26/02/2007 at 1:48 pm #97156
Top 5 Buyers' Tips:
- 1. ANKLE SUPPORT – Don't judge ankle support by height alone. Also consider heel cup fit and under-heel stability (firmness).
- 2. FIT – If footwear doesn't fit correctly it WILL be uncomfortable. Buy footwear only from specialist bushwalking retailers.
- 3. WATERPROOFING – Waterproof footwear is fine for cool, wet conditions. For hot weather, mesh uppers are lighter, faster drying and more breathable.
- QUALITY – High-quality footwear will generally fit better and last longer. It's worth spending more for a quality product.
- STIFFNESS The mid-sole determines sole stiffness. Ensure the sole flexes at the ball of the foot to allow natural striding.
1. MULTI-USE SHOE – Day walkers cruising graded tracks need look no further than a lightweight shoe. These allow natural striding and don't bind the ankles like boots can. Wear them everyday!
2. LIGHTWEIGHT BOOT – Provides shoe-like comfort, while extra height gives additional ankle support and helps keep out debris. A great option for general track walking.
3. MIXED BOOT – Perfect for mixed terrain and pack carrying. A stiffer sole proides additional stability and increased under-foot protection to handle some off-track walking
4. HEAVY-DUTY BOOT – The toughest boots available. Maximum support! Best suited for rough terrain but a risky choice for track walking. Can take a while to wear in.
My tip: We once had a trekker who bought himself a pair of heavy duty boots. He could not work out why he was so far back in the group as he had trained a lot. The boys were blaming his boots! Why because they were so 'heavy' and he was finding it hard to walk up hills. They suggested he get rid of his boots and wear his joggers. Guess what, he had no further problems. So please remember when purchasing boots, try and purchase good quality but keep in mind to pick a 'lightweight boot' that does not weigh you down! Gail (Boss Meri)26/02/2007 at 1:56 pm #97155
If your feet are happy then you'll be happy, making footwear one of the most important items in your equipment arsenal.
Get the right boot:
Contrary to popular belief, bush walking doesn't require sturdy, ankle-high boots with stiff soles. Follow this logic and you'll probably end up with sore feet and blisters. For pleasurable striding choose footwear that suits the terrain you intend walking. Refer to options above for advice, but bear in mind that personal preference is the biggest consideration. Some people prefer light-duty footwear for heavy going while others prefer heavy-duty footwear for light going.
Ankle support: A boot's height is only part of the ankle support story. For a boot to offer good ankle protection it must provide a stable walking platform. If you're concerned about ankle rollover look for a solidly built heel cup (to support the heel), firm under-foot cushioning (a more stable platform), and a broad, low-profile sole (lower and wider means less tippy).
Extra height around the ankles does add to the heel of support, but too much to other discomforts associated with walking unnaturally. In the end, trekking poles provide the most reliable protection against ankle injuries because they help to stabilise your whole body, not just your ankles.
Waterproofing: In the real world keeping feet dry is an uphill battle. Waterproofing uppers with a commercially available waterproofer is your first line of defense; it helps to slow water penetration that wets your feet and causes footwear to be heavy and slow drying.
For additional protection choose footwear with a waterproof-breathable liner, such as Gore-Tex. Feet will stay warmer and drier for longer, an important consideration when walking in cool or snowy environments. These liners offer a degree of breathability.
Another option is non-waterproof footwear, it's lighter and more breathable than the competition so is ideal for hot environments where it's more important to keep feet cool than dry. Better still, water drains through the mesh after creek crossings, and this type of boot dries twice as fast as waterproof footwear.
Boot anatomy: Before signing the lease on those snappy leather numbers, there are just a few things to check.
Make sure the sole flexes at the ball of the foot, not in the middle, and that the product offers enough torsional (side-to-side) stability for your needs. The rougher the expected terrain the more torsional rigidity required.
Check under-foot cushioning. Soft soles can make feet prematurely tired. Firm, supportive cushioning is the most comfortable after a long day of foot pounding. Avoid hard mid-soles (unless you require their rigidity) as no cushioning means aching feet.
If your choice fits well and suits the terrain you intend to travel it makes little difference what the upper is made from, whether this be full-grain leather, rubuck, suede or a composite (combination of materials). Under normal conditions the under-foot cushioning or outer sole will generally die before the upper falls apart. However, if you love pushing through thick shrub or sliding down sharp scree, a thick full-grain leather model with few seams will take the punishment best. If you for for a lightweight upper you can always protect it with a gaiter when the going gets tough.
Lightweight footwear will never last as long as a heavy-duty version, but this is irrelevant if the footwear provides many happy days of blister-free walking. Choose wisely and you'll enjoy the journey.26/02/2007 at 2:09 pm #97157
1. Try footwear on in the afternoon when feet are swollen. Visit the store during a quiet time. Wear the socks you intend using.
2. You won't know what fits until you experience something that doesn't. Try numerous brands and styles.
3. Ensure your toes don't touch the front of the shoe or bruised and blistered toes will result. Beware of excessive heel slip.
4. Women's models generally fit women best. Avoid unisex or men's design unless you have particularly large or wide feet.
5. A 'try-at-home guarantee' allows footwear to be worn at home (inside) and swapped if an issue arises.
1. Remove dirt and mud with a brush and water after trips.
2 Treat footwear regularly with a commercially available treatment and it will last longer.
3. Waterproof all footwear (even Gore-Tex styles) to stop the upper from wetting out.26/02/2007 at 2:43 pm #97158
SHOES and BOOTS:
1. Scarpia Ego $239.00 – A supportive and robust shoe with lacing to the toes for good foot hold. Vibram sole – http://www.scarpa.com or [http://it.scarpa.net/prodotti/trekking/]CLICK HERE:
4. Eko Landhiker – Cooper $139.00 – Excellent alue! Features a nubuck leather upper that is both waterproof and insulated (03) 9316 8822
18. Zamberlan – Baffin GT RR – $490.00 – This top quality Italian brand is back and bursting with comfort-enhancing innoations. http://www.zamberlan.com or CLICK HERE: Looking for dealers in Australia, CLICK HERE:
Boots_drying_out_around_the_fire.jpg30/05/2008 at 5:31 am #99834
I am a small female and wear a child's size 2 shoe. Any advice for me? I'm having enormous difficulty finding hiking boots in my size19/06/2008 at 2:46 pm #100004
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