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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008

March 2008 Boots Review: Start Smart Boot Tips

by: The Backpacker Editors


Start Smart
Get a Good Fit–Prevent chronic foot problems in 6 easy steps.

1 Shop in the p.m. Feet swell during the day. Try on boots in the evening, and they'll fit–and feel–like they do on the trail. Always wear hiking socks when trying on boots.

2 Measure your feet Do it every time you buy boots–your size can increase as you age. A good bootfitter will measure both feet using a Brannock device. If the sizes are different, go with the larger one.

3 Shop around Try on several models and brands, because almost every boot is built on a different last (the mold that determines a shoe's internal shape). Note: Fit usually doesn't improve after break-in. Wear will reduce stiffness, not fit problems.

4 Take a test drive Walk up and down an incline board and check that your heel stays stationary and your toes don't slam into the front. Spend at least 15 minutes walking around, and if you feel pressure points anywhere, keep looking.

5 Wait for perfection You'll know it when you feel it: Your heel is cradled snugly, your midfoot and arch feel well supported, and your toes have wiggle room.

6 Add padding Did all of the above and you still have sore dogs? Try aftermarket insoles, which boost arch support and lateral rigidity. They can also improve fit, especially if you have low-volume feet.



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READERS COMMENTS

Way
Dec 01, 2009

Putting plastic bags on your feet is probably the dumbest idea. One, your feet cannot breath. Two, that would cause a lot of moisture build up. Three, that will result in trench foot and blisters.

Ben Baker
May 12, 2008

Although putting plastic bags over your feet prevent moisture from getting into your socks it does not let sweat escape from them. Thus, your feet still get wet from your own moisture generation.

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