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'¦at least a little. 4) This one eliminates the previous three. Just put in some O.T. and buy the Kenetreks.


Recommended for You

Here are our top choices for hunting this fall! Guns

Top Precision Rifles for Hunting in 2019

Joseph Von Benedikt - April 22, 2019

Here are our top choices for hunting this fall!

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.

Boost antler growth on your deer property with these food plot tricks. How-To

How to Supplement Antler Growth with Food Plots

Jeff Johnston

Boost antler growth on your deer property with these food plot tricks.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 10: Snowbound Chamois

Host Brittany Boddington gets more than she bargained for on what turned out to be a grueling, snowbound and extremely physical hunt for chamois in Romania's Carpathian mountains.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 7: Beginner's Luck

Host Kali Parmley takes first-time hunter Danae Hale of CZ-USA to Wyoming for a mule deer hunt. After covering all the basics with Danae, the girls head into the field and what happens next goes way beyond either of their expectations!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the whitetail North America

Top 10 Trophy Whitetail States

Joseph von Benedikt - December 18, 2017

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the...

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use case. Ammo

Is the .308 the Perfect North American Big Game Cartridge?

Richard Mann

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use...

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites. Guns

8 Great Youth Guns Designed for Growing Hunters

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 18, 2016

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites.

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...

We put the best boots for late-season hunting to the test. Here are the results. Clothing

Field Tested: Cold-Weather Boots

Kali Parmley - April 22, 2019

We put the best boots for late-season hunting to the test. Here are the results.

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.