Buying and Fitting New Boots
Monod Sports in Banff knows that no matter what time of year it may be, thoughts of hikes along the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park and scrambles up Mount Cory in Banff National Park enter your mind from time to time; those crisp bluebird days in the high country, wildflowers at your feet and a warm sun on your back. Oh, YEAH!
Photo courtesy of Deuter, 2007
THEN you look at your hiking boots -- is it time for a new pair? Take an objective look at your trusty hiking companions (if you can!):
Are the bottoms and lugs worn smooth from all those hikes you did in previous seasons?
Is the leather and/or synthetic upper cracking or wearing out?
When you take a short hike in the boots, do they "feel" different? (Our feet change as we age and consequently, a boot which served you well for years can suddenly be too narrow or short!)
Are the soles separating from the boot?
Now it comes down to the hard truth: should the boots stay or should they go?
Okay, let's say you have decided you can make the boots last through another season. Let's talk tune-up:
- Look at the boot's foot beds. Are the insoles almost worn through? A new pair of quality insoles like Superfeet can make an older boot feel like new again!
- Wash the boot exterior with warm water and a soft nylon brush. Allow the boots to dry before applying any waterproofing. Even if you have Gore-Tex boots, you need to condition and waterproof the boot's leather exterior. AVOID oil-based (ie mink oil) waterproofing as they soften the leather and attract dirt; instead, opt for a water-based waterproofing like Granger's.
ONGOING CARE OF YOUR HIKING BOOTS
BUYING NEW BOOTS
Perhaps you've looked the ol' boots over and said, 'sorry bud, but it's time for a new pair.' So let's start with some Monod Sports suggestions when you try on boots:
- Because each foot can be a different size, always try on both boots (and when ordering online, measure both feet using the size charts provided with each manufacturer's boots!).
- Bring the socks you intend to use hiking with you to the boot fitting.
- THE STIFFER THE BOOT, THE THICKER THE SOCK SHOULD BE!
- If your feet are different sizes, buy for the larger foot and use insoles such as Superfeet to accommodate the difference.
- The best time to try on boots is after being on your feet all day.
- Bring in your usual hiking socks and any special insoles you may use.
- Lace the boot from the toe box up to the top, making sure not to pull it too tight nor allow it to be too loose.
- After lacing it up, your heel should feel snug in the heel cup while your toes should have some "wiggle" room. Your heel should not slip significantly when walking up stairs or a ramp.
- Your toes should not bang against the front of the boots when walking downhill.
Okay, almost done now!! Once you get the boots home:
- Take the time to walk around the house in them for a day or two just to make sure they are right for you (don't walk outside in them!).
- If you bought stiffer boots (once you've decided they're the boot for you), wear those boots as much as possible BEFORE you plan a big trip.
- Use the tips outlined in "Ongoing Care of Hiking Boots" to keep the boots looking good for years.
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For further inquiries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com; we'll answer your questions as promptly as possible! CHEERS!