The rubber meets the road at your hiking boots. You must have good support for your dogs or you will risk blisters and worse. Here’s a short checklist when buying boots.
1. Shop at the end of the day when your feet are bigger – that replicates the worst that you will encounter when hiking.
2. Wear your socks. I prefer a synthetic liner sock and a mid-weight.
3. Take your time – try on a pair or two and walk around the store. Put them back and try another day. You will own these for a while – 5 years of 500 miles before the rubber dies.
4. Look for high tops – they protect your ankles form sprains.
5. Get a firm shaft.
6. Allow for plenty of toe room. Get on an incline ramp. Good stores have them.
7. See if the grommets bug you…they do me.
8. Dump the insole that comes with them. Replace with a cushy one like the Cadence Insole.
9. Get the kind with “no break-in” uppers. I love Vasque Breeze.
10. Take them back if they don’t work out. Stores like REI will honor returns.