Hiking and Walking  

Hiking Boots...steps graphic

What’s all the fuss about hiking boots? They can be expensive compared to other footwear, but is it really essential to buy such an expensive item when you’re only just beginning?

Well, the answer is “Yes.”

Your boots have to be the most important item in all of your outdoor kit. Your feet will be dong more work than any other part of your body, so it’s just good sense to provide them with the best protection and comfort you can afford. Particularly on rough and rocky trails, a sturdy boot will protect you from injury.

Here are a few guidelines to help you when buying hiking or outdoor walking boots. :

You Need that “Sturdy” Feeling

This is what a good pair of boots is all about. The well made ones have that “solid” feeling on the soles, which means that you will not be able to feel rocks or stones as you hack along rough terrain. What if you can? Well, then sooner or later after tramping some miles, there is a very good chance that your feet are going to start complaining, and that’s not fun, especially if you still have a few of miles to go before reaching camp.

When purchasing a pair of hiking boots, test their sturdiness . Try and press the sole in with your thumb, if it feels soft and flexible, then those boots cannot give your feet the protection they require. You can also try the sturdiness of the soles of the boot. If you can twist them and they seem flexible, then they’re probably too soft for hiking.

Remember that trails are not like the paved streets in town. They are most certainly rocky and if you are not wearing a good pair of boots, they can be very uncomfortable and at worse cause injury.

Protection at the Sides of the Boot

The sole of your boots are not the only important thing to be aware of. Good boots are also required to provide you with protection on the sides. In fact, the reason they are called “heavy” boots is that they have more padding to protect your feet from stones, rocks, and branches you may step on which could gouge into the side of the boot.

If you’ve gone for fabric boots, be sure to get those with protective “welts.” They’re found about ½-inch or more up from the soles to give more protection.

Support for your Ankles

Your ankles are a weak spot when walking, make sure you pick boots with good ankle support.

Here’s how to pick them:

• Get hold of the topof the Boot.
• Try to bend it sideways.
• If it bends too easily, it’s hardly likely to provide the level of protection you need on the trail.

The top of the boot should be stiff enough to hold the ankle firmly in place. That’s how you determine they have good support.

Keep the Water Out

You need to avoid getting blisters whatever you do. It's dampness and moisture that causes blisters. Blisters are really painful. Blisters hurt like blazes! Obtain hiking boots that have good waterproofing . If you have hiking boots that aren’t waterproofed, at a a minimum find out if they able to be waterproofed. Boots made out of fabric may be treated with proprietary waterproofing solutions, such as liquid silicone. But you'll find these solutions generally do not provide enough water-proofing to make the boots suitable for their purpose.

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