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.

Affordable Car Insurance!

It is possible to get affordable car insurance!

All of us are trying to save a bit of money. All of us have those annoying expenses in our lives. What would you rather do, pay your phone bill or buy yourself a new jacket or a set of golf clubs? Of course. We are all the same. But we gotta pay those bills. Luckily there is now a way to save some money on some of those. Nobody likes to talk about it, except when they complain to their neighbor how much it is! Car insurance. Thats right, car insurance. We all need it, we all gotta pay through the nose for it. But affordable car insurance?

Yes you can save money with it. It can be more affordable. Studies show very few people comparison shop for car insurance, but its easy and its fast. And it can be much more affordable.

There are many car insurance sites now on the Internet that will do the legwork for you. Just a few simple questions and just a moment later, you have in your hands, all the information, all the quotes from different insurance companies, ready to go. That was not so bad, now was it?

Now you have what you need. With what you know now, now you can contact the insurance company. Now you can do a bit more research to see if you can save even more money. Thats right, your car insurance can be even more affordable!

Here are a few tips to make your car insurance more affordable:

Insure your car and home with the same company.

Take a safe drivers course.

Have good credit.

Have a clean drivers abstract.

All of these and more will save you money. You will have affordable car insurance! Good luck!

If Someone is Erasing Or Deleting Their Text Messages, is it a Sign of Cheating?

I often hear from people who can not help but notice that their husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend has been increasingly sending and receiving text messages. However, when they go to check up on those texts, they've often been deleted or erased.

I often hear comments like: "my husband will go and try to find privacy when he's texting. I'll see he has a mischievous and excited look on his face and I get a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. when I get a hold of the phone later to see who he's been texting and what he's been saying, I find that he's deleted his entire history. What is going on? Should I be worried that he's cheating on me and using his cell phone to do it? "

These concerns are most definitely valid. Statistics show that it's increasingly common for people to get cating cheating from their cell phones. And, it's very tempting for cheaters to sending playful and flirtatious texts to someone who you are cheating with. Plus, the cheater often thinks that all they have to do is hit the delete button to erase all evidence of wrongdoing. (This assumption can be just plain wrong.)

If you confront your loved one about the deleted texts, they'll often tell you that they were trying to save memory on their phone or that it's just their habit not to let their messages clutter up their phone. And, I suppose there are cases where this is a valid excuse. But, it will often help to look at how soon after the message's use that they are actually deleting it. It's less problematic if they let the message sit there for days or weeks before they get around to erasing it. But, if they're erasing immediately after it's sent or received, then this becomes a good bit more suspicious.

If your loved one is even reasonably tech savvy (and they are very likely if they're constantly messaging, then they are reasonably know that they can easily set their phone to automatically delete old messages after a specified period of time so that having to go in and manually do this is really over kill.

What To Do When Your Loved One Is Constantly Deleting Their Texts: As I see it, you have a few choices here. You can ask or confront them about this, but I have to tell you that an extremely large majority of cheaters will firmly deny any wrong doing. You can ask yourself if there are any places where you're seeing odd behaviors (like at the computer) and then try to follow up and check those places. You can also check the call log, photos, and sent emails. There is software that allows you to go back in and read the texts and only you can decide if you want to take this that far.

I think it often comes down to the other behaviors that surround the messaging and whether or not you believe that this is all innocent or not. And, if you've found this article, I suspect that you might feel like there is more to this than saving phone memory. Sometimes this is not the case, but many times, it is.

Guide To Buying Gemstone Jewelry

Gemstone jewelry not only accessorizes your fashion choice, it also allows you to show off to your friends as the gemstone ring, earring or any other piece of gemstone you will be wearing is of high quality. For you to buy the right unit you need to consider a number of factors such as:

Color of gemstone

According to professionals, the color of the jewelry you choose determines 50-70% of the unit’s value. Gemstone jewelry comes in different colors and it’s up to you to choose the one that is ideal for you. For you to choose the right color jewelry you need to consider three main factors: Hue, tone and saturation.

Hue: It’s the basic color of the gemstone. When making the purchase, go for units that exhibit a pure color. If the jewelry has to have other colors, they should be minimal.

Tone: The tone represents the depth of a gemstone color. It can be light or dark. Professionals put the tone in different categories that include: light, medium light, medium, medium dark and dark.

There are some unscrupulous sellers that might try to sell you other items posing them as gemstone. If you are keen you can tell a real gemstone by simply looking at it. A real gemstone shouldn’t be too dark or too light. The unit should have a bright, rich look. To tell the real color of the jewelry you should look at it at different lights.

Clarity of the jewelry

Clarity describes the presence or absence of flaws inside or outside the gemstone. While it’s rare to get a flawless gemstone, you shouldn’t settle for one that is of poor clarity. While jewelry with a poor clarity is cheap, it’s not of much value to you as it will give you a poor, cheap look.

To tell the clarity of the unit that you are buying you should examine it from the top. If there isn’t a flaw, the flaw won’t show up in the face up position; therefore, it won’t affect the value and beauty of your unit. If you aren’t experienced at picking flaws, take the jewelry to a professional who will examine it under a microscope.

Cut of gemstone

A properly cut gemstone jewelry is beautiful to look at as it reflects light across its surface when you hold it up. If the unit has a cut that is too deep and narrow the surface area will be dark. If the cut is too shallow and wide, the jewelry will have parts of it washed out and lifeless. When making the purchase go for a unit with an ideal cut and desired shape. The jewelry that you go for should be symmetrical in all dimensions so that it appears balanced.

Conclusion

These are the few factors that you should consider when buying gemstone jewelry. To buy a real, high quality unit buy it from a reputable gemstone store.