Ask a Prepper Series: What is Your Bug Out Shoe of Choice?

Footwear can have a big impact on your survivability if SHTF. I decided to run a poll by our writers and see what shoes each of us plan on wearing in a survival situation. Unsurprisingly, all of our choices for our preferred bug out shoe were similar but different. Here is what we came up with:

Rusty’s Bug Out Shoe: KEEN Men’s Sandstone Sneaker

“I wear these KEEN Men’s Sandstone Sneakers basically everywhere- even to work. I figure if SHTF, I’ll probably be wearing these and I would be happy with that. The KEEN toe cap makes them more sturdy than some combat boots I’ve worn. I’ll admit they took a few days to break in when I first bought them, but I’ve worn them every day since.”

AC’s Bug Out Shoe: Merrell Men’s Grassbow Air Trail Running Shoe

Merrell Men’s Grassbow Air Trail Running Shoes combine the durability of a hiking shoe, the weight of a running shoe, and the breathability of a minimalist running shoe.  These shoes can handle a hike up a rocky mountain, a run through the neighborhood, or a trek through a marsh all while keeping your feet safe, comfortable, and cool.  During a bug out situation, there will be a lot of uncertainty.  Merrell Men’s Grassbow Air Low Hiking Shoes will be able to handle whatever situation comes your way.”


FJ’s Bug Out Shoe: KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoe

“My bug-out shoe is my daily walker: KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoe. These shoes are sturdy, grippy, and comfortable. Include the correct size of Superfeet insoles and they will go forever!”

EG’s Bug Out Shoe: Salomon Men’s Comet 3D GTX Hiking Boot

“These Salomon Men’s Comet 3D GTX Hiking boots are extremely comfortable and a durable hiking boot that is guaranteed to last through anything. Boots have increased heel support and cushioning for long-term wear. With built in Goretex, these boots are waterproof and will keep your feet dry. Wet feet can be a killer in a survival situation so my bug out shoes have to be waterproof. I have owned these boots for a year and a half and they look brand new. Two of my friends own the exact same boots and have worn them daily for 5+ years.
If you are going to pick shoes to survive in, don’t skimp and buy something cheap. These Salomons are $200 for a reason, they LAST. Plain and simple. They are lightweight enough to use for hours a day, yet solidly constructed and offer tons of support. I’ve hiked up mountains with them on, and used them daily in the Seattle winter to keep my feet dry. Plus, they look great- just an added bonus.”

The Final Word

With three veterans in the group (and one of them currently serving), I was surprised to see no combat boots on the list. I loved my tan side-zips while I was active and in the reserve, but they do have some serious weight to them. We all steered towards bug out shoes that are lightweight but still rugged. Do you have a pair of shoes that has served you well? What bug out shoes do you plan on wearing if you need to get-out-of-dodge?

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Ask a Prepper Series: What is Your Bug Out Shoe of Choice?

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

4 thoughts on “Ask a Prepper Series: What is Your Bug Out Shoe of Choice?

  • I’d go with Doc Martins. They are on the heavy side but are definitely hardy.

    • So far, people seem to prefer Merrell and Keen hiking shoes/boots, with a few preferring repairable leather.

  • I recently bought my first pair of Thorogood work boots to do yard work at home and for a tougher stuff at our cabin. I had no idea they’d be so comfortable. That said, I am currently leaning toward these over my other hikers and walkers. Thorogood is one of the few USA boot makers that make good work boots in women’s sizes.


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