Author Topic: Another boots question........ groan  (Read 721 times)

Taxboy

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Another boots question........ groan
« on: 10:00:25, 14/09/18 »
I'm looking to get a pair decent waterproof walking bots for low level but often boggy conditions. I've decided on leather for longevity and waterproofness.


I know I will need to try them on for comfort but with leather boots just how comfortable should they feel in the shop ? Do I need to make any allowance for breaking them in or is it a case of "sirs feet will soon mould to them"


A very basic question I know but I have to start my research somewhere  before I even get into makes etc

RogerA

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #1 on: 10:26:12, 14/09/18 »
Theres certainly some here that have a lot of expertise with boots. I'm sure those who know far more than I do will wade in (pun intended) with advice soon.
My experience of buying new boots in recent years is that generally boots have changed a lot since I was in my teens in the 80's - then boots did need a lot of breaking in - now they tend to be comfortable straight from the box and while they will mold to the feet and not sensible for your first use to be a 20 mile scramble in wilderness its a far quicker and less painful process to break them in.

sussamb

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #2 on: 10:53:44, 14/09/18 »
All boots, even fabric ones, will often need a period of 'breaking in' no matter how comfortable they feel initially.  Even ones that I've been able to walk in comfortably from the start are even more comfortable after a few sessions  O0

However I wouldn't buy ones that don't feel right on the basis of 'they'll be alright after a breaking in period'.
Where there's a will ...

kinkyboots

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #3 on: 11:12:31, 14/09/18 »
Just make sure you go somewhere and get your feet measured first and then use that size and width fitting only as a starting point. Depending on the make and model you will probably need to go a half to one full size up on your normal shoe size to allow for the increased thickness of the walking sock/s you will be wearing (make sure you take your walking socks with you when trying boots on).

This guide and videos is well worth a look http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/expert-advice/hill-walking-boots and this older Go Outdoors video is also worth watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ9hb65XfIs as it explains what type of boot you need to be looking for to best suit the type of walking you do.

Ignore the size on the boot/box and trust your feet to tell you when a boot feels right for you. After 10 minutes wear in a shop your first impressions are rarely wrong. The absolute worst thing you can do is buy a boot that's too small for you - it's essential that you have space/toe room at the front of the boot to stop any chance of your toes coming into contact with the front of the boot causing painful bruising and possible loss of toenails.  All leather boots will give a little as they wear in and soften and the leather slowly moulds to the shape of your feet over time. The general advice is to wear the new boots around the house for increasing periods of time until you are completely happy that they fit you. If you wear them outside you will have absolutely no chance of being able to return them.

I don't know what your budget is but here's a recent post re leather boots ~£100 which may give you some ideas of models to have a look at http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=37066.msg526901#msg526901

For low level walking another option to consider is the Altberg Defender (as used by the army) as it's a relatively high quality, cheap and capable option for your intended use. There's no waterproof liner in them but they do have a fast drying Cambrelle lining should the insides ever get an unintentional soaking. If you keep the boots clean and regularly wax them the chance of any water getting through the full thickness of the leather shouldn't be a problem. There's always plenty of new and used examples available on eBay. There's nowhere you can go to try them on so you would need to take a chance on choosing the size right - if not quite right for you simply sell them on.

https://www.altberg.co.uk/product/mens-defender-combat-boot-mod-brown-uk-military-issue-boot/
https://www.altberg.co.uk/military/sizing-info/
https://www.altberg.co.uk/fitting/online-fitting-advice/

For regular walking on wet boggy ground you might also want to consider buying and using some gaiters which will both protect your boots and trousers and keep the most of the mud and water at bay.

ninthace

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #4 on: 12:44:03, 14/09/18 »
I would endorse the need to get a proper measuring and fitting in reputable shop with experienced sales people.  Try to buy in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest.  Wear them in the shop as long as possible, any good shop will have a ramp where you can try them out.  To answer your question - there is no reason why leather boots should not be comfortable at the outset and should just get even more comfortable as time goes on.  Ongoing boot care is critical in this regard to keep the leather supple.
Solvitur Ambulando

Islandplodder

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #5 on: 13:05:38, 14/09/18 »
Though it's true that it takes a few weeks for new boots to become "my boots" They should feel comfy in the shop.  In my experience, feet break before boots, and patches of slight discomfort only get worse.  And, as Ninthace says, wander round the shop in them for as long as you can, up and down the ramp, up any stairs you can find, and ignore the salesman looking expectantly at you.

jimbob

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #6 on: 13:15:13, 14/09/18 »
A good, and well trained, shoe fitter, used to hiking boots, will expect you to go up and down the ramps, twist, turn  etcetera, watches you walking, asks you questions about the fit, width heels, ankles etc., and still be feeling to see if the boots really do fit. At least in my experience. A useless shoe fitter asks your size, price range and dumps loads of boots in front of you, walks away, may ask you if you're OK, and lets you decide.

Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #7 on: 13:37:45, 14/09/18 »
I would endorse Jimbob's comments too. I bought new boots on Wednesday.  Since I wanted a direct replacement of the boots I had just worn out, I told the assistant the brand, model. size and width fitting I wanted.  Nevertheless, she insisted on measuring my feet and going through the entire fitting process thoroughly. She proposed a half size larger and a slightly narrower width fitting but she offered me the size I had asked for, a narrower width in the same size and the size and fitting she suggested.  Net result is I have confidence in my purchase and they have already done their first trip without any "breaking in" problems.
I have also rediscovered the pleasure of working Ledergris into new boots
Solvitur Ambulando

Islandplodder

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #8 on: 17:09:38, 14/09/18 »

It is worth buying the actual boots you try on and find comfortable rather than finding out the make and size you like and buying on line, even if it is a bit cheaper.
I once tried on boots in different shops which according to the box were the same make and size, but one fitted noticeably better than the other.  Small differences in the shape of the boot can make a lot of difference at the end of a long walk

Taxboy

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #9 on: 09:35:51, 15/09/18 »
Thanks for sharing all your knowledge it's much appreciated and very helpful. Next stop a few retailers to try on some boots O0

NeilC

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #10 on: 11:20:56, 15/09/18 »
The more sturdy and waterproof leather boots are, the longer they need breaking in. Back in the 80s I remember it taking a long time to break boots in and they sure we're not comfy in the shop. They seem better now but still the same principle applies.


Re:the fast-drying thing - I went throught a period of doing the light, fast drying shoes and sandals thing. But despite being told certain boots or shoes are fast drying, I never found that actually makes any difference in UK conditions. Once leather gets wet it doesn't dry in any useful timeframe unless it's very dry and warm and even then it takes a day I find.


Sandals with the right socks are another matter and maybe some fabric shoes buu even they need a decent time not getting rewetted and I don't find that happens much.


I'm sure on a US trail it makes sense, wading a river and then 8 hours of sunshine and bone dry underfoot. On Dartmoor for 3 days, not so much.


I.e. I don't buy it. I think it's better to go for boots that are waterproof - proper leather, waxed and preferably lined with a membrane, and protect with gaiters.


Maybe fast drying means something to day walkers who want boots to dry overnight for the next day but my lined boots do that if put somewhere warm.


All IMHO of course.

ninthace

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #11 on: 12:12:40, 15/09/18 »
I was mulling over the idea of “breaking in” boots as I was out hiking this morning. I think that with the improvements in boots design and fitting; a better description would be letting your boots and feet become acquainted. These days if you find you are breaking them in, perhaps that are the wrong boots for you.
Solvitur Ambulando

jimbob

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Re: Another boots question........ groan
« Reply #12 on: 12:34:11, 15/09/18 »
I' m with Ninthace. Leather is softer due to modern machine stretching methods.
Use silica gel bags to dry out boots and wellies.
Too little, too late, too bad......