Memory foam insoles Insoles that mould to your feet, making your boots uncomfortable for other people to wear.
Austin Hike And Bike Trail Map Photo Gallery
Air cushioning Feels like you’re walking on air, which could happen if you’re traversing Striding Edge and you take a step too far. Note that this particular knife-edge ridge on Helvellyn is a useful ‘favourite hike’ for bluffers to drop into conversation.
Anti-clogging soles Prevent you from carrying most of the farmer’s field you’ve just crossed on the rest of your walk. This also prevents ankle injuries caused by wheel spin when clogged soles come into contact with wet grass.
EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) Provides cushioning comfort in the soles. Also offers rebounding benefits, literally pushing your foot back into the air, ready for the next step. Too much EVA can feel like walking on two pogo sticks.
Hiking boots are one of the most important purchases a hiker can make. Following these simple steps when making a purchase will convince any outdoor gear shop assistant that you know exactly what you’re doing. And this, of course, is every bluffer’s aim.
1. Buy boots in the morning. Feet swell during the day, so the earlier in the day you buy boots, the better they will fit.
2. Wear the socks you would normally wear when going hiking. Not only does this help you find boots that fit, it means you don’t have to wear those spare socks that hiking shops have for the amateurs who forget such important points. Wearing other people’s hiking socks is like wearing other people’s underwear: not recommended.
3. Search for a hiking shop with a decent incline board – these are designed to help you test how the boots feel when walking up- and downhill. Angled at about 45°, many are no more than 46cm (18 inches) long, leaving you with no option but to stand on them and try not to fall off. By the way, never grab the shoulder of an assistant or hiking companion. All hikers, accustomed as they are to crossing sharp, rocky ledges, are supposed to have a natural sense of balance.
A hiker always has four-season walking boots, crampons, a survival bag and a two-week supply of dried food – and that’s just when going to collect the morning newspaper.
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