Best way to break in new hiking boots?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnE, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Does anyone have any tips or secrets for breaking in new hiking boots? I'm picking up a pair next weekend for a hike up in Canada I'm planning in Nov. I'd like them to be somewhat broken in before then so I don't end up with a couple of big oozing sores at the end of my legs. Thanks
     
  2. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Just wear them as much as possible up until your trip. Wear them around the house, to the store, theater, office, etc. There's not really a "fast" way to break in a good pair of boots.
     
  3. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Wear them alot [​IMG] Just walk aroudn in them, they'll break in easily..
    What are you planning to get? Just curious coz i work as a footware salesperson in an outdoor sporting goods store [​IMG]
     
  4. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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  5. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I'm on my 3rd pair of Merrels. I always get the lightweights and to break them in I wear them around town just as the others have suggested.
    Since your going to the land of the rain (not that your not there already [​IMG] ) some good rainproof ones would almost be a must. I can't help you much there cause I don't buy the fancy(expensive) waterproof ones.
    I do know this though, when deciding to go sample shoes go after work or a day when you have already been on your feet lots. If the shoes feel good after your feet are a little tired imagine when their not! The truth is, I'm not sure the rationale behind this but I have had shoe sales people tell me that its the best time to go. So I do. I always bring a pair of wool socks too when trying on shoes cause I wear them on the trail with normal cotton socks underneath and although you can spend $20.00 for fancy socks, I don't buy into that.
    What kind of hike are you going on? Shoes are classified in 3 categories: lightweight, medium and heavy. Depending on your type of hiking one will be the perfect type. And stay away from Columbia they are the Bose of hiking footware (and clothes).
    Good luck.
     
  6. Zak Solo

    Zak Solo Agent

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    I recently bought a pair of Lowa Mountain Boots - Goretex lined. I wanted an all leather boot rather than the fabric types for durability. Lowa's are really hard to find in the UK. I had to settle for the military boot. They are very comfortable.
    Whilst hunting I found this http://www.azwx.com/hiking%20boots.html which helped when choosing.
    I found the best way to break them in was to wear them around the house to start, and then outdoors walking to the shops etc. Now they fit like gloves. I did the Brecon Beacons in Wales and wore them non-stop for well over 15 hours at a time.
    I would also suggest a pair of Superfeet which are really good.
    Buy some good thick socks as well.
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Like others said, just wear them, wear them alot... Do not listen to the myth that sometimes some people say about soaking them... You really shouldn't soak (on purpose anyway) leather boots. Don't dry wet boots by the campfire either (unless it's an emergency) cause it dries out the leather.

    Are you backpacking or hiking? You'll find different boots for them as the backpacking boots will have more ankle support and generally go higher on the leg. A weekend hike will probably not need a big boot though. Make sure you test the boot in the store, most stores will have an incline that you can test and also have a return policy that you can return the boots as long as it's not been worn outdoors, like hiking, so you can wear it around the house and stuff and return it if it doesn't fit. Campmor has this policy, I'm sure REI has something similar. Make sure the boot is not too big on the incline or going downhill will be torture and lead to large blisters. If you've got other things to buy, try on the shoes and shop the store with the boots on. If you look at REI's website, they have a large section on "How-to's" and stuff that is typically helpful.

    Get a good sock AND try on the boots with it. I'd recommend any kind of Merino Wool sock as they are cool when it's warm out and warm when it's cool. I swear by Smartwool which is a Wool blend but any wool sock rocks!

    Enjoy,
    Jay

    I have a bunch of Vasque boots, an Exodus II midlevel, an Exodus II low-top boot, a Arctix Winter Backpacking boot and a pair of Merrill Red Rocks trail running boots. None of them waterproof though, I'll just carry multiple socks and cycle them on and off. Of course, I'll typically have my Merrill Aqua Mocs which I'll use for river crossings. They have a all-rubber sole designed for rivers and no laces.
     
  8. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    REI is a great place to try boots, that's where I got my Vasque sundowners. REI was one of the few places that would special order a pair in a wide width without me committing to buying them. Turns out they fit great and I bought them. Used them extensively on a cross country trip 3 years ago with lots of backpacking.

    They also take care of folks who buy there - about a year after getting them, one of the boots had some kind of a knob inside. Felt like some glue that had just bunched up. But it was in just the wrong spot, it was irritating my heel pretty badly. No problem, REI took them back and fixed them at no charge. Replacement wasn't out of the question, but I preferred them fixing the old, already broken in ones.

    And lastly, gore-tex lined boots are great. Your feet simply don't get wet.

    Andrej (wearing my sundowners today)
     
  9. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    If youre not doing too heavy of hiking, check out the merells, they're great boots, alot of customers love their merrells because they're super comfortable.

    Lowas are nice, but if you got money to spend, check out some SCARPAS.. Italian made, waterproof, very nice boots, but a bit on the rugged side.
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    hiking boots? no experience with them, hunting boots yes. I would assume people like danner make hiking boots too? never looked... anyway wear em a bunch like mentioned, if it's going to be wet you might mink oil the leather to help seal it up a bit. Not sure if you'll get them fully broken in within a week or not..

    ..err nevermind the week thing, misread.
     

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