Rental Boot companies are taking advantage of us

The boot rental discussions are great, but $60-$70 to rent boots that cost $160 new, somethings amiss. The rental companies suggested by Tauck are really taking advantage of Tauck travelers. Tauck needs to take an active role to find reasonable boot rental companies and partner with these, instead of those like ShiptoShore or necessaryGear.


  • Yea, I think they might be a bit pricey too, but only by maybe $10-15. How much do you think they should charge for the, delivering them, making sure they fit, picking them up and saving you the effort of packing them to and from the tour, employee /management wages and benefits, replacing new stock, gas, insurance, any paper work, a store front (if they have one), and a profit? When you start to think of all of those expenses and probably some overhead expenses I haven't thought of, it actually sounds pretty reasonable. Plus, I hope they are taking a serious approach for labor and materials to sanitize the boots. So strike my earlier statement of an excess $10-15 margin.

    The alternative is to buy the boots and schlep them several thousand miles. I'm just not sure it is worth $10 or $15 less, at least to me it isn't. After all, the trip cost several thousand dollars. It is akin to hearing someone complain about the price of laundry after they paid $10-15 thousand dollars, or more, for the trip. I just always budget some money for these types of ancillary items. I realize they are sometimes more than I would rather pay, but I know that these things are necessary to make the trip comfortable and successful.

    I also don't know the "shelf-life" of the boots....5 rentals, 10 rentals, 15 rentals? I just don't know. Do you?

    I'm just not sure this expense is worth making a big deal over. I'm sure you could have written a letter to Dan and he might be able to give you answers to my questions. I am just not sure how much money they should charge, given the economies of scale of the services offered. Give Tauck a call. None of us can actually give any information to your complaint. You might be on target, I just don't know. I do know I don't want to haul those boots from Ohio to Antarctica, and back, and the price seems to be worth it.
  • We went to Antarctica 2 years ago and followed the advice of a friend who had just returned.
    He told us, go buy inexpensive, knee high rubber rainboots ($20) and leave them with the ship when you are finished.
    We had a great time, boots worked perfectly with a nice pair of warm boot socks.
  • Where did you get your boots from for $20? I don't see many of those out there. I need to be able to try them on before I buy them and not go through the time, effort, and shipping costs to send them back. It just seems my time is worth more than the $40-50 that might be saved. I also don't want to schlep them to Yellowstone, Denver, Phoenix, and Buenos Aires. That alone is worth the $40--to me....maybe not to anyone else.

    I could spend a couple of hours searching for $20 boots, but that isn't a valuable use of my time. I'm interested in where you got them though. If it's easy, I might do it.

  • At Walmart! They we basic black with a very good gripping sole.
  • Thanks. I'll check them out.
  • edited October 2014
    This is pretty much why the Orion sent us all off to the hardware store to buy gumboots. Around the same price, give or take, as you are talking about here. And they looked pretty much like your picture. The "special" outdoor boots are very expensive to buy. They might be insulated, but woollen innersoles and those super merino/possum socks and inner thin socks work even better …. because you can take them out and dry them if you have to.

    As for packing, you stuff anything you can fit inside them then afterwards you can donate them. Possibly to a needy penguin? No, that's just too silly, even for me!



    PS. Orion has been taken over by National Geographic/Lindblad. It's a wonderful ship but I won't be travelling with them again. Far too expensive now and they have allocated the very worst cabins on the ship (most of the line, actually) as single cabins. Like you, I'll be using Ponant for any expedition travel in the future … if Tauck don't have the trips I'm looking at, that is.
  • ndvb,
    yes, you found the boots we used
    worked just fine on the rocky beaches, snow, ice and even the water landings (the crew is extremely helpful in assisting you
    when you have to step off in shallow water)
  • Thank you, very much. Now I just have to figure out if I want to haul them with me. I always stuff socks and underwear inside any shoes I have, so I guess I can do that with these. Hell, I might be able to put all my clothes in these monsters.

    I do appreciate your help.
  • I got Muck Arctic Sport boots on sale at Cabbalas last December and broke them in during last winter's Polar Vortex here in Pennsylvania. I never get footwear without being able to try it on. Sizing is difficult with shoes and much more difficult with boots where I will be wearing liner sox and heavy long winter sox. Also, my calves are large and these boots fit perfectly. I am bringing a boot jack to get them off.

    I have packed all of my gear, including the boots, for both Easter Island and Antarctica in a medium sized suitcase and kept the weight down to 35 pounds. Some things will be rolled up inside the boots.

    I guess it is a guy thing; this trip was an excuse to buy a nice new tool, in this case a good pair of winter boots.
  • Did you find the 1" less in height for these boots v. the rental boots made a difference with water depth you stepped in?

    How many sizes did you have to go up to accommodate heavy socks and long johns, etc.? I normally wear an 11 shoe and figure I'll need at least a 12. There is a store close to me so I will go there and try them on. If they don't have them in stock I'll have them order a couple of different sizes and have them delivered to the store so I can try them on.

    Thanks for the advice.

  • The Muck Arctic Sport is 15" tall. I wouldn't want them any taller. I have a 30" inseam and these are just perfect. I normally wear a size 10 to 10.5 shoe and the Muck Men's 11 was perfect for me. The Tauck booklet says to be prepared to walk in 10 inches of water. They recommend "Pull-on rubber, unlined, waterproof knee-high boots (14" to 16") with strong rubber-ridged, nonskid soles are required." Cabellas, Bass Pro, etc. and most equestrian/feed stores have them and they are on sale for the holidays at some stores.

    Steve from PA

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