Hiking Boots – Parts And Construction

When shopping for the best price UGG boots online with a pair of hiking boots, it is important to know how they are made. No, you don’t need to know how to make your own, but you have to understand what goes into them and how it affects the comfort and durability – the overall quality – of the hiking boots. In this article I will describe the parts of a hiking boot, what they are made of, and how they come together to form the ideal hiking boot for you.

Like any shoe, a hiking boot consists of an upper and a sole joined together by a welt and with an inlet at the front covered by a tongue, and the whole is lined with various pads and cushions. I will discuss each of those parts in detail, in terms of what they are made of and what to look for in various types of hiking boots.

Sole and Welt

Let’s start at the bottom. The soul of the hiking boot is the sole.

Soles are usually made of synthetic rubber in varying degrees of hardness. A harder sole will last longer, but generally will have poorer traction on hard surfaces (such as bare rock) and will provide less cushioning. A softer sole gives you the cushioning you need for long hikes and the traction you need on rough ground, but it will wear out faster.

Manufacturers have made their trade-offs in choosing the materials to make their boots out of. The final choice is up to you when you choose which boot to buy. If you expect to do most of your hiking on soft surfaces, such as desert sand or bare soil, you might lean more toward harder soles. But most of us hike on fairly rugged trails with a good deal of bare rock, and we need the traction of a softer sole.

Inside the sole is a shank. It is a stiffening structure, either fiberglass or steel, that prevents the sole of the boot from twisting and that provides arch support. Shanks may be only three-quarter or half-length. Hiking shoes generally have no shank at all, deriving all their stiffness from the molded rubber sole. Good day-hiking boots may have a full-length fiberglass shank. High-quality backpacking boots will give you the choice of fiberglass or steel. It will depend on how strong you need your hiking boots to be, and how heavy.

Look for deep, knobby tread. Deep cuts in the sole allow water and mud to flow out so you can get traction. “Fake” hiking boots, designed to look like hiking boots but not to perform like them, may have thinner soles and shallow tread. Working boots also may have shallow tread, and they generally have harder soles than hiking boots have.

The welt is the connection between the sole and the upper. Virtually all hiking boots these days are glued together rather than sewn. If you are buying a very expensive pair of backpacking boots, give preference to a sewn welt. Boots with a sewn welt will be easier to resole when the original sole wears out. For hiking shoes or day-hiking boots, when the sole wears out, the upper is not worth salvaging, either, so a glued welt is just fine.

Upper

The upper of the hiking boot provides warmth, protects the sides of your feet from rocks and brush, and repels water. It must also allow your feet to “breathe,” so that moisture from perspiration will not build up inside the boots and cause blisters.

Uppers of hiking boots are usually at least partially made of leather. High-quality backpacking boots are often made of full-grain leather (leather that has not been split). Lighter boots may be made of split-grain leather (leather that has been split or sueded on one side), or a combination of split-grain leather with various fabrics.

Fabrics that are combined with leather are usually some type of nylon. Heavy nylon wears nearly as well as leather, and it is much lighter and cheaper than leather.

In any hiking boot, especially those made of combinations of leather and fabric, there will be seams. Seams are bad. Seams are points of failure. Seams are points of wear, as one panel of the boot rubs against another. Seams are penetrations that are difficult to waterproof.

The uppers of backpacking boots are sometimes made of a single piece of full-grain leather with only one seam at the back. This is good, for all the reasons that seams are bad, but it is expensive.

You’re going to have to deal with seams. But as you shop for hiking boots, look for customer reviews that mention failure or undue wearing of the seams, and avoid those brands.

Inlet and Tongue

There are two things to look for in the inlet and the tongue:

1. How the laces are attached and adjusted

2. How the tongue is attached to the sides of the inlet

The inlet may be provided with eyelets, D-rings, hooks, and webbing, alone or in combination. They each have these advantages and disadvantages:

* Eyelets: Simplest and most durable way to lace a boot. Not so easily adjusted.

* D-rings: Easier to adjust than eyelets, more durable than hooks. More failure-prone than eyelets. (They can break, and they can tear out of the leather.)

* Hooks: Easiest to adjust of all lace attachments. Subject to getting hooked on brush, or bent or broken in impacts with boulders, main cause of breakage of laces.

* Webbing: Cause less chafing of laces, slightly easier to adjust than eyelets, slightly more durable than D-rings. More failure-prone than eyelets.

The most common lace attachment of any hiking boot is eyelets below ankle-level and hooks above. You may see eyelets all the way up, as in classic military-style combat boots, or a combination of either D-rings or webbing with hooks.

The attachment of the tongue is a critical factor in how waterproof the hiking boots are. Provided the leather and/or fabric and seams of the upper are waterproof, water will not get into the boots until it gets higher than the attachment point of the tongue.

Most hiking shoes and day-hiking boots have the tongue attached all the way to the top. If the tongue is not fully attached, consider carefully whether you will need that extra inch or two of waterproofing.

High-rise backpacking boots have the tongue attached only partway up, but that still reaches higher than most day-hiking boots. It’s difficult to get the boot on and off if the tongue is attached very high.

Linings and Pads

There are many pieces that go into the lining and padding of a hiking boot, but two in particular you need to pay attention to:

1. The sole lining

2. The scree collar

The sole lining must be appropriately cushioned. You want a firm, durable surface in immediate contact with your socks, but enough cushioning below that to absorb impact.

The scree collar is a cushion around the top of most hiking boots. It enables you to pull the boots tight enough to keep out loose rocks (“scree”) but without chafing against your ankle and Achilles tendon. This is the thickest and softest cushion in the whole hiking boot. It must be soft enough to conform to your ankle and Achilles tendon as they move, and still keep close enough contact with your leg to keep the rocks out.

Very high hiking boots, such as military-style combat boots, may have no scree collar at all. The height of the boot is what keeps the rocks out.

Throughout, the lining and padding of the hiking boots must be thick enough to provide warmth, durable enough to last, and smooth enough that it will not cause chafing and blisters.

Conclusion

So, these are the things you need to pay attention to when choosing a pair of hiking boots. Be prepared to compromise, and pay attention to which features are really important to the style of hiking you intend to do.

Chuck Bonner is a lifelong hiker and amateur naturalist, and webmaster of http://www.HikingWithChuck.com. For more information about hiking boots and other hiking equipment based on many years on the trail, visit.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chuck_Bonner/184207

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How to Select the Right Boots to Go Skiing

WHAT IS A BOOT FITTING

I discover the best place to buy UGG boots online. Well, first of all a boot fitting is not a 15 minute job, where you select the colour and graphics you like the most and then someone in a busy shop measures your foot size, ‘fits’ your boots in a few minutes (whilst usually answering the odd question from colleagues) and then takes your money! No comfort guarantee will undo a poor fitting like this, which we ourselves have experienced! For many people, when they visit us for a fitting, often the only experience they have had is of having hire boots. The fitting process for your own ski boots compared to hire boots is VERY different. And so it should be; you are spending a lot of money to get a ski boot that will ultimately improve your skiing and give you more comfort on the mountain.

SO WHAT IS A GOOD BOOT FITTING?

When you have a boot fitting allocate TIME to do this. Some boot fittings can take 30 minutes, most take longer. If you are having a boot fitting with a custom foot bed you should normally allow 1 hour, sometimes 2 if you have 11 toes, or a specific requirement.

Here is the general process that a ski boot fitter should go through with you:

STEP 1 – INTERVIEW

The fitter should make a nice cup of tea or coffee, and talk about YOU. What kind of skier or boarder are you? Do you have any issues with your feet cure, or your knees, legs, lower back etc. The feet have a lot to cope with, and it doesn’t take much for problems at your feet to translate further up your body. Now they have a basic understanding about you, they can move on to the next step.

STEP 2 – ANALYSIS

There is some great equipment to help ski boot fitters with the next steps, eyes being the best ones! There are plenty of fancy electronic balance systems and scanners, but hands on experience is far more important. The fitter will analyse your feet and might use what is called a Podoscope, which fires a nice blue light under your feet, and you can see for yourself what is going on. They may also have a thermal plate that draws the outline of your foot so you can take a closer inspection.

The boot fitting technician will then look at your stance, to determine any bowing or canting of your legs, and particularly look at this in relation to your knees and hips, as you want this all working together as one, to save energy and reduce the risk of injury.

From this, the fitter will now have a profile of your foot, the width of your foot, the length of your foot, and the kind of volume of ski boot (taking into account calves too) that should be fitted. They should NOT let you choose a ski boot based on brand or colour!

STEP 3 – FITTING

Now try a few boots out until the fitter finds the one that best fits your foot profile and your personal requirements. Don’t look at budget at this point and go with finding the boot that is great fitting. A good boot fitter will not only pick expensive boots (although with boots you really do get what you pay for) as sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised and find that a lower price boot is the best one for you.

If you have opted to have custom footbeds at the same time – and this cannot be recommended enough, they will set up the Sidas footbed moulding equipment. This is great fun; your feet are moulded in a silicone bed, which the air is removed to get a 3D impression of your foot profile. The fitter will then create footbeds (insoles) specifically for your feet, making adjustments as a result of the step one interview and then these are finished to fit your foot perfectly.

These are then popped into the boots that you have worked with the ski boot fitter to select, and you are given another cup of tea or coffee whilst the boots liners are heated up to be moulded. Then you pop the boots on and are encouraged to flex the boots and then walk around for about 5-10 minutes to see if the boots feel right.

Any issues pointed out to the fitter (e.g., ankle rubbing a little, big toe aching) are noted, the boots whisked into the workshop, and all manner of strange looking tools are used to modify the shape needed for the boot shell. This is often referred to as stretching the boot.

The ski boot fitter will then refit, recheck, and if necessary repeat. When it is all done, you will have a great fitting boot and your legs pointing in the right direction. A great fitting boot also improves your skiing or boarding, as you will have more control and balance. And a great fitting service should also be FREE. You should only be paying for the ski boot and custom moulded footbeds if you decide to add those.

STEP 4 – FINISHED?

Now you have your shiny new boots and maybe custom footbeds, it’s time to hit the mountain. But before you do you are encouraged to walk around in your boots A LOT before your holiday. Doing the ironing with them on works well; in fact it makes chores more fun! If you have access to a snowdome, these can be fantastic for boot testing, as a drag lift always reveals any issues, although for the first few runs hitting the drag lift every 30 seconds may cause discomfort whilst the boots settle. If this happens, undo the boots, relax, and then readjust following the buckle procedure given to you by your ski boot fitter.

So if after this you identify any problems, get in touch with your ski boot fitter for a refit. Any quality ski boot fitter will include this as part of their service.

Scott Hargrave is the senior ski boot fitter at ski boot fitting specialists Edge & Wax ([http://www.edgeandwax.co.uk]), and also operates the Boot Camp Ski Boot Technician Training Centre ([http://www.bctt.co.uk]), a British Ski Boot-fitting Association (BSBA) approved boot fitting training facility in West Sussex, UK.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Scott_S_Hargrave/1165661

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The Significance of Environmental Graphics

Image result for creative environmental graphic design

Environmental graphic design (EGD) is a design profession embracing many design disciplines including graphic design, architecture, industrial design and landscape architecture. Practitioners in this field are concerned with the visual aspects of way finding, communicating identity and brands, information design, and shaping a sense of place. Some examples of work produced by environmental graphic designers include the design and planning of sign programs, way finding consulting, exhibit and interpretive design, entertainment environments, retail design, information design including maps, as well as memorial and donor recognition programs. Environmental graphics have been divided into three main areas. These areas have been explained below.

1. Signage and Way finding
Signage and way finding programs communicate site and navigational information to a viewer. Signage helps to identify and brand a specific place, and when used as part of a larger way finding program helps people to determine orientation and navigate a complex environment with ease. Some of the signs that assist in way finding include road signs, Pictograms on packages, traffic signs etc.

2. Interpretation
Interpretive environments tell a story or communicate an idea or theme. Most often recognized as exhibit design, it also includes projects such as historical sites. They educate people on how the site impacted on the life and activities of some famous historic icons in the society.

3. Place making
Place making takes a more conceptual approach in that it involves designing a distinctive image for a site. It typically focuses less on communicating information. It focuses more on a site’s branding, architecture and interior design, among other things.

Environmental graphics are relevant in our lives. The listed points discuss their benefits.

1. They aid in the smooth human movement in the community- Signs and symbols found in our environment ensures free and smooth movement of members of the society such as road users, motorists and pedestrians. Without them would have resulted in chaos and disorder in our movement in the community.

2. They give warnings about dangers and hazards- Pictograms on packages of products warns us against hazardous chemicals that can be a threat to our health. The best ways of handling equipments and products are relayed to us by the help of these pictograms and signs.

3. They give directions as to handling situations and object – Road signs and markings, aid motor users to know how to handle hazards on the road. Package symbols give direction on how to handle and use products without any health implications.