When it comes to hitting trails, climbing crags, walking at the local YMCA, or just simply being on your feet for any amount of time, your footwear of choice is immensely important. One of the chief mistakes a new hiker makes when hitting the trails is said hikers choice in footwear. Let’s look at how to pick the best boots for your outdoor adventure.
If you have ever been the victim of an ill-fitting pair of shoes, you can understand the pain, uncomfort and surrender that comes along with such a fate. Your feet carry the entire load and some. In a crisis situation, it is significant to wear the appropriate footgear.
Inferior footwear can hinder your movement to serious scope. Another issue with improper footgear could be that you will lose large amounts of heat if the footwear is not insulated correctly. You do not only risk losing heat while wearing inappropriate shoes; the action can lead to a throng of potentially life-threatening dilemmas.
Blisters are the pits, the ugly, the sinister of all walks, hikes and runs. Those blisters, over time (and especially during times of distress and crisis), can lead to far worse things. Eventually, ruptured blisters can lead to infection (and we all know that there is no such thing as an “alright” infection; they are all bad, no matter the severity).
In some severe scenarios, the absence of decent to good footgear can prove to be a death sentence. To have the ability to walk through a diversity of terrains and conditions, you need a substantial pair of survival boots. This is absolutely crucial.
Choosing a Pair of Great Survival Boots:
There are several factors to weigh in on when you decide to prep ahead and get a pair of solid hiking boots. As always, preparedness is absolutely everything here!
In all the “important” prepping that goes on in your household, from your bug out bag to the readiness of your doomsday vehicle, it may be easy to overlook some of the seemingly lower lying contexts of prepping. One of the most important being your choice of fall-out footwear.
There are a handful of questions you can ask yourself when deciding on a pair of boots:
What is the type of terrain that you will most likely be traversing? It is also important to consider here what sorts of loads you may be lugging around. The weight added by your gear to your feet can do a real number on you by the end of a long trek. (If such is the case, and you are carrying a heavy load, the best recommendation would be to find the lightest, toughest shoe available).
The Soul (Sole) of the Shoe?
The sole of the boot you choose will make the world of difference in your traversity. The sole is what will be absorbing much of the blow that each step makes when it pounds the ground. It is also the portion of the boot that prevents sharp objects from penetrating your foot (which can also be detrimental to your trip).
The sole of a shoe is composed of three different portions: Upper, Inner, and Insole.
This is the part that keeps the sole attached to the foot. It also acts as a steadier, keeping the foot from twisting, as well as keeping sharp foreign objects out.The upper portion of your boot should be flexible enough for you to walk comfortably, waterproof, and breathable.
This is the portion that makes up the upper cushioning and padding, and aides in moisture regulation. This part helps with the insulation of the boot, as well as reducing the shock of pressure points.
This is where your feet ride out the duration of each footfall that occurs in your hike. The insoles should be properly fit to your feet; this is a vital step in shoe selection. These will be the support for the arch in your foot, and they will prevent you from becoming flat footed in your steps (if this occurs, you will relinquish your foot’s flexibility and it will cause rapid foot fatigue).
A number of classifications can fall into this portion. As is the case with much prepping, finding the perfect boot for your own foot can quickly become a test of trials and tribulations. It may take a bit of time, but hey, that is the joy of prepping, is it not?
Some styles may include, but are not limited to:
This choice will be narrowed down by the sorts of trails you plan to be hiking. Keep in mind that trail boots typically have stiffer soles, but provide great traction in comparison to walking shoes.
A high ankle boot, if you plan on doing any vigorous hiking, will offer additional support to your ankles. They will provide sole stiffness and protect your feet against rocks and other piercing trail matter, as well as support the balls of your feet.
These boots will have an upper constructed solely of full grain leather. They have extraordinary traction and a minimum of seams. This cut of boot works extremely well on rigorous terrains and under heavy loads. They give constant support on steep slopes.
This boot type will provide upper-ankle support as well as a rigid sole steadiness. They provide great protection and flexibility at the balls of your feet.
Safety should be your number one importance when out hunting and every gear you have should be suited for this activity. Hunting in the wilderness is one of the most adventurous and beautiful experience that one can have. However, witouth the proper footware, you will go home bringing only some bunions and blisters.
When I got my first pair of muck fieldblazer boots, I knew my feet wouldstay dry and protected. Think of it like this, if you can’t walk comfortably when hunting, you might as well stay home and play a hunting simulator video game.
Typically low-cut, giving more movement freedom to the ankles. They come with anti-abrasion toes and have sticky rubber soles. These are precisely designed for scrambling, but can be used for light hiking. They are not best known for keeping out sand, twigs and other trail debris. Therefore they are not typically used for long, hard trailing it.
Confirming the Fit:
Once you have decided on a pair(s) of boots, the next most important step is to confirm their fit for your foot.
Is the boot made up of quality materials? Are their tongues gusseted in order to shed and keep out water? Are they laced with quality-made laces? Is the stitching up to par?
Do they breathe well? Is their range of motion good enough for the hiking you will most be doing? Are they light enough for easy travel, or are they so heavy they cause foot fatigue too fast?
Are They Genuinely Water-Resistant?
Be sure to check that they are actually water resistant. They need to be fully waterproof, while simultaneously having the ability to allow sweat to escape. Water entering your boots can quicken the arrival of those pesky, enfeebling heel blisters.
Can You Run in them?
You never know when you will be forced into a hard run, or perhaps you simply enjoy a good job upon waking on the trail. Well, the physical act of this running can quadruple your body weight, sending sheer shocks to your feet. When selecting your shoe/boot, be sure that you can comfortably run at full speed in them. If not, it is suggestable to find another pair.
Do They Truly Protect your feet?
Will they hold up for miles and miles of commuting? Your boots will need to be able to take a beating. They must sustain rough weather, muck, severe terrain, and sweat all the while providing support and security for your foot.
Taking everything into account:
We can clearly see how great is the importance of a good pair of hiking boots. The time and thought that you allot to understanding your precise need for a boot can save you a ton of heartache later on down the trail.
Your best bet, when choosing a pair for yourself is to look into tons of reviews (who better to take advice from than those who have tread the water before you?); to make the time to talk to someone who is well-experienced in trail shoes; and (if you have the time and resources) get out there for your own trials in different trail boots.
This article has been written by Jonathan Blaylock for Prepper’s Will.