5 Reasons to Get Your Bike Tuned… Today!

Has your bike been tuned? Ever? Or did you bring it home from whatever shop you purchased it at and figured it was good to go?

Just like your car needs maintenance, your bike needs to be taken care of to make sure it performs safely every time you go for a ride. Here’s why:

bike-chain-02193
When was the last time you had your bike tuned?

1. Cables stretch.

Well that’s not true per se, but they do twist tighter. That makes them get longer, and that can seriously affect both shifting and breaking. New cables “stretch” the most and need to be adjusted. That’s why we offer free lifetime adjustments on all new bikes purchased from Alpine Shop.

2. Chains stretch.

Okay, again not really, but they do wear and that makes the chain get longer. When that happens, the chain no longer rides properly in the valleys between the teeth on your chainrings and cassette cogs. A worn, or “stretched”, chain will also cause the chainrings and cassette to wear more rapidly and “mate” to an old chain. So while a new chain may only be about $20 (and improve your ride immensely), a new cassette will be another $50, $75 or up.

3. Your wheels probably aren’t true.

Heck, they may not even be round. Impacts can cause a bicycle wheel to go out of true and wiggle side to side, or worse go out of round. The shape of your wheel is determined by the tension of the spokes, pulling the rim into shape. Small wiggles are easy to fix, but small wiggles can become big wiggles which can rub brake pads , become harder to correct or worse. Get them checked as part of a tune package at Alpine Shop.

4. Is your bike dirty?

A dirty bike really doesn’t work as well. Dirty cables lead to cable drag and that’s a (literal) drag on performance. Shifts aren’t as easy or as snappy and brakes require more squeeze. Dirty frames can also hide damage and keep moisture next to expensive shiny parts. (Turning them into rusty parts much, much faster.)

5. Do you lube?

Friction is no fun. Well, it’s good for slowing you down. Keeping your chain and pivots clean and lubed makes everything work the way it should. Dirt slows everything down and makes it wear faster. A clean bike is a happy bike. Which makes for a happy rider. Be a happy rider. Get your bike tuned today by the pros at Alpine Shop.

Our 8-Point Basic Bike Tune will take care of all of the above for you (provided there are no other underlying problems with the bike). And with $80 worth of work for just $65, you won’t find a better deal on a tune in the Greater St. Louis area. Bring your bike in to either our Kirkwood location or our O’Fallon, Ill., store on the east side of the river today!

How to Choose the Best Kayak for You!

What is the best way to choose a kayak?

You have several options to start with: recreational kayaks, touring and sea kayaks, whitewater kayaks, fishing kayaks, and many of these offer a choice of sit in or sit on designs, and even solo or tandem seating. There are positives and negatives that need to be weighed when deciding on the right model for you.

The most important factor in choosing the right kayak is to have a good idea of what kind of paddling you want to do. Renting or demoing a kayak from a store or an outfitter on a local river or lake is a good idea since no two kayaks perform the same even if the dimensions are similar. Some colleges, universities and parks offer kayak and other outdoor equipment rentals to students and community members, as do military bases for service members. Since you will usually own your kayak for quite a while, picking the right one is essential for your enjoyment of the activity, and you want to choose the one that is suited to your preferred paddling destinations and activities while on the water, such as fishing.

In making your choice, consider the places you want to go and the type of water you expect to encounter. With this information in mind, here’s a closer look at your options.

Recreational Kayaks

Recreational kayaks of the variety with cockpits that allow you to sit close to the surface of the water and possible use a spray skirt are a great choice for entry-level or beginning kayakers. They are in the 9 to 11 foot range and are often referred to as “poke-around boats,” with the understanding that due to their shorter length they are not going to be used for long multi-mile trips hauling a lot of gear. They are just kayaks for adults or children to have fun with on gentle streams or placid ponds. They are typically wide, stable, lightweight, easy to get in and out of, and priced competitively. This makes them popular with beginners, children, seniors, and others for whom paddling is a just few hours out on the water with no particular destination in mind. The short length makes them quite easy to transport and store as well.

It is important to understand the limitations of these boats, however, and realize that they will be slow in the water (compared to longer designs) ride deeper, and have poor handling in rough water or windy weather. Their initial stability does make them useful for anyone who pursues other activities while kayaking, such as fishing, photography, or bird watching (as long as conditions are not too rough). While even the economical and tough, roto-molded plastic nine foot boats are light enough for most people to lift and transport, composite materials such as Kevlar and carbon can make these boats weigh in at 25lbs or less, truly light enough for anyone to carry. Getting a composite boat can cost much more that the basic plastic models, however.

Several different options in recreational kayaks are available at Alpine Shop. Sit-on-top, recreational (with a cockpit and possibly bulkheads) and tandems are the most common models. Depending on your recreational kayaking needs, one of these will be likely be the perfect choice .

As mentioned earlier a sit-in recreational kayaks with cockpits do allow one the option of using a nylon sprayskirt that offers wave/sun/wind/rain protection that is not found on sit-on-tops, and usually allows one to sit lower in the kayak for even greater stability. The cockpit styles usually come with one bulkhead sealed, dry storage compartments, and sometimes two. Contrary to popular belief wearing a sprayskirt will not trap you in your kayak although practicing exiting the boat with on near shore builds confidence.  Basic kayak classes are very useful for getting started in the sport as well. For whatever reason the sit-in or cockpit style has been far more popular over the years in Missouri than the sit-on variety but both have their uses and proponents.

Some of the main points about Sit-on-tops are these:

-They are stable and self-draining. They are easy to climb on to from the water even unassisted. If they capsize you merely have to climb back on.

-They are an excellent platform for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, or fishing from.

-Since you are exposed to the elements you will get wet and have no sun protection other than your clothing and sunscreen. Conversely in the cooler months you have to dress more warmly with fleece, wetsuits, or drysuits more than a sit-in style of kayak. Your gear is more exposed and should be kept in waterproof bags bungied to the decks.

-Fishing rod holders, fish finders, and even livewells are commonly used on these types of kayaks.

Tandem kayaks, whether cockpit style or sit-on-top, are very popular so that small children can paddle with their parents, or your canine friends can come along as well. Many can be paddled solo if the other party elects not to come on occasion.

Sea or Touring Kayaks

Sea touring kayaks are performance boats for more advanced paddling. Coming in lengths of 14 to 18 feet, and chosen for your size, ability, and speed you wish to travel, a sea kayak can take you to hard to reach places you perhaps felt you could not get to on your own, such as that ideal campsite in the middle of the Mississippi River or on a distant arm of Lake of the Ozarks.

Sea touring kayaks are designed for long distances, multiday trips, rough water conditions, and advanced maneuvers and rescues. Sea kayaks are generally longer and somewhat narrower than recreational kayaks. They have two bulkheads, fore and aft, and at least two hatches. The cockpit area is enclosed, and the cockpit coaming allows for attaching a spray skirt. Inside the cockpit, thigh braces and adjustable foot pegs aid in both stability and maneuverability. Foot pegs are also used to adjust the rudder angle when the boat is so equipped (although rudders are only recommended for wide, windy ocean and lake crossings.)

A  good Sea kayak has deck lines (rope) running around the deck perimeter which are an important safety feature that allows a swimmer to grab on to when doing a deep water rescue..

Because they’re longer (and faster), sea kayaks are often heavier than other kayaks, especially in the economical plastic layups. You can counter this weight by choosing a boat constructed from lightweight material like fiberglass or a carbon-Kevlar mix.

Whitewater Kayaks

Whitewater kayaks are designed for all types of rivers—and paddlers. Don’t look at these if you’re planning a lazy float down a placid river, because these boats are designed for fast-moving whitewater conditions.

One thing that holds true for all whitewater boats is that they are shorter and more maneuverable than the other types of kayaks but there are also major and subtle differences in the various kayaks designed for true whitewater.

There are creek boats-around 8 or 9 feet long- for narrow runs and big drops. There are river runners that favor stability and tracking than go up to 10 feet and are great to run rivers without a lot of stopping and playing. Then there are playboats, with hard edges and flat hulls around 6 to 8 feet, designed for acrobatic moves. All come in varying lengths, widths, volumes, and hull designs. Each variable affects performance. No matter what the literature says, no one boat does it all perfectly.

However the new river runner and crossover styles of whitewater boats such as the Liquid Logic Remix 9 and 10 foot models, are truly all purpose. They have the rockered (banana shape) hull to handle serious whitewater, but when you drop the attached skeg on the Remixes, they paddle acceptably on lakes or slow rivers too.

-Rich Orr, Paddlesports Director

Preparing for Mt. Rainier: The Ultimate “Suffer-Fest”

The majestic beauty of Mt. Rainier, located southeast of Seattle, Washington.
The majestic beauty of Mt. Rainier, located southeast of Seattle, Washington.

Article written by: Will Nagengast

Edited by: Chloe Tennant

“If we can make it work, I am so down for a suffer-fest!”

         That’s the sentiment my good friend Robbie expressed when I talked to him last. We were talking about a tentative schedule for climbing Mt. Rainier in Washington. Robbie lives in Olympia, Washington, which is about an hour away from Seattle and Rainier. When he’s not at school in Olympia, he’s been working as a climbing ranger on Rainier. It’s a job he loves enough to volunteer for. When he does get paid, it is just a nice bonus.

          Robbie is the one who introduced me to climbing during my sophomore year of college, near Wichita, Kansas. It immediately felt right, and I’ve been rock climbing religiously for the past five or so years. Rob, however, wasn’t content to just stay on the rock. He loves snow, mountains, ice and cold. This led him to move to Washington. I’ve never really gotten to experience the mountaineering side of the vertical world, and I’ve always been curious. I recently decided that there’s never been a better time to start than now!

          With that in mind, Rob and I began tossing around ideas about me flying out to Seattle, gearing up, and bagging Rainier. It’s a mountain that sees approximately 5,000 summits every year. Most of these occur during the summer months, however, when the weather is more predictable. During the rest of the year, Rainier’s weather typically consists of either snow, or lots of snow. The average snowfall for Rainier is 635 inches, or over 53 feet, per year. This is what Robbie was talking about when he mentioned a suffer-fest. Sure, we could try for the top in the summer. But it’d be so much more impressive, difficult, and straining to do it in the winter! To be quite honest, a suffer-fest seems like it’s exactly what I need.

The activity of Mountaineering can be as grueling as it is rewarding! Cold and wet conditions coins the term "suffer-fest"
The activity of Mountaineering and Alpine Climbing can be as grueling as it is rewarding! Cold and wet conditions coins the term “suffer-fest”

 

           Single pitch sport climbing in the South is SO easy. There are incredibly difficult routes, yes, and I am frequently giving 100% of what I have at that moment that I’m on the wall, but in the end the car is 15 minutes away. I’ll have brats over the fire in the evening, maybe sip a warm beer, and get a nice shower in a couple of days when I’m home again. That wouldn’t be the case with a winter ascent of Rainier. We’d be hiking uphill for miles, for several days, with heavy packs, in potentially sub-zero weather, with LOTS of snow. It would be exhausting, draining, probably one of the harder things I’ve done in my life so far. And that sounds great to me right now. I think I need to push my comfort zone, in a way I haven’t done before.

           Rob and I are still trying to figure out when might work for both of us to meet up for Rainier. We’ll probably need a week or longer, so that he can give me some tutoring on glacier and snow travel, avalanche conditions, the technical aspects of executing a multi-day ascent of a big mountain, and of course, maybe a week to do the actual climb. Rob’s schedule is always subject to change. He might be in Panama, or somewhere in South America, or in school. But if we can swing it, we’ll try and meet up, perhaps in February, and give it a shot. Hopefully the weather cooperates and allows us on the mountain, but if not, there are plenty of other things to climb in that corner of the world.

While planning ahead, I started picking up pieces of gear that I’ll need on Rainier. My first piece was the Arc’teryx Beta LT; it’s a nice, lightweight but durable, hardshell. It has pockets that are accessible even with a climbing harness on, which lends to its utility in the mountains. It’s a Gore-Tex Pro shell, so I’m not worried about getting wet or wind-blown. Last but not least, it looks pretty awesome too.

          My next target is the Black Diamond CoEfficient Hoody. It’s a lightweight fleece that has a great hood meant to fit under a helmet. I’d use this as a layering piece, with some much heavier insulating pieces, on Rainier, but I think it’ll really shine on multi-pitch alpine climbing, where the intense cold isn’t quite as much of an issue, and when I’ll really want to be wearing a helmet. The hood is the best I’ve ever seen as far as fitting snugly underneath a climbing helmet.

I’ve got many more things to look for as well. Pants are an under-appreciated part of the whole “keeping warm” system. Everyone has tons of jackets, but how many pairs of cold weather pants do you have? Poor pants just got the short stick for not being as sexy as a new, awesome jacket.  One pair of pants that is on my radar is the Arc’teryx Stingray Pant; Recco Reflector, Gore-Tex hardshell pant can do it all.  The waterproof and breathable fabric will help keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. The Recco Reflector is an awesome spec that is important while in the mountains. In the event of an avalanche the Recco Reflector within the garment becomes visible to the Recco Detector (which are used by resorts and rescue teams) making it one of the best safety features aboard a trip of this nature.  Underneath the Stingray Pants I’ll layer starting with a 260 weight Icebreaker Baselayer Legging and a pair of Patagonia Piton Pants. Both will be highly useful in staying super warm and comfortable!

       I’ll also end up borrowing and renting some of the more specialized equipment, to save on some money. Eventually though, if I discover I like mountaineering and alpine climbing, I’ll save up and get everything I need in a piecemeal fashion.  I really hope that Rob and I are able to work out a time to meet up and do something awesome. Nothing makes for better stories than the times that you were the most miserable. A suffer-fest is just what I need, and I have zero doubt that the experience of pushing my limits in that manner will be something I’ll be able to reminisce fondly of for many years to come.

MadRock Shark 2.0 Review

ryanrockclimbryanclimb

Assistant Manager for the Columbia store and avid climber, Ryan Gajewski, dishes out some pretty awesome hands on experience for the new MadRock Shark 2.0 climbing shoe!

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Over the past four months I have been testing the new MadRock Shark 2.0 climbing shoe. What is new this year is the split sole technology. The idea is to make the shoe more aggressive which aids in over hangs. I have found this to be the first time Mad Rock has put this technology in their shoes.
First things first, where were they tested? I tried to climb in multiple areas with different rock quality in order to get a real idea of how good the new style worked under different conditions.
I started in three gyms such as Boulder Gardens (Columbia, Mo), Upper Limits (St. Louis) and So Ill (St. Louis).

 

Outside locations included:
-Sandstone: Sam’s Throne, AR, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, AR, Obed/Clear Creek, TN and Eldorado Canyon, CO
-Granite: Leavenworth, WA
-Limestone: Providence, Warsaw , Wilton,  and Columbia, MO

Types of routes that were climbed:
Gyms:
-Sport climbing & Bouldering
Outside:
-Bouldering, Sport and Trad

Here is what I found.

Pros:
-Price point. Every other split sole shoe retails around +$180.00 making the modest $119.00 very attractive.
-Fit. They are a very true fit, meaning you don’t have to guess and go down two shoe sizes like a lot of other bands. This makes finding your fit a lot easier and less frustrating. I found I only downsized 1/2 my street shoe.
-Comfort. Most split soles are very aggressive, this means you usually have to sacrifice comfort. The mad rocks fit very well with a super comfortable heel, and even though your toe are curled there are no pressure spots.
-Aggressive. These shoes even feel confident before you leave the ground, especially on overhanging boulders, I found they were very helpful when powering through thin lip turns and wild heel hooks.

Cons:
-Heel “mowhawk” is a neat concept but it only works well on specific types of heel hooks. I found that it sometimes would pop my heel off the rock when doing very small, smearing heel hooks.
-The rubber is not as sticky as La Sportiva’s Vibram or 5.10’s stealth rubber.
-It’s pretty specialized, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but a new climber would not enjoy these because of their aggressiveness.

These shoes are the perfect buy for the climber who is ready to jump to a more aggressive shoe, but doesn’t want to blow their entire paycheck. I feel this shoe really comes alive on the boulder wall in the gym. The rubber is not as good as others, therefore I found myself reaching for my higher end Sportiva’s and Evolve’s while outside.
The Sharks are a must for the aspiring climber who wants a second more aggressive shoe but doesn’t want to break the bank. These shoes can cruise you up your 5.7 and V0 warmup and then take you to your 5.13 roof or V8 problem without a hitch. And, on a closing note, they also won editor’s choice in Climbing magazine!

Send hard,
Ryan Gajewski

 

Why You Could Use a Pair of Superfeet Insoles

I recently had the opportunity to attend Superfeet University in Ferndale, Wa., just an hour and a half north of Seattle. It was amazing experience to learn about the company and all it has to offer those who need good quality insoles without the price and hassles of custom orthotics. I was able to gain a significant amount of knowledge to help our customers back in St Louis and Columbia feel better on their feet – no matter what type of footwear they’re wearing.

Superfeet
Superfeet can be used in almost any type of footwear.

Superfeet will not only change the way you think about insoles but also the way you walk.

These are the best over-the-counter insoles you can buy for your feet. For those with moderate to severe problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions or heel spurs, Superfeet help alleviate the pain and discomfort of these issues. But Superfeet aren’t just for people with known foot problems. Fully 90 percent of the people we fit for shoes and boots will benefit from a Superfeet insole because it places your foot in a neutral position. This aligns everything in your lower body and prevents your feet from both pronation or supination, reducing massive amounts of stress on your feet, your knees and your back.

Superfeet are also enormously popular with elite-level athletes for that same reason. We’ve custom fit Superfeet in-soles for members of the St Louis Blues and Cardinals as well as local collegiate soccer players and more!

Personally I have had Superfeet for about a year and have already seen the difference in my walking and running and am excited to purchase my next pair. I have put Superfeet in all my shoes, and I am on my feet all the time. They feel great!

Steve Worthy
Kirkwood Alpine Shop Training Manager & Trail Runner Enthusiast

 

Alpine Shop: Only Summit Dealer for The North Face in Missouri

The North Face mission is simple:  To Enable Exploration.  Our goal is to encourage outdoor participation at all levels and maximize that experience with premier gear and apparel.  Our belief is that specialty outdoor dealers are the gateway to those experiences.  Stores like Alpine Shop do more than just sell product, they serve as the local gathering place for those seeking advice for their next adventure.

The North Face Thunder Micro Jacket for Women and Summit Thermal Jacket for Men
Products like the Women’s Thunder Micro Jacket, or the Men’s Summit Thermal Jacket are among the Summit Series collection that you won’t find anywhere else, but at a Summit Dealer, like Alpine Shop.

That is why The North Face created the Summit Dealer Program. This program is designed to partner with the best outdoor specialty retailers in North America and to develop the strongest possible bond with those dealers. We view Summit Dealers as a part of our family- sharing our same brand values and goals.

Alpine Shop wasn’t just made a Summit Dealer. They earned it. They were handpicked to be a Summit Dealer because they epitomize what our brand is all about. Best-in-class outdoor gear and apparel. Period. From our athlete-tested, expedition-proven Summit Series apparel and equipment all the way down to our toddler outerwear collection, they strive to bring you our best products every season to protect you, no matter what your next adventure is.

We appreciate your continued support and for choosing to buy our products from a truly special local dealer.

Brian Masewicz
The North Face Sales Manager

Alpine Shop is proud to be the only Summit Dealer in the state of Missouri. (And yes, that includes The North Face store in St. Louis which is NOT a Summit Dealer.) That means that we carry an entire category of The North Face product that no one else has for more than 150 miles around us.

Products like the Women’s Thunder Micro Jacket, or the Men’s Summit Thermal Jacket are among this collection you won’t find anywhere else.

We look forward to helping you find the perfect apparel and/or equipment you need for your next great adventure. As The North Face says, “Never Stop Exploring.” And as Alpine Shop likes to say: “Get Outside Yourself.”

 

5 Reasons to Buy Your Next Bike from Alpine Shop

The most important thing to remember when buying a new bike is this: Buying a bike is not like buying a television or a stereo. All bikes, no matter if you purchase yours from Alpine Shop or some other store, are shipped un-assembled in boxes to the store. What happens after that box arrives depends on the store you purchase your bike from.

The Staff of the Bike Shop at Alpine Shop
Do you know who built your bike? One of these fine technicians at Alpine Shop did if you purchased your bike from us.

1. Do you know who built your bike?

If you buy your brand new bike from a mass market chain store, your bike will be built buy someone back in the warehouse who may or may not have any experience putting bikes together. He may have a pedal wrench to make sure your pedals are firmly attached to the bike – or he may not. She may know the correct way to make sure your wheel’s tubes aren’t pinched – and prone to blow out – when she installs the tires, or she might not.

If you buy your new bike from Alpine Shop, your bike will be built by one of our bike shop technicians whose only job is to build and fix bikes. These people know what they are doing. Not only that, but they will also customize the bike for you before you ever leave the shop. Our techs will take various body part measurements that translate into a starting point for every moveable part on the bike. From there, they work with you to find out what position provides you with the most comfort and the most power.

As even Consumer Reports states in their Bike Buying Guide published in January 2012:
Find a good bike shop
You’ll pay more, but we think you’re more likely to be satisfied. Bikes from big-box stores might not be properly assembled or well matched to your body. If you don’t like the pedals or seat on a particular model, some bike shops will swap components at little or no cost.

2. Every pound added to the bike is another pound you have to pedal

The lighter a bike is, the easier it is for you get it moving. Take a look at the weight of the bike you’re looking to buy (if the mass market store will even provide it for you). Ask yourself if you really want to pedal an extra seven or eight pounds up the first hill you encounter.

3. You get what you pay for

It might seem like a good deal at the store, but what about when you actually use it? Mass market bikes have cheaper construction all around, from the frame to the components like the shifters, the tires, the handlebars, even the seat post. The biggest quality issue, and possibly most important one, is your brakes. Not only do many of the least expensive bikes have brakes that hardly work to begin with, if you’re brakes are installed wrong, even the best ones won’t work properly.

Even our lowest priced bikes will have higher quality parts than what you can find at the big box stores. And the true measure of value isn’t how much you spend, but how much you enjoy riding the bike.

Again from Consumer Reports:
Avoid cheap bikes, except for very casual use

Inexpensive bikes selling for less than $200 from brands such as Huffy, Mongoose, Roadmaster, and Schwinn may seem like good deals, but we advise spending $300 or more, if your budget allows. Why? Because you’ll get a lot more bike for your buck.

Mass-market bikes have cheaper construction than higher-priced bikes and can weigh seven or eight pounds more. They come in only one size, so you’re not likely to get a great fit. And mass merchants can’t match bike shops for quality of assembly, expert advice, and service.

Adults should consider inexpensive bikes from a department store only for the most casual use, and stick with a front-suspension model, which is likely to be better than an inexpensive full-suspension bike.

4. Support and Service

Simply put, bikes are complex, mechanical pieces of equipment exposed constantly to dirt, water, oil, potholes and just plain bad roads. More than likely, your bike will have some sort of issue come up while you own it. If you purchase your bike from a  discount chain, don’t expect them to be able to fix the problem. Their only option may be to replace the bike, if they’ll even do that. But do you really want a new bike that may have the exact same problem as the bike you just brought back?

Our bike techs work to make sure that your bike – you know, the bike you’ve worked to set up just the way you like, that you’re used to and trust – will be fixed to not only your standards but to our standards. Alpine Shop also offers free maintenance on every new bike we sell.

5. We want you to know what you’re doing

We don’t assume when you come to talk to us that you’re an expert cyclist. We don’t assume that you’ll understand everything we can tell you about a bike. That you’ll know the difference between disc brakes and rim brakes. That’s why we make hours of instruction available to you at our Kirkwood location for everything from changing your tire to the basics of maintaining your bike at your home. We’re not just in business to sell bikes. Our mission is to see “Generations Transformed by Discovery Outdoors.” What that means to us is we want your time on the trails or on the roads to be a potentially life-altering activity. We want you to discover that you can do things you never thought possible. And then come back and tell us all about it.

Come visit the Bike Shop at Alpine Shop Kirkwood. Discover what makes us different. And why buying a bike from us just makes more sense.

Four Steps to a Better Boot Fit in the Heel

Alpine Shop certified pedorthist and senior bootfitter Angie Bono shows how Alpine Shop custom fits the heel of a boot for one of its customers.

Using a sequence of heat, pressure and cold, Alpine Shop bootfitters can remold the shape of your boots to perfectly fit your heel and ankle.

Alpine Shop can also use different techniques to help you deal with problems like bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel and leg length discrepancies.

You can learn more from all of Alpine Shop’s boot fitters by stopping in any one of our locations in Missouri. You can also visit http://blog-alpineshop.com for continuing instructional videos.

How to Tell a Good Hiking Boot from a Bad One

Alpine Shop’s head bootfitter and Certified Pedorthist, Angie Bono, explains the main differences between a “Good” quality hiking boot and a “Bad” boot. Beware—Looks can be deceiving!

Back in the early 1900’s mountaineering and backpacking boots were built on steel shank. This was great for sturdiness and for protecting your feet from rocks and turned ankles. However, it was also heavy and unyielding—not quite the solution we are looking for today. With current technologies, the top quality hiking boots today are based on a nylon shank that runs the length of the boot from the toes to the heel. This stiff nylon helps to protect the hiker’s foot and ankles while also helping to keep weight down and comfort up.

All of Alpine Shop’s hiking boots will contain this feature. However, if you visit some other store that claims to sell hiking boots, watch out for cheap imitations that may put your body at significant risk. Once Angie shows you what’s inside two boots that look almost exactly the same on the outside, you’ll know where to look for your next boots—Alpine Shop!

Enjoy the video!

3 Lacing Techniques for a Better Fit – Fixing Footwear Problems with Alpine Shop

Alpine Shop’s head bootfitter and Certified Pedorthist, Angie Bono, spends a few minutes on this video going over some easy and effective lacing techniques to help your shoes or your hiking boots fit better.

For problems with your heel slipping in your boot or shoe, the “heel lock” technique helps lock your heel into the back of your footwear. This prevents your foot from moving and reduces the chance of a blister forming on the back of your heel.

If you have problems with too much pressure on sensitive parts of your foot, Angie shows you how to use the “box lace” technique to simply go around those sensitive parts while keeping your footwear as snug as it needs to be everywhere else.

Finally, Angie demonstrates how the “surgeon’s knot” can be used to custom tighten the lower section of a boot for new boot wearers (and another great option to help with heel slippage).

We hope you enjoy the video. We apologize for the focus coming in and out on the boot. We’ll get it fixed before our next video later this week!