Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Take time to break-in new hiking boots -

You finally got them - that new pair of hiking boots designed for rugged terrain.
But an important task remains before you head out on a maiden day hike or extended backcountry trip - breaking in those new boots.
Generally, breaking in new hiking boots takes a bit of time. In fact, heavier all-leather models may need weeks of breaking in before they become comfortable enough to use. If you rush the break-in process, your feet may suffer the consequences, namely in blisters and muscle ache.
Here are a few tips for making the process easier:
-Wear the new boots for short periods inside the house. Put on socks that will likely be worn on a hike. Lace the boots up tight, and have tongues lined up and the gusset material folded flat. The creases and form created during the break-in period will likely become part of the boot for its life.
-New boots will feel a little stiff at first. But if you notice significant pinching, rubbing or pain, take the boots off. You may also consider returning the boots to their place of purchase and checking out another style.
-Once boots feel comfortable after several short indoor sessions, begin wearing them during routine outings, such as going to the market or working in the yard. Gradually increase the boots wearing time and the distances you cover. Boots should feel good at each stage before increasing the wearing use and distance.
-If the boots feel fine throughout the break-in process, but a single pinch remains, you may be able to correct the problem area at a shoe-repair shop. Most have stretching devices that can help alleviate localized boot-fitting problems.
Source: REI
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