Boots for South Africa

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Tom89

Tenderfoot
Jul 23, 2013
73
0
England
Hi, I'm going to South Africa in April and I'm not sure what type of boots to get. It will be winter there which can actually get very cold, especially mornings, evenings and nights but can also get quite warm in the day. Would "normal" boots be best or desert type boots?
Cheers
 

bopdude

Full Member
Feb 19, 2013
2,896
156
55
Stockton on Tees
It really depends on where your going and what you'll be doing, by this I mean you can hit water, snow, heat and cold, a bit more info needed please.
 

Tom89

Tenderfoot
Jul 23, 2013
73
0
England
I'll be going to a place near the Kruger national park. I'll be helping with a conservation team so I'll be spending 16 days at a time in the bush dismantling snares etc. I probably will have to cross streams and rivers and it might rain too being winter. Due to the company I'm doing it with they need to be of a military style boot so I'm thinking of the altberg boots as a lot of people have praised them. However like I said I'm not sure if their general purpose warrior boot or there desert boot will be more appropriate.
 
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
As folks have said it is a big place with many different environments, I took a pair of meindl boots down there and never used them, even on the cold early mornings I wore all terrain sandals.

I was in the 'bush' flat, scrub land with lots of spiky plants and trees, lots of insects, snakes etc. that would sting or bite too, something to bear in mind. It was just more comfortable to wear sandals.

If I'd been smart I would have flown with sandals and bought my boots down there if I felt I needed them.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,811
1,284
63
Pembrokeshire
Which part are you going too?
The conditions vary a lot from the Drakensberg to St Lucia to Clan William...
When I was in St Lucia in the depth of the SA winter the weather and temps were like a Welsh summer but with less rain.
My "go to" boots were military style desert boots.
We were trekking through a lot of sand, lots of coarse scrub and grass that was like mini razors!
The desert boots (I forget the make but they were Spanish) stood up to it all very well.
I love Altberg boots and I would think that their desert boots would be ideal - you will be closer to the equator than I was and closer to their summer than I was :)
Have a great time :)
As a side note - 2006 and 2008 the game guards were still using a mix of Kalashnikovs and Lee Enfield WW2 vintage 303s ... I wonder if they have better kit now....
 

bopdude

Full Member
Feb 19, 2013
2,896
156
55
Stockton on Tees
Given your location and the fact that you won't have acclimatized, it will still feel warm / hot, ( mornings/ evenings cooler? ) I wouldn't ( didn't ) do any better than a pair of HighTech boots, yep, the make is vastly different out there and last for years through rain or shine, or did, I wore mine 24/7 work and pleasure. with the exchange rate as good as it is, I would say wait until you get there, see what you need at the time, if your going over boot height often then a pair of sandals ?
 

para106

Full Member
Jul 24, 2009
701
8
64
scotland
The Merrell Moab jobs are pretty good, Light & very comfortable. I wore a pair in Nepal just about all the time for trekking & general mooching around Kathmandu. I got Goretex version & had no trouble with sweaty feet - a squirt of talc in them at night & they were fine.
 
I always wear Veldskoen in the Kruger.
This was in September close to Skukuza

You could wear some of the Hi Tech type boots they are light and dry out quick should they get wet, dont worry about extreme temps, nothing like the UK even in winter. This pic at the Stevenson Hamilton plaques.
 

topknot

Maker
Jun 26, 2006
1,825
1
55
bristol
Get yourself some boots made from seal skin , like the one's ray wears. There are cheap as chip in SA.

Topknot
 

troutman

Nomad
May 14, 2012
264
3
North East (UK)
Just out of interest, why does the company that you will be with require military style boots? I'm guessing it's to match the rangers? Surely their kit and everything else will distinguish them from you?

I'd go +1 on merrell Moab ventilators with gore tex. Not military styling, but tough suede and synthetic, vibram sole and they have seen me fine through fluctuating temps in South America and across Africa. Your sock choice is equally important so go for wool that will regulate heat well. I prefer smartwool socks.
 

bullterrier

Forager
Feb 4, 2011
129
0
NZ
Decent veldskoen. You need boots or shoes that will resist acacia thorns which will rip through most soles. Yes lots of people are happy with Teva type sandals but it's not pretty seeing a big thorn go through a toe! Courteney boots are great, and Rogues aren't bad either, but they have really wide fittings and may not fit you. I would also suggest that the Rogue "desert boot" available from Woodlore has a sole that is too thin for that part of Africa. OK for lots of Namibia, but less so as a bush work boot. Boots like those are all leather apart from the sole so there's less of a stink when you peel your boots off. I like Altbergs but the Cordura panels won't protect against thorns.
I would suggest trying on a pair of Rogues in UK and go from there....