New hiking boots are great because they enhance your hiking experience. However, before you are out and about with your new shoes, you must adequately prepare your feet. So, how do you get your feet ready for your new hiking boots? You should;
1. Test Walks
Before you pack your bag and embark on a long hike, you need to test out the shoes first. You want to make sure that the hiking boots are comfortable to walk in over short distances. The best place to start is inside your house; later, you can cover more ground.
As you walk around the house, assess the shoes’ comfort and note any hot spots. The shoe should be snug but not tight, as with most new shoes. Afterward, you can walk around your neighborhood or even go shopping in the shoes. Apart from smooth surfaces, walk on varied terrains such as mud, rocks, and sand to gauge the feel of the shoes in different environments. The main goal is gradually adding weight and distance each time you test out the shoes. This is a great way to accustom your feet to your hiking boots and bears terrific results.
New hiking boots are stiff, so you do not want to risk hurting your feet as you break them in. You should always go for the materials recommended for walking shoes, such as merino wool. Fit your new hiking boots with their insoles and the socks you intend to wear on your hike. This helps you to assess how well your feet, shoes, and socks work together.
If the socks feel too bulky, you can look for thinner but high-quality ones. The rule of thumb is to have socks that fit well and are comfortable. If you are particularly susceptible to blisters, invest in moleskin tape and some blister socks. This will help you have a better, pain-free experience as you test your new shoes.
How you tie your shoelaces directly impacts your feet and more so for stiff, leather hiking boots. If the shoes are not laced correctly, your feet will be exposed to more friction, which will lead to blistering. Did you know that different foot shapes require different lacing-up techniques? This is because the techniques that work for narrow feet will not necessarily work for wide feet.
You want your lace technique to provide ample support for every part of your foot, especially the toes and heel.
The first step to preparing your feet for hiking shoes is to get the right fit. A shoe that is too big for your foot will keep slipping off. This may be dangerous, especially as you hike up a slope, as the shoe could easily come off. You also risk the back of your foot because the slips create friction and lead to painful blisters. If the shoes are too tight, they will pinch your toes and press in your whole foot.
It is advisable to try out new hiking shoes in physical shops. Be sure to go with the socks you intend to wear on your hike or ask for advice on the best socks for your new boots. According to the professionals at Cotswold Outdoor, hiking shoes are a great fit if they are comfortable when you have the insoles and socks on.
Harmony should be achieved between your feet and the hiking boots. You can achieve this harmony by properly inspecting your feet first and noting any areas of discomfort. The main hotspots you should be on the lookout for are the Achilles tendons and toes.
Listen to the way your feet respond and make the necessary adjustments. These adjustments could mean trying out different combinations with the socks, lacing techniques, and insoles. Finding the right balance with the different aspects goes a long way to prepare your feet for the shoes.
There are two approaches to readying your feet for new hiking shoes: the right way and the shortcuts. Quick fixes are not an approved way to break in new shoes you intend to wear for long distances. Some of the major shortcuts to avoid are soaking, freezing, or heating the boots.
These quick fixes do not work and may even injure your feet in the long run.
Taking the proper steps to prepare your feet will give you a better experience with your new shoes. Be sure to do your research and find the ideal hiking boots from Cotswold Outdoors today.