Warm boots

Discussion about making bushwalking-related equipment.

Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 05 Mar, 2017 8:41 am

I need new warm boots as hut slippers/tent slippers
Looking around the internet I've been unable to find a pattern I think would be comfortable so today I sat down and I've just started to unpick the liners in my old Crocs for a pattern.
I'm thinking that the same pattern will serve as the base design for the moccasins and the mukluks when I get around to making those

I'll adjust seam allowances and sewing techniques to make allowances for the thickness of the war fabrics I'll be using. One of these fabric is an old wool blanket that has been shrunk until it is over 12mm thick but still has a deep fine nap to it
Trial runs will be with cheap Spotlight polarfleece
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 05 Mar, 2017 11:29 am

Will probably be very easy to sew up
I just have to remember to reverse it when laying out/ cutting out the fabric
Attachments
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Unpicked vamp
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Sole
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Traced onto A4 printing paper
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 13 Mar, 2017 2:01 pm

I really need some help here.
Specifically help from experienced Antarctic / Arctic travellers? How warm is too warm when talking about feet and -40 temperatures?
Looking through various books and websites and asking questions it seems to me that warm feet are relying on shunted warmth from the bodies core as much as on the thickness of insulation in footwear. But there must be minimum guidelines as to how thick this insulation should be rather than the advice to keep adding pairs of socks until your feet are warm
One of the reasons for making my own is the very high cost of suitable footwear, but also the large size and funny shape of my feet, skinny ankles and a wide forefoot
Trying to find that middle ground between warm feet and wearing a pair of beer kegs on my feet.
Also trying to understand why dense felt is considered by some warmer than fuzzy thick wool
Under foot insulation I get and that I have covered in spades, actually getting under foot thickness of insulation is why I need to make my own mukluks
Looking for foot protection at around -35C and added wind chill

EDIT

Personal experience with Sorel Caribou boots tells me 8mm felt will not be sufficient nor will 12mm of felt underneath; even with 3 pairs of socks, I get cold feet standing around in those at -10C
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 15 Mar, 2017 4:44 pm

Started laying out and laminating the fleece to the Vilene today
I'm going to try that new house wrap from CSR as a sole
Attachments
IMG_9748.JPG
Sole
IMG_9748.JPG (121.75 KiB) Viewed 552 times
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Vilene plus fleece Steam iron for 15 seconds o melt the glue
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Always this old linen tea towel when steam pressing
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 16 Mar, 2017 12:22 pm

Still thinking about what to use as the outer layer, can't decide between fuzzy [ LW polyester/wool Melton] or slinky [ Taslan nylon or parachute cloth ]
EDIT
Decided on a second layer of the cheap fleece, mainly because I have so much of it in scraps.
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 21 Mar, 2017 9:36 am

For anybody who is thinking of making sleeping socks or slipper socks for the tent/huts.
Using this Vilene iron-on makes sewing fleece so much easier that I really think it is worth the money.
It also makes 2 layers of cheap but hard wearing fleece very warm and unlike polyurethane foam it doesn't hold water; either in liquid or vapour so much more effective
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 21 Mar, 2017 1:49 pm

took a few minutes to pin up and sew
Not so easy to get the fabric under the machines foot either
Ugly but quite warm although not warm enough for the Arctic in my opinion OK as liners for the Arctic liners tho So these are the liner liners I guess
Attachments
IMG_9752.JPG
Fleece/ Vilene/Fleece
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IMG_9755.JPG (112.69 KiB) Viewed 450 times
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 21 Mar, 2017 7:11 pm

Looks like its going well. My understanding with felt boot liners (grew up in them practically) was that hard felt does not compress as much, so you don't loose out. Its all a matter of combating moisture though, and there were no shortcuts, boots would be dry and warm for most of a day, but eventually the insulation fails and you start doing more foot stamps and tap dancing to keep warm. Activity level really matters. I've seen -50 sorrels (the ones rated for -50 sitting still, not active) that have multiple layers of insulation that would be easily 30mm thick, between the canvas, felt, and other layers. These are boots that some recommend wearing without socks, as the felts do that, and it prevents constriction of the skin, which also adds to a cold foot feeling.

Hope that helps,
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 22 Mar, 2017 8:59 am

Talking to people in Canada and some of the Northern cold states I was thinking of using my denser more felted fabric as the sole section and the looser thicker fabric as the other pieces and simply adding footbeds until they felt correct then sewing the mukluks to fit.
I need to find something other than that CSR housewrap for the soles of the hut slippers tho, it simply isn't waterproof enough or wear resistant enough for that.
Yes there is that 2-schools of thought thing happening with the people I ask advice from, some say to use a sock system and layer the socks until your feet are warm and others say a single warm sock plus good liners is warmer.
I think I will stick with my current system of Injinji ski socks plus LW polyester ski socks as a liner but I can't decide between the Thorlo Arctic sock I have been using and Darn Tough mountaineering socks My Thorlos are reaching the end of their usable life even tho they are not worn out and soon I will need to buy 2 pair of new cold weather socks.
If it is -55C and I'm not active I hope to be inside a tent or cabin with the stove roaring away.
If moisture management is the key then the looser fabric should assist with that but if I am going to use the thicker woollen blanket I was planning on then I need to get my second sewing machine altered and adjusted to suit as 3 layers will not fit under the foot.
I am putting some money aside to buy some double sided Vilene to make the laminating of the fleece easier and quicker
it must be a very fine line between having warm feet and them becoming so warm that you sweat heavily and then have wet saturated liners that have no insulation value at all
Do I simply make a pair of -55C boots and wear the leather boots with 2 pair of socks until it gets cold enough to swap to mukluks?
My winter boots are the US army ICB leather boot with the removable Thinsulate liner but a size larger to allow and extra pair of socks and a thin mesh frost plug
Sewing the boots is easy compared to making the choices about what to make
This trial pair will get a Cordura or similar sole, perhaps a layer of felt there as well and become my hut slippers, keeping my S2S ones for the warmer months
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Gadgetgeek » Wed 22 Mar, 2017 7:42 pm

Look, its hard to know what would be best. Traditional mukluks and moccosins are leather and fur, sometimes furred raw-hide. I think you are largely on the right track with your logic, I think a big factor is what works for your speed of doing things. My dad would change boots often during a day depending on conditions, we wore "feed-lot" boots a lot, gum-boots with felts, but only for a couple hours at a time. My best pair of winter boots were a pair of sorrels (don't recall the model, white, canvas upper to the calf, rubber foot and sole) and those were fine for sitting around to about -25C. I never went in for the jumbo boots since when I worked in the far north I was in a truck cab 99% of the time, and had the "bunny boots" as backups. The guys who did walk lots wore composite safety caps layered socks and changed them often. None of us would be out in the cold not moving for long.
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Neo » Wed 22 Mar, 2017 8:05 pm

That's some serious cold you're talking about. I can only imagine sweating it out inside your booties. Been a long time since I had a proper winter but reminisce about rugging up.
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 22 Mar, 2017 10:25 pm

Gadgetgeek wrote:Look, its hard to know what would be best.


I just got another email from the mate in Connecticut, he reckons I should make 2 pairs, one warm set and one very warm set but also plan to buy a pair of NEOS insulated overboots "just in case" He knows I'm handy with the sewing and apart from the roo hides I have everything I need so why not?
But I think I can push the leather boots down to -15C and a bit more when moving and the ski boots even lower so maybe just the extra warm set and leave a layer off my legs.
After all sled hauling using snowshoes or skis is hard work so lots of excess warmth to shunt to the extremities
-25C to -30C doesn't worry me at all but that extra twenty or thirty negative degrees has me a little trepidacious.
I notice tho that the new Canadian Amy boot has added an extra bootie layer to cover the foot and toes area which is 4 layers of the woollen frieze so using the extra thick blanket seems reasonable to me.
We've had a cool change here in Geelong and I've been wearing the trial pair on the cold tiled floors all day and so far no sweaty feeling or cold feet so the liners will work well I think although 17C cold or even cool the bare tiles do suck the heat from you fast
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 23 Mar, 2017 10:16 am

Neo wrote:That's some serious cold you're talking about. I can only imagine sweating it out inside your booties. Been a long time since I had a proper winter but reminisce about rugging up.


There is always the White Season down here
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 23 Mar, 2017 10:42 am

Also I am thinking about making my first "trial " mukluks using some acrylic marine canvas I have here; reasonably tough and very breathable but it does unravel readily and I'll need to selvage the edges before I start sewing, luckily The Boss has an overlocker
I have some red leather for the vamp too
Hmmm??
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 23 Mar, 2017 3:33 pm

So I have managed to cut out 3 sets of sole reinforcing from the soft leather I had here already. That leather cost me $4- at the Op-Shop a few years ago so why not use my acrylic canvas and make a trial pair.
I have enough of that to make a few sets too.
The only reservation I have about using the Suntuff canvas is that it is not even remotely windproof [ a good thing in the Marine environment where it is used for awning and such on boats and yachts] and should I laminate/line it with something breathable but more wind resistant? Any thoughts there appreciated
There are no instructions in the Conovers book about ties and lacings, do people put leather/webbing tabs in any particular place?
as I've seen picture of these with lacing etc but I've never seen any loops or such except on Army boots
Also the cotton duck is fairly soft stuff; are the gaiters ever stiffened in the way that the Army mukluk is? or is the Canadian winter boot stiffened because the polyester shell of those is light weight and floppy without it?
YES Lots of questions but as I said at the start I've never made these before
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Gadgetgeek » Thu 23 Mar, 2017 6:39 pm

All my boots had lacing just over the foot, in the normal 4 eyelet boot zone, the top had a draw-string at the upper "cuff" The liner was enough to keep the upper in place as it can't drop down over the liner once pulled taught. Generally the boot is tightened against the leg and base layers, with the over-pants dropping down over the whole thing to make a snow barrier. My boots were uncoated canvas, I suppose you could wax them, but we only wore them in "dry cold" the feed-lots were for wet sloppy days. Military boots are stiffened purely for display purposes. Many homes had boot stands to hold the boots inverted, therefore open to dry. Really fancy ones had forced hot air for drying, we had a way to wedge them into a big radiator vent to blast them with hot air. And having removable liners helps that process as well.
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 23 Mar, 2017 7:08 pm

Is having them with the very open non-windproof lowers a big problem?
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Gadgetgeek » Thu 23 Mar, 2017 9:04 pm

Not quite sure I'm understanding.. The canvas uppers were generally protected by the insulated over-pants, and if they were not, it was because it was not that cold. The lowers on all my boots were rubber, so wind wasn't an issue there either. To be clear, I'm talking about the boots that are rubber to the ankle and canvas to the mid/upper calf. biggest problem with those type of boots and deep snow was if you didn't have a good seal between the over-pants and the boot, and got snow forced into the top of your boots. A bigger problem when I was a kid since kid sized stuff often didn't have enough room for the boots to fit inside the pants, so I had to rely on the drawstring to hold out the snow... it didn't work well. Since it is a bit of a pain to get pants and boots that match up, often folks will wear the pants inside the boots if the snow is not deep enough.
There is some difference between the different traditional moccosin type boots, far north inuit using seal-skin, and farther south (dene, cree) are normal land dwelling mammal hide, with the area around the foot waterproofed in some way.
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 24 Mar, 2017 8:40 am

Yes; that is the problem as I see it. I'm not using a rubber bottom but hide or fabric
I'm making Cree style "footbags" but with a shaped reinforced foot. The Suntuff acrylic canvas fabric is very breathable which I want but also lets the breeze through which I don't want at all.
Later on when I have the cash spare I'll make another pair using kangaroo hide but I want the pair I am making now to be usable as well.
Hence my question about laminating a second windproof layer under it for the feet sections.
I'm told that Goretex is unreliable in these circumstances or I'd use some of my stash
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Gadgetgeek » Fri 24 Mar, 2017 5:33 pm

Right, getting it now. But that doesn't leave me with any ideas of what to do. Sorry
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Re: Warm boots

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 24 Mar, 2017 5:44 pm

If Goretex worked at these temperatures it would be easy wouldn't it!
I may just use a half metre of my Ventile under the Suntuff
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