Foot injuries can sideline even the strongest person. Small blisters, sore arches, bumps, and abrasions cause enough discomfort to slow you down and limit your abilities. The right pair of boots prevents these problems as well as frostbite, falls, and similar injuries. No matter if you are a survivalist, hiker, or hunter, you need to choose your footwear with care.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Look for boots that offer the most protection possible for the types of activities that you enjoy. If you walk long distances, opt for a lightweight protective boot. However, if you plan to spend a lot of time in the wilderness, choose a boot with a heavier, more protective material. To provide the most support, your chosen boot should be tall enough to fully cover your ankle.
Additionally, your boot needs to match the activity itself. If you participate in construction jobs or similar work that could result in a crushing injury, select steel-toed boots, as they offer the most protection. Similarly, composite toes protect against cuts and broken toes you might experience while chopping wood, but composite boots offer less strength and protection than steel-toed boots at a construction site. However, steel-toed and composite boots are too heavy to use as all-purpose hiking, camping, or hunting boots.
As you choose your boots, consider the terrain and weather you'll encounter. For example, if you walk on slippery or uneven terrain, you may need a suitable pair of work boots or hiking boots. Hiking boots usually have better ventilation than work boots, so they remain a good choice when you spend hours a day in heat or humidity. The ventilation allows perspiration to evaporate so your feet stay dry.
Don't forget to think about the shape of your foot as well. If you have flat feet, look for boots that provide ample arch support to give your feet more protection and comfort. Flat feet increase the risk of injury and foot and leg pain because the feet overpronate, or roll inward or outward too much. Good arch support minimizes the discomfort, reduces the potential for injury, and protects against uneven wear on the boot from a lopsided stride.
Check the Fit
Once you've found appropriate boots for the occasion, take your time to ensure a good fit. Even small miscalculations on the size can lead to blisters and aching feet.
A properly fitted boot feels snug against your foot and ankle but should not feel tight. Avoid boots with a lot of padding because the material wears down quickly, and the boot will no longer fit as comfortably. The toes should not touch the end of the boot, and you should experience only a small amount of heel movement.
As you try on boots, wear the type of socks that you will normally wear during your work or adventures. Move around to test the fit accurately. Walk around the shop for 10-15 minutes. Stand on the toes, crouch, and wiggle the feet around. Do not buy any boots that pinch or cause any discomfort during the test.
Ideally, you should shop for footwear in the afternoon and evening because feet swell during the day.
Protect at Home
Use the boots at home for a few weeks to break them in before going into the wilderness. Waterproof all boots even if they already have waterproofing. Never store boots when they are wet, and do not use a high heat source to dry them because the adhesives may weaken. Store your boots in a dry spot and fill them with newspaper to absorb any moisture.
At Bargain Center, we can help you to find boots with the right fit for every type of terrain or task. We offer the top brands of work boots as well as military, hiking, and western boots. Stop in to check out our inventory to find the footwear you need.