I’m needing some new boots after getting many years good use from my previous pair – and these are currently getting my vote – not cheap at £70-ish, but they do have the “TNF” logo on so that’s always going to involve a premium… but lets get down to basics – what do I need from Canoe-Camp boots? Why this style?
Well Bill Mason said way back that the rubber and hide boot was his preferred boot for canoe-camping expeditions, and I’ve used that style boot for many years and also find them to be better than either full leather ‘hiking boot” style, full rubber ‘wellington’ type boots or other kinds of canoe-shoes such as those made of wet-suit material (definitely not suitable in winter!).
My current pair… working hard around the camp!
The rubber means trapsing around in mud at the waters edge, or an inch of water in your boat, or the inevitable getting in and out won’t be a problem. It provides good ankle support for feet squashed in the bottom of an open canoe where your ankles can get into some pretty weird positions, but also allows some movement. And the hide part above the foot is also very flexible of course, where you need it.
In the past and representing a cheaper alternative, we’ve used these at £30 from Groundworks, not bad for the money, but not very comfortable or supportive when walking, and not really a long-term option – your boots should be your 2 best friends when out and about!
Bill Mason wore his with native American style moccasins inside, pointing out that at the camp you can just throw off the outer, and leave them at the door, and this does sound ideal. More important in extreme cold weather where you need to get your feet out of boots, into the dry and let them breathe more. I don’t have the real need for that route (although it’s sub-zero here in the west country as I write this!) and so the PrimaLoft insulation layer on these boots will do the same job generally – these boots will apparently get you out in up to minus-25 degrees! The other features look useful:
* Fabric: Waterproof Nubuck and Suede combination leather upper / 200g PrimaLoft® Eco (insulation)
* Double-adhesive latex, seam-sealed upper construction
* Dri-Lex fleece collar and tongue lining
* Anatomically engineered, injection-moulded waterproof TPU shell with forefoot flex grooves
* Rustproof hardware
* Gaiter compatible D-ring
* Injection-moulded shank plate
They’re called TNF “Chilkats” and are on sale online at Taunton Leisure currently with 10% off, which is needed frankly – that way you’re not paying quite so much for that sought-after TNF logo!