Something that I have been struggling with lately is the proper footwear for matches. There are a lot of opinions out there, and we all wind up shooting in a variety of conditions. What works best for you? What is legal for you sport? What are your concerns as you address this issue?
We participate in an active sport where we are negotiating everything from wet, slick, and muddy to dry, rocky, and dusty. Sometimes we are outdoors in an area of grass or rocks or gravel or hard packed dirt. Sometimes all of these things. Other times we are inside, on a smooth or even textured surface. Finding the ideal shoe or boot, that is affordable and comfortable is tough, and there may not be a singe product that fits the bill.
What do you need in a shoe for our sports? Well, that is for you to decide but, my list is broken down below:
- Comfortable: It doesn’t matter if you go to a local match or a multi-day match, you are going to spend a lot of time standing in your shoes. They have to be comfortable to stand, sprint, kneel, and climb in.
- Good Traction: Our sport requires us to move quickly in a variety of directions. Traction is a pre-requisite.
- Durable: shoes and boots are not inexpensive. They need to last.
- Waterproof: Wet socks suck.
- Good on any surface: This is a tough one given all the different surfaces that we see in matches (trails, bays, gravel, mud, concrete, grass, etc.)
- Lightweight: I have enough knee problems without putting a heavy weight shoe on my foot to run in.
- Boot Style for ankle support and protection. I am thinking that I might be moving this to a must have.
Protection you ask? We are playing in the woods and the rocks, so do the snakes. Certainly, take a look at this little essay if you discount this fact. I am also reminded of the copperhead that we found on stage 5 at the AR-15.com Pro-Am this year.
The question for you, the reader is “What have you found that meets your criteria”?
I currently have a pair of low cut Merrell Moab’s that have served me well for a couple of years now. Waterproof, comfortable, good traction, durable, light weight but, no real ankle or calf protection. I have a pair of desert style boots that are almost broken in, and that I like but no waterproof features on these. I am looking for new ideas, and am looking forward to your comments.