How To Choose The Best Hiking Boots
Choosing a pair of boots can be exciting, yet difficult. There is a lot to consider and making the wrong decision when it comes to footwear can be a costly, and even dangerous mistake to make. However, the experts from leading technical footwear brand Asolo are here to help, with some top tips for buying walking boots. When our sister site, iHubbub, reviewed a pair of Asolo hiking boots we decided to get into some serious hiking - only because the boots were so robust and comfortable.
Here Asolo give us their top tips for ensuring you choose the best pair of hiking boots you can find ...
1. Do your research – Having the right boot for the right activity is paramount, so it is important to establish what kind of outdoor activity you will be undertaking before making a purchase. Set yourself a list of requirements and stick to them.
2. Leather or Fabric – Each has its own advantages. With leather boots, you have the option of various leather types and thicknesses so it is advisable to look into what is best for your specific needs. Leather boots, such as the Asolo Powermatic 200 GV, are inherently more rigid in the upper than a fabric alternative and can offer more protection against puncture. By contrast, fabric boots like the Asolo Revert GV, are generally lighter, with softer, more flexible uppers and improved breathability.
3. Right boot for the job – It’s very important to consider the terrain you will be walking on before you buy anything. If you’re going to be visiting lowland areas and valleys, then you may want to opt for a lightweight boot with a softer flex and lower profile such as the Asolo Reston or Mesita. If you plan on trekking to higher and more challenging terrain, you should choose a stiffer boot with a deep tread and a hard wearing sole unit such as the Asolo Khumbu GV. Also, if you ever plan on wearing crampons, you need to make sure that your boots are compatible with the specific model of crampon.
4. Measuring up – When looking for the perfect fit, size is important...but so is shape. You need to take into account every detail of your foot, not just its length. A boot with an ill-fitting heel area will cause painful rubbing and abrasion on the ball of the heel and Achilles; it could even cause damage to the tendon itself. A last that is too narrow will cause painful pressure and one that is too wide will not provide the necessary stability. You need to find a happy medium in which your foot is cradled by the boot, but still has some room to move and breathe. Ill-fitting footwear is not only hugely dangerous in terms of safety but can also affect your kinetic chain of movement, causing issues such as repetitive ankle injuries and shin splints as well as knee, hip and back pain.
5. Staff – It’s always best to try a boot on in-store so you have the chance to get a feel for them. Asolo works with knowledgeable retailers who can help guide you towards a boot that is best for you. You can find a list of reputable retailers at: http://www.asolo.com/en/find-shops
6. Seasonal fit – It is common for your feet to swell in the heat and humidity during spring and summer. So bear in mind that, when buying boots, you can always wear thicker socks during the winter but you can’t make your boots any smaller during the summer.
7. Test at home – Most shops will allow you to return your boots within a reasonable time, given they haven’t been damaged or worn outside. There a lot of things you can do to make sure your boots are right for you. Try out some of the following activities to get a good feel for your new boots:
i. Walk up and down the stairs to mimic uphill and downhill action,
ii. Do the hoovering in them to get your feet used to moving and twisting
iii. Experiment with lacing and vary the tension from the forefoot area to the ankle
iv. Wear them at different times during the day, as feet tend to swell later in the day.
8. Never compromise – If you have reservations, then change them for a different model or size. It’s better to find out your boots aren’t the right fit sooner rather than later.
For further information visit www.asolo.com