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.

Web Branding – Make A Name For Yourself

There really are three different levels of marketing significance when it comes to your online business.

There are three different levels of strategy that result in three different sets of results.

1) Advertising – This role is primarily designed to elicit short-term results on a specific campaign or site performance goal.

2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This role is designed for long-term growth by getting search engines to recognize your site and view you as trustworthy and describing of a high ranking.

3) Web Branding – This role is also designed for long-term growth, but may have more to do with customer confidence in your product and less to do with driving new traffic to your site.

In web branding the idea is to develop a confidence in your product and or service.

Did you know it is possible to develop a strong web brand and find customers returning even if that means paying more with your site?

Why is this true?

If you develop sound web branding strategies a customer will have no problem returning to use your services or buy your product. Customers will pay the extra if for no other reason than they are confident you can and will deliver on your promises. These customers have seen your track record and they are satisfied you will do what you say you will do.

In times past there was greater brand loyalty for house cleaning products, food items, clothing and even vehicles. Branding of most products is becoming harder to do, but it's not impossible.

Web site owners who have taken the time to really understand the core of their business begin to gain a clear picture of how they can take the uniqueness of the business and leverage that special something into a means of branding their company online.

This is important because there are businesses that stop at advertising. Other businesses will add an impressive array of SEO strategies that will eventually get them noticed. While both of these are important strategies the miss the mark in defining the difference between online businesses that sells a product and THE online source for a product or service.

The end goal is to have customers view you as the only reputable seller of whatever product you specialize in.

There are many too many businesses that are content to simply sell a product without ever really making a name for themselves.

Is not it time you started taking steps to make a name for yourself?

Cosmos Vs Globus

Visiting Europe is more affordable than you might think. The Globus family of brands has two options to choose from. Cosmos offers a great vacation value for those on a budget, while Globus offers premium escorted travel.

In order to understand the difference more clearly, I am going to use an example I came across earlier this week where a client was planning a trip to Spain, but was undecided between the Cosmos "Grand tour of Spain," and the Globus "Spanish Fiesta. " Specifically, the client wanted to know why she should pay $ 500 more for the Globus trip, when the cosmos goes to the same places and is one day longer?

This is one of the best questions you can ask your travel agent! The tourist industry is a very competitive field and if one company is offering the same itinerary at a decidedly different price, there's got to be a reason. As we sat and discussed the two itineraries, here is what the client learned.

She would land in Madrid on either tour; both would meet and greet, (if airfare had been purchased through the tour operator), and each would have a hotel room reserved in her name. Now where the difference begin, is that the Globus tour director would host a welcome dinner that evening and she would meet the other travelers. The Cosmos tour director would only be in the hotel lobby to say hello. Dinner will be on her own, and perhaps she would meet up with other travelers and join them.

After a buffet breakfast (included each morning in either tour) the Globus group will have in depth sightseeing in Madrid, seeing all the major sights, with an entrance to the world famous Prado Museum included and paid for. The afternoon will offer free time. The Cosmos group leaves Madrid, and is driven to Valencia (via Aranjuez and Cuenca), a distance of about 222 miles, with a stop at the Royal Palace along the way. The driving time is about 4 hours, but there will be photo stops as well as a stop for lunch, although not included. The Cosmos tour would then stay in Valencia two nights, which no included sightseeing.

On day two, the Globus tour will head north to Vitoria, stopping at Segovia and Burgos … with photo, rest and lunch stops, of course. Lunch is not included with the Globus on this day either. The distance is about 175 miles, or about 3 hours.

I will not continue the day-by-day comparison, as the article would be quite lengthy, but be assured that these differences continue through. Example: Globus has in-depth sightseeing in Granada, Cosmos offers it as an optional. The Globus tour takes you to Gibraltar, with entrance fee included; Cosmos does not go to Gibraltar. Globus stops for guided, fee paid sightseeing in Toledo; Cosmos does not stop at Toledo. The Cosmos visit in Madrid is at the end of your tour, no inside visits are included.

There are also more subtle differences that a Globus tour includes over Cosmos, such as extra nights in major cities to allow for more free time, a few extra meals throughout the trip, sometimes with wine included or entertainment. With Globus you often each at local restaurants, where we Cosmos you frequent the hotel's restaurant.

To sum it all up, if your goal is to travel comfortably, with clean hotels, some meals, a tour guide as your shepherd and information source and at a price you can afford, go "budget," which is with Cosmos tours . Just remember, there will be many "optional" tours and meals, so do the math. If you want to see as much as possible, gain access to outstanding museums and sights, stay in centrally located hotels and avoid many of the optionals, so more is included in your up-front price, you will find that Globus tours is the better way to go.

Keep in mind they are both owned by the same company, who have offered escorted tours for over 80 years, so you will not be disappointed either way, as long as you are clear on what's included in the price.

Pain and Pleasure – The Inspiration For Weight Loss Success

We sometimes feel frustrated because we do not do anything about our weight issues. We become lazy and uninspired to do anything about it. What is that that gets some people moving towards their weight loss goals. We see these people moving and nothing stops them from achieving their goals. Their focus is laser like. Their focus is guiding them to their destination with resolve.

How can you have this type of focus? How can you be inspired to do something about your weight issues?

Pain and pleasure
The key is hidden in your tolerance to pain and what you experience as pleasure. When it comes to weight loss, many people do not act until there is so much pain that it forces them to act. For example, when your doctor tells you that you must lose weight or else you could die what would you do? How motivated is that for you to change? It all depends on what you experience as pain and pleasure.

For some, the pain of innocent death is so painful that the pain and sacrifice of exercise is worth it to stay alive. These people will put off pleasure to experience pain. They will experience pain first and pleasure afterwards.

The wrong order is to experience pleasure first and then pain. This order will keep you overweight and frustrated. Let's see examples as to how this works.

Pain and then pleasure
You might be in a situation where everyone around you is eating unhealthy foods and you want to stay committed to your weight loss goals by avoiding unhealthy foods. The pain of passing up great tasting food is powerful but you do not give in. Not to mention the pressure you'll receive by the offers of food. You'll experience pleasure afterwards knowing that you did not sabotage. You keep your integrity and your self-esteem is maintained if not increased. You do not experience feelings of guilt. Another word for this type of behavior is called delayed gratification. Where you purposefully delay gratifying things that will sabotage you to experience pleasure later.

Pleasure and then pain
Let's take the same scenario and say you wanted to experience pleasure first by eating unhealthy foods. The pleasure in enjoying the taste of the unhealthy food is powerful. So powerful that you do not delay the gratification. As time goes by you feel the guilty of eating unhealthy foods. You feel fat, sluggish and slow. You wonder then why you do not have discipline to say no. This is the experience of feeling the pain afterwards.

The point here is to experience the pain first and then feel the pleasure. Delay gratification is due process. It's essential to apply the technique of pain and pleasure. Practice delaying gratification so that you do not sabotage. That's what it's all about. You must practice this technique to be successful when it comes to weight loss. It's your choice. What are you going to choose?

Josue