This summer I am doing a field study on the big island of Hawaii. We will be hiking around all over the island including a trip in which we will get as close to flowing lava as is possibly allowed. I need really, really sturdy boots in order to do this. My professor told me to get “study boots with black soles that are stitched on because glues can melt and gum rubber soles will melt.” I have also been warned to only wear all natural fibers because synthetics can burst into flames and/or melt easily. I asked my professor for recommendations (he and most of the other individuals on the trip are much older than me and have done this sort of thing before) but he had boots that he bought 10 years ago. I went to REI but the help there said that they don’t make boots with the soles stitched on anymore. They said that most boot manufacturers remove the soles through high heat, although they were unsure just how hot they heat them before the soles come off.
I emailed and called my prof, asking for advice but he hasn’t gotten back to me. I need to buy these boots soon because I am leaving in a week and I want to have time to break them in. Has anyone done anything like this before? Or, do you know how hot the ground we will be walking on will get? Any suggestions for hiking boots in general? There will be a LOT of rain while we are there so I figure I need something waterproof.
Thanks for your time.