Boot Selection

By Wilderness Adventures May 3, 2012

Selecting Hiking Boots for your Wilderness Ventures Adventure.


Wilderness Ventures combines fantastic people, environments and activities to offer the most fun and substantive leadership adventures on the planet. Our goals are to develop peer leadership skills, teach applicable outdoor skills and foster a conservation ethic and love for outdoor environments. We do this by bringing young people into beautiful environments where we make positive associations with wild lands by participating in fun, purpose-driven activities where young people feel a sense of challenge, excitement and reward.


This formula (young people + great environment + fun = conservation ethic) has worked for over 20,000 students since 1973 in part because we pay careful attention to our students’ health and safety needs while they’re under the care of our highly trained adult leaders. All of the higher-level skills that we work on during our teen adventure programs (i.e. leadership development, cooperative learning, teamwork, self esteem, etc…) are enabled because we pay first-focus to our students’ lower-level needs. Our students’ health, safety and emotional and physical comfort in a new group and a new environment is the foundation from which we’re able to develop great people into fantastic leaders who share a lifelong love for the outdoors.


Since 1973, we’ve paid careful attention to ensure our students’ safety and enjoyment in the out of doors. Instead of a scenario where a student has a valuable experience that they do not want to repeat, we focus on introducing young people to the outdoors in a way that is fun and fosters a lifelong love for being outside and connecting with our planet. We do that by having a great time, and by making sure that everyone is prepared-for and comfortable-during their adventure.


One of the greatest sources for physical and emotional comfort (or discomfort) on our adventures can be our students’ feet. New activities such as hiking, backpacking, trekking, rock climbing and mountaineering put a new kind of impact on the foot — fostering the potential for discomfort. To help ensure that all of our students feel comfortable throughout their adventure, we provide detailed advice on hiking boot selection and care — before and during the summer season.


Each of our teen adventure programs has a detailed packing list and descriptive notes that guide students and their families in boot selection appropriate for their adventure. Every spring, we also help out from our office in Jackson Hole by carefully answering countless questions regarding boot fit and selection. In short, the best hiking boot is the one that will be the most comfortable throughout your journey and each of its activities. What is comfortable in the store for 20 minutes is not necessarily perfect over a long and rewarding day on the trail, so we recommend taking some thoughtful time before selecting a pair of hiking boots.


Regarding boot fit, we recommend paying particular attention to any points that might be rubbing or pinching while walking in the store. On the trail, these little rub points (called hotspots) can quickly turn into uncomfortable blisters. Of course, our staff are highly trained in blister prevention and care, but the best scenario is to select boots that are comfortable from the onset.


To break in their new hiking boots, we highly recommend that our students make a careful purchase several months before their adventure, then spend significant time “breaking in” their hiking boots. This is a process by where the boot becomes adept- and molded-to your foot. Essentially, the boot becomes truly yours when it is broken in.


The best way to break in your boots is to wear them as much as possible. Breaking in your hiking boots doesn’t have to occur on the trail (or even in the outdoors). Boot breaking in can occur while walking and wearing your boots around town, at the mall or in school. As an added bonus, wearing your hiking boots as part of your daily life will help build your excitement for your adventure, and help connect the “real world” with the unforgettable experience you’ll have this summer.