With hiking season right around the corner, it’s time to get your hiking boots out and ready for an adventuresome mountain hike. However, worn-out hiking boots can prove ineffective—if not dangerous—to use, especially if they lose traction. If you’re ever contemplating when to get a hiking boot replacement, here are five tips to help you determine the appropriate time to get a fresh pair.
1. Discolored or Frayed Shoelaces
Frayed laces are one of the most obvious signs your boots are nearing their last hike. Continuous friction between your laces when tying or loosening them gradually causes them to wear down. While worn laces can be replaced, it’s usually best to get a new pair of hiking boots instead. Furthermore, the time it takes for laces to wear out substantially can take several years. This means by the time your boot laces wear out, they’ll be newer and better hiking boots on the market so why miss the opportunity to get the latest pair?
2. You Experience Discomfort or Pain When Wearing Your Hiking Shoes
If you experience some form of discomfort or pain in your big toe or sole, it’s time to consider buying a new pair of hiking boots. Aside from the continuous discomfort you’ll experience while hiking, shoes that hurt you will cause determinantal damage to your muscles, tendons, and foot. This can lead to blisters, knicks, bunions, aches, and sores. Therefore, consider tossing aside your old shoes and buying new ones the moment you experience discomfort.
3. Leaky Footwear
Hiking boots are designed with waterproof materials to protect your feet against natural elements such as rain and snow. If your boots seep in water through gaps or cracks, then it’s highly likely your old pair have done their time, so consider getting a fresh pair. Not only is it dangerous to hike with soggy boots but also exposing your toes to moisture can cause trench foot, fungal infections, and foot odor.
4. Carry Out a Press Test
A press test is a convenient way of determining the condition of your shoe. Press your thumb against the sole of your boot and push toward the midsole region. Try to spot any compression lines on the sides of your boot. If you spot multiple heavy lines, then it’s time to consider buying a brand-new pair. Hiking boots in optimal condition show few lines and wrinkles. This means your boot’s elasticity limit has a while before it’ll be worn down, guaranteeing maximum efficiency and comfort.
5. Misshaped Boots
Over prolonged use, your old hiking boots are bound to lose shape. If your hiking boots look irregular and appear much wider or flatter than regular boots of the same, then it simply means your feet stretched your footwear to the max. Continuous use of your hiking boots in this condition will only lead to blisters and sores as the underlying sole is bound to be thinner than usual. Consider securing a replacement to prevent harming your feet on your next hike.
Hiking can be an adventurous outdoor activity filled with serene tranquility. If you notice one or multiple signs mentioned above, then it’s time to upgrade your hiking boots to make the most of your time outdoors.