Here are 12 points you should consider when selecting new hiking boots:
- What type of walking are you going to primarily be doing? Are you going to be walking in valleys, on relatively good paths, on grassy lanes? A lighter fabric boot is good for this. On the other hand, if you will be walking over stony ground, on uneven paths, or slippery surfaces, you should wear a heavier boot with a stiff sole.
- Do you want your boots to have a built-in waterproof liner? A gore-tex liner will keep your feet dry, aside from perspiration.
- Go to a shop that has a wide variety of leading brand boots at the end of the day. Your feet swell as the day goes on, and you will get the best fit at that time of day. Bring along your hiking socks as well.
- Feet should be measured every time you get a new pair of boots. Our feet change in size as we age.
- Take out the inner sole of the boot and stand on it with your heel in the heel cup. There should be a finger's length at the end of the shoe.
- Try on both boots with your socks, and lace them up like you would normally. Shop assistants may have helpful tips on alternative lacing methods.
- Walk around the shop. If the shop has an incline or decline, walk on that too. If there is a lift in the heel, don't purchase the shoes unless you can put in a different insole.
- Boot should feel great right out of the box. They won't be as comfortable as the ones you're discarding, but they should feel good. Boots should not need a significant break-in period.
- If you feel areas of pressure, especially in terms of width, try the next size up or wider width.
- If boots are too small they will cripple you on a long hard walk, but if they are too big, you can live with them by wearing thicker socks or different inner soles.
- Many retailers will let you take your boots home and try them out on the carpet. If you're not happy, then most will let you return or exchange them.
- Boots will require some breaking in, to get them to where they are the most comfortable. Try different socks or inner soles if necessary.
If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
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