Comfortable boots are essential for any occupation, whether you’re a hiker, outdoor person, camper, law enforcement officer, or hobbyist. Heel slippage can be a real problem and quickly ruin your comfort. Heel slippage in hiking boots can be more than an annoyance. It can also cause blisters and excruciating pain. How to fix heel slippage in your hiking boots? Is there a way to fix this problem? There is. This article will show you how to fix the heel slippage in your hiking boots. It will ensure that your feet are comfortable while walking long distances and give your feet that bounce.
What is heel slippage in hiking boots
You have likely experienced heel slippage if you have ever hiked in poorly fitting boots. This condition can be excruciating and frustrating. Heel slippage is when your heels rise up in your boots. Instead of your feet moving in a single direction, your feet feel like your heels are independent of the boot. Your heels rise and fall with every step. The constant friction and rubbing on your heel can quickly cause blisters.
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Heel slippage: Causes
You can have heel slippage in boots for many reasons, but it comes down to how well you break them in. Boots are stiff and will flex as soon as you break them in. The boots will conform to your feet and should reduce movement. They may disappear completely in 2-3 days. It will most likely feel like it. You may not notice any movement in your heel, but it could be that your heel is sliding as you walk. Blisters on your heels at the back are a sign of heel slip, especially after an ascent hike. A blister can develop when your heel rubs against your shoe’s back.
How to fix heel slippage in your hiking boots
Tight boots cause blisters, and loose boots can lead to accidents. It is essential to find the right shoe for you, especially if your goal is to hike up a mountain and not walk through the mall. To avoid fix heel slippage in your hiking boots, the first step is to select the correct size. It can be challenging to choose the right size when shopping online or trying out a new brand. Let’s have a deep discussion on how to fix heel slippage in your hiking boots.
Check that your boots are fit well
Although this step isn’t the only cause of heel slippage 100%, it is the most important to address first. You have a greater chance of preventing or at least decreasing heel slippage if your hiking boots fit correctly. You won’t be able to tell the difference if you have never purchased hiking boots before. A specialty shop is a better option. Outdoor stores often have experts who can help you find the right fit.
The manager at EMS took me up and down an incline to help me determine if my boots were right-sized. These are some guidelines to help you get the perfect fit. Shop in the afternoon or later in the morning when your feet are still a minor swelling.
You will notice a slight bump in your feet as you hike, so it is an excellent time to get them on. The store clerk should measure the length, width, and arch of your feet. Push your toes forward while the boot unlaces. The boot should allow you to slide your finger in, with about 1/4-inch space between the front and back. This is how much space you need to feel comfortable when going up and down hills. You should try five to ten pairs of hiking boots.
You should lace the hiking boot when you are standing with your entire weight on your feet. If your foot is on the ground or weight, your foot will change shape, so don’t tie it when you have no pressure. Don’t rush this process. Hiking boots can be expensive. They are also essential and can make the difference between a safe and enjoyable hike and dangerous and painful.
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Make sure your shoelaces are well-secured
While a properly-sized boot is essential to avoid heel slippage, even the best-fitting boot can slip if its shoelaces don’t fit correctly. The sole purpose of shoelaces, which are adjustable to fit your boots in the right way, is to allow you to control how tight or loose they should be. The fit and feel you get from your boots will depend on how tight you tie your shoelaces. It is essential to only purchase high-quality laces made for your boots. Shoelaces provide extra support for your boots.
These shoelaces also support your heels and keep them in place while you’re moving. There are many ways to tighten your shoelaces. You must stick with the method that works for you. However, if your heel slippage is severe, it may be time to change. For the best performance, it is essential to invest in sturdy and flexible shoelaces. You should also try different tightening methods until you find one that prevents slippage.
Read our brief guide on how to tie hiking boots
Measure your feet
This briefly mentions in the previous tip. However, knowing your feet’ dimensions and the individual feet of your feet can help you diagnose your heel slip problem. How narrow or broad your boots should depend on how wide your feet are. Black toenails can occur if there’s not enough space in your boots’ front. This could lead to heel slip or worsening the problem. Because there is not enough boot to support a narrow heel, it’s more likely to experience heel slippage. Many people have feet that are two sizes.
To make up the extra space, you may need an insole or special accommodations for your boots. You can find hiking boot companies that can cater to your specific needs once you have a good idea of your feet’ dimensions, mainly if they are unusual. You can also look at customer reviews to determine if specific boots are broader or narrower than usual. This will help you choose the right fit.
Use padding in your boot’s interior
This method is prevalent to fix heel slippage. This method is much more affordable than buying new hiking boots. It only requires a small amount of padding material, such as padded inserts for boots, tissue paper, or old cloth. To reduce the boot’s length, you can stuff this material in the toe or heel. This is a great way to fix boots that are too big for your feet. Although padding boots may be temporary, they will not last. The boots can shift a lot, which can cause more problems than it solves. Inadequately stuffing your boots can lead to calluses, blisters, and other foot ailments. This is why you should only use it as a last resort and for a short time.
Wear different socks
Comfortable hiking boots make you more comfortable by wearing the right socks. Hikers usually wear thin liners that are topped with thick hiking socks. Merino wool is the most common type of hiking socks. You should still wear thick socks if you plan to hike in warm weather. However, there are lighter, more breathable options that don’t make your feet too hot. You may find that your boot has too much space if you wear thin socks, which could cause your foot to move. Cotton socks will also trap moisture and make you more susceptible to blisters. Before you buy hiking boots, make sure to try them on with the right socks. When choosing hiking socks, you should consider the following things: Comfort and warmth; Fabric that is typically merino wool with nylon or polyester added; Sock height to protect your skin from the boots.
Short-term solution: Double-sided tape
Double-sided tape is used by many to prevent slippage of the heels in boots. Celebrities have even admitted using this trick before walking the red carpet to prevent accidental falls or trips. Double-sided tape is not an ideal long-term solution. However, it can be used to help you get through a few hikes before you find a permanent solution. Double-sided tape is not a good long-term solution. Sweat in your boots can slowly break down the adhesive properties, which causes the tape to become loose and collect in the heels of your boots. This can lead to discomfort or even pain. Even if you need something quick to get you through the day, you might want to keep some double-sided tape in your backpack.
Tighten or replace the laces
You may find that your boots fit perfectly, but the laces don’t have enough strength or thickness to secure your foot. You might consider replacing your laces with thicker or more durable ones that can be pulled tight. Your hiking boots must have been fitted with the correct laces. They can become worn over time. If you are replacing your boots, ensure that they have the same shape as the original laces. You can also try tightening your laces to test if it makes a difference.
I like to tie mine at the top of my boot and stop every now and again during my hike to untie them if they become loose. I have had problems with heel slippage in the past, so I am not afraid to yank my laces to secure my foot. So, I tie them tighter than regular boots and loosen them only if they are causing pain or restricting my blood flow. This has never happened to me more than once.
Use hair spray
Last but not least, you can use hair spray to fix any slippage in your boots’ heels. This is a temporary solution that should not be used in the long term. It will make your feet stick better to your socks and prevent them from slipping up your boots’ heels.
Use lace anchors
While this is not a permanent solution and may not be comfortable for everyone, lace anchors could help you temporarily. The anchors can be used to keep your laces in place if they are constantly breaking or coming apart. You can also remove them once you have a pair.
Use a heel lock tying technique
After trying to tie my feet with a pair of hiking boots and being unable to hold my feet in place for a long time, I discovered this heel lock tying method. Although I do follow some other hiking tips, this is my only remedy for heel slippage. This technique applies pressure to the top of your feet to hold your heel in place. Begin by lacing your boots from the top of the foot, ending at the last eyelet. Continue to lace the boots from the same side. Repeat the process on the opposite side. Continue to degrade through the space you left on the opposite eyelet. Repeat this process on both sides.
Although heel slippage might seem to be a minor nuisance, it can cause foot damage over time and cause injuries on the trail. So, you must know how to fix heel slippage in your hiking boots. Consider these tips before you grab some hairspray, tape, or double-sided tape to prevent your heels from sliding. Although quick fixes can be tempting, it’s not a good idea to leave your feet smelling of chemicals.