Boots for Prospecting, Hiking, Detecting information and questions

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Picked up a pair of Steel Blue #532 (composite toe safety boot) a couple months ago. Has a bit of metal in the zipper pull but otherwise none - doesn't bother the detector at all, useful for testing if the thing is still working. Pretty tough boots and I can kick rocks around pretty good w/ the safety toe. Fairly comfortable but I think the extra room in the toe is a downside - I'd rather have tighter-fitting hiking boots so the foot doesn't slide around as much.
Hi, How are the steel blues going? Wife and I are after a pair of boots each rather than the hiking shoes we've used for a 3 month trip. All the boots I've looked up on www.productreview.com.au before buying have bad reviews recently after the manufacture has been moved overseas. Planning on a WA trip next year so thought boots might offer better protection. Any recommendations Baz
 

Hawkear

Geoff Mostyn
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Just put on my reserve pair of Redbacks last year. Had been carrying them around unused as reserve spares since our last trip to WA in 2014.
The soles seem softer and grippier than others I’ve used. Good for damp and rocky areas. Just be careful you don’t melt them around the campfire.
 

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
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Oliver composite toe work boots for me. All my mates working in the mines also use nothing else. Use cheap boots anywhere north of the Pilbara where kicking rocks and spinifex is regarded the norm will soon make a mess of cheap alternatives. Twisted ankles from inferior boots can also spoil what should be a great experience on the WA gold fields.
 
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Steel blues in 589 they have toe protection great ankle support and the only metal is the the zipper pull tag. Which sits above the ankle. Great for detecting.
 
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Thank you all for the responses. I'll check them all out. The $30 Kmart boots would be good, even as spares, but out of stock in my size in Brissie, I'll check again later.
 

Pro-oz

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I have King Gee, going well, comfortable, good ankle support the only metal is a very small bit at the very top of the zipper.
 
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Just put on my reserve pair of Redbacks last year. Had been carrying them around unused as reserve spares since our last trip to WA in 2014.
The soles seem softer and grippier than others I’ve used. Good for damp and rocky areas. Just be careful you don’t melt them around the campfire.
Redback here, as well. No metal in the non-steel toe ones, so perfect for detecting.

Definitely great grip. Very comfortable. No synthetic lining inside, so the feet can breathe well.

Made in Australia, too (unlike a lot of the other "Australian" brands that are now made overseas (eg. Blundstone, Oliver, Rossi...)

Not saying that those other brands don't make good boots, but I remember feeling misled when I bought my last pair of Oliver boots maybe 10 or 15 years ago. Massive sign hanging from the ceiling of the store that read something like, "Oliver Boots. Ballarat." Well, the tag on the boots indicated otherwise, and a quick call to Oliver confirmed that they no longer made them in Australia.

I got a refund and bought the Redbacks. A shame, as the Oliver boots were great.
 

WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
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Redback here, as well. No metal in the non-steel toe ones, so perfect for detecting.

Definitely great grip. Very comfortable. No synthetic lining inside, so the feet can breathe well.

Made in Australia, too (unlike a lot of the other "Australian" brands that are now made overseas (eg. Blundstone, Oliver, Rossi...)

Not saying that those other brands don't make good boots, but I remember feeling misled when I bought my last pair of Oliver boots maybe 10 or 15 years ago. Massive sign hanging from the ceiling of the store that read something like, "Oliver Boots. Ballarat." Well, the tag on the boots indicated otherwise, and a quick call to Oliver confirmed that they no longer made them in Australia.

I got a refund and bought the Redbacks. A shame, as the Oliver boots were great.

Good to see the patriotism but I bet all your other clothing is not made in OZ alone. Been using Olivers for a very long time and can't fault their quality durability and wear ability,... last for many years under extremely adverse conditions for me. Several good boots on the market and I guess conscience to some is more important than quality. 🤔
 
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Good to see the patriotism but I bet all your other clothing is not made in OZ alone. Been using Olivers for a very long time and can't fault their quality durability and wear ability,... last for many years under extremely adverse conditions for me. Several good boots on the market and I guess conscience to some is more important than quality. 🤔
Yes, I'm aware that *all*, not most, of my other clothing is not made in Australia - I'm not that dense... But I ask: is there something wrong with choosing Australian made *WHEN* the choice is there and the quality is on par?

Besides, the bit that got me was that the big sign taking up the real estate in the store implied that they were made in Ballarat, yet they weren't. Deceptive? You betcha.

Nothing wrong with the quality of the Redbacks anyway. The soles may wear quicker than those on lot of other boots, but as others have mentioned: great grip, especially in wet conditions.

The best quality boot were made by Taipan footwear in Preston, VIC. They used to make boots and shoes (including dress shoes) for the ADF and emergency services, as well as most other industries.

They had an almost unbelievably comprehensive range, from infantry boots to chef's shoes, flame retardant firey's boots (including fireproof, acid proof soles) to glossy parade shoes (my mate actually wore some when he got married).

The quality was absolutely second to none.

I believe they closed down because the Aust gov't switched to footwear made overseas to save a few pennies. I recall many years ago someone I know who was in the fire brigade at the time saying that they were going to switch to Blundstone (after they had moved manufacturing overseas) because they were a few cents cheaper per pair.

A real shame - far more of a shame than my piddly Oliver experience.

Actually, I just recalled that my grandfather used to make and repair shoes for the Fire Brigade in Melbourne for decades from about 1920 until 1960. He even did it after hours at home, as well. My grandmother used to make clothes for them, too.

I guess the days of keeping it local if/where possible are long gone...
 

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WalnLiz

Wal nLiz
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Yes, I'm aware that *all*, not most, of my other clothing is not made in Australia - I'm not that dense... But I ask: is there something wrong with choosing Australian made *WHEN* the choice is there?

Besides, the bit that got me was that the big sign taking up the real estate in the store implied that they were made in Ballarat, yet they weren't. Deceptive? You betcha.

Nothing wrong with the quality of the Redbacks anyway. The soles may wear quicker than those on lot of other boots, but as others have mentioned: great grip, especially in wet conditions.

The best quality boot were made by Taipan footwear in Preston, VIC. They used to make boots and shoes (including dress shoes) for the ADF and emergency services, as well as most other industries.

They had an almost unbelievably comprehensive range, from infantry boots to chef's shoes, flame retardant firey's boots (including fireproof, acid proof soles) to glossy parade shoes (my mate actually wore some when he got married).

The quality was absolutely second to none.

I believe they closed down because the Aust gov't switched to footwear made overseas to save a few pennies. I recall many years ago someone I know who was in the fire brigade at the time saying that they were going to switch to Blundstone (after they had moved manufacturing overseas) because they were a few cents cheaper per pair.

A real shame - far more of a shame than my piddly Oliver experience.

Actually, I just recalled that my grandfather used to make and repair shoes for the Fire Brigade in Melbourne for decades from about 1920 until 1960. He even did it after hours at home, as well. My grandmother used to make clothes for them, too.

I guess the days of keeping it local if/where possible are long gone...

Not trying to compare one boot against another as I have had quite a few redbacks during my commercial building days and recon that they are a great bit of kit. I also buy OZ made when I can but I guess that I'm not that patriotic to buy something of quality made elsewhere, maybe I should be. Whichever boots work best for each individual are the ones they should purchase, so long as they have zero metal in them for the type of work they do. Metal zippers for instance are quite OK for use with some detectors but are of no value to those using the more sensitive detectors. Redbacks can't be faulted and certainly fit the bill for the serious detector operator.
 

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