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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2012

Rip & Equip: Boots

First: Buy the right boots. Second: Keep them in tip top shape with these tips.

by: Kristin Hostetter

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Leather Info Synthetics Info
Full-grain The full thickness of the cowhide (not sanded or buffed); best quality leather. Very durable with good water resistance. Polyester Versatile and used both alone or in blends. Abrasion resistant, easy to clean, and quick drying; often stiffer then nylon.
Nubuck Leather that’s sanded or buffed for a suedelike finish and easy-break-in softness. Good water resistance and durability. Nylon Lightweight and flexible, often mesh or paired with split-grain leather. Resistant to water, tears, and abrasions.
Split-grain Inner part of the hide that’s split from the outer hide. Often paired with synthetics to add durability to light, breathable boots. Synthetic leather Less expensive, lighter weight, and lower maintenance than natural leather. Water-resistant and easy to clean.

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READERS COMMENTS

:Bill
Jul 15, 2012

Wha is the name of the boot company?

Steve C
May 22, 2012

Here's a lesson I've learned for pairing up footwear to a specific hike: What are the condition of your feet? Just like your abbs, feet need strengthening. When I consider the category of hike I'll be going on and then consider the strength of my feet, that helps me determine what type of footwear I'll use.

When I buy new footwear, I often swap out the footbed insert with one that fits my foot.

Also, I can't say enough about the sock. A sock can make or break a trip. The interaction of a foot, a sock, and a boot can be synergy or agony. Pair up the right socks for the footwear and you will be going for miles in happy comfort.

RC
May 18, 2012

A water bottle may not apply enough weight to hold the boot down while adhesive sets for a heel repair. I've used a block of wood in the boot, then placed the leg of a table in the boot on the block. If you cut the wood block to fit in the heel you'll distribute the weight where it's needed. Then add weight as necessary to the table corner. That'll clamp it down good.

meanolddog
May 18, 2012

The number #1 item I found in buying boots over the years is finding a Company who uses a "Boot Last" that conforms or matches my foot the best.

Many Companies, Many Lasts. I go to many stores and try on the boots and then I check the internet to find a better price which usually includes shipping.

A boot Last is the pre-made Form they use to build the boot on at the Factory. After trying many models, manufacturers and blisters I finally found one Company that fits me right out of the box with little breaking in needed and I can't say that I never had another blister but instead of many blisters I might only get two on a 40 mile multi-day hike over varied terrain, as in cross country hiking with a two month period maybe between hikes of this length. Once you have that problem sovled, then your pretty safe in buying any of that Companies boots. The Company I bought from I now have 4 pairs I wear from various uses from Fishing, Walking to multi-day hikes and work boots. And their made here in the U.S.A..

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