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travel shoe for south america

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to decide on my second pair of shoes to take with me to south america on a 4 month trip. (first pair is chucks, best travel shoe for me). It's come down to either an alden indy style boot, DB's, or chukka's. (searched all the threads on this and that's

 

basically what it boiled down to.) It needs to be:

1. durable (4 months of travel lots of walking, light hiking etc.)

2. good looking with denim and chinos

3. decent in the rain

4. breathable in warm weather i don't want swamp feet if its 65 -70 degrees.

 

  so i've been looking around and have found these options:

 

Clarks desert boot; cheap look pretty good, won't be crushed if they get ruined, but are they durable?

clarkDB.jpg

L.L. Bean buck chukka, same as above

LLBC.gifLLBC.gifLLBean Buck Chukka.jpg

 

 

Alden Indy, seems to be a favorite around these parts, Would it be bad for these to spend a lot of time at the bottom of a back pack? I don't want them to get ruined in 4 months of travel.

alden indy.jpg

 

and as a cheaper alternate to the alden what about this LL bean model? seems like a good deal to me.

Picture-109.png

 

i appreciate any input, what do you guys think?

post #2 of 24
I'd get a cheap pair of leather Clarks desert boots, waterproof them, and enjoy the trip. They're cheaper on shoebuy, lookout for coupons, but they ship slowly. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on Aldens right before a long trip to another country. Save it for food, your rooms, cool souvenirs, and other things you'll find over there.
post #3 of 24
If considering Clarks, try them on first. I bought a pair of Desert Boots and they were the most uncomfortable shoes I've ever owned, got rid of them because I just couldn't wear them comfortably. Others seem to love them though so I must be in the minority.

From your list I would choose Indys I think, but even those may not be my ultimate choice. I think I would select the new J Crew Chippewa boots, of the Chippewa GQ boots. The Chippewas are cheaper and very durable. They also have a nice soft insole, something that many boots don't have. I like non-insole boots for casual wear but for someone doing a lot of walking I think a nice insole is important. It also allows you the option to replace the insole with something softer, stiffer, more supportive, etc. depending upon your own comfort needs. If I had to live in a pair of boots for 4 months straight that is what I would go with I think.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by *#.. View Post

I'd get a cheap pair of leather Clarks desert boots, waterproof them, and enjoy the trip. They're cheaper on shoebuy, lookout for coupons, but they ship slowly. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on Aldens right before a long trip to another country. Save it for food, your rooms, cool souvenirs, and other things you'll find over there.

You would really want to spend 4 months walking in clark's desert boots in a wet, tropical climate?
Sounds like a recipe for discomfort.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a thinner style boot than those Chippewas, they look good but i'd imagine that i would have some serious foot sweat going on in those bad boys. also trying to stay away from the full on boot styling and looking for something slightly more refined.

 

alright Meso, clarks are no good, what would you bring?

 

for reference, last year on an asia/russia/europe 4 month trip i brought one pair of converse and ecco track 2 high tops which were waaayyy too warm, the only place they really worked was in Russia and even then i'd hit a museum and my feet sweat so badly you could see it come through the leather! not a look i'm trying to repeat. but they were awesome walking shoes when i was outside.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fullycaffed View Post

I'm looking for a thinner style boot than those Chippewas, they look good but i'd imagine that i would have some serious foot sweat going on in those bad boys. also trying to stay away from the full on boot styling and looking for something slightly more refined.

 

alright Meso, clarks are no good, what would you bring?

 

for reference, last year on an asia/russia/europe 4 month trip i brought one pair of converse and ecco track 2 high tops which were waaayyy too warm, the only place they really worked was in Russia and even then i'd hit a museum and my feet sweat so badly you could see it come through the leather! not a look i'm trying to repeat. but they were awesome walking shoes when i was outside.


I tried a fairly easy mountain in a pair of Clark's DB's - they held up, but they didn't look pretty afterwards. They were a sand suede pair, but I doubt the minimalistic crepe sole would offer a ton of comfort unless you spent a few weeks breaking them in first. I think they're insanely comfortable after they've been broken in.

South America is a big place. Are you going more amazonian, andes, through the pampa, sertão? Or something to cover all bases?
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Argentino View Post



South America is a big place. Are you going more amazonian, andes, through the pampa, sertão? Or something to cover all bases?

when too? Its summer there right now...
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by meso View Post


You would really want to spend 4 months walking in clark's desert boots in a wet, tropical climate?
Sounds like a recipe for discomfort.

They have non-crepe sole versions, and I did specify leather, not suede. Forgot the OP might not know how the crepe soles aren't too good in the rain. I haven't had any problems with slipping, but then again, I don't have to deal with tropical weather. He gave 3 options, and I'd definitely pick a pair of Clarks over the other 2 for a South America trip.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'll be all over the place, doing a big circle around the continent basically from end of September through January. so i'm planning on wearing flip flops and converse when it's hot and i'm looking for a shoe that will be good for cool weather/nights out that i can wear with jeans and chino's basically a thinner boot, but that will hold up on hikes in the mountains. I also want something that will be fine in a backpack, which is why i'm hesitant to get the alden indy's not exactly a disposable shoe!

post #10 of 24
I just traveled for a month and wore a pair of DBs the whole time and loved them, but they didn't get wet and wouldn't've been good if they did.

Indys are going to be heavy. I would try to find something lighter. Maybe Wolverine 1000 Mile? I don't think those have the steel shank that the Indys have, but somebody can correct me if I'm wrong.

Maybe give these a look...
http://www.zappos.com/john-varvatos-hipster-chukka-black-calfskin


.
Edited by Two Shoes - 9/9/11 at 4:36pm
post #11 of 24
Yeah - I guess as long as you're sure to waterproof the DB's, you should be fine. They're not super hot, even in summer months (although January can get pretty oppressive heat-wise).

If it'd be at all possible to waterproof the suede, I might suggest that. They'd be incredibly light, but still decent looking. When you say "climb a mountain," following trails and whatnot would be no problem. Just not scaling sheer rock walls.
post #12 of 24
I have a pair of Clark's DB and I don't see how it would be possible to waterproof it. The problem is the construction of the sole and upper, where it's just sewn together with a flat seam with a dash of glue. After a couple of years of occasional wearing (which I'd estimate is a couple of months of hard wearing every day) the constant flexing of the boot caused the glue to degrade so that tiny gaps exist between the sole and upper which lets water in.

Also it's uncomfortable as fuck to walk around in.

Personally I'd get a pair of comfortable hiking shoes like Merrell's Sawtooths, then pack some dressier shoes for nights out. It's more breathable and comfortable than any semi-casual boot will ever be.
post #13 of 24
A pair of Blundstone 500s or 550s would serve you well.
post #14 of 24
I'd go with the ll bean signature boots and get a cobbler to put a vibram/topy on the sole. They'll look good in most situations and should breathe as much as a db's. They soles/heels are also replaceable so after the wear and tear from all that walking, you won't have to throw them out.
post #15 of 24
Are you going to be hiking in these much or are you mostly going to be using these as your nicer, going out shoes? I love the look of leather soles on boots, but I haven't been very comfortable the few times I've done light hikes in them. I much prefer a less stylish but more functionally focused hiking shoe/boot when traveling (something like the Vasque Sundowner if I'm going to boot it, though I usually just take hiking shoes).
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