Boots are the single most important investment that you will make. Every trip comes down to how comfortable you are with your footwear. Boots are the equipment that physically link you to the trail.
Selecting the Right Boot
Boot selection needs to be based on anticipated terrain, pack weight, and size and weight of the backpacker (Drury & Bonney, 1992). Try on as many different brands as possible and compare positives and negatives of each. When trying on boots, wear them around the store and shop for other items to assist in establishing how well the boots fit beyond standing in a single spot. If the retailer has an incline board, stand on the board and walk down it to ensure that your toes do not touch the end of the toe box when walking downhill. If your toes touch, you may incur black toe during a long downhill section of a trail. Black toe is caused by a bruising or blistering of the toenail bed when the toe is repeatedly jammed against the end of the boot. Different boot types include lightweight, medium-weight, and heavyweight boots. See figure 3.1 for a photo comparison. When purchasing boots, as the durability of the boot increases, the price and many times the weight will increase. This is due to the increased materials and products used in the construction of the boot to make it more durable.