It’s taken me a few years, but 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 get 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.
What I’ve learned about footwear…
- I should never have to “break in” a pair of shoes. Quality shoes 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.
- Shop at retailers who know their stuff. Some footwear stores even have podiatrists available (foot doctors).
- Wear your shoes around the house until you’re sure they’re going to work for you. A handful of retailers offer an unconditional guarantee even if you’ve worn the shoes or boots outside. But be considerate and don’t 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.
- 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!