Flip-Flops Beat Bad Boots

Flip-Flops Beat Bad Boots

While packing for a weekend of scouting I threw a pair of high-budge boots in the truck. I used them on a coyote hunt in Illinois. I'm scouting for elk and I felt wearing them on flat stuff for four full days of hunting would be sufficient to make them usable. It wasn't.


Friday morning we started up a steep trail and then hiked overland to find some lookouts. Even though the labeling indicated the company designed the boots specifically for elk hunting, within .8 miles I was breaking into my first aid kit and applying moleskin to the blister on my left heel and adjusting the laces. At one mile we turned around. Walking further would have put me out of commission in short order.



I spent the rest of Friday and all day Saturday in my flip-flops. I've spent a lot of time in Africa so I know flip-flops can be great mountain shoes for the right guy, but I'm accustomed to boots.


Saturday we tried to make the most of me being bootless so we drove a road that turned out to be exceedingly treacherous. Not wise. We got in deeper than I expected faster than I expected. Had we stuck the truck, I would have hiked out in my flip-flops.


Sunday, I really wanted to explore a valley about six miles off the road. I patched up my left heal, donned my best wool socks, laced the boots very carefully and set out. By the two mile mark my right heal was blistering and I was out of moleskin. I trudged on barefoot another mile then gave up.

As I limped back to the truck, losing an entire day of scouting, I thought a great deal about where I went wrong. I easily could have completed Sunday's hike in sneakers. It was idiotic not to pack them. In my humble opinion having a pair of boots fail me in the mountains is emotionally just below finding my wife in bed with a Canadian. I also couldn't help but daydream about the gorgeous pair of Kenetrek Mountain Extremes sitting lonely on my boot shelf in my basement.

I know there are certain readers who lose their minds when I endorse products on this blog so I'm going to be very clear here. My boss buys my boots. I spend so much time in the mountains making him mountains of money I just send him the receipt. And if I can get him to pay for Kenetrek boots, I can clearly get him to buy me any boot in the world. I'm that good. The point is this; I can have any boot in the world, therefore, I'm objective.

I tape mountain hunts for Petersen's Hunting TV. My resume includies B.C. mountain goat, Bezoar ibex, Gredos ibex, not even naming the easy, boring ibex, Carpathian chamois, Pyrenean chamois, desert bighorn, mule deer and lots and lots of elk. There is only one boot that I stuff in my duffel with complete confidence and that's the Kenetrek. As a side note, when I first received my Kenetreks I cheated on the break in miles prior to a chamois hunt. Guess what? I taped that hunt comfy and blister free.

My Ghandiesque hike down the stony path allowed me to meditate on a few things. 1) If you're coming out West, go cheap on your rifle or optics before your boots. You may or may not shoot. You will hike. 2) Scouting is about learning the turf, but also about working out the kinks before the starting shot is fired on opening day. I'm grateful I figured this boot fail out in June rather than on October 20th. 3) If it's your first time out in the Mountain West or you're trying any new tricks, throw every viable piece of footwear you own in a duffle. You may be surprised what works. My flip-flops kept me in the game'┬Žat least a little. 4) This one eliminates the previous three. Just put in some O.T. and buy the Kenetreks.

Recommended for You

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians. News

The Ticks Making Hunters Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians.

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention SHOT Show

HUNTING's Booth Babes of SHOT Show 2014

David Draper - January 21, 2014

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention

Craig Boddington picks his top five over-the-counter hunts to add to your bucket list. Adventure

5 Bucket List DIY Hunts

Craig Boddington

Craig Boddington picks his top five over-the-counter hunts to add to your bucket list.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 9: Aloha Axis Deer

Host Mike Schoby joins his buddies Jon Dubin and Jeff Johnston on the island of Lanai for a deer hunt Hawaiian style!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 13: Forest Buffalo

Craig Boddington returns to Mozambique's fame Coutada 10 for a shot a forest buffalo that's eluded him for 10 years.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 8: Midnight Sun Grizzlies

Kevin Steele and CZ-USA's Jason Morton return to Alaska's arctic tundra for Kevin's second and Jason's third attempt on the legendary species. Things are looking up on day one but time will tell if the boys will get a shot a the king of the tundra.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great black North America

Best States To Hunt For Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great...

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can make a last-minute mule deer hunt. North America

5 Great Last-Minute Public-land Hunts

Joseph von Benedikt

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can make a last-minute mule deer hunt.

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

See More Stories

More Clothing

When most people think of Under Armour they think of clothes, but now there is also an entire Clothing

VIDEO: Under Armour Footwear Line

Melissa Bachman - January 15, 2012

When most people think of Under Armour they think of clothes, but now there is also an entire





Realtree was at the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas to introduce its newest camo pattern, the Max 1 Clothing

Introducing the Realtree Max 1 XT Camo Pattern

PH Online Editors - January 21, 2015

Realtree was at the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas to introduce its newest camo pattern, the...

It was a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice. The eight-page legal document submitted in U.S. Clothing

The Great Debate: Does Carbon Clothing Work?

Ben OBrien - May 28, 2013

It was a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice. The eight-page legal document submitted in...

See More Clothing

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×