Beginner Backpack Workshop – BootsBackpacking 入門講座 – 登山鞋篇

This article is based on what I presented in the Beginner Backpack Workshop held by Appalachian Mountain Club, Delaware Valley Chapter, April 22, 2006.

Boots are important. A good pair of boots helps you carry on through various terrains and conditions. Incompatible boots tire your feet and legs more easily, and they are more likely to cause blisters which turn your trip miserable.

I like to say that finding a good pair of boots is like finding your life partner. It might sound overly dramatic, but if you’ve ever traveled with someone you hate, you would know that I am not exaggerating.

Boots are something you shouldn’t buy on-line or through mail order. You need to try them on and fit them perfectly. It’s too risky to buy them without a test drive. A size chart is for reference ONLY. Vendor A’s size 8 might not be the same as Vendor B’s size 8. Especially nowadays, manufactures outsource their production, so even Vendor A’s size 8 sometimes might not match Vendor A’s size 8 made in another country.

What are boots for?

Boots provide protection, support, cushion, traction as well as climate control. They should not be too stiff to restrain the natural foot movement.

– boots protect you from getting hurt by sharp objects or hard surfaces.

Support – boots provide ankle support and arch support. Ankle support helps when you hike on uneven terrain; arch support helps when you carry a heavy load. Boots that cover your ankle areas do not necessarily mean that they have good ankle support. What you have to look for is whether they keep your feet in place no matter which foot movement you conduct. Arch support relates to cushion, but if you have high arch or flat feet, it’s better for you to consult professional help.

Cushion – boots having good cushion means that they have quality shock absorption, which gives better arch support and puts less impact on the knees.

Traction – boots that have traction keep you in place and make your steps affirmative on slippery terrain.

Climate Control – boots should repel water, wick moisture and breathe. These qualities help to keep the feet dry and cool, which reduces the probability of having blisters.

What category should I choose for my backpacking boots?

When you go to an outdoor shop, you see so many categories: Lifestyle, Light hiking, Backpacking, Off-trail boots, Alpine, etc. Which category should you look for your boots? It really depends on: which kind of activity you are doing? What kind of terrains you usually walk on? How heavy is your pack weight?

In the east coast, most of time you probably will hike on established trails. And since this is a presentation for beginner backpackers, of course I’ll assume that you carry about 30-40 pounds. Therefore I would say, go for the “mid-weight,” “light backpacking,” or “backpacking” category to start with.

Once you locate your category, pick the lightest boots that fulfill your needs (Please refer to the previous section). Given that you have to lift your feet for thousands of steps every day, one more pound on your feet is like 5 more pounds on your pack. You don’t want to walk in space boots.

How should I fit my boots?

Thanks to the modern technology and the invention of new materials, modern boots require little time to break in. Therefore, please keep in mind that “You need to feel comfortably fit in the shop.” If you have doubts, that pair of boots is not for you. Move on.

Here I provide some guidelines and procedures regarding fitting a pair of boots:


1. Late afternoon is the best time to fit your boots: Our feet swell as the clock ticks. Late afternoon after 4 o’clock, our feet get as large as they can get. If your schedule does not allow you to go in the shop at that time frame, a compromise is to walk briskly for 10 minutes before fitting any boots.

2. Bring your hiking socks with you: Take your socks with you as if you are on for a trip. Simulate the real situation. If you don’t have them, ask the sale person to lend you a pair or two.

3. Boot should fit snugly at the broadest part of the foot and the bigger foot: Pay attention to the length, width and volume of the boots. “Snugly” is the magic word. Basically you should feel comfortable, and no pressure point. Toes should not touch the front of the boots or the top of the boots. The former means the length is too short; the latter indicates the volume is too low.

4. Toes have little space to wiggle: Your toes should be able to lay flat and have little space to wiggle.

5. Heels should not lift too much inside the boots: Basically heels and the boots should move as one. If the heels lift too much, it indicates either the length is too long or the lacing isn’t done well.

6. Feet cannot slide inside the boots

7. Take as much time as you need: Take your time!!! Sometimes you need to try on different brands, different sizes, and different colors. Take your time. It’s like looking for your life partner.


1. Visit the shop later in the day.

2. Prepare the socks you’re going to wear, including a pair of thin liner socks and one or two pairs of hiking socks.

3. Start with half size larger than your street shoes. Wear only the thin liner socks and slide the larger foot in without lacing up the boot. Move the foot forward to touch the front of the boot and lean forward; there should be about 1/2” to 3/4” space between the back of the heel and the boot. In other words, you should be able to insert your index finger down at the back of the heel. If you can’t, the length of the boot is probably too short.

4. Try the boots with the socks you will wear on your trips. Lace the shoelaces. Walk around in the shop for a few minutes. Your toes should not touch the front or the top and have little room to wiggle. You should not feel any pressure point (pay attention to the area across the top of the arch). Your heels have just enough room to barely lift off the insole of the boot about 1/8”; no heel lift is too little, and 1/4” or more is too much.

5. Walk on the inclined surface or ramp provided in the shop. Your feet should not slide inside the boots. When you walk downhill, your toes should not jam the front of the boot.

6. Take your time, and make sure you feel comfortable in the boots.

How do I break in my boots?

Although modern boots need little time to break in, it’s highly recommended to break them in or say let your feet get familiar with your boots before you head to a more serious trip.

You can start with walking in them around the house or wearing them when you run your daily errands. And gradually, you can put some load on your back, or take them out for some day hikes before they start to backpack.

How should I take care of my boots?

Cars need maintenance and boots need care. Basically boots need cleaning and re-waterproofing.

After you come back from your trip, use a light brush or vacuum to dust out the outside, the inside and the footbeds. You can rinse your boots with water and then air-dry them. In an outdoor shop, you can buy special boot cleaner and waterproofing products. Typically I go with Nikwax products, but of course you can use anything you prefer.


這篇文章是根據我在四月二十二日,由Appalachian Mountain Club, Delaware Valley Chapter 舉辦的Backpacking 入門講座的講稿寫成的。






保護 – 保護雙足不至於遭受尖銳物品的刺傷,堅硬地表的傷害。

支撐 – 登山鞋支撐足踝和足弓。在走過不平整的路面時,足踝支撐減少扭傷機會;而負重量大的時候,足弓支撐提供緩衝,讓雙足不至於太容易疲累。有覆蓋足踝區域的登山鞋,並不一定代表此雙登山鞋提供足夠的足踝支撐,必須注意的條件是,此雙鞋是否在不同的狀況下,都能夠維持雙足在固定的地方,而非雙足在鞋內滑來滑去。足弓支撐和緩衝功能正相關,如果你有高足弓或是扁平足,最好請專家協助。

緩衝 – 具有優良緩衝功能的登山鞋,容易吸收衝擊震動,有較優的足弓支撐,也給膝蓋較小的負擔。

抓著 – 具有優良抓著性的登山鞋,讓你在濕滑的路面上,能夠踏步較穩健,不用擔心滑倒。

氣候調理 – 登山鞋擋住雨水、河水等的入侵,蒸散鞋內的濕氣,像是能夠呼吸一般。這項功能協助雙足保持乾燥、涼爽,減少水泡發生的機會。



美國東岸地區,大部分的時光,基本上都是走在維持良好的步道上,而這個講座著重在 Backpacking 入門,我假設大家的負重量在15到20公斤之間。所以我建議大家從「中量(mid-weight)」、「輕量登山健行(light backpacking)」、或是「登山健行(backpacking)」開始著手。






1. 接近傍晚是最佳的試穿時機:雙足從早晨起床開始,慢慢開始腫脹,大概到下午四五點左右,雙足會達到當天可以達到的最大的尺寸。如果情況不允許在那一段時間試穿,可以試試看,在試鞋之前,先在店家周遭快走約莫十分鐘。

2. 帶登山時穿著的襪子去試穿:我們要模擬真實情況,所以試穿的時候,必須穿著登山時穿著的襪子,如果真的沒有襪子,一般戶外裝備的店家都提供試穿用的登山襪。

3. 試穿時考慮雙足最寬、腳指特長的地方都合適舒服,若雙足不一樣大,以較大的該足為考量:要注意的有:鞋子的長度、寬度和容量。雙腳應該感覺舒服,同時感覺不到任何的壓力點。腳指不應該碰到鞋子前端或是上端,前者表示鞋子長度不夠,後者則表示鞋子的容量不足。

4. 腳指應該有些許空間晃動:鞋內應該有些許空間讓腳指動一動(wiggle)。

5. 腳跟不能夠在鞋內提起太多:基本上,腳跟動,鞋跟動,兩者是一體的。如果腳跟在鞋內提起過多,表示鞋子的長度太長或者是鞋帶沒有綁好。

6. 雙足不應該在鞋內滑動

7. 慢慢來:慢慢來,不要急,要注意要感覺的事項很多,本來就是需要花時間的。


1. 在接近傍晚的時候,到店家試穿

2. 帶登山穿的襪子,包括一到兩雙的登山襪,以及一雙極薄的排汗襪(liner socks)

3. 從比一般日常穿的鞋子大半號開始試穿。先穿著該雙極薄的排汗襪,將一足滑進鞋子中,鞋子保持寬鬆,不要綁鞋帶。將該足往前挪動,直到該足碰觸到鞋子的前端為止。此時身體稍微往前傾,腳跟後到鞋子後端應該有大約一公分多的長度(1.3cm~1.9cm)。換句話說,腳跟後頭應該可以塞進一根食指頭,如果不行,這雙鞋大概長度不夠。

4. 穿上登山襪,綁好鞋帶。在店內走個幾分鐘。腳指不應該觸碰到鞋子的前端或是上端,同時有些許的空間可以動一動。不應該感覺到鞋子在任何地方對雙足施壓(特別注意鞋子上端處,越過足弓的那一部份)。腳跟在鞋內頂多可以提起約末0.3 cm,完全不能提起也不好,超過0.6 cm則是太多。

5. 在店裡模擬上下坡的步道試試走上走下,雙足不可以在鞋內滑動。走下坡的時候,腳指不能擠壓在一起。

6. 慢慢來。

如何磨合(break in)登山鞋?







Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins. The Complete Walker IV.
Chris Townsend. The Backpacker’s Handbook. 2nd edition.
NOLS. What’s Afoot. (Article)

8 thoughts on “<lang_en>Beginner Backpack Workshop – Boots</lang_en><lang_zh>Backpacking 入門講座 – 登山鞋篇</lang_zh>”

  1. 傍晚時試穿這件事我倒是第一次聽到

  2. 傍晚試鞋這件事,我在很多運動雜誌上都有看到喔!

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  4. 很棒的建議,專業極了。我要翻出來給皮先生參考!

  5. kathy,

    超過腳踝那種不一定會比較好,如果你擔心的是ankle support,要注意的不是表面上,鞋子是否有超過腳踝,而是鞋子是否可以固定雙腳踝在一定的位置。因為ankle support實在來自於heel cup的設計,這也就是為什麼說試鞋的時候,要注意雙腳會不會在鞋子裡滑來滑去的緣故。

  6. Pingback: Final Frontier: An Outdoor Blog » Blog Archive » Beginner Backpack Workshop – BlistersBackpacking 入門講座 – 水泡成因,預防與護理

  7. Pingback: Final Frontier: An Outdoor Blog » Blog Archive » Leave No Trace走過不留痕跡

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