Whether in a tent or a cabin, a backyard or a remote site, camping is among the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United States. Although many say we live in a digital age, the outdoor recreation industry is actually growing. Data from 2013 shows that the revenue of RV parks and campgrounds was estimated at around $5 billion. The following year, consumers spent more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars on camping equipment, with most of this being spent on tents, backpacks and sleeping bags. However, an often overlooked yet incredibly important investment for camping gear is waterproof walking shoes.
While many of us already have a pair of trekking sandals or waterproof shoes of some kind, either a rubber sandal or boot, these are not necessarily the best for walking or hiking. In addition, the casual hiking boots you?re wearing may need to be replaced. According to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, most mid-quality walking shoes should be replaced every 350 to 400 miles, or about every six months for the average walker. High-quality waterproof walking shoes can give you around 500 miles, but after that you should certainly replace your walking shoes.
Waterproof shoes are arguably the most important gear you can buy for your outdoor adventures. Comfortable, durable shoes that fit properly and are designed for your style of recreation can make all the difference in your health and life enjoyment.
Since all shoes are not the same, and neither are all walking conditions, there are a few things to consider before you make your purchase:
-Where will I hike, and what are the trails like there?
-How much ankle and arch support do I need?
-What weather will I be hiking in?
-Are these the only shoes I will bring?
It?s a good idea to go to a store that specializes in waterproof walking shoes and trail walking shoes. While it?s possible to buy shoes online, an expert fit is essential to the comfort and durability of your shoe. When you?re trying on your shoe, they may feel a bit snug at first, and that?s a good thing; they?ll stretch out as you break them in, resulting in a more custom fit that is comfortable for you. Once you make your purchase, the next step is to break them in.
Don?t wear them hiking on the first day, or sore feet, back, and blisters may occur. Wear them around the house right away to be sure of the fit, and to keep the boots in like-new condition in the event that you have to return or exchange them. Once you?re sure the fit is right, although a bit snug, then try them on a short walk. Now, they should be gently breaking in, and you?re ready to head out on the trail and get the mileage your walking boots were designed to give you.