hiking boots

Good hiking boots can mean the difference between life and death. I stopped hiking by myself not because of bears but more out of concern about twisting my ankle, while on a trail five miles in the back country that no one else was hiking. The scenery is breath taking, it is very easy to be paying attention to the spectacular views and not enough to your footing. Trails are often composed of loose shale that will tip when you step on them. Most of the trails in Glacier National Park can be rough, rocky and uneven. The leading cause of death in the park is drowning, frequently by slipping on wet rocks when hiking off the actual trail. Just because the calendar says it's the middle of the summer doesn't mean you won't be hiking across snow.

A good pair of hiking boots, that are broken in before you start hiking in the mountains can make the difference between having an enjoyable hike or having to turn around because your feet hurt so much you can't walk anymore. I know that when I hiked the Appalachian Trail as a Boy Scout I was tending my blisters every night. Now when I hike, from May to October, if I get one blister during the hiking season I'm surprised.

About six years ago I made the mistake of economizing on hiking boots, the boots didn't last half the hiking season before needing to be replaced. Not being a particularly fast learner I got some more cheap hiking boots, that then needed to be broken in and once again didn't make it through the rest of the hiking season. One very simple lesson I learned from hiking in the mountains is to check the size of BOTH feet, get your hiking boot fitted for your larger foot and then buy sock liners, and wear it on the smaller foot only. The difference this makes when your going downhill for miles on end is incredible. When hiking long distances my feet tend to swell, don't get your boots so tight that there isn't room for your feet to expand. When your starting back on a downhill hike, it's a good idea to tighten your boots.

As you rest your feet by the campfire after a long day of hiking, your feet will thank you for protecting them, caring for them, keeping them warm and dry with a good pair of hiking boots.

feet by the fire