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HIKING 101: Boots & Shoes
Coffee Ridge Hiking

Coffee Ridge Hiking

Feet First

Keds or Keens

What's the difference?

Well ..., it's kinda like this,

  • Floppy Disc or Flash Memory
  • 3-Speed or Mountain bike
  • 4 cylinder or V-8
  • Piper Cub or P-51

Sure. They all do the same thing. But there's a big difference.

So, what's so different about the Keen's? Plenty!

  • Adequate fit, or Correct fitting
  • Sore-foot day, or All-Day comfortable
  • Fair-weather friend, or All-Weather waterproof
  • Urban-terrain tame, or All-Terrain, ground-pounding fun!

Keenes are Serious Footwear. And that makes all the difference.

Essential: Shoes/Boots/Footwear

Hiking isn't complicated.

Finding a good walking/hiking/running boot or shoe? That can get kind of tricky. Time consuming. Frustrating. And Downright disappointing.

But - Find the right hiker boot or walking shoe, you must. It's absolutely essential. Critical. And crucial to sustain any meaningful walking or hiking routine. You need Real Shoes. Not tennis shoes & sneakers. Serious Footwear. Find it here. Get it today.

What if I don't? Most new health & fitness walkers quit walking after 6 weeks. Most beginner-hiker abandons the hiking trail after only 3 or 4 hike experiences. Why the dismal failure rate? Simple.

It hurts too-darn-much!

Aches/Pains/Foot Pain. It ain't fun. Heel pain & ankle pain. Knee & joint pain. Hip and lower back pain. And for hikers and walkers - usually a combination of these aches & pains. Sometimes all of them.

Enduring pain, suffering aches and sustaining injury for our sport is not what CRH is about. On or off the hiking trail - Do Not Ignore Pain. Find the source.  Make smart adjustments. Deal with any pain promptly.

But why all the pain to begin with? How and where do I find the 'source' and 'deal' with it?

Most often - pain, from the lower back down - starts from the bottom of the foot up!  And we've found that:

  • Walking or hiking - if your feet hurt - its almost always the shoes.
  • When shoes make your feet hurt - pain will get your ankles and start moving up.
  • Motivation and best intentions won't make pain go away.

The point is - you need the right  boot or shoe.  Period.

Now the age old question - where and how do I find the right foot gear?

At CRH - we've come up with a couple of solutions.

  • OPTION #1.  Keen.  For the beginner hiker, health and fitness walker.
  • OPTION #2.  The 5 - Minute Boot Test.

OPTION #1:  KEEN  Don't mess around. For straight out of the box, ready to go comfort, Keen shoes are your best bet.  No - they're not made for climbing Mt. Everest. But they'll handle just about any hiking trail and terrain there is. And many people use their Keen shoes and boots for urban / pavement type day hiking & fitness walking too.  So your Keens will do very well in wide variety of terrain applications. Use our Zappos links. Buy your Keenes today. And your feet will thank you with every pain free step you take.  

OPTION #2: The 5 Minute Boot Test.  Drive to the mall.  Go to a good shoe store or sporting goods store.  And start trying on lots of shoes and boots.  CRH NOTE: Stay away from tennis shoes.  Sure, tennies are comfable in the store.  But on the hiking trail - you need something more!  It would be nice to test drive them outdoors and on the trail.

"For day hiking - you will need something more than sneakers & tennies". Remember - for a day hike, your feet need 'all day comfort'.  Typically - even good running shoes and tennis shoes just don't cut it on the hiking trail.  No matter what brand. Tennis shoes & sneakers - were not made for hiking. Fitness walking. Or weight loss walking!  Unfortunately, many new hikers and fitness walkers make this mistake. After a short distance, feet begin to hurt. Ankles ache. Hip and lower back pain sets in. Then ...  


The 5-Minute Test

For best results, Make sure:

  1. Feet are Clean, Clipped & Dry.
  2. New Socks: Clean, Cotton, Cushion Socks.
  • Open laced-up boots wide open.
  • Briefly Field Inspect both boots or shoes.
  • Check for obvious defects.
  • Look for 'a rugged, field-grade look & feel".
  • Slip on wide open boot or shoe.  Without disturbing sock fit.
  • Snug the laces: "comfortably & evenly snug".  Not tight.
  • Readjust laces if needed.

Test 1: Just Stand.  Keep loose.  Don't think about the shoes.  Stretch.  Scratch.  Look at another pair of boots to evalutate.  Remember: "Good hiking boots don't distract you when being worn". Fit and Comfort.

Test 2: The Balance Test.  Carefully do some exaggerated high-steps.  "Like you were stepping over a log in the hiking trail ".  Note: Do the boots want to help you over the log?  Or - do they try to tip you over? Stability.

Test 3: The Potty Trot Test.  Take short, quick, up and down steps in-place.  Do the hikers feel like they're fun. Remember: good sturdy hiking boots may feel a bit 'clunky'.  A little clunkiness is OK.  Especially on rough ground, steeper terrain, for longer hikes, and when carrying a few pounds of gear on a day hike. Fun. 

Final Evaluation

  • Again, Just stand.  Keep loose.
  • Now - really think about the shoes on your feet.
  • THINK: critical evaluation points: toes, feet, Achilles, knees, hips, back & lower back.  Any new ache or pain is a ' red-flag '.  Better keep looking!
  • REMEMBER: "Shoes and boots let you know real quick - if it don't like you".

Don't bother with tennis shoes/sneakers/swooshes. Get the Keens.

Coffee Ridge Hiking

Coffee Ridge Hiking

Keen Shoes/Keen Boots/Keens Footwear

Keen Shoes/Keen Boots/Keens Footwear

Zappos/One Shoe Source/Free Shipping/World Class Service

Zappos/One Shoe Source/Free Shipping/World Class Service!

Use Our Zappos (affiliate) links. 'It's how this ol' hound hunts' - CRH

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