit in the jungle (heavy boots, GTX and part leather) Things get inevitably wet, and these never dry properly, and are horribly hot. Sandals or trail shoes will be better, at least something easy to "drain". Ankle high shoes are advised, for some protection, and if you do not want to loose them too often in mud (I speak from experience <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />) but I can't really tell about Belize jungle situation ( I only know parts of south east Asia and Australia: danger from slippery roots, rocks, thorns, annoyance from deep mud and leeches <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />).
I had been unsure about whether it was worth it to try to find "waterproof" boots, thanks for the tip about that. Do you have specific model/brand recommendations from your experience in Asia and Australia?
THIS is the old style boot I liked to use. Very old model (army design), and quite difficult to find, specially in your (which?) part of the world, but army shops may have something similar. No need for bombproof jungle boots. Good trail shoes (Merrel, Montrail, Salomon, or whatever brand you find nearby...) will do.
I'm not an expert on the subject, or whether these are ideal for your situation, but Frenchie's post caught my eye. I have a pair of these Ridge Scorpions which are an update of the traditional French jungle boot mentioned above. I have put them through the ringer (playing woods "action pursuit" games, not really hiking) and have yet to have them fail on me. They have lasted me a couple of years. At $40 (!!!) you can't beat them. Unlike most similar priced jungle boots such as chinese knockoffs of Altama ripple sole, which I have seen come apart after a few uses.
I would recommend adding some cushioning inserts to them though, they don't come with much.
MTA: and if I had scrolled down on Frenchie's post there they are... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
You can always try these . They are boots and are made for the Jungle. I had some in the army, and they are comfortable, but I never used them in the jungle. I am sure there are lighter options out there. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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