Sometimes we trust that if a boot works well for a friend, we understand that it must also work well for us, but each person has different feet . And usually this decision ends in failure .
It also happens that sometimes we fall in love with boots that are compatible with our feet and it also usually ends badly.
We can't help you with the aesthetic part, but in this post we are going to give you the keys to finding your perfect boot .
- When we go to buy the boots we must bring the socks that we are going to wear .
Socks are an important part since they protect us against blisters , chafing and keep our feet dry and warm while allowing perspiration .
In this case ours are the best .
If you opt for a versatile boot for the whole year , try the boots with the thickest sock you have and the thinnest one , play with the lacing so that the boot fits well with the different thicknesses.
The models should serve as a reference for us, we should look for socks with these height and padding characteristics and choose the model that we like the most .
In the event that in winter we are going to be static for a long time, we would choose our thickest sock, model 1955 for men, and model 1954 for women.
- It is essential to know in what weather conditions we are going to use the boots and the environment .
The ideal would be to have three pairs .
- For winter walks, boots designed for use in snow or mud .
These must be waterproof and well insulated with materials such as Primaloft ® or G-loft ®, these materials will provide us with insulation for walking through snow .
These boots must have a specific sole to grip on snow , an example of this sole is the Vibram Ice Sole ® .
The midsole can be soft to make walking easier.
- Rigid or semi-rigid boots for ice or rock climbing.
The main characteristic of these boots is their rigidity since they must allow them to support your body with the toe .
These boots are designed to use crampons .
Depending on whether their use is in summer or winter , they have a layer of insulation or not .
The sole in this case is usually hard since the environment in which they work is subject to a lot of wear.
- Summer boots/slippers .
In these cases you can opt for footwear without Goretex ® or waterproof membrane since the absence of this membrane will provide more ventilation to our feet and this will allow our feet to “breathe” better.
In this type of boots there is a big question : boots or sneakers ?
Well, it depends on your walking style : some will never go to the mountains without protection on their ankles, however there are people who are more agile or the terrain is light enough to do without protection.
The soles can vary quite a bit, although I prefer the Vibram Megagrip ® .
- Some versatile boots .
These boots must have a waterproof membrane .
The upper part can be made of leather or artificial fabrics.
The midsole should have a medium firmness to balance the feet when going over rocks, we should avoid very soft boots.
The protection must be flexible to be comfortable and also protect against the penetration of mud and stones.
The sole must have a good grip , for us the best is the Vibram Megagrip ® , not to be confused with the simple Vibram ® .
Most people are going to look for a boot that is as versatile as possible, but we must keep in mind that there is no boot that is suitable for all situations .
We must think in which situations we are going to use the boots the most and think that the boots we choose are not designed for the rest of the situations.
- Parts of a boot.
Before looking at how to fit your boot, let's take a look at the elements that make up a boot.
- Upper part.
It is the part that surrounds your foot.
Below this layer is where the waterproof membrane is located if it is worn.
Boots that have a rubber band around the boot protect the boot from rocks . This piece is essential to ensure the longevity of the boots .
The toe must have a protection to protect the toes from falling stones .
The material of this part can be leather or synthetic .
Traditionally leather was the standard , but currently synthetic fabrics have evolved a lot as they are increasingly lighter and more resistant .
Boots with leather and waterproof membranes are more designed for autumn , winter and spring. In summer , they can make it difficult for our feet to “breathe” .
If we like the look of leather and want to use it in summer , one option is to choose a boot without a waterproof membrane.
In the case of boots made of synthetic fabric, they can serve us during all four seasons .
- Template .
This is the part on which the feet rest .
An option for the client to consider is to go to a podiatrist to have custom insoles made.
It is an option that can give us extra comfort .
- Midsole .
It is a piece that is placed under the insole and that determines the flexibility of the shoe .
Stiffer midsoles are found in mountaineering boots and offer little flexibility in your feet, but allow you to balance on your toes on ledges, along mountain ridges , or ice climbing .
A medium-stiff midsole is ideal for more versatile shoes because it will flex a little, but not enough to prevent you from rocking on a ledge on your toes.
A softer midsole allows the foot to flex more, but in areas of loose stone it can be uncomfortable .
- Sole .
This is the part that is in contact with the ground .
This part is very important since it is what has to prevent us from losing traction and falling .
Soft soles give excellent grip on damp or wet surfaces , but they wear a lot and can cause problems in alpine boots.
On the other hand, if the sole is hard , it will be good for terrain that wears out the soles more and will slip in damp or wet areas.
Which one to choose ? For me, one of the best soles is the Vibram Megagrip ® .
It is a sole that grips well in humid environments and has excellent durability .
- The laces .
This part of the boots is also very important , although many times we do not give it the importance it really has.
The laces with their different types of tying will allow micro adjustments to be made so that the boot fits well to our foot.
In another entry we are going to delve into this topic since there are different types of straps that allow our heel to stay in place , for example.
- The measurements .
Having analyzed the characteristics of an ideal shoe, we now see how to wear it .
Length , width and volume are the science of a boot's fit.
The combination of these measurements will give you the feeling you have with the boot when you put it on. If this feeling is good, the only thing left is the aesthetic issue.
First put on the socks .
Unfortunately we should not trust the size we have in other shoes even if it is the same brand.
A good system is to put on the boot and push your foot forward until we can't go any further and put a finger behind it .
If we fit one finger it is our number , if we fit more it would be too big and if the finger doesn't fit it would be too small.
Width , this is a very important measurement, but unfortunately there are few manufacturers that have several lasts ( narrow , normal and wide ).
But how do we know which last is valid for our foot ?
The ideal is to go shopping for shoes when our feet are most swollen , for example, at the end of the day and keep them on our feet for as long as possible, 15-20 minutes and check if they press on the widest part of our foot.
In the case of having that pressure we must discard the boot since it is not our last.
If the boot creates discomfort in 15 minutes, imagine 8 hours of walking...
We must see that if we tie the boots, they are tight or too loose on your feet.
It is as bad for them to be too tight as it is for them to be loose . Boots have to be an extension of our feet , be comfortable, not hurt us and our feet should not “dance” inside the boots.
- The purchase .
Once you have selected the boot that best suits your needs and the dimensions of the boot fit your foot, you should ask yourself how you feel .
Whether you buy in the store in your city or online, you must carry out the following process. Put on the thickest socks you are going to wear and put on your boots at the end of the day , this is when your foot is usually most swollen, and keep them on for half an hour and if you can go up and down stairs , even better . This way you will have arguments to see if the shoes you are trying are going to hurt you in the future .
If after 30-40 minutes your foot doesn't hurt inside the boot and your foot doesn't move inside it, these will be your boots.
PS . In the end, the boots that fit you may not be the ones you like the most , but they are often going to be full of mud and dirty , so the aesthetic issue takes a backseat . The important thing is that the boots adapt to the climate, terrain and your feet.