5 things any High Country hiker should consider when buying new hiking boots
by Sanny Visser:
Buying new hiking shoes is not something you want to tackle lightly; for a comfortable hike, you need shoes that fit perfectly. Footsloggers’ footwear experts like Brian Baldwin will get you up and running when it comes to finding the perfect hiking shoe. Although Footsloggers staff will do anything in their capability to find out what kind of hiker you are before picking out shoes for you, it’s a good idea to give this some thought before you step into the store. Preparation is key: here are 5 things to consider before purchasing new shoes.
1. What kind of hiker am I?
Although Brian will do anything in his capability to find out what kind of hiker you are before picking out shoes for you, it’s a good idea to give this some thought before you step into the store. How often do you hike? Is it mostly day hiking? Backpacking? Trail running perhaps? This way, your consultant can start narrowing down their scoop and selecting more efficiently.
2. Find the perfect fit
You can walk in and say “I wear a size 11!”, but proper measurement is extremely important. Brian says: “We train our staff to take the guesswork out and do the math, meaning: fit the foot, not the size. This is crucial to get a baseline from which to operate, so we can choose a size that best resembles their foot characteristics.”
3. Sometimes less is more
Construction, materials, and aesthetics: this is the moment when these factors come into focus. Brian likes to point out different features: leather or synthetic, waterproof or ventilated, EVA or PU outsoles. But don’t feel overwhelmed; highlighting certain features will often remind you that less is more. Or maybe you will find something you would’ve never considered otherwise.
4. The secret of a good sock…
Has this ever happened to you: you set off in your new shoes for a good hike, and after 15 minutes of walking, something is irritating your left toe. After a long 30 minutes, all you want to do is throw the shoe off a cliff and dip your foot in the nearest creek. You might not always realize this, but a fresh pair of socks is crucial when you buy hiking shoes. Wear socks during the fitting that you intend to wear when you’re hiking, and choose synthetic over cotton. Cotton socks are slow-drying and are more likely to cause blisters.
5. Those boots are made for walking!
Any consultant should take fitting seriously and make you walk some distance in the store and step on the incline board, before you are ready to box them up. It’s also recommended to wear the shoes inside for a couple of hours and, when they seem to fit well, wear them outside in your neighborhood a few times before hitting the trail.
The entire Footsloggers team is trained to help you with the perfect hiking boot or shoe. Just come on in and find your fit!