While it’s exciting to unbox a new pair of hiking boots and hit the trail, heel slippage can end your day pretty fast. It’s something most of us have had to deal with at some point, and today we’re going to tell you how to prevent it. Preventing it in shoes or boots is easier than you think, once you understand why it happens.
The Causes of Heel Slippage
There are several reasons you can experience heel slippage in footwear, but for new shoes and boots, it all comes down to breaking them in. A new boot is stiff, and as you walk around and break them in, they will begin to flex.
As the boots conform to your feet, movement should decrease and may completely vanish within 2-3 days.
How to fix Heel Slippage
Tight shoes can cause blisters, and loose ones cause accidents. This is why finding the right fit is critical, especially if you’re hiking up a mountain – not walking through the mall.
The first step to tackling slippage in boots is to choose the right size. When shopping online or trying a new brand, that’s easier said than done at times.
Do you have a wide foot or is it shaped more like a skateboard? Both skinny and wide feet can cause your shoes to fit poorly, and many people never bother to check on width, only length.
If you’re set on a specific brand, see if they offer different widths outside the normal range. A boot listed as an EEE is three times as wide as a normal shoe while an 11B would be considered extremely narrow.
An easy way to tighten up any loose-fitting boot or shoe is to choose an insole. They can freshen up your feet (in more ways than one) and also help with conditions like plantar fasciitis and fallen arches.
Needless to say, they will also reduce slippage in some cases. If you’re considering going this route, be sure to give our list of the best insoles for hiking boots a look.
If you choose the right size and still experience slippage, your next line of defense is the laces.
While there are certain techniques you can use, we’re going to talk about an accessory that can tighten things up with a little-known trick used by runners around the globe.
- Lace Locks
The Lock Lace was introduced in the late 90s, and this simple accessory was a game changer. They attach to your laces and allow you to tighten things up while ensuring your shoes stay tied. While not ideal for boots, a good lace lock can definitely tighten up a shoe and prevent heel slippage.
- Heel Lock Lacing
This is another technique used for shoes but will work with some boots as well. You don’t need to buy anything extra either as a “heel lock” involves the rarely used eyelet holes at the top of your shoes. Want to see the technique in action? Check out the video below…
While there are several types of padding you can use to fill out a shoe; tongue pads are a popular option and ideal for heel slippage in shoes and boots. Have one foot that’s a little bit larger than the other? Well, a tongue pad can take care of that as well.
These adhesive-backed accessories are generally made of foam and sit behind the tongue of your shoe. When placed properly they will tighten things up in the heel and are an affordable option which works in almost any type of footwear.
Liners and Non-slip socks
Have you ever seen socks with textured ridges on the bottom? These are called “non-slip” socks and are popular with folks who like to walk shoeless across hard surfaces.
On the downside, those ridges may bother people with sensitive feet. While thin, you may be able to feel them through the sock depending on the lining of your boot and other factors.
That alone will rule non-slip socks out for some although it’s hard to argue against comfy options like these affordable Deluxe Anti Slip Unisex Socks.
Sock liners, on the other hand, are easier to deal with and quite common in the hiking world.
While often used as an extra layer against the damp and cold, they also work against heel slippage. The thickness of the liner makes a difference, and they come in a variety of lengths from no-show’s to socks that rise halfway up the calf.
The Final Word…
Heel slippage may seem like just bit of a nuisance, but it can cause damage to your feet over time or cause injuries on the trail.
Before you decide to grab a can of hairspray or double-sided tape to keep your heels from slipping, consider our tips and the footwear itself.
While quick fixes are tempting, you don’t want to walk around with chemicals on your feet, and the trickiest knot won’t do you any good if your shoes are a half size too large.