Surviving the harsh elements of nature is a hard thing to do. Surviving the harsh elements of nature without a good pair of shoes is next to impossible. Waterproof boots will protect your feet from the natural elements (water, heat, cold, snow, etc). Hiking boots are designed to give your feet the necessary support they need to help you move, stay aligned with your body, and protect you from weather elements.
Boots Are Made For Walkin’
Boots that have flexible soles and deep tread are the best type of shoes to have as far as walking/hiking in nature go. There is much debate on whether to purchase all leather boots that are fairly heavier or light weight hiking boots. Several studies have shown that wearing one extra pound on your feet takes as much energy as carrying five or six pounds in a backpack. Keep in mind of the terrain of the location you will be in to make the right decision of the type of footwear that should be purchased. There are many reviews of hiking boots to determine what is the best choice.
Worn out boots that have not been tended to can do an insurmountable amount of damage on the feet. In James Wesley, Rawles book The Patriot, the character Doug was wandering around in the harsh extremities of nature with worn down boots that were falling apart at the seams. After walking a very long journey, he made it back to his home and dug up a cache that he had buried way before the collapse of the country and found a spare pair of combat boots. In all of the items that were in the cache (coins, batteries, face paint, soap, vitamins, food, etc), he was most thankful for putting in a spare pair of boots.
Points to Find the Best Boots For You:
- Select boots that are designed to provide the support and protection you will need for the most difficult terrain you expect to encounter.
- Choose boots that are designed to support the load you expect to be carrying. The heavier your load, the more support you will need.
- Remember that hiking boots do not have to weigh a great deal.
- Consider the various advantages of fabric-and-leather boots and all-leather boots. Fabric-and-leather boots are lighter and easier to break in, but all-leather boots offer added protection and durability in rigorous terrain, as well as being water resistant and breathable.
- Top-quality hiking boots, are made with a Gore-Tex® lining that keeps water out while allowing perspiration to escape.
R.E.I’s website has some further tips to think about when choosing the right pair of boots.
Take Care of Your Boots, and Your Boots Take Care of You
Many backpackers and soldiers carry nylon gaitors to protect their boots from water when walking through wet areas. There are ways to winterize the boots to keep them protected from the elements. Carrying an extra pair of laces would be a good thing to keep in mind as well. As laces seem to weaken and break well before the footwear does.
Not only is it important to have undamaged shoes to protect the feet, but have an appropriate fitting shoes as well. There are stories of children who grew up during the time of the Depression and did not have good shoes to wear. In a personal Depression example, my grandmother wore shoes made from tires that her father made. They did not fit, but she did not complain as she was thankful just for having those. She wore tight fitting shoes for years that did a number on her feet. As a result, she had to have countless surgeries to help her hammer toes. Her feet are now deformed as a result of wearing tight fitting shoes. This is a prime example of why good footwear is important.
When preparing to buy footwear for children, footwear can be purchased on clearance two sizes larger than what they wear. Then buy another pair of shoes that are two sizes too big. By using this method, if there is more than one child, shoes can be passed on. Worn out treads, cracked leather, and rotten stitching can create ways for nature to seep into your shoes. It is important to take care of your footwear. In the Special Forces Survival Guide, the Royal Marines have a tip for caring for boots:
Stuff wet boots with newspapers and dry them in a warm, airy place, though not in direct hear, which will bake and then crack the leather. In winter, rub silicone or wax over the laces to stop them from freezing when they get wet.
Nothing can end a great outdoor experience faster than painful blisters, pinched toes or even injuries caused by inappropriate hiking boots. By taking care of your shoes, you are essentially taking care of yourself. Investing in a good pair of waterproof boots is a lasting investment.