I was talking to some hill walkers at work and we were discussing the different boots we use. I thought it would be interesting to see what people use. You can select all the items of footwear you use for SOTA activations.
Back in the day we used to joke in the climbing club about “Dr Scholls climbing sandals” as so many members wore flip flops in the evening as their feet recovered from a day being confined to PA’s (very VERY tight high friction smooth soled climbing boots.) One member actually glued Vibram Montana soles on a pair of wooden flip flops, but they were rubbish for bouldering!
One parameter not discussed is stiffness. For higher mountains or winter outings many of us used to wear “half plate” boots which had a metal plate in the sole making the boots practicable for wearing the more bendy crampons. If real ice work was expected then “full plate” was preferred. These were so stiff that you could stand comfortably with the tip of the boot on a pair of rugosities about the size of a match head projecting from a cliff face!
Put on the right shoe for the weather. In the US Western mountains, there is a wet season and a dry season. In the dry season, you want light, breathable shoes. Even in the US Eastern mountains, a lot of hikers like shoes that breathe and dry out quickly after rains or stream crossings.
Put on the right shoe for the weather.
In Scotland that will be 6 months with waders, 3 months with wellies, a few months wearing good water proof boots and of course there is the odd 2 weeks you can wear sandles - when you go abroad on holiday.
I typically use leather boots. Fabric ones do not stay waterproof for very long. Sometimes a technical training show in summer (e.g. GM/SS-253, Black Hill).
In the ‘other’ category I also use wellingtons; pretty hi-tech versions with a vibram sole for short wet approaches (GM/SS-133, Minch Moor) ; ski boots of three types, downhill (HB/GR-155, Aroser Weisshorn), ski mountaineering (HB/VS-016, Strahlhorn) and cross country skiing (OH/KI-039, Kätkätunturi) ; finally technical rock climbing boots (on GM/SI-002 Sgurr Dearg - Inaccessible Pinnacle and the Old Man of Hoy of course).
I know this is a late post, but thought I’d contribute.
I tend to wear leather boots with a waterproof liner. I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with lined fabric boots that keeps me with leather as a protective layer. On both occasions, the Goretex layer in the fabric boots was pierced by a thorn: making the boot useless immediately. I’ve not had that with the two pairs of Meindl Bhutans I’ve had over the past eight years; or the heavier Scarpa Mantas I use for proper mountain work. The Mantas are not lined but with thick leather they are absolutely waterproof IME.
At the other extreme, I wore Teva sandals when I activated SV/AG-021 in the middle of summer. They’re very comfortable and give plenty of support once they are adjusted properly.