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Sarge

Warm boots ??

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Ok , I guess age/wear/abuse has finally started catching up with me - not in a good way , either . Two years ago I worked a job in late fall and we had a cold snap - temps below 20*F and high winds and wind chills in the -30*F range , got frost bite on both feet but no loss of toes or anything like that , just some damage and permanent effects are left from it now . Since my legs got damaged in a work accident in '06 the lower half just can't seem to stay warm - being outside in weather below 30*F has to be kept very short or I start losing a lot of skin off both feet and can't let that keep happening . I can rotate gloves out enough to usually keep my hands working but my old Rocky boots just aren't cutting it anymore despite their 1200 gram of insulation - they are good for about 30 minutes tops .

 

I need a new pair of boots that will keep my feet warm and not transmit the cold - have bought 3 pair so far and no luck with one pair being worse than my old ones that are 11yrs old now ..any ideas ? I've thought about just getting an older surplus pair of Mukluks or even the Mickey mouse boots , but not sure if they would actually do the job . Some of the newer ski boots are suppose to be great but they have a price tag to match . I need something durable enough to work outside and when I'm on the tractor sitting still plowing snow - no cab either . It gets very windy here at times in the winter and that's the real problem - I have arctic level coats and such but when it comes to boots I haven't kept up with what's good and what isn't...?

 

Need the opinion of someone that is older with poor circulation (such as the dual leg injuries) - when I was young I could get away with steel toed boots in extreme cold , those days are gone . I'd prefer something light enough to drive a vehicle and not get in the way of the pedals but it's not a deal breaker . They have to be warm , fast drying and rated to at least -30*F . Another requirement is sizes that are EEE wide and easy on/off - the damage to my toes means they require no pressure on them or the skin starts falling off again ...not wanting that anymore, lol .

 

Sarge

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I almost bought a pair - until I read the back of the package and they use 9v batteries which have about zero storage capacity . A lithium ion pack would work far better . Still need boots , the Rocky's are getting cracked from the year they were new when I got hurt - they were immersed in drilling mud most of the time and age has gotten the better of them . Been trying to research but there are so many sponsored reviews on products it's tough to get an honest opinion these days...especially on sites like Amazon and such .

 

Sarge

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Sarge, I had a pair of Columbia brand that were purchased maybe 12 years ago? I don't use them every single day but I just threw them away a few days ago.

They had a very large base footprint and may have been a little difficult to drive in. But my feet were always warm.

Those were purchased from an industrial supply store up in the Northeast here called labonville.

My fingers and toes are very very difficult to keep warm and that was my only really good pair of boots. I would recommend those to pretty much anybody.

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As a union laborer out of Danville and  Local 703 in Champaign,Il, I swore by Rocky Boots.   The Rocky Snow Stalkers I used prior to retiring in 2008 did me quite well on the job, and in down times plowing or shoveling snow. They had a thick booty , warm as can be. I always treated any leather on the outside with SnoSeal.

I used the Original Stalkers during warmer weather during work times. 

 

I'm unsure if you can even get the Snow Stalkers any more. At that time all Rocky's were made in the USA in your sate ,. Nelsonville, Ohio if I remember correctly. William Brooks shoe or boot Co

 

Good luck in finding what you need.

.

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Pretty close to what I had back then. They have improved upon the style of it. For I had to order about a size 1/2 larger because of the booty. 

 

Price sure has come down on them also.  Mine were something like 169 or so . Thanks Craig.

Edited by jackhammer
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Search "Rocky boots" there...

:blink:  wow...some selection.   

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The mickey mouse boots will definitely do it, if we are talking about the same thing. Military cold weather gear? If so, they will keep your feet warm with water inside. But they are almost impossible to drive in

 

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I'll second the opinion on the Mickey Mouse boots, I've had good luck keeping my feet warm in them. And other people haven't .

But, they are my go to foot wear when it gets cold, nothing else seems to work for me, and the prices are usually fairly reasonable.

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My 25 year old Sorels are still going strong. Super warm and stable snow and ice. Replace the wool inserts very 5 years or so...

 

I echo what others have said about warming foot beds. Get the rechargeable kind if you go that route. Was a ski patroller for 26 years and a lot of people swore by them... Super easy to use and only a minute or two of juice to cook your feet...They are pricey though...

 

:twocents-02cents:

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3 hours ago, Sarge said:

.... Two years ago I worked a job in late fall and we had a cold snap - temps below 20*F and high winds and wind chills in the -30*F range , got frost bite on both feet but no loss of toes or anything like that , just some damage and permanent effects are left from it.....

 

.....Need the opinion of someone that is older with poor circulation....

Sarge, 

 

that sucks.   

 

I don’t have exactly the same problem, but I also have some frostbite damage on my toes too and can relate.   My toes go from being cold to painfully cold even in my living room if I don’t wear shoes or slippers in the house.   I’m screwed when I go outside if I’m not moving.  

 

Most days in the office my feet are freezing.   I take off my shoes and my toes are white.   White white.  

 

And I’m only 42.  

 

Anyway....

 

In cases like yours (mine too, butprobably to a lesser extent) there just isn’t enough blood circulation in the toes to carry enough heat down there to stay warm.   The best boots in the world won’t fix that, although you do still need them for insulation.  

 

You need to add actual heat.   Either electric socks or disposable heat packs are your answer inside your new boots.  

 

I use use the heat packs and tape them to my socks before cramming my foot in my boot.  

 

Also, if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the  doctor, get your blood pressure and blood sugar checked.   Both can cause issues in extremities and compound your problems. 

 

Good luck!

 

steve. 

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@Sarge look at onlinebootstore.com thoroughgood brand insulated. I wear the non insulated most of the year and the insulated if the temp is below 30.  Very durable, lightweight and made in USA. I have the same problem with my feet. Partly from frostbite and mostly from bad circulation because of diabetes. 

Jay

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Lots of good advice here...I too have trouble with poor circulation in my left foot from my car accident a few years back...on super cold days it gets to the point that my foot hurts bad enough it makes me cringe to push the clutch in my truck. I've been looking for something as well without much luck...I also need something more of this style with steel toe as I can't hardly put a regular boot on due to my foot being about 90% paralyzed from losing so much muscle. On really cold days I've got a pair of these that are 3 sizes to big...I later on three pairs of socks...helps some but not much 

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IMO:  I feel it is the socks that keep in what warmth you have & generate, usually its layers of socks that do the trick.  

I also have had frozen feet from in my 20's, and they are always cold, but there are things we can do to help reduce the pain/cold.

First, next to your skin you want something that wicks away moisture, then a thick sock with lots of air pockets in it to insulate (like wool) -- the shoe itself kinda of seals in the whole foot with its own generated heat, and the shoe then protects and keeps the water/cold out.    For me, regular work socks plus  'Carhart' thermo socks ($7) does the trick.  

••••  The big 'Micky Mouse' shoes are very warm with kinda a built-in sock insulation, but they are so big & clumsy.  Shoes with thick built-in insulation are all just big and heavy.

****  What we eat & drink is also a factor in keeping warm (Google),  as are some meds we may take,  plus what clothes we wear on the rest of our body to conserve our own heat.  

Most of our body heat loss in via the Head, 50%, --  then the neck-shoulder area --- dressing up our body is important for the cold weather (in layers) to help our own body head get way down to the feet.

Glen

 

 

 

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Glen has beat me to it. I do new construction plumbing,30+ years and am normally standing on a ladder and spend a lot of time on cold concrete. I have found over the years that good socks make a HUGE diffrence. Wool socks the more wool the better and the thicker the better. I normally wear a Cabelas wool sock thats .25 thick about 85-90% wool. I also have summer and winter boots. The winter boots are always water proof with some kind of liner like gore-tex or similar and some light insulation. Also get boots at least 1\2 to 1 whole size bigger than normal. Just like insulating a house. You need to have dead air space around your foot. This fluffy sock and large boot helps make that insulating air space.

 

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@GlenPettit - Well said !!

As hikers we pay close attention to your formula, and as well because I work outdoors.

The body as a whole must be kept temperature regulated. Notice I didn't write "warm".

A challenge to me is I'm a bit of a polar bear over most of me with not-so-great circulation at the extremities. I understand all too well the cold toe crap.

 

@Sarge, I think the best advice I could offer is to take ALL the boot and multi-sock recommendations from this post and put them in play.

As I get a little older I have to Learn to feel cold. Sounds a bit stupid but when I get to workin' or putterin around or hiking... I don't often Think I'm cold until I realize I'm straight up froze.

One of the primary indicators of frost bite is pain level. If you're warm, no pain... Getting cold, some pain increasing as you get colder. When you have no pain again - You're Too Cold.

Unfortunately that "scale" does not apply to injuries or a lot of medical considerations.

 

Put some thought into what has worked for you and experiment as needed... and be safe about it.

 

And as stated somewhere above... please keep us informed and share what works.

 

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Yeah - I may know a thing or two about working outdoors and using layers to keep warm , I'm a Laborer and with all the health issues I get stuck most times just being a flagger out on the roads . Spend a lot of time out on the State and Federal highway system standing for long hours in whatever weather - even in the winter . Working with a moving project such as paving or rocking shoulders is far better than being planted in one spot for 14+hrs - those are the worst days , especially out on the Interstate - there is nothing to stop the winds . All jobs we're required to wear safety shoes , no matter what you're doing - steel boots don't work well in the winter and the newer composite ones are about 50% higher in cost and just about as cold . I've avoided doing any real outside winter work the last 2yrs - at the point I'm going to start losing digits and that's where I draw the line - the younger ones can do that work and I'll stay home , we do have a choice but it comes with a cost at times .

 

Keeping your feet dry is the key - but it's tough when you're moving around even a little and the old Rocky boots are shot . I've looked at some of the higher end breathing channel type snowmobile boots - some of our members wear them but the $300+ price tag is pretty tough to swallow in the winter when I'm off work . Glen hit it on the head - socks are more important than most folks would think and I do use wool blended ones that have helped some . Went out last night and plowed the 4.5" we got from this last storm and had to wear the Rocky boots again - took 3hrs to get it all done and by the time I got in and jumped in the shower I had to use nearly straight cold water from the pain in my feet . All the toes turned a weird red/gray color again and that indicates dying tissue - as well as 4 of my fingers . Doc said some of my medication is a factor as those sulfa based meds can do that to some people - so far we've never found an alternative that works without too many side effects . I hate the medical system and how they can never seem to truly fix anything - just treat it .

 

Part of the problem with the old Rocky's is their size - they aren't big nor wide enough and I run into that issue a lot at the stores since they rarely carry EE-EEE wide sizes . I can only get one medium thickness wool sock into the current boots and that could be a big part of it . Yesterday I stopped at our small local surplus store and tried a pair of the USAF Mukluks as well as the Mickey Mouse boots - no liners in stock that would fit but talk about roomy sized boots , lol . Both types are out of consideration - just too bulky and the Mukluks unless treated are not waterproof not to mention without a different foot bed there is no real arch support . I may head out today and hit a couple of the snowmobile dealers and see what they have or can get - really hate to have to order boots as their sizing can vary wildly and they have to fit correctly or they don't work . I would like to try some of the thinner tech socks as a base layer and use the good wool ones for an outer - wicking moisture away is really important and I use liners of that type for gloves often in the cold and carry at least 2 pair to change out during the course of the day to keep my hands dry . Toes I can live without , the damage to my hands is what I'm really trying to avoid since parts of the tissue are starting to show signs of dying every winter . They can turn dead white and stay that way for hours - Doc says it goes any further they will start to rot and have to be removed , screw that - I need 'em . I get almost no warning when my feet are too cold - they are painful almost constantly and without being able to see them I can't tell how bad they are until it's too late .

 

One thing that came to mind last night and not sure why I didn't think of it earlier - the D has metal running boards with nothing on them and that cold metal transmits quite well into your boots . I have some of that diamond plate looking rubber sheet material with an adhesive on the back - going to cut some pads to put on it and help keep that cold from conducting to my feet , it's got to help some . My brother in law brought that up when we talked about keeping warm the other day - he's an Operator and gets stuck on a lot of machines with no cab - they use rubber pads to help insulate their feet away from the heavy cold steel a lot . He also ice fishes and uses foam pads out on the ice - says it makes a difference so I'll give it a shot . Not to mention , those floor boards get pretty slick with snow boots and any ice/snow on the bottoms - I have slipped off trying to get on the old thing a few times . I'm sure it's just getting the right combination of boots/socks and such - but it's getting expensive in a hurry since I have to just put them to work to find out if they are warm enough or not and at that point they can't be returned . Ratings anymore on boots is a joke - they inflate their numbers to the best case side to make sales and nearly all of them in the stores are made in China - even Sorel now ....grrr . Checking out the reviews on them comes with a lot of salt - you don't know their age nor their health status as they rarely ever mention that part . I was hoping for a majic combination that's proven - guess it's wishful thinking since everyone's needs can vary a lot .

 

If I do find a combination that works - I will post it up since I know so many of our members are of "senior age" but still love seat time , even in the winter . I should have taken the 4hr distance trip last year to go after a cab for the D but I'd rather not have one on it personally .

 

Sarge

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@Sarge, my 80 yr old father was stationed in Germany '59-'62 and back then (according to him) in 30-20 below temps to keep their feet safe/warm in standard combat boots was first the thin "dress" socks followed up by wool socks, as he was also an "APC" driver basically a tank with without the cannon and a larger cargo area, Jeff.

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The one thing I've had to keep in mind about the military gear is that it's designed for younger folks that are generally doing high activity - that doesn't work at over 50 and health issues . When I was under 40 before all the damage I regularly wore my steel toe/shank work boots all winter with no problem - those days are long gone . I'm leaning more and more towards heated socks at this point...ouch .

 

Sarge

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8 minutes ago, Sarge said:

The one thing I've had to keep in mind about the military gear is that it's designed for younger folks that are generally doing high activity - that doesn't work at over 50 and health issues . When I was under 40 before all the damage I regularly wore my steel toe/shank work boots all winter with no problem - those days are long gone . I'm leaning more and more towards heated socks at this point...ouch .

 

Sarge



The Mickey Mouse boots are designed for sitting in the snow and waiting for the enemy. But again, they are not the best driving boot

 

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I've always did some work out side and have always had the problem that my feet sweat real easy and then that causes them to get cold especially when getting in and out of my service truck. This winter I took a job working construction as a union pipe fitter. I was talking to some of the guys when I started about cold feet and mentioned my problem, one of them suggested spray on under arm deodorant, so I came home and told the wife to buy me some. It seems to work real well for me. I only wear one semi-heavy sock in Red Wing composite toe boots and so far it's working good for me. This coming week it's not supposed to get above  28 degrees on the warmest day and down into the single digits overnight, then factor in the wind chill. Of coarse I had to pick the coldest winter in several year to work out side all darn winter.

 

I might have to check into see about a boot a couple of sizes to big so I can layer socks up and still fit in, but like the rest of yous money is a factor.... I do have a pair of real nice warm boots that I have worn in the past but they are so heavy I would be worn out in a couple of hours for sure

 

 

 

 

 

 

eric j  

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Yeah - it seems extra room for more sock thickness is a real key and we always did that years ago , but that's when I was younger and in good health . My old pair of Sorels survived the winter of '78/'79 and the 6' of snow we got - spent a lot of time hauling groceries out to rural folks on the back of a snowmobile in temps well below zero at night , every night for 10 days plus shoveling my butt off daily trying to clear out our neighborhood and all the old folks we had . Bet I got 40lbs of fruit cake that year and I hate the stuff still to this day , lol . I've worked outside for the last 30yrs doing construction and I'm pretty much out of options these days - just grasping for ideas and appreciate all the input from you guys - it does help and gives me some avenues to try . It is somewhat about the money - good boots are expensive , my old ones are shot and I have to be able to get out and still do the work - no real choice either . Looking to semi-retire in a couple years and just go inactive in the Union - then go do something else and a local welding shop has been bugging me to come in and help , might just do that if my eyes will hold up .

 

I've gotten stuck working in some utterly ridiculous conditions and the contractors could care less - being out on Interstate 80 at night in January was a great example , -35*F wind chills and an air temp of -10*F out in the open - no one to rotate out either . That was a 14hr shift on an emergency job from the road heaving from the frost and they couldn't even get my paycheck right . Back when I started , the younger guys took the heavy work and let the older members take the "easier" jobs - those days are gone too . Now it's gotten so bad that a lot of the older guys nearly have to ignore the phone calls - the younger crowd doesn't want that heavy work - they want to be in management , that's enough to make you grumpy and rotten in a hurry . Hall rules haven't helped either but that's another subject I'd rather not get into - I'm about done and just trying to survive to the end in one piece if I can at least do that I'll be lucky...

 

Sarge

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talking to the guys on the job, they said in old days us old guy's and especially local guys ended up in the tool rooms and rod rooms now, it's young guys that are travelers. The halls don't seem to care as long as they get their money. I'll stop at that also before I get in trouble. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eric j 

Edited by ericj

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