Depending, on the length of the hunt, detectorists have to walk long distances in unpaved surfaces. That’s why they need good shoes to wear while using your metal detector.
I’ll start by listing the requirements that a boot should have to be suitable for metal detecting.
Then, I’ll recommend few models that I think may be the best for this hobby.
Metal detecting boots requirements
You can just pick any pair of boots and go metal detecting. There are certain requirements a shoe has to have. And they are…
There are many things that could cause false signals. It could be the power lines, fences, your mobile phone or your shoes.
If there’s metal in your boots, it will trigger your detector. So, when you buy a new pair of shoes make sure there is no metal in them.
One of the common places where you can find metal in your boot is the toe. So avoid steel-toed shoes.
They’re good if work in a shop or in a factory because they protect your toes from fallen heavy objects.
But for metal detecting, they’re a bad choice unless you want the frustration and the back pain caused by trying to keep the search coil away from the shoes.
If you still want to protect your feet, you can pick a boot with a composite safety toe.
A shoe with a steel reinforced sole may be sturdy but you will get false signals because of it whenever you walk.
Also, make sure, the laces’ eyelets aren’t made out of steel and don’t mount shoe heel plates.
When you want to buy metal detecting boots, don’t confuse them with the metal detector friendly ones.
These are metal free footwear made to avoid triggering the alarm of the airport’s detector. They’re good if you travel a lot by plane.
But, Not all of them are suitable for detectorists. Because they need to satisfy other requirements like…
Detectorists walk long distances and cover large areas with their search coils. That’s why the boot has to be comfortable.
The weight is also important. A heavy boot will make you move as if you’re a prisoner wearing a ball and a chain.
Pick the right size so that it fits tight. A loose shoe will become a sauna for your feet and if it’s too tight, it will hurt you.
It should also provide warmth for the feet for detectorists who hunt during the winter. You don’t want to go back home a few minutes after you started because of the cold weather.
The ankles should be high enough to provide good ankle support to avoid breaking it. This also helps to tuck the pants and provide more warmth if the weather is cold.
It should endure the pressure when you push down on the shovel with your foot.
The sole has to be thick enough so that you don’t feel the pressure of the shovel’s blade when you press on it.
That doesn’t mean you can use any shovel for metal detecting. Pick one with a large foot ledge.
The sole should protect your feet against sharp rocks, broken glass, metal objects and especially rusty ones like nails.
You could step on these things if you metal detect in trashy areas. And they can easily puncture the bottom of your foot.
Detectorists bend down a lot to locate the target with their pinpointers, to dig a hole with their trowels and to recover the buried metal.
So, the boot has to be designed in a way that prevents creases and holes.
Detectorists hunt in various environment and in various weathers. Like creeks, lakes, and beaches.
In addition to the previous requirements, the boot should satisfy other ones so that you can use it for water hunting. Or you can buy a separate one for water hunting.
Creeks are usually shallow, your boot has to be waterproof up to a few inches. High ankles are good to prevent water from getting in. It should dry fast if water gets in accidently.
In creeks, there are many smooth rocks. You could slip and fall easily. Therefore, the sole has to have a good grip and it should be hard to slide.
In this video down below, This YouTuber is giving you, guys, some tips about boots and metal detecting in creeks.
I agree with the first ones. But, at the and he used staples to make the bottom of the shoe harsher.
This will help to prevent you from falling and slipping. But, it’s better to keep your boots metal free.
I know that staples are too small to be detected easily. But if the metal detector is too sensitive it may cause false signals.
Metal detectors are usually waterproof up to the control box. Some may think that by wearing a hip wader they’ll get the most of their devices.
This is not true. A hip wader may be good for river fishing. But detectorists have to kneel down frequently to recover buried metal objects.
The wader will be filled with water and it will become useless. It’s better not to use them.
In addition to that, they’re illegal because of some environmental issues.
Which boot is the best?
Now after we knew the criteria a boot needs to have to be suitable for metal detecting, we need to find it.
I don’t know whether someone has designed a boot especially for metal detecting. But any boot that meets the requirements or gets close is the one we’re going to pick even if it was designed for something else.
Unless you want to make a custom one, this is going to be good but it’s expensive.
Let’s start with the first point. Georgia FLXpoint is made from leather. It has no laces and no eyelets. It has a composite toe and rubber sole. So it’s metal-free and it won’t trigger your metal detector.
The composite toe is I/75 C/75 compliant. Which means it can withstand up to 75 pounds in the case of an impact or a compression. This protection is not really needed by detectorists
I has high ankles. The length of the boot is 10 inches. The pair weighs 4.4 pounds for the size 10.
The boot is waterproof with a moisture-wicking fabric so it’s good forwater hunting. It’s slip proof, that’s good for walking over rocks in the creeks.
I didn’t try it. So I don’t if it’s comfy or not. And I don’t know about the sturdiness because I need to wear it for a long time to be able to review it.
But, it many users said that it’s difficult to put on and to get off.
Bates Men’s GX-8
Bates Men’s GX-8 is made from leather and fabric. The eyelets aren’t metallic. But I’m not sure about the zipper’s end side and slider.
It’s easier to wear than the previous model because it has a zipper on the side.
It’s not waterproof. However, the fabric is moisture wicking and the outsole is slip resistant. Three colors are available: sage, desert and desert tan.
You can’t wear any pair of shoes when you go metal detecting. They should satisfy certain requirements.
The most important one among them, in my opinion, is that it should be free of metals so that it doesn’t interfere with the detector.
Note: I used the words shoe and boot interchangeably. Obviously, they’re not the same thing. But they share most of the requirements they should satisfy.
Tell me which boot is your favorite. If you have any suggestion or questions, feel free to ask.