Everyone loves their old hiking boots. They are as comfortable as slippers and full of fond memories. Unfortunately those good old faithful hiking boots will not last forever, no matter how good they were!
Here we give our top 5 signs that you need to replace those old worn out boots or shoes.
- The press test is one of the simplest and most effective ways of telling if your footwear needs replacing. With wear the mid sole (the cushioning in the footwear) will compress and eventually won’t provide the support you need. The test will determine if the mid sole of your boots or shoes has compacted too much. To carry out a press test place the broad part of your thumb on the sole and press upwards towards the mid sole. Look for compression lines on the side of the shoe- if there are numerous, heavy lines that are close together and there is little bounce the midsole has worn. With new boots or shoes there would be faint lines or wrinkles and it would feel cushioned.
- Check the appearance of your footwear. This may seem quite obvious, but how often do you check your footwear? Here is a list of what to look for and the potential consequences of missing them:
- Do the mid soles show any signs of cracks or strain? Mid soles can break apart when walking and when they do it can be very uncomfortable without the cushioning offered by this part of the shoe.
- Is the leather or fabric frayed, ripped or showing any signs of holes? If so they may soon start leaking. Cold, wet feet are an uncomfortable way to finish a winter walk!
- Are eyelets or lace hoops loose or broken? Or the laces themselves frayed and torn? Loose boots can cause as many problems as wet feet. Blisters are uncomfortable at the best of times!
- Has the outer sole retained the deep tread that it started with or does it look worn out? If the tread is worn the footwear will not offer the grip and traction you need when walking in trickier terrains.
- Has the footwear lost its shape? If the footwear is looking wider, flatter or misshapen then your foot has stretched the footwear and is likely to be moving around too much which can rub and lead to blisters.
- Has the heel or ankle support lost its integrity? If the cushioning on the heel or around the ankle has worn out it could also lead to rubbing and/or blisters.
- Does your footwear leak? Waterproof footwear still has a limited waterproofing life, even if you do maintain the waterproofing with shoe and boot proofer. It is always worth re-proofing your footwear regularly to help increase its lifespan. If they are not re-proofed on a regular basis it is hard to tell if the footwear needs a little maintenance or replacing completely. If you re-proof your footwear on a regular basis and they start leaking it is a sure fire sign that your footwear needs replacing.
- Does your footwear suddenly feel uncomfortable in places they never did before? Or do you have aches and pains anywhere else, legs, knees, hips or back that you have not experienced before? Worn out footwear also puts pressure on these areas of your body. Carrying out the above checks on a regular basis can help prevent this.
- If you are still unsure after carrying out the above tests then try on a new pair of the same boots or shoes. This way you can compare the support that is on offer in both sets of footwear. If the new footwear feels more supportive, it is likely to also be more comfortable.
If the signs above sound familiar then maybe it is time to treat your feet to a new pair of boots or shoes.