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Make sure you stay safe and well in the mountains

All hikers know that the right footwear is essential, because if your boots are too tight, even the shortest hike can seem endless. We have collected a few tips and tricks to do with hiking boots.

It’s always troublesome when you’re out on a hike and become aware that there is a pressure point in your boot which is constantly rubbing. It’s only too easy to imagine the sore spot or blister that is developing. That's why it's important to check your boots carefully before you set off and, if necessary, buy a new pair. This is also a safety issue because mountain trails are all too often the scene of fatal slips and falls.

New boots required!
Maybe your old boots are worn out, or you don’t have a pair that are really ideal for hiking. The best approach is to seek out a specialist shop, try on lots of different boots, and ask for expert advice. Don’t rush, and take time to walk around in each pair before you make a decision. Some shops even have specially sloped surfaces that you can walk up and down on.

The soles of good hiking boots should have good tread to give plenty of grip and provide some degree of ankle support. It’s also worth finding out about hiking socks because they help prevent the development of sore spots and blisters. Feet can really swell up when you’re on a long hike, so it’s important that they offer plenty of room for expansion, particularly if you're wearing thick hiking socks. Otherwise you can end up with badly pinched toes when walking downhill. Your feet should not move around in your boots when you’re walking on an incline. You can test this by standing on the edge of the soles.

You can also take your old boots along to a specialist shop to find out if they still fit. Many shops will do this free of charge. They will check the sole and other elements of the boots. Boots should be waterproofed before you go hiking in them. Begin by cleaning them thoroughly with a brush and cold water and apply the waterproofing agent onto the uppers while they are still damp; this will help the waterproofing agent to penetrate into the material.

Heading for the mountains?
SWICA supports the “Bergwandern – aber sicher” campaign which promotes safety in the mountains. Hikers receive valuable tips to help ensure that hiking in the mountains remains what it should be – a wonderful and exhilarating experience of the natural world.

02.08.2017

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