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Crocks for Abel Tasman Posted by: Tramper 13 Apr 2010 10:23am

This track is so hard underfoot and has access to beaches and mud estuary crossings. I would recommend crocks or their cheap equivalents. They are excellent backups for blisters with less forgiving boots on most great walk tracks in summer and make good hut shoes. They dry quickly and weigh next to nothing.

Some free advice Posted by: Tramper 11 Oct 2009 3:21pm

If you are only tramping “Great walks” in summer you do not need expensive, inflexible, heavy, hard to wear in boots designed for alpine use. Remember kids under 18 are free now on Great Walks. But expensive boots take all the fun out of life. These tracks are so good even sneakers can be comfortable. The advice doesn’t mention this! My advice is for you not the seasoned trampers who go out all year in the back country hut tracks.
Check out a boot before the sales start and take your time. This is so critical. Remember leather gives and feet swell in summer. Comfort is more important than longevity imo. Your feet will remind you every night of this on the track! Two pairs of $200 boots will generally last longer than one pair of $400 boots if they do the job anyway but they are often more flexible and comfortable if well designed. Some $400 boots can be $300 in the sales. So determine what you need them for. If you are in the snow a lot you need leather imo. Otherwise synthetic leather combos are fine. They take little wearing in and are lighter. That means less pain right! But they let in water, which encourages blisters. If you are tramping in warm weather and getting your feet wet all day it seems silly to wear waterproof boots. If you want an all-purpose boot choose lightweight leather for all bar serious alpine tramping with a flexible sole can be bought for under $200 in sales. 600g boots are better than 1000g ones uphill. Whys that! Your mate in the lightweight pair won’t be puffing so hard. Can you flex the sole? If not it will be your ankles that have to flex. Hard leather boots with rigid soles are tough on your feet. Does its Achilles’ padding feel soft and flex? If not you will be crippled when going down hill by the next day and hobbling. Feel inside for rough protrusions. There should not be any! Your anklebones need soft leather or padding. Feel it. Full leather can have you hobbling if they get bruised. Use top quality wicking socks designed for the temperature with thicker padding under the heal. Summer weight for summer dummy. Sweating causes blisters. Wet socks cause blisters. Always prevent blisters with tape on heals and toes. Tape can protect ill fitting boots from causing your nails to come off. It lasts for days even when washing. Better to rub the plaster tape than your skin right! It works but it took me 30 years odd to realise this must be used all the time. Even expensive boots cause blisters usually more if not worn in! Do not expect your sock liner to last. Buy better ones especially if carrying heavy loads. If you are you are a sucker and your feet will remind you as well. You need to lace boots firmly to prevent sliding to the toe and wrecking your toenails on downhills. See tips for good advice. Never keep your boots dry when crossing a stream by taking them off. You paid big $ to protect your feet. Synthetic drain well. Full leather trap the water! So why the advice about keeping the water out! Dry feet don’t swell up and blister. Some trampers swear by Vaseline around toes. Waterproofs them. Tramping is a compromise! To maintain a leather boot ie save your $ for that expensive goretex parka, never put you boots out in the sun to dry or close to a heater or stove in a hut. The glues melt and you soles fall off. Happens a lot with sub $100 boots but eventually to expensive one too. Usually you see the “best” boots drying on the stove and they can afford them! Commonsense is cheap. Boots are not. Dry the inner sock liner each night and tip your boots upside down to drain unless you are a tough barstard. Do not lose the liners. Every bone in your feet will remind you if you do! Sneak them inside when dry to stay warm for the next morning. Dry newspaper works a treat stuffed in your boots but they’ll curse you unless you have some rubber strips to light the fire. Frozen damp boots are worse than warm damp boots. Remember the first stream will be an equaliser and the sucker who dried his boots, cracking the leather and melting the glues is just like you now. So if you want to buy full leather remember the advice on wearing them in otherwise they wear you in! Never forget your tape for heals especially when wearing in new boots. Wash off all the mud at the last stream. Best drying is over a dehumidifier for a short time at home not in the sun. Then wax to maintain the suppleness. Finally take a pair of adjustable “crocks” style slip-ons. Superb to ease the pain inside the hut and on the way to the loo and if those boots wear your feet in they actually aren’t too bad as a backup and weigh next to nothing. Remember some gaiters/ puttees to keep the crud and stones out and keep your socks cleaner in the mud. Before you tramp wax up the boots unless goretex ones and they will stay drier and feel warmer. Likewise overtrousers will keep your boots drier. Water runs down your legs right!

Goretex parkas need to be washed in clean water in the washing machine to remove body oils and dirt blocking the pores then revived in the tumble drier which respreads the proofing chemical. The mild heat is necessary. Washing alone is not sufficient and wasn’t mentioned. Eventually you need to buy a reviver as well. Best sprayed on the outside as a wash lines the inner side as well which is OK if you don’t want the goretex to work as well! Remember warm and wet is better than dry and cold so invest in some layers of polyprop or if you want to impress the opposite sex since you have “saved heaps” on the boots, merino wool seems to neutralise the BO stink. Costs a mint though but you won’t smell like a polecat well not for a few days. Good tramping and remember don’t wear you boots inside the hut unless clean as new and dry. Use the crocks.