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If you like to hike, but don’t have the state of the art gear and can’t really afford super state of the art expedition boots, you can still find a decent pair that will take you into the areas where you need real traction and protection from the elements.

To hike into some situations you are going to need at least a decent pair, because they will offer the confidence to head into situations where carrying a heavy pack is not an easy task and a slip of the foot isn’t something you can afford.

Purchasing the right pair of boots doesn’t have to cost the earth, and they can last for as long as five years, given the right care and consideration.

Knowing what you’re looking for and a bit about how boots are put together is going to help you a great deal in the purchase of a decent pair of boots.

Whole grain cowhide is the outer aspect of the cow. It is stiff, nearly waterproof and leather, and is sometimes made into boots turned inside out, so that the smoother aspect of it is inside. This prevents scratching of that smooth outer layer.

The upper aspect of your boot should be nearly seamless, so that there are no sewed areas to be prone to leakage.

The gusset, which is the piece of flexing leather that is sewed to the tongue and upper part of the shoe, and will keep out stones and prevent water from leaking.

The upper part of the boot should have as few seams as possible. A one-piece upper is more water resistant.
Boots should also have a back stay, which is a strip of leather that will be sewed over top of the back seam. This strip should be very narrow, because if it is torn the boot is effectively ruined in that replacing those strips is nearly impossible to accomplish.

The stitching that connects the sole, or the upper aspect of the sole is called the welt. Norwegian welts are stitched double and are very very thick material and extremely strong.

Search for a boot that has a wide rubber strip to protect the stitchery, that holds the shoe to the sole.
Many of the lesser boots will not have this and its something you absolutely cannot hike without.

Your sold should be made up of three parts, a padded aspect which is called a foot-bed, that is just below the foot, an insole, and a outer sole, or out sole.

Incredible advances in technology have made boot design grow and advance as well in the past few years. There are now wrap around soles on new boots, and gore tex liners that permit breathing for your feet as well as wicking the moisture away from the skin, but which tend to stay dry.

While they are not inexpensive, they are well worth what you pay, and will last many years if cared for properly.

Don’t buy the first pair of boots you come to. Spend some real time comparing the many types of boots available and find one that is a good value for the price you will pay.

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