Mr. W's Gear Guide - Hiking Boots
The question and dilemma for many parents of scouts joining our high adventure troop, is what sort of hiking boots are best suited for the outings. I can hear you thinking that hiking boots seem to be so expensive and your son may only wear them on two or three hikes before he outgrows them. It is true that $150 or more is not an unusual price seen on a pair of hiking boots at REI, Sport Chalet, Adventure 16, or the Northface stores.
A hiking boot must be comfortable, capable of protecting your son's feet from the hazards of the trails, and most importantly to provide good ankle support, which dictates the high top designs. All these features can be purchased by cheaper means.
Delivered with your newspaper at least once a week is a pull out advertisement for Big 5 Sporting Goods, seemingly having a perpetual sale. The most recent printing I saw had Hi-Tec, Oakhurst, and Longitude hiking boots for $29.99 and Nevados Extreme and El Capitan hiking boots were priced at $19.99. I have also seen Red Wing, Coleman and Timberline hiking boots at K-Mart and Wal-Mart at similar prices. I cannot vouch as to how "cool" they are, but they will serve to provide comfortable hiking for the short period before he outgrows them. At which time you can give them to the troop quartermaster who maintains a box of nearly new (from this source) hiking boots. Always check this out before buying a replacement pair.
When trying on hiking boots be sure your scout is wearing a thick wool sock over a thin cotton sock. Resist the temptation to buy big with the thought that your son will grow into them. Although I am adept at dressing blistered feet, it is not my favorite pursuit.
I am always available at the troop meetings and by phone (949) 589-1232 should you require gear guidance.