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Hiking and Climbing Boots(Ch 3 of Kreighbaum. Sports and Fitness Equipment Design) • Anatomy and Construction (Fig 3.1) • Types of Upper Materials (Leather, Leather Synthetic, Plastic) • Components of the Upper (protects foot from dirt, water, and trail hazards) • Collar (range from 4..5 to 7.5 inches) • Back (interior heel counter, exterior heel counter, heel bumper) • Toe counters or toe guards or toe bumpers • Tongue and closure (gusseted or split tongue) • Lacing (eyelets, D-rings, hooks)
Components of The Sole • Function - protects and cushions sole of foot from hard trails and sharp objects and provides traction • Insole (permanent or removable) • Midsole (leather vs EVA) Some may have heel wedge or shank • Outsole - ranges from very hard high-carbon neoprene rubber to soft gum rubber • Lug depth, density vary with terrain (Fig 3.3) • Some outsoles have a cut-away or beveled heel for shock absorbency and to set heel in middle of sole
Boot Construction • How are soles attached to upper? This method is a major factor in boot strength, durability, flexibility, and cost • Vulcanizing (cheapest) and cementing - (Fig 3.4) injection molding combines both techniques. Used for some lighter boots and rock shoes. • Littleway construction (Fig 3.5) inside stitching - lighter, more waterproof, and cheaper. Better trail shoes, most hiking boots, and some climbing boots use this method.
Boot Construction (cont’d) • Goodyear welt (Fig 3.6) Single outside stitch, typically used in more rubbed boots. Is stiff and heavy. Not used much nowadays. • Norwegian welt (Fig 3.7)Two rows of stitching through a welt. Found in older mountain and expedition boots. Expensive, durable, heavy. Not used much nowadays. • Littleway construction is standard now, with better bonding methods and materials. Goodyear and Norwegian construction boots are not used much in recent years.
Goodyear welt: Norwegian welt:
Types of Hiking and Climbing Boots • Trail boots and approach shoes - for gentle terrain and light loads. Vulcanize and cementing, inside stitching, midsole EVA, eyelet laces. Shallow outsole lugs. Usually low tops (Fig 3.8) • Hiking boots (dayhikers and backpacking) • Leather-synthetic combinations (Fig. 3.9)Littleway and cementing, EVA midsole, steel shanks, variety of lug designs. Uppers leather and nylon • All-leather boots are durable, but heavy, and are being replaced with synthetics
Trail boots: Hiking boots:
Types of Boots (cont’d) • Climbing and Mountaineering Boots - (Fig 3.11) for use on ice, snow, and rock. Designed for climbing - not hiking. Weigh up to 6 lbs per pair. Rigid sole that can be used with crampons. Uppers are leather. Misoles are layered leather. Outsoles are hard rubber with aggressive lug design. • Expedition boots -(Fig 3.12) used for winter and high-altitude climbing. Leather or injection-molded plastic uppers. One or two inner boots for insulation. Ankle is hinged and padded. Lug soles built with slight roll.
Climbing/mountain boots: Plastic Expedition boots:
Types of Boots (cont’d) • Rock climbing boots and shoes - light, flexible, leather boots and shoes with sticky gum-rubber soles. Not suitable for walking. Littleway construction, eyelet lacings (Fig 3.13, 3.14)
Rock Climbing boots: Rock slippers:
Trends in Hiking and Climbing Boots • Ultimate boot has maximum support, durability, water repellency, breathability, flexibility, and comfort and minimum weight, break-in time, and env. impact. • Leather hiking boots moving toward thinner leathers, lighter and more forgiving outsoles; synthetic midsoles, cushioned foam footbeds, Cambrelle-type linings, beveled heels. • Leather-synthetic boots same trends, plus need effective water-repellent component • Mountaineering and expedition boots moving toward plastic uppers. • Is Gore-Tex effective or not?
Selection Guidelines • Outside Magazine Website on Hiking Boot Selection • Consider “approach shoes” (syn with fast hikers) if moving fast with no load on dry areas • Thin, flexible sole, light, slip-lasted, built like running shoes. Do not protect against sharp stones • Day hikers (no load, or day pack, 10+ miles/day). Stiffer soles, extra ankle support, usually high tops, or at least above malleoli) • Backpacking boots (more load 20+ lbs) - board-lasted, insoles of fiberboard reinforced with steel shank. Insole is stiff under arch, but flexible in forefoot with torsional stability, lugged soles.
Selection Guidelines • Look at midsole - EVA is long on cushioning, short on durability. Polyurethane midsoles last longer and feel more stable when load-hauling. • Look at outsole - lug pattern to fit conditions • Look at Upper (height, fabric, waterproof?) • Gusseted tongue? Lacing type? • Try it on and walk around store with same weight you will be using, & walk downhill in them • Make sure it fits
Other interesting web sites on hiking boots and outdoor gear • Backpacker magazine • Asolo Web site • Danner Website