I’ve learned that when it comes to my feet, it pays to get quality and comfort.
When we’re tramping over hill and dale, in and out of water, and in all types of weather, it also pays to buy quality footwear made for active outdoor enthusiasts — that’s us.
There will be plenty of times our feet and legs will ache from being on them for hours over all kinds of terrain. They should never ache because our shoes are poorly fitted or poorly made.
We’ve only got one pair of feet to last our lives through — let’s take care of them. It’s not only important for our feet, but for our legs, hips and back, too.
What I’ve learned about footwear…
- I shouldn’t have to break-in a pair of shoes. Quality footwear will feel comfortable from the first time they’re on my feet.
- Our feet are shaped differently. What may feel great to me may not feel great to you. I need to find a brand and model that feels great to me.
- It’s risky to shop online. Even with brands I already wear, an updated model of a shoe can fit differently than the original model (this is especially true in running shoes for some reason).
- Shop at retailers who know their stuff. Some footwear stores even have podiatrists available.
- I wear new shoes around the house until I’m sure they’re going to work for me. A handful of retailers offer an unconditional guarantee even if we’ve worn the shoes or boots outside. But I don’t like to take advantage of their generosity.
- Think about the conditions I’ll be in—do I need waterproof? Machine washable? Good traction? Insulated?
- I’ll probably need to pay around $100+ for a decent pair of shoes…unless I find a great sale or can find something on clearance (which happens quite often!).
- If my feet are dry and warm in the cold and wet—or ventilated in the heat—I’m much happier. You will be, too.
Do you need inserts?
Some of us need custom orthotics or inserts, or quality mass-produced inserts—especially as we get older.
Many of the quality brands don’t have enough arch support for me. I’ve tried different brands of inserts including SuperFeet and BioPod. They’re OK, but I prefer the custom inserts I had made specially for my feet. Of course, they’re a lot more money, too!