Tips & Advice From South Dublin Podiatry

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Ready to get your Hiking boots out?

April 02, 20243 min read

With all of the beautiful landscape around the Dublin/Wicklow area, hiking, backpacking or mountaineering is quite a popular hobby.

It is great to experience the great outdoors but an issue with your feet or footwear can put a damper on this experience.

In this blog post I will give an easy guide on how to buy the perfect pair of hiking boots.

 

Comfort

Comfort is the first thing to look out for in a boot. If you put on a pair of boots and find a bump part digging into your ankle or arch, you know you're not going to enjoy that feeling after a couple of hours of walking. I get that breaking them in may be an option. However, with the current variety of shoes and the modern technology, they should be quite comfortable when walking around the shop. As they say, it should fit like a glove!

 

Stability

My most recent outdoor adventure was the Ballycotton Cliff Walk. I really enjoyed it until I went over on my ankle! Luckily it was only mild and I had a short walk to the car but this could have been avoided if I had practised what I preach. You need ankle support when adventuring through tough terrain. If you stand on a rock with a pair of good stable boots, it will never stand a chance at spraining your ankle!

Try the boot on, make sure the boot goes above your ankles and that it is quite stiff. Laces are essential to tighten or loosen it to your needs.

This of course depends on your terrain, if necessary you don’t have to follow this instruction but make sure they are stable everywhere else.

 

Traction or Thread on the Soles

Be sure to have a good thread on the soles of the boot and this, of course, depends on the terrain. If it's raining and you are on a muddy track, you will need good traction to stop you slipping.

 

Weight

Should I pick the boot that is a tonne weight or like a feather? It should not be either, but have a good balance. The weight depends on what you prefer, if it’s too heavy you will struggle to finish out your hike and if it’s too light, it won’t last very long.

 

Water Resistant

How well will the hiking boots battle the elements? Will you be hiking in soggy socks or happy feet.

 

Durability

Can these boots stack up trail after trail, month after month or will they tap out come shoulder season?

 

Finally, we want the boot to function like your foot was designed to do. A lot of patients come into me with very stiff boots that won’t bend anywhere. Now, this is great for climbing 2K, but around Ireland there are certain criteria that I like to look out for.

 

Pick the boot up
  • It should be laced.

  • It should bend where your big toe joint bends and nowhere else.

  • The heel height should be between 1.5 to 3 inches, no higher or lower.

  • It should be stable and most importantly very comfortable.

 

There are no brands I recommend. I do recommend trying out different outdoor shops and take your time before you spend your hard earned money.

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