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Posted By WarmGuy,
May 2, 2007 at 8:01 PM
Glad to hear that the boots worked out great. Safe AND comfortable is a good thing squared.
I've got the Labonvilles & they're OK. I wouldn't want to work in them all day, but for the three or four hours a week I spend in them, they do just fine. I've grown to like high sided logging boots, after spending years in lower-profile models. You can crash around in a lot deeper slash with the tall ones, and you get better shin protection with the kevlar in both the boot and your chaps. I'm not enthralled with the high heel, however. That's a West Coast thing that just gets in the way in the kind of brushy wood I cut. But most "logging" boots have those kind of soles. The heel tends to hang up more often in slash, which is an annoying hazard. I also have a pair of those plastic winter woodcutting boots, or something similar made by Nokia. They're nice in snow because they're waterproof, but you want a good liner & socks, 'cause they get pretty clammy in cold weather.
If you're unfortunate enough to find yourself handling firewood in the snow, then a good pair of rubber gloves over a good liner is the way to go, IMO.
I split in shorts and sneakers.
I probably do less running around in the brush than you do Eric, but I haven't found the heels on my Matterhorn Chainsaw boots to be a problem, and they aren't all that high either - about the same as my hiking boots, I'd guess about 1/2" or less taller than the sole, and the arch is fairly curved, so the heel isn't much higher than and extra pair of the rubber lugs on the entire sole. OTOH my motorcycle riding boot heels are about an inch higher than the soles with a sharp front corner. However what sold me on the Matterhorns over the Labonvilles was that the Matterhorns claim 2 more layers of Kevlar, plus they are 11" boots while the Labonvilles are 8" - I don't know how much of a difference the extra 3" makes statistically, but I figure more pretty much has to be better. My chaps would probably just overlap the Labonvilles, but I get a good doubling with the Matterhorns, even when I have my knee bent (i.e. using one leg to keep a log from rolling under the saw...) I haven't had occasion to "torture test" them, but the Matterhorns also claim to be waterproof thanks to their Gore-Tex liner.
My Matterhorns are very comfortable, though I agree I probably wouldn't want to work in them all day just because they are so big and clunky, but I just about don't like wearing any kind of shoe all day long. My feet do flop around in them a little when I'm wearing my regular dress weight socks, mostly in the steel toe box area (MUCH better than being to tight!) and not enough that I wish I had a smaller size - If I was in them alot I'd probably get some heavy weight boot socks which would make them perfect...
I don't know how long they'd stay comfortable, but what I use when snowblowing and would probably be great for handling wood as well is a pair of DAY-GLO ORANGE (yes, they are that bright!) rubber covered leather work gloves... I actually picked them up a few years ago for a Halloween costume contest - I got second prize for "scariest costume" as "Dr See-more Bool, Amateur Proctologist" With those gloves, a lab coat and a kid's toy doctor set of props I had my workplace so clamped down I'll bet half of them couldn't chit for a week.... :bug: :lol:
I always wear jeans and a T-shirt when doing outdoors stuff, (or long sleeves in winter), but also split in my sneakers. I've tried splitting while wearing my Matterhorns, and for some reason it seems to upset my swing, not sure why. Of course this does lead to days like today when my wedge bounced out of a log, flew straight into my shin and bounced, point first, into my big toe... :ahh: If I'd been wearing the Matterhorns I wouldn't have noticed - with the sneakers I've got a couple of good bruises, though no lasting trauma. :-/
Those are the same gloves I'm talking about. Orange, ugly things. And you can patch 'em with shoe goo or liquid electrical tape.
On the boot heel thing, something to consider with the Matterhorn S&R;/miner's boots if you are looking at mega-bucks boots. The heels and soles are on the same plain with the same lugs. Only about a half inch high and a low arch (good since I have flat feet). No issues with them hanging up on slash.
And there is enough leather, steel, Kevlar and Gore-Tex between you and spinning chains that you should have a real good chance to toss the saw before getting whacked. That is if the saw isn't sandwiched between a downed trunk and your foot. In that case you are screwed no matter what you are wearing. But with these things I would still bet on the steel metatarsal shield that is covering the top of your foot mitigating the damage pretty well. Better than your average flip-flop for sure.
Well the theory is that the kevlar is supposed to bind up the chain enough to keep it from moving. Looks like it might pop it off the sprocket / bar as well. A steel toe or the metatarsal shield presumably it just keeps on chewing... I actually looked at both the S&R;boots and the Chainsaw boots and was having a tough time deciding which would be better -
The S&R;boots were actually less expensive from most vendors, and might offer more protection if a log or other heavy object fell on your foot. But while they mention using Kevlar in the construction, they don't say where or how much, and they don't even HINT that the boots might be OK to use with a chainsaw.
But I want chainsaw protection - it's the reason I'm looking at megabucks boots in the first place. The Chainsaw boots are the only boots I can find that meet the UL listing requirements (not just the OSHA spec) and also say how much Kevlar they are using. I'm willing to give up the metatarsal armor for that...