Lacing Tips

Prevents pressure on high volume of high instep feet. Skip lacing to reduce pressure. Dougle wrap maintains hold above and below. Improves hold of low volume or narrow feet. Double wrap on lower laces holds foot snug. Prevents overtightening of laces that causes pressure Tightens heel lock. Pass lace across and under opposite lace that spans two hooks. Pull up against the lacing to tighten the heel into the boot.
If you tend to get blisters on your heels you want to tighten the heel lock to avoid heel movement and friction.
The pattern to the left creates tension on the instep area, locking your heel in place.
See How to Lace Hiking Boots to Prevent Heel Blisters | Hiking Lady

When going downhill tighten the lacing in the front to avoid your toes banging into the front of the boot.

To avoid laces from coming untied make two loops:
See also:
Propét USA, Inc. - Lacing Tips
Common Hiking Boot Lacing Techniques at
Boot Lacing Technique for Downhill Hiking at

Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot may be even better.
Others at Ian's Shoelace Site - Shoelace Knot Ratings.

Drying boots:

Whenever possible, dry your boots completely after each trip. To dry them, simply store them in a dry, warm area. Don't set your boots near a fire (or other heat source) to dry them more quickly, since high temperatures can damage boot materials and the cements used to hold them together. Even drying rooms in some lodges may be too hot. If you need to speed up the drying process, try stuffing dry newspaper inside your boots to absorb water. Replace the newspaper every hour, then let them air dry.

Several people suggested filling boots with rice.

MaxxDry MX00500 Portable AC (120 only)/DC dryer (fan and heat) $35
  Seems to be marketed as DryGuy CirculatorHDT $40 now
  hard to fit in boots.
MaxxDryVT (heat only) $25
DryGuy Portable AC (120-240)/DC dryer (heat only) $28 60W AC, 1 A DC, 110°
DryGuy Circulator (120V) (heat only) $30
PEET Dryer GO! with UV $30 see below.
Other boot dryers..

Odor - Smell:
Boot and Foot odor, known in the medical profession as bromhidrosis, is caused by bacteria that thrive on sluffed off skin and fat and minerals in perspiration and love a dark damp environment.
One forum comment said "The problem is coming from the bacteria n fungus growing in the foam insulation of the boot. It is detereorating, eatting, the foam thus the foul odor, a by product gas."
Some solutions for smelly boots I found on the web. Some I'd avoid.

  • The best way to avoid odor is to keep your boots dry (see drying above) and you feet clean.
  • Put the shoes in a zipper-lock plastic bag and place them in the freezer overnight. The freezing temperatures will kill most odor-causing bacteria. This was the most common suggestion on the hiking forums.
  • Use anything that kills bacteria:
    • Stink Free from 2Toms is a spray that kills odor causing bacteria on contact.
    • Soak them in a diluted (20:1 or 1.5 oz/quart) bleach solution or wipe them with a sponge that has some bleach diluted 50/50 with water.
      Sodium Hypochlorite (laundry bleach) is a very powerful oxidant. It will not do much damage to plastics such as nylon, polypropylene, teflon (Goretex) and the like, but leather, natural rubber and organic dyes used as colorants will take an awful beating.
    • Soak them in Lysol®, Pinesol or anti-bacterial soap for a day and then wash and rinse them with hot water, dry them in the sun, then put them in the freezer overnight.
      Or wipe them with Lysol Mold and Mildew Remover
    • Simple Green has several products: d Pro 3 - Disinfectant/Virucidal/Fungicidal, Concentrated Cleaner/Degreaser/Deodorizer
    • Use Hydrogen Peroxide, then dry them out completely and store with a dessicant.
    • SteriShoe is an insert Using germicidal ultraviolet light (UVC) to kill micororganisms. $130
    • Febreze® Fabric Refresher Antimicrobial™
    • Spray hand sanitizer on your feet and boots. It's 63% alcohol.
      Another person said this didn't work.
  • Prevention:
  • Sodium bicarbonate will create a hostile environment unsuitable for the bacteria responsible for the bad smell. Four pinches of baking soda on each foot everyday are usually enough (two inside the sock and two on the insole of the shoe).
  • Clean the inside of your boots every few months with a mild shampoo. Dampen a washcloth with water and add a squirt or two of shampoo. Massage the washcloth over the inside surfaces of your boots.
  • Put half a dryer sheet in each boot overnight.
  • Presoak and wash with a bit of degreaser (aka white lightning, zep product, pep boys degreaser) added with HOT water. It will break apart the oils that are attached to the fibers in your shoe. These oils and enzymes from your body provide the food for the fungi and bacteria.
    Source: Cure For Stinky Shoes?? - WhiteBlaze - Appalachian Trail
    I'd be hesitant to try this.
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch, 4 tablespoons baking soda, 20 drops Tea Tree oil, 10 drops lemon oil, and 10 drops lavender oil. To use: Sprinkle the deodorizer lightly into shoes in the evenings or at times when the shoes will not be worn for a few hours. You will not see a "cure" for smelly shoes the first time you use the deodorizer. The magic occurs after regular uses.
  • If all else fails, go to a pet store and purchase an odor remover such as Nature's Miracle that contains enzymes or bacteria. The enzymes and bacteria in these products literally eat away the source of the bad odors.
  • Go! PEET Shoe Dryer - Uses UV light radiation to eliminate contaminates like bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause odor and deteriorate footwear. They break easily according to reviews at Amazon.
  • Aquaseal® Footwear Cleaner deep-cleans and deodorizes.
Discovery Health Home Remedies for Foot Odor"
Foot odor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caring for your Hiking Boots: Expert Advice from REI
Boot Fitting Guide |
Ian's Shoelace Site
See Foot Problems in health for information on inserts and Orthotics
last updated 4 nov 2010