How To Choose The Right Tactical Boot

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The Choice Of Tactical Boots – A Guide For A Smart Prepper

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The numbers above are the number of joints, bones and muscles in our feet (respectively).
One fourth of ALL the bones in the human body are in the feet. It’s a subtle and delicate equilibrium that can easily be upset. And when it happens it affects every other bone in our bodies.
Any misalignment there starts the chain of events that are disastrous to your bone structure and overall health.  So, the next time you’re engage in a discussion about the most important piece of gear for a bug out plan be the smart one to mention that no number of tactical swords, guns or water purification systems will help you in the wild if your legs can’t get you there.  They won’t like you because nobody likes a smart…, but you’ll be right. One thing that stuck with me from my military days is the saying that there’s only two ways of doing things – right and again. But there are no do-overs in your bug out planning.  This guide is about making sure you get this part right from the get-go.

Why go with tactical boots in the first place?

The answer is pretty straight forward and intuitive – because that’s what they’re designed for.
A good tactical boot will have the ankle support of a hiking or backpacking boot, the flexibility of a trail shoe and the protection of a work boot (they often come with some kind of composite or steel toe protection).

image_2_anatomy_of_a_tactical_bootLet‘s build on that and list some of the specific cases when a good tac boot should definitely be a part of your bug out plan:
– If you have existing ankle problems or you are injury-prone

– If your bug out scenarios include going over rugged terrain

– If the muscles in your legs are not those of an athlete. A good tactical boot will add the support you need.

– If there’s high chance of coming “face-to-face” with some nasty critters (like snakes) and you need the extra protection.

There are boots out there that are specialized for exactly this, just google “snake-proof boots” and you’ll realize why these boots can’t take you very far and why a sturdy tactical boot is your best bug-out bet.
Now that we’ve established why a smart prepper would go with tactical boots in plans, let’s move onto a few simple tips that can be the difference between pampered feet ready for action and blistery hell.

4 Things to think about when choosing the best tactical boot

1. Your Bug out scenarios and the right tactical boot for it
Although it’s the very nature of a tactical boot to be universal, a smart prepper is a practical one that focuses on realistic scenarios and adjusts his plans.  For somebody living in the suburbs of Wyoming a bug out plan is more likely to include facing a straggling sprawl, but for somebody living in the urban maze of a big city the ability to run fast is likely going to be a priority.
There are not mutually exclusive but are also not a given in every tactical boot.
Let’s get specific:
If your bug out scenario is most likely to call for you to be light on your feet and be able to move fast, the best choice is a boot that’s not that sturdy in the ankles and has a flexible sole.  This boot will probably include more synthetic materials like Goretex and will have an EVA sole (Ethylene-vinyl acetate).  Let us stress the EVA sole here – EVA is an unbelievable elastic and yet tough material.  Its tensile elongation is 750%!!!  Tensile elongation is the % of length increase that can occur before the material breaks. It’s not just a number. For you, it should be an indicator of how much “abuse” your boot can take.  If most of your scenarios call for a sturdy boot that might slow you down compared to a light shoe but might also save your life in the process.
This will probably be a boot that feature uppers that are a combination of leather and layered synthetics and a Polyurethane sole (sturdier and offers more protection but harder to move in).

2. Climate and Goretex – when things are not clear-cut (and they seldom are)
It’s easy talking about one scenario or the other and make recommendations based on that. When those general recommendations meet real life situations it’s not as simple.  The two options that I talked about above are just that, options, but the decision will most often have to be a compromise between the two and a result of smart risk assessment.  The boot that you go with in the end will be the one that covers most of your bug out scenarios.  Most people will need a boot that will protect them from both cold and heat, dust and water, potentially toxins.
Image_3_how_goretex_worksIn this no-man’s land your best bet is a waterproof boot with a GTX lining. It will protect you from the elements but will still allow your foot to breathe. No boot is perfect for every scenario, but this kind of tactical boot is as versatile as they get.

3. Your daily routines and the right tactical boot for it
A smart prepper doesn’t just keep a backpack full of goodies somewhere in the basement. He’s aware that when s… hits the fan he might be at work or in the subway. He develops scenarios and adjusts his EDC to the scenarios.
All I want to say is that you know better than to end up like those poor wretches that strolled up and down Manhattan in their Pradas during the 2003 electrical blackout.  If you have work in the city and carry a bag, consider adding a pair of barefoot shoes. They take about as much space as a can of soda and can make all the difference. These will be the shoes that will take you to your main pair of tactical boots in the time of need.  In 2003, it was an electrical blackout, it might not be so benign next time.

4. Good fit of a tactical boot – get it wrong and all the fancy tech talk is moot
This is perhaps the most confusing aspect of choosing the right boot for you. Choosing a good fit with a tactical boot calls for a bit more caution than just trying it on and feeling good about the boot.  Why?  Because if you are choosing a tactical boot for bugging out, none of the potential scenarios will include much of around-the-shop walking.

The 3 tests of a good fit for tactical boots:

Test 1: Slip into the pair without lacing them. Try to insert two fingers between the boot and your heel, the fingers should go smoothly in and out.
Test 2: Lace the boots as you usually would, walk a bit and try a few sudden left-right movements. You should not feel any significant movement of your heel inside. If it slides left and right in the shoe, you’re in for a world of blistery pain once that boot meets the elements.
Test 3: Do a similar test as the one above this time making the sudden movements forwards and backwards and focus on whether you feel the front of the boot touching your toes. It shouldn’t.
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2 Additional Tips before buying your next boots:

Tip 1: Do the shopping in the afternoon and wear the socks that you would wear in a bug out. As the day goes by our feet swell and if you test the fit in the morning, the afternoon might bring a bit of a surprise. And while the change is subtle and this tip sounds like overkill, remember, this might be the boot that saves your life, you want it to fit perfectly.

Tip 2: If you choose to shop online and take your chances with the reviews, don’t just read the reviews that talk about the sizing, read those of people that wear your size. The proportions of the boot might change slightly with sizes…slightly but just enough to ruin the fit.  I can’t stress this enough so I’ll just say it again – when deciding to order your boots based on online reviews, make conclusions about sizing solely based on the reviews of those people that wear your size.

Summing it up

Abe Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
That’s the mindset of a smart prepper. That’s why I went so deep into the nitty-gritty of choosing the right pair of boots for your bug out.  But even if you forget all the tips contained herein or need to come back to this guide before you make your choice one thing that I hope rubbed off and stayed with you is the seriousness invested in the choice.

Stay smart and safe!

The author of this post is James Menta from http://www.Solelabz.Com.  Sole Labz is a great resource for finding out tons of information about your next boot! So check them out!

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