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Gear Guide Boot Buying Guide, OutdoorPlaces.Com



 OutdoorPlaces.Com Boot Buying Gear Guide - Miscellaneous


There are a number of issues on selecting the right boots that can erupt into hand to hand combat around outdoors enthusiasts.  What about selecting a boot for your children?  Why can't I wear sneakers?  What about trail sandals?  We try to answer some of these nagging questions that you may ask when selecting the right boot.

 What About Sneakers Or Other Footwear?

There is nothing in Hiking Boot 101 that says you positively can't hike in sneakers.  A lot of people do it all the time.  The three primary problems in wearing sneakers is they are simply not durable enough, they are not waterproof, and they offer only limited ankle support.  Sneakers will not protect you against rocks or the shock of a rough trail, and can get cut much easier than a quality full grain leather boot.  Sneakers are not waterproof, and wet feet will stop you dead in your tracks.  And finally, just like below ankle trail shoes, they offer very little ankle support.  Even high top sneakers afford less protection than an above the ankle boot.  The best reason going is that a quality pair of hiking boots can be had for less money than a quality pair of adult sneakers!

 What About Sandals?

There is a growing acceptance among hikers on using trail sandals for the outdoors.  Many folks who have used them swear they will never go back to boots because of their lightweight and comfortable design and due to the ventilation of the sandal, the removal of the worry of wet feet.  If you plan to do trail running or walk on improved/maintained trails, there is probably nothing wrong with selecting sandals.  If you do decide to purchase sandals, make sure that your heel, ankle, and toes are enclosed and protected.  Exposed toes on a rocky trail are only asking for a serious foot injury.  You are sacrificing ankle support with a sandal and you need to be mindful of that.  Finally if you are in an area where you will be exposed to a lot of sun, make sure to apply sunscreen to your feet.  Nothing will stop a hiker faster than sandals rubbing on a severe sunburn.

 What Do I Do For My Children?

Several companies make excellent hiking shoes for children.  Timberland makes legitimate trail runners and day hikers all the way down to toddler sizes!  Although spending $30 to $50 for footwear that your child may outgrow in a matter of weeks can seem outrageous to some, if your child's feet become sore or blistered, it will be the end of your hike, and worse, you may have to carry your child out.  Size your children's boots and get them the appropriate socks (which are made in their sizes also).

 How Much Should I Spend?

There is no real hard and fast answer to that question.  You need to evaluate your budget and your requirements.  If your budget is $50 you are going to have a hard time finding Gore-Tex mountaineering boots.  Excellent quality footwear for hiking can be found for under $100 for adults, and under $60 for children.  A reasonable budget range would be from $95 to $150.  Expect to pay more for Gore-Tex or backpacking boots.

 What Brand Boot Do You Recommend?

We don't.  OutdoorPlaces.Com has provided this information as an agnostic view on buying boots.  You can visit our links library under Gear, Boots to find a listing on a number of boot manufacturers that provide excellent quality boots.

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