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Footwear

John

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What kind of footwear do people generally use when chasing salamanders? I've got some old boots and some hiking boots for dry areas, but I have found myself squelching around in water-logged fields and muddy edges of ditches lately and I needed another option.

I considered getting some wellingtons but decided to compromise on these pull-ons. They're very comfortable and they seem to be sufficient for everything except (obviously) wading into a stream, ditch, or a pond.

More thoughts appreciated.
 

freves

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Hi John,
I use Teva brand sandles for most of my local treking around. They stay on when strapped, are easily washed in a stream or pond (along with my feet), and dry out quickly. The biggest disadvantage IMO is the fact that most of the skin is exposed to biting invertebrates, poisonous plants, etc. Still however I am more comfortable in sandals than (as you mentioned) squishy boots. I have some North Face brand hiking shoes that I use for longer (and usually drier) hikes.
Chip
 

tonymontanaflows

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for the deeper stuff i wear a 14inch high rubber boot i bought almost 10 years ago that has lasted me through hiking, camping, dirtbiking, herping. the sole and heel have held up really well and has a easily to remove/washable liner. it's more a a cold weather boot because of the liner and thickness of rubber, but i never felt too hot wearing them in the summer and there where surprisingly flexable..... i climbed a fence with them on more than on occasion

i bought it from http://www.sportsmansguide.com/ magazine for around $30 way back then.
 

Mark

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Be a real man and wear flip-flops :D.

I like Teva sandals too, although I try not to wear anything too expensive when standing in a boggy pond. I may try a pair of Crocs on my next adventure. They're 100% plastic, light, cheap and give lots of protection. If the weather is warm you can’t go wrong with a pair of flip-flops stashed in your backpack. Nothing beats the feeling of pond sludge in between your toes – and when they fall off they float!
 

carpy

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i use my army boots, which work great. the 2 i use are:

magnum elite gtx 900
hanwag gtx combat boot.

the latter is great all rounder, because it is extremely comfy, and so allows for long treks, without so much as a blister. however, they are expensive (£90 and £150 respectively) and only allow for shallow ponds. however, i use them as walking boots as well as for army uses, so it suite me well.

they will be my boots for my costa rica field expedition, so will let you know how they fared!

Alex
 

Kaysie

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I'm a big fan of flip flops in the muck. Cheap, lightweight, and like Mark said, they float! I've been tempted to try those plastic shoes everyone wears with the strap in the back, as they look like they may stay put a little better. Of course, these provide no protection from biting insects or leeches. But leeches build character! I couldn't imagine wearing Tevas out in the field. They're just so darn expensive! I'd probably rip one 10 minutes in. I have a pair of Garmont boots with Vibram soles that I wear for dryer treks.
 

freves

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I cannot remember the exact style of the Tevas that I wear for mucking around but I have had them for over 5 years now and they are still holding up great. I like them better than flip flops because they stay on my feet and don't get swept WAY down stream (or river). Also, I think that they are better for walking over slippery rocks in swift currents. I invested in them after I got tired of losing flip flops.
Chip
 

i_love_necturus

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I just wear a pair of crummy DCs. They hold up nicely. They arn't for climbing though because the treds arn't good.
 

John

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I think I'm going to get a pair of snake-proof waterproof wellington style boots. My problem is getting a pair that fit my fat calves.
 

tupinambis

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I personally CANNOT STAND Tevas. There are two major drawbacks in my opinion, the first being the infamous Teva-stink. Wear them long enough, get them wet, and before long your feet wind up stinking like you've been running through rotting carcasses. Try as you might to wash them and keep them clean, Teva-stink seems inevitable. Lots of people are oblivious to this, but most of my fellow biologists agree that they sure do wind up smelling bad, really bad. Second, they might hold up to light hiking, pond wading and such, but as I found out while running around Adolpho Duecke reserve in the Amazon, in serious muck they become a serious headache and don't stay on worth ****. No matter how I tried adjusting the straps, the mud worked in them, the moisture stretched them, and they were soon slopping around my ankles and the soles were not staying on the bottom of my feet. Gave up and went bare foot, took my chances.

I've since found footwear that I swear by. The Salomon Tech Amphibians are designed for amphibious endeavours. They are built with drainage in mind, have Agion anti-microbial impregnated materials to combat smell and fungus, they have a collapsible heel so that they can be worn as either a shoe or like a slipper, the heel adjusts very well to hold your foot, and the sole is designed to get good grip on wet surfaces. They dry out fast, and due to the mesh tops are very comfortable in hot weather. Toss in some neoprene socks and they are good for cold water.
 

John

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Are you trying to be funny Sam?
 

eldaldo

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I wear an old pair of converse all-stars and thick wool socks for swamp and river crossing. it is a huge mess and doesn't dry very quickly, but hey, it's cheap. Also protects against poison ivy and biting things. Depending on the quality and thickness of the sock and how careful I am I can often come out with mostly dry socks. I once hiked in a foot of snow in converse and thick socks for 4 hours before my socks started to get wet, and since it is wool it still retains heat. I usually have several extra pairs of socks when I go hiking to change into when I put my hiking boots back on. if you hang the wet socks from your pack then they dry out quickly (so long as it's not raining haha). As you can probably see, socks are my biggest concern when it comes to footwear, it's kind of ridiculous I know.
 

lilsoul

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I wear hip waders because there are a lot of snakes and a lot of soft mud where im at and they work well
 

lims

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helo john, yea only trying, maybe i was nearly funny this time, but the idea has occured to me before, sticking my whole head in a pond
 

JWERNER

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That comment can go both ways:D. There is a small man made waterfall near where I live that people used to love swimming in, we always used to bring goggles to check out what fish were swimming in the current and play in the air pockets.
 

Ed

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I usually wear an old pair of sneakers and keep a dry pair and an old towel back in the car....


Ed
 

lims

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What about those big rubber pance that fly fishermen wear, like wellington boot dungereez, I have thought about them before too, you could really get into the water up to your waist in them..
 

Bellabelloo

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I used to always go bare footed, even in the depths of an english winter until too many people commented. the worst injury was from a starving hoard of horse leaches.I survived and so did they. This year I kitted the cherubs in crocs and they merrily scampered across deadly rocks around the coast of Wales in and out of rock pools, over slippery rocks etc. and even climbed Snowden so now i'll get myself a pair for when I get the overwhelming urge to potter ina pond
 
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