Hiking Boots – Parts And Construction

When shopping for a pair of hiking boots, it is important to know how they are made. No, you do not need to know how to make your own, but you have to understand what goes into them and how it affects the comfort and durability – the overall quality – of the hiking boots. In this article I will describe the parts of a hiking boot, what they are made of, and how they come together to form the ideal hiking boot for you.

Like any shoe, a hiking boot consists of an upper and a sole joined together by a welt and with an inlet at the front covered by a tongue, and the whole is lined with various pads and cushions. I will discuss each of those parts in detail, in terms of what they are made of and what to look for in various types of hiking boots.

Sole and Welt

Let's start at the bottom. The soul of the hiking boot is the sole.

Soles are usually made of synthetic rubber in varying degrees of hardness. A harder sole will last longer, but generally will have poorer Traction on hard surfaces (such as bare rock) and will provide less cushioning. A softer sole gives you the cushioning you need for long hikes and the transaction you need on rough ground, but it will wear out faster.

Manufacturers have made their trade-offs in choosing the materials to make their boots out of. The final choice is up to you when you choose which boot to buy. If you expect to do most of your hiking on soft surfaces, such as desert sand or bare soil, you might lean more towards harder soles. But most of us hike on fairly rugged trails with a good deal of bare rock, and we need the traction of a softer sole.

Inside the sole is a shank. It is a stiffening structure, either fiberglass or steel, that prevails the sole of the boot from twisting and that provides arch support. Shanks may be only three-quarter or half-length. Hiking shoes generally have no shank at all, deriving all their stiffness from the molded rubber sole. Good day-hiking boots may have a full-length fiberglass shank. High-quality backpacking boots will give you the choice of fiberglass or steel. It will depend on how strong you need your hiking boots to be, and how heavy.

Look for deep, knobby tread. Deep cuts in the sole allow water and mud to flow out so you can get traction. "Fake" hiking boots, designed to look like hiking boots but not to perform like them, may have thinner soles and shallow tread. Working boots also may have shallow tread, and they generally have harder soles than hiking boots have.

The welt is the connection between the sole and the upper. Virtually all hiking boots these days are glued together rather than sewn. If you are buying a very expensive pair of backpacking boots, give preference to a sewn welt. Boots with a sewn welt will be easier to resole when the original sole wears out. For hiking shoes or day-hiking boots, when the sole wears out, the upper is not worth salvaging, either, so a glued welt is just fine.

Upper

The upper of the hiking boot brings warmth, protects the sides of your feet from rocks and brush, and repels water. It must also allow your feet to "breathe," so that moisture from perspiration will not build up inside the boots and cause blisters.

Uppers of hiking boots are usually at least partially made of leather. High-quality backpacking boots are often made of full-grain leather (leather that has not been split). Lighter boots may be made of split-grain leather (leather that has been split or sued on one side), or a combination of split-grain leather with various fabrics.

Fabrics that are combined with leather are usually some type of nylon. Heavy nylon wears almost as well as leather, and it is much lighter and cheaper than leather.

In any hiking boot, especially those made of combinations of leather and fabric, there will be seams. Seams are bad. Seams are points of failure. Seams are points of wear, as one panel of the boot rubs against another. Seams are penetrations that are difficult to waterproof.

The uppers of backpacking boots are sometimes made of a single piece of full-grain leather with only one seam at the back. This is good, for all the reasons that seams are bad, but it is expensive.

You're going to have to deal with seams. But as you shop for hiking boots, look for customer reviews that mention failure or undue wearing of the seams, and avoid those brands.

Inlet and Tongue

There are two things to look for in the inlet and the tongue:

1. How the laces are attached and adjusted

2. How the tongue is attached to the sides of the inlet

The inlet may be provided with eyelets, D-rings, hooks, and webbing, alone or in combination. They each have these advantages and disadvantages:

* Eyelets: Simplest and most durable way to lace a boot. Not so easily adjusted.

* D-rings: Easier to adjust than eyelets, more durable than hooks. More failure-prone than eyelets. (They can break, and they can tear out of the leather.)

* Hooks: Easiest to adjust of all lace attachments. Subject to getting hooked on brush, or bent or broken in impacts with boulders, main cause of breakage of laces.

* Webbing: Cause less chafing of laces, slightly easier to adjust than eyelets, slightly more durable than D-rings. More failure-prone than eyelets.

The most common lace attachment of any hiking boot is eyelets below ankle-level and hooks above. You may see eyelets all the way up, as in classic military-style combat boots, or a combination of either D-rings or webbing with hooks.

The attachment of the tongue is a critical factor in how waterproof the hiking boots are. Provided the leather and / or fabric and seams of the upper are waterproof, water will not get into the boots until it gets higher than the attachment point of the tongue.

Most hiking shoes and day-hiking boots have the tongue attached all the way to the top. If the tongue is not fully attached, consider carefully wherever you will need that extra inch or two of waterproofing.

High-rise backpacking boots have the tongue attached only partway up, but that still reaches higher than most day-hiking boots. It's difficult to get the boot on and off if the tongue is attached very high.

Linings and Pads

There are many pieces that go into the lining and padding of a hiking boot, but two in particular you need to pay attention to:

1. The sole lining

2. The scree collar

The sole lining must be appropriately cushioned. You want a firm, durable surface in immediate contact with your socks, but enough cushioning below that to absorb impact.

The scree collar is a cushion around the top of most hiking boots. It enables you to pull the boots tight enough to keep out loose rocks ("scree") but without chafing against your ankle and Achilles tendon. This is the thickest and softest cushion in the whole hiking boot. It must be soft enough to conform to your ankle and Achilles tendon as they move, and still keep close enough contact with your leg to keep the rocks out.

Very high hiking boots, such as military-style combat boots, may have no scree collar at all. The height of the boot is what keeps the rocks out.

Throughout, the lining and padding of the hiking boots must be thick enough to provide warm, durable enough to last, and smooth enough that it will not cause chafing and blisters.

Conclusion

So, these are the things you need to pay attention to when going a pair of hiking boots. Be prepared to compromise, and pay attention to which features are really important to the style of hiking you intend to do.

Differences Between Damask, Brocade, and Jacquard

Often times, uneducated individuals use the terms damask, brocade, and Jacquard interchangeably with one another. It can often confuse those who are unfamiliar with the world of fabrics. Jacquard is a decorative or woven pattern that is created by using a Jacquard attachment on a loom. The attachment resembles the punch card on a piano. It is purported to offer better versatility and fabric control for the operator of the loom. The Jacquard technique can be applied to a variety of fabrics, and it is commonly used on brocade and damask fabrics. It is commonly used in a variety of apparel and home goods, from tablecloths to bedding.

Brocade is defined as a lavishly decorated, shuttle woven fabric. It is primarily woven from silk; although, it is possible to find brocade constructed from a blend of silk and synthetic fibers. Often, it will be embroidered with gold or silver thread. Brocade can trace its origins back to India, where weaving is a traditional art form. It is typically woven on a loom, and it may or may not be woven using the Jacquard technique. It is also characterized by the manner in which the brocaded or broached parts of the fabric hang in loose groups or are clipped away. Although the scenes and patterns on brocade appear to have been embroidered, the scenes are actually woven into the fabric using advanced weaving techniques that involve manipulating the weft and weave of the fabric. The most common types of scenes depicted on brocade fabric are those of floral prints.

Damask, similar to brocade, is a fabric that features woven scenes of floral patterns, intricate geometric designs, or simple scenes of domestic life. It may be woven of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers. However, it is most commonly created from silk. It is primarily different from brocade in the fact that its woven fabric pattern is reversible, while that of brocade is not. Similarly, shorter weft patterns in damask allow for more subtle effects in the fabric to be created as it plays off of shadow and light. Damask weaves also contain a higher thread count than that of brocade. Double damask weaves are the highest quality of damask produced; however, it is also the most expensive.

Dedicated Server Hosting for Ecommerce Sites

Web hosting has become an integral part of the corporate world, since selling products via ecommerce websites has become possible with the advent of internet. It has provided sellers and resellers with the perfect platform to sell their goods to people located in another city, state or even country. And, an ecommerce site runs best on a dedicated server because it possesses the resources that are needed to run the site efficiently and to take care of the tremendous footfalls of the potential clients. This kind of server can easily provide the users with the ability to install all types of software and upgrade hardware as and when required.

The corporate hosting service providers give complete control, including maintenance & software configuration, of their dedicated servers to the clients. This would allow you to take charge of the tremendous power of the server, which would include OS, RAM, hard disk storage space etc. Windows hosting is the preferred choice of all corporate organizations, especially the ones that have well developed ecommerce websites. The Microsoft proprietary operating system is known for ease of installation and user friendliness, even though it is a tad costlier than other software. All sites that are developed with the help of tools created by MS can be hosted only on servers that operate on Windows OS.

Next, the users get ample monthly data transfer limits from the company that leases the dedicated server to them. A transfer limit that runs into GBs per month (and can be increased) and is in line with the requirements of the ecommerce portal that is being hosted on the server is typically provided to the users. And, since new products are added on a regular basis by sites that sell products online, a sound backup needs to be maintained for safekeeping. Fortunately, backup is typically provided by the web hosting India company to the user as part of the standard deal, even though if it is not provided, then having the paid service is still worth the money.

As all seasoned users know, monitoring a server is important for all ecommerce websites, and it is important to have dedicated corporate hosting providers that can monitor the server within short durations of time. Ideally, the hosting server should be checked every five minutes for problems, and the user should assess what measures are taken to cater to the problems that arise. And, amateurs who have a dedicated server for hosting their ecommerce websites can enjoy the best experience with a web based automation that allows the user to have full control over the server without being proficient with the technical aspects.

Buying Shoes Online – Help and Advice For When Purchasing Shoes Online

A few years ago, if you were looking to purchase a new pair of shoes, you went off to a department or shoe store; Looked around, tried a few pairs on and took your purchase home that day. These days, more and more people are deciding not to go into town, and buying their shoes online. Now, I believe this is partly because we've become more busy, but mostly because we now have access to brands, designers, styles and sizes that are not available to purchase in our local shoe stores. If you feel the need for a women's size 14, extra-narrow (or wide), red pump with a 3 inch high heel, chances are, you'll find it at one of many online shoe stores.

However, not all online shoe stores are the same. So i have put together some advice, and things to look out for when buying shoes online.

1) Post and packaging Charges: The Added Cost when Buying Shoes Online.

Always find out what the P & P charges are before spending lots of time adding items to cart or shopping bag. You may think you're getting a bargain on all those shoes, but if P & P cost is too high, you may end up paying more than anticipated. Especially when ordering from a country other than the one you live in. Lots of online shoe shops offer free P & P, which is great! But do some price comparisons before you purchase. Sometimes, you'll get a better deal at an online shoe shop that charges a reasonable price for P & P, and still save EKK.

2) Returns / Exchanges – Know the Policies in Advance.

Another major factor in buying shoes online, is being able to return or exchange them if there's something wrong with them, they do not fit, or just are not the way you thought they would be. Most online shoe stores will have a returns policy, but DO NOT take it for granted. Make sure before putting in those card details, that you'll be able to return the unused shoes for any reason.

Ok, if you're taking a chance on a heavily discounted pair of shoes, then you may decide to buy without a return policy. But you still need to know what your rights for that sale are before buying.

Also, find out in advance if you'll have to pay the return postal fees, if you do decide to send the shoes back.

3) Want your Shoes quick? Check delivery Times. If its an absolute must that you have a certain pair of shoes by "xx" date, I strictly advise buying them in person at an actual shoe shop. Or ordering them well in advance, and that there are other options available if your shoes do not arrive in time.

I AM NOT saying that online shoes do not post out in a timely fashion! In fact, I have purchased many pairs of shoes online, and they have all arrived in record time, but why take any chances?

Again, find out the delivery policy of the online shoe shop you're buying from, and make sure the shoes are buying are actually in stock! If they are backordered, this could add weeks till you get them.

~ Summery ~ As long as you buy from reputable online shoe stores and pay extra attention to the info above, buying online is an excellent way to save time and money; and to give yourself the biggest choice when buying shoes online.