Equipped

Sure, you can don any number of winter traction systems, from Yaktrax to crampons, microspikes to Stabilicers. But none of them have the built-in convenience of Icebug footwear. Sweden-based Icebug produces a line of footwear with steel carbide studs integrated directly into the sole, which provides excellent traction underfoot when walking on ice and snow….

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Ah, winter: Season of outdoor thrills and potentially butt-crunching spills. When snow and ice create dangerous conditions underfoot—from city sidewalks to rugged mountain trails—adding a winter traction system to your footwear will provide the grip you need to stay safely upright. Here are the options, from casual to extreme, to keep you on your feet…

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Moisture drains heat from your feet. Once your feet cool down, it takes a lot of energy to re-warm damp socks and boots. Keep them dry, keep them toasty. Here are some tips to keep feet warm: Block snow from your boot tops with gaiters or snug-fitting pant cuffs. Carry a pair of dry socks…

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Over time, dirt and body oils steadily permeate your sleeping bag and rain jacket, decreasing their warmth and breathability. Practicing some basic outdoor gear maintenance can extend the life of your equipment. Wash them once every season or two, depending on how often you use them. Apply leather conditioner to your hiking boots at least…

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As a general rule, most outdoor equipment is built to survive significant use and abuse over many years and adventures. By using these five simple tips, however, you can quickly and easily damage your equipment to the point of near uselessness. With a little additional effort, you can then resuscitate it for more abuse in the…

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To lace hiking boots properly, begin at the front of your shoe by cinching the laces over the top of your foot (the instep) just enough to prevent the front of your foot from sliding side-to-side. Do not overtighten them or you will begin to compromise circulation.  Once you reach above the instep, where the top…

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The soles of your shoes can tell you a lot about how you walk. Take a well-worn shoe and examine the wear pattern on the sole. This will quickly indicate how your feet strike the ground and how your feet move as you complete each step. Shoes with some tread (hiking boots, running shoes) are…

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Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. have a bunion on one or both feet. Located at the base of the big toe on the side of the foot, this bony protrusion is often at particular risk for blisters. Here’s what you can do about it:  Purchase sufficiently wide hiking boots. They should not feel…

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Ever hear that an extra pound on your feet is equivalent to 5 pounds on your back? Whether or not that oft-quoted piece of backcountry wisdom is exactly right, one thing is definitely true: Hiking requires less effort in lightweight footwear. And therein lies the allure of wearing trail running shoes instead of heavier hiking…

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Your feet are your most important piece of hiking equipment. Keep them happy and you will be even more so. Displease them and you will suffer their bruised and blistered malice. Their fate rests in your hands—and it all starts with a proper fit for your hiking footwear. Boot Basics When shopping for hiking boots,…

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