Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Shoes for a world trip? Haix Airpower – Varusteleka

Shoes for a world trip? Haix Airpower – Varusteleka


What kind of shoes for a world trip? Before we departed on our IKILOMALLA journey we did a test hike with our friends into a forest in Finland. The point was to get rid of any rust from our travel equipment and to get excited about camping before our big journey. But it didn’t entirely go as planned. After a few kilometers, Thomas fumbled on a path and managed to sprain his ankle. *CRUNCH* That was the sound of my ankle giving up on me. Damnit! So there we were, in the middle of a dense Finnish forest and cursing with a swollen leg and ate some pea soup. This really got us thinking. What kind of shoes should you take along with you on a world trip? When your backpacking, you simply cant pack along your entire shoe rack. so the carefully selected one pair must fit as many situations as possible. We do a fair bit of walking. Perhaps 15km each day. The selected pair must endure blazing heat and freezing cold. They have to be waterproof. The shoes must be suitable for different terrains and for longer walks. Preferably one could be able to wander respectfully in big cities and to dine in slightly fancier restaurants. Because not always do we have the slightest clue where this IKILOMALLA will take us. We challenged VARUSTELEKA to join us on IKILOMALLA and they sponsored us with our very first proper boots we’ve ever had! I chose pale sand colored nubuck leather desert combat boots and Titta chose herself black leather combat boots. I would have never guessed that I would be wearing combat boots before I got to wear these. We got to test these praised boots different attributes in the harsh nature of Mongolia where we did six different tests. TEST 1: WADDING IN A WATERFALL At sunset we arrived in Central Mongolia’s largest waterfall. It sure looked like an amazing place. When we were jumping over slipery stones to the other side of the waterfall I accidentally fell ankle deep into the flowing stream of icy cold water. That must have been irritating. Sure was. Until we realized what completely waterproof means. WATERFALL PROOF: 5/5. Socks were dry and there were no signs that they had been immersed underwater. TEST 2: CLIMBING SAND DUNES We decided to climb the tallest sand dune in the Gobi desert it can reache over 200 meters in height The sun was blazing on us and we saw mirages in the horizon It was realy tough and a sweaty business. When you took one step upwards, our feet would flow at least half a step back down. My shoe was like at home in the desert. The grip was as good as it can get on a pile of sand. Our boots felt surprisingly cool in such a hot climate and we reached the top of the dune in 45 minutes. The descent down was the best part of the climb. When we got down, we found only a small spoonful of sand in our boots. SAND AND SWEAT PROOF: 4/5
And that’s nothing compared to the other climbers TEST 3: FROLICKING INHEAPS OF DUNG
It was ever too familiar to dodge heaps of dung in Mongolia. In the Mongolian steppes, breeding cattle is the main income of many nomadic families. So there was shit everywhere. Luckily our shoes could be cleaned from dung easily. From my shoes I just kicked sand and Titta’s shoes we washed with a damp cloth. Even the camels green diarrhea dung was easily removed. SHIT PROOF: 5/5
Local horsemen admired our shoes Apparently they would have made a fine everyday shoe for a cattle herder TEST 4: WANDERING IN THE SNOW
One morning we woke up in our ger teeth clattering. During the night, it had snowed in the desert, although the previous day it had been typical summer heat! God damn you frost! Winter had cat caught up on us. FROSTPROOF: 3/5
Our toes felt warm for about a few hours. We could have used some warmth for a few more hours. TEST 5: HIKING IN CANYONS One day we did a hike to Yol Valley which is known for its eternal ice canyons. The terrain was steep stony, rocky, muddy, watery, sandy and grassy. On such terrain with our old shoes, we would definitely have ended up eating pea soup with my swollen leg. Luckily these boots have high ankle support and won’t allow us to sprain our ankles. Slopes of mountains are easy to climb and steep downs are safe to descend. HIKE PROOF: 5/5
We realized that our feet won’t get tired anywhere near as fast as if you were walking in sneakers TEST 6: HORSE RIDING IN THE STEPPES We jumped totally green around the collar on semi-wild horses for a four-day horse riding hike across Mongolia. Boots fit perfectly well on the stirrups and you could effectively kick some pace with your heel even to a lazier horse. On our third horse riding day, Thomas was forced into the middle of a two stallion battle and got a kick from two hooves on his upper back. To our amazement the boots showed no signs of battle damage. BATTLE PROOF : 5/5
They would probably show no scratches what so ever, no matter what would happen to the owner. Alrighty here we are and here are the boots. Still in mint condition. We’ve been walking with these boots everyday for the past five months and we’ve traveled with them for about 18 000 travel kilometers. Thanks to VARUSTELEKA 👍


Reader Comments

  1. Minä ostin itselleni nuo vaaleat aavikkokengät ja olen kävellyt niillä nyt koko syksyn ja talven. Ihan mahtavat on!

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