No doubt, a great pair of boot is critically essential when it comes to hiking. But when it comes down to selecting a pair of hiking boots for you, going with the looks of it alone isn't enough. Also, forget about all sorts of flashy features. The most important thing for you is to find a good fit while buying boots.
So, once you are done with buying a pair of hiking boot with a good fit, it is time for you to turn your attention to its accessories. Yes, you read that right! Hiking boot accessories!
Accessories are often overlooked and undermined. People tend to have little to no knowledge when it comes to accessories.They don't even think twice about them. But the selection of the proper accessories to go with the boots is crucial. As they can either make or break your experience with your hiking boots. Proper accessories can provide you with much-needed comfort and support by following the principles of boot ergonomics. It can also enhance your hiking or trailing experience to another level.
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Ultimate Guide To Hiking Shoes & Boot Accessories
So, we are here to guide you through the basics of some hiking boot accessories like- insoles, hiking socks, laces & crampons for your better understandings.
The insole is also sometimes referred to as footbed.It is the inside part of the shoe which is placed right underneath the foot.It is often seen the manufactured boots that you bought rather comes with an inferior quality of insoles. So, it is best to remove the insoles that already come with your newly bought boots.Then, replace them with an enhanced one.
These special types of insoles are more likely to provide you with a better support for your feet. These insoles will strongly back up your toe and the arch of your feet.
They might seem a bit stiff at first. But, over time they will mold to your foot evenly. Also, avoid foam insole! They tend to sink down more easily and often fail to give you your much-needed support in hiking activities.
People tend to underestimate the necessity of hiking socks! But once added to the collection of accessories, they will make an enormous difference to your comfort levels. Not to mention, these socks also provide top-notch technical quality. They are specially designed to fit on your feet without twisting or bunching.
There are two types of socks to look for:
Liner socks & Hiking socks
a. Liner Socks:
A liner sock is a type of sock that is made especially thin and is meant to be worn before hiking socks. These are usually spurned from wool or any other comfortable synthetic fabric.
Also, it is absolutely essential to remember that you don’t choose a pair of liner socks that might be made from cotton. Cotton is the worst for your feet when it comes to hiking.Because they absorb moisture and hold it in. It will make your leg soggy and swampy by accumulating your sweat causing you rashes or blisters.
Remember, prevention of moisture = prevention of blisters!
b. Hiking Socks:
Hiking socks are the thick socks that you are supposed to wear outside the liner socks. The addition of hiking socks will give you an extra padding. They will also keep you warm and toasty in icy weather.
Also, they offer a minimal range of seams which will prevent further irritation in your feet.
You can use laces to tighten your boots fit. To find a good lace for your boot or shoe, first, you need to know about the sorts of eyelet that comes along with your laces. Some of the eyelets are:
- Punched eyelets: They are basically punched holes in the top region of laces and are reinforced with grommets.
Cons: Can rip out easily.
- Webbing: They are generally amesh of fabric made like a loop.
Cons: Can Wear out easily.
- D-rings: They are riveted to the top material in the form of metallic loops.
Cons: Can create pressure points.
- Hooks: They are riveted open-backed to the top material.
So, choose a lace with a proper eyelet best suited to your type of activity to give you maximum support.
Crampons are devices that can be attached externally to your shoes. They are manufactured especially for climbing and walking over ice and snow.
Crampon gives you an added friction so that you don’t slip over icy regions. This way they protect your feet and your walking boot.
They also offer a significant amount of force and provide you with a better grip to traverse more easily through thick, untamed terrains.
General climbs & walking routes don’t need a complicated, technical crampon. A simple slip-on, lightweight crampon will do providing that it is also quite flexible.
Technical crampons have specific features for specific use.
A snow repelling crampon will prevent snow from curling up in the body of the crampon. Also, various types of crampons are available in the market that allows you to hook your crampons into mountain cracks or can break off the dense ice.
Again, waterfall/Ice climb routes will need a different set of technical rigid fitting crampons.
Some climb routes are technical routes that include mixed mountain routes. They need a fixed, rigid crampons usually made of steel.
So, you better be careful that you choose an appropriate crampon for your mode of climbing/hiking. Since a wrong type of crampons may prove fatal to your feet.
How to use:
Attach crampon to your foot using a toe strap and heel lever.
Heel groove of the boots assists in holding the heel lever tightly. It will prevent slipping. If your boots don't have a heel lever, a simple slip-on one can be used to support your foot.
Make sure to always position your toe to the crampon front posts. After that securely attach it by using the heel level onto the boot.
The fitting should be properly adjusted. So, use the straps and buckle the system in a way so that it tightens your foot in.
Protect yourself and your pack from the sharp points of crampon with rubber point covers or a case for crampon usually made of puncture-resistant, rugged nylon. Crampon cases provide with easy and quick storage. Also, rubber point covers tend to be less bulky. They are also less expensive.
In addition to a case, you can consider a pair of gaiters that will protect your lower legs and clothes from getting torn by sharp points of crampon
By now, hopefully, you have grasped the basic understanding of the accessories that come along with the hiking boots. Hiking boots should feel comfortable and should give you that feeling of security.
If you don't get that comfort and sense of security, it is high time you take your accessories like insoles, hiking socks, laces, and crampons a little more seriously. With the aid of this guide, you will also find that it is absolutely easy to choose the right qualities of accessories that is best suited for your hiking boots. So, go on. Have fun and safe hiking!