prepper shoes

Think on your FEET! A Prepper’s Guide To Shoes and Feet…

In Bugging Out, Preparedness by M.D. Creekmore5 Comments

prepper shoes

by Arthur X

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt

As preppers, we have to prepare ahead. We have to look ahead and notice any potential problems and deal with those problems. Foot problems are one such area. That is my goal today, to have you merely recognize your feet for the next few minutes. This is about taking care of your FEET now, not later, and some downright simple solutions that will keep you walking for the long haul. Read along and learn how to save your feet for only $20.

First, two questions:

Have you ever had a pair of shoes that really hurt your feet but you wore them anyway?

Have you ever worn a pair of shoes until they have literally fallen apart?

I’m definitely guilty here

Do I have feet problems?

No, I do not. I think mainly because I have been proactive with my feet. If my shoes wore out, I would immediately buy a new pair of shoes. Wearing insoles is a way of life for me and I don’t own a pair of shoes without them.

When I was younger I wasn’t so lucky and developed some calluses from not wearing good shoes. Nothing too serious or needing any type of surgery. However, I learned from my mistakes and I am sharing my own personal experience. Let’s talk about some solutions!

Been there done that!

Have you ever been to your local store and visited the foot section? Most of us probably have. And it has grown over the years to very big business. That is good news because preppers have options that make our life easier. What’s the best product, field-tested? 

Gel or Foam?

Personally I do not like gel insoles, for example, Dr. Scholls. I have tried many brands. But the ones I have tried, I didn’t like. They do seem to be durable and have quality standards; however, I could not find a comfortable pair of gel insoles.

I really like foam insoles, such as Sof Sole or New Balance. Personally I use Sof Sole Arch Insoles. Mainly due to my high arch, I also love the cushion and support.

Sof Soles are a type of latex or composite foam material. They hold up extremely well, are worth the money, and offer outstanding protection. The foam tends to hold heat a little, and I have noticed this with foam insoles. This can be a benefit or a weakness. If you live in a cold climate they will generally offer a little more warmth.

In a hot climate that can make your feet sweat a little more. This usually is not a problem considering the manufactures usually make sport or athletic insoles that will help in this area, only something to consider. In my years of use, heat from Sof Sole insoles has never been a problem. I live in a very hot part of the country.

Very few pairs of shoes that I have bought were comfortable “without” insoles. Very few. Shoes like Air Jordans, New Balance, and higher quality running shoes are the exceptions here. Shoe technology is much better than say, 20 years ago, I can testify to that.

Let’s make it easy

I recommend Sof Sole insoles. Part of the reason is ‘accessibility’. Sof Soles are in every major department store and shoe store. At only, $20 they will not break the bank. I know you are thinking, those insoles are expensive, “I can buy a pair of shoes for $20”! Yes, you can, however what about buying a pair of shoes for $20, AND some quality insoles for $20.

Then, for $40 you have a really comfortable pair of shoes. This isn’t only about comfort. These types of insoles really do lessen the impact of your joints.

Over a period of years, the damage could be significant, especially if you wear really hard sole shoes. You may not feel the pain now, but down the road, you could develop some serious feet problems. And like back problems, feet problems can’t be ignored, they can get much worse.

Orthotics

Custom orthotics are not usually an option for preppers. Mostly because of a cost issue, not anyone can afford a custom pair of orthotics. I’m sure there are some benefits here, however, with new, over-the-shelf products offering such high quality I don’t feel custom orthotics are needed unless you have a foot problem. Then this article is not for you! I’m not a foot doctor only sharing my experience.

There are also heel supports and other store-bought orthotics. I never really liked these because I like more cushioning on my feet. For example, if you work on concrete floors for 8 hours a day, you are going to need a lot of support and a really good pair of shoes. If not, your feet will be hurting.

Tips for Happy Feet

Don’t remove the insoles that come with your shoes

Merely put the Sof Soles on top of the insoles already in your shoes. This will give you more support. It may make your shoes wear a little tighter, adjust your shoes, or shoe size accordingly.

Buy new shoes

If you have no tread or your shoes are torn etc., go buy a new pair of shoes. Shoes are so cheap nowadays there is no reason not to buy a new pair of shoes. Even if they are not the highest quality, buy a new pair. Insoles can help those shoes feel and perform much better.

Quality not quantity

In essence, this is what I’m saying. Not everyone can purchase a $120 pair of New Balance running shoes, or Air Jordan’s. As a solution, find shoes on clearance for $40, then purchase a pair of insoles for $20. For $60 you have a really comfortable pair of shoes. And your insoles should outlast your shoes, so you’re only helping yourself here. If you can afford those high-quality shoes, by all means, wear them!

Shop on the cheap

Big stores like Kohls, Kmart, Walmart, Big 5, eBay, offer shoes at great prices. Many times I will walk into big-box retailers and find shoes for $10.00 on clearance. Shop around, and if you find a good pair of shoes you like, buy two pairs. Why not?

Waterproof your shoes

I can recommend Sof Sole Water Proofer. In most shoe stores you can find leather conditioner and Water Proofer. This stuff isn’t usually cheap, but I do believe it is worth the price. Let me explain.

High-quality boots, Gore-tex or waterproof shoes are usually expensive. Water will kill shoes pretty quickly, especially if you live where it rains a lot. If it rains a lot where you live, you might need boots or a water-proof pair of shoes.

However, if you are like me and wear shoes most of the time, I can save some money and water-proof my own shoes. It will help them last longer and keep your feet drier. If your shoes are wet a lot, you might NOT notice the wear on your shoes on a daily basis; however, over time water is a real threat to your shoes. It breaks apart the glue in shoes and wears them down. It basically ages shoes faster than normal.

If you have leather boots or shoes, a leather conditioner is also recommended as it will help your shoes last longer. You can even use olive oil on your leather shoes or boots.

Be a lightweight, not a heavyweight

Shoe weight is important to me. For example, have you ever worn a pair of steel toe boots? They are heavy! Alternatively, you could buy a pair of steel toes shoes and cut the weight in half. Your feet will thank you later. For example, Nike Men’s Manoa Leather Boots are extremely lightweight for a boot. I own a pair and they are very comfortable for a boot. I do wear them with Sof Sole insoles because they didn’t come with any good support.

Reflexology

Reflexology might be an option if you have feet problems. Very therapeutic and you might be able to find a local Groupon deal and save some money

Future Technology

D30

D30 is a company that created a unique shock-absorbing material. They have been in business for a number of years. They became well known by their snowboarding gear, where you can literally get smacked in the head with a shovel!

Products made with their material in them are starting to become more widely available, helmets, jackets, gloves, etc. I have not had the opportunity to try out their new line of insoles at this time. I could only find their comfort insoles for sale on the internet. I’m really looking forward to trying out this new technology. Look for them possibly next year with more insoles on the market.

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Comments

  1. Since I have diabetes and foot issues, I am constantly looking out for dealer on shoes/boots I can wear. It’s time to start looking for new boots for Winter, too.

  2. Thank you for the excellent review of some new products I had no knowledge about. It is very true that much has changed in the shoe industry. I believe really high quality shoes are, however, more difficult to find these days. I slowly watched as manufacturing of several brands I used to sell as a college student in the 70s went offshore and the product quality certainly went into the sewer. I think it still holds true that you get what you pay for. When you are out and about, always scanning for a good buy is a wise practice. I can honestly say I miss the days when we could visit a local salvage store that bought out all manner of retail shops and sold the mechindize at deep discounts. Finding US made 6 inch Herman Survivor boots from $10.00/pair and fully insulated 8 inch Herman boots for $20.00 was a great deal. After most of the size run was sold, the wide sizes (which I required) became a real steal at the aforementioned prices. Those were the days and yes, I felt no quilt purchasing 5 or 6 pairs at a time. I bought everything that fit well.

  3. I get one pair of shoes a year through Medicare as I am a diabetic with mild neuropathy. I also look for work shoes to wear around the homestead. Of course, I wear insoles. Like the recommendations on the insoles and water proofing. My Muck boots never get packed away during summer! Best money I have ever spent on footwear. Think I want to look for some waterproof, lightweight high top boots. Most have been too heavy for me.

  4. Stock up on footwear and also quick-dry pants and shorts. Everything will wear out much faster.

  5. I am a hardcore foot comfort guy. I would say right out of the gate, when you try on a pair of ANY thing, get 2 boxes. The right shoe in one box might not fit like the right shoe in another box thanks to the modern quality of the manufacturing line. Always wear inserts, and always keep that extra set of laces in the glove box or BOB/get home bag. Many uses for some extra laces but by god a torn lace can be devastating!

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