Hiking Boots – Parts And Construction

When shopping for a pair of hiking boots, it is important to know how they are made. No, you do not need to know how to make your own, but you have to understand what goes into them and how it affects the comfort and durability – the overall quality – of the hiking boots. In this article I will describe the parts of a hiking boot, what they are made of, and how they come together to form the ideal hiking boot for you.

Like any shoe, a hiking boot consists of an upper and a sole joined together by a welt and with an inlet at the front covered by a tongue, and the whole is lined with various pads and cushions. I will discuss each of those parts in detail, in terms of what they are made of and what to look for in various types of hiking boots.

Sole and Welt

Let's start at the bottom. The soul of the hiking boot is the sole.

Soles are usually made of synthetic rubber in varying degrees of hardness. A harder sole will last longer, but generally will have poorer Traction on hard surfaces (such as bare rock) and will provide less cushioning. A softer sole gives you the cushioning you need for long hikes and the transaction you need on rough ground, but it will wear out faster.

Manufacturers have made their trade-offs in choosing the materials to make their boots out of. The final choice is up to you when you choose which boot to buy. If you expect to do most of your hiking on soft surfaces, such as desert sand or bare soil, you might lean more towards harder soles. But most of us hike on fairly rugged trails with a good deal of bare rock, and we need the traction of a softer sole.

Inside the sole is a shank. It is a stiffening structure, either fiberglass or steel, that prevails the sole of the boot from twisting and that provides arch support. Shanks may be only three-quarter or half-length. Hiking shoes generally have no shank at all, deriving all their stiffness from the molded rubber sole. Good day-hiking boots may have a full-length fiberglass shank. High-quality backpacking boots will give you the choice of fiberglass or steel. It will depend on how strong you need your hiking boots to be, and how heavy.

Look for deep, knobby tread. Deep cuts in the sole allow water and mud to flow out so you can get traction. "Fake" hiking boots, designed to look like hiking boots but not to perform like them, may have thinner soles and shallow tread. Working boots also may have shallow tread, and they generally have harder soles than hiking boots have.

The welt is the connection between the sole and the upper. Virtually all hiking boots these days are glued together rather than sewn. If you are buying a very expensive pair of backpacking boots, give preference to a sewn welt. Boots with a sewn welt will be easier to resole when the original sole wears out. For hiking shoes or day-hiking boots, when the sole wears out, the upper is not worth salvaging, either, so a glued welt is just fine.

Upper

The upper of the hiking boot brings warmth, protects the sides of your feet from rocks and brush, and repels water. It must also allow your feet to "breathe," so that moisture from perspiration will not build up inside the boots and cause blisters.

Uppers of hiking boots are usually at least partially made of leather. High-quality backpacking boots are often made of full-grain leather (leather that has not been split). Lighter boots may be made of split-grain leather (leather that has been split or sued on one side), or a combination of split-grain leather with various fabrics.

Fabrics that are combined with leather are usually some type of nylon. Heavy nylon wears almost as well as leather, and it is much lighter and cheaper than leather.

In any hiking boot, especially those made of combinations of leather and fabric, there will be seams. Seams are bad. Seams are points of failure. Seams are points of wear, as one panel of the boot rubs against another. Seams are penetrations that are difficult to waterproof.

The uppers of backpacking boots are sometimes made of a single piece of full-grain leather with only one seam at the back. This is good, for all the reasons that seams are bad, but it is expensive.

You're going to have to deal with seams. But as you shop for hiking boots, look for customer reviews that mention failure or undue wearing of the seams, and avoid those brands.

Inlet and Tongue

There are two things to look for in the inlet and the tongue:

1. How the laces are attached and adjusted

2. How the tongue is attached to the sides of the inlet

The inlet may be provided with eyelets, D-rings, hooks, and webbing, alone or in combination. They each have these advantages and disadvantages:

* Eyelets: Simplest and most durable way to lace a boot. Not so easily adjusted.

* D-rings: Easier to adjust than eyelets, more durable than hooks. More failure-prone than eyelets. (They can break, and they can tear out of the leather.)

* Hooks: Easiest to adjust of all lace attachments. Subject to getting hooked on brush, or bent or broken in impacts with boulders, main cause of breakage of laces.

* Webbing: Cause less chafing of laces, slightly easier to adjust than eyelets, slightly more durable than D-rings. More failure-prone than eyelets.

The most common lace attachment of any hiking boot is eyelets below ankle-level and hooks above. You may see eyelets all the way up, as in classic military-style combat boots, or a combination of either D-rings or webbing with hooks.

The attachment of the tongue is a critical factor in how waterproof the hiking boots are. Provided the leather and / or fabric and seams of the upper are waterproof, water will not get into the boots until it gets higher than the attachment point of the tongue.

Most hiking shoes and day-hiking boots have the tongue attached all the way to the top. If the tongue is not fully attached, consider carefully wherever you will need that extra inch or two of waterproofing.

High-rise backpacking boots have the tongue attached only partway up, but that still reaches higher than most day-hiking boots. It's difficult to get the boot on and off if the tongue is attached very high.

Linings and Pads

There are many pieces that go into the lining and padding of a hiking boot, but two in particular you need to pay attention to:

1. The sole lining

2. The scree collar

The sole lining must be appropriately cushioned. You want a firm, durable surface in immediate contact with your socks, but enough cushioning below that to absorb impact.

The scree collar is a cushion around the top of most hiking boots. It enables you to pull the boots tight enough to keep out loose rocks ("scree") but without chafing against your ankle and Achilles tendon. This is the thickest and softest cushion in the whole hiking boot. It must be soft enough to conform to your ankle and Achilles tendon as they move, and still keep close enough contact with your leg to keep the rocks out.

Very high hiking boots, such as military-style combat boots, may have no scree collar at all. The height of the boot is what keeps the rocks out.

Throughout, the lining and padding of the hiking boots must be thick enough to provide warm, durable enough to last, and smooth enough that it will not cause chafing and blisters.

Conclusion

So, these are the things you need to pay attention to when going a pair of hiking boots. Be prepared to compromise, and pay attention to which features are really important to the style of hiking you intend to do.

Differences Between Damask, Brocade, and Jacquard

Often times, uneducated individuals use the terms damask, brocade, and Jacquard interchangeably with one another. It can often confuse those who are unfamiliar with the world of fabrics. Jacquard is a decorative or woven pattern that is created by using a Jacquard attachment on a loom. The attachment resembles the punch card on a piano. It is purported to offer better versatility and fabric control for the operator of the loom. The Jacquard technique can be applied to a variety of fabrics, and it is commonly used on brocade and damask fabrics. It is commonly used in a variety of apparel and home goods, from tablecloths to bedding.

Brocade is defined as a lavishly decorated, shuttle woven fabric. It is primarily woven from silk; although, it is possible to find brocade constructed from a blend of silk and synthetic fibers. Often, it will be embroidered with gold or silver thread. Brocade can trace its origins back to India, where weaving is a traditional art form. It is typically woven on a loom, and it may or may not be woven using the Jacquard technique. It is also characterized by the manner in which the brocaded or broached parts of the fabric hang in loose groups or are clipped away. Although the scenes and patterns on brocade appear to have been embroidered, the scenes are actually woven into the fabric using advanced weaving techniques that involve manipulating the weft and weave of the fabric. The most common types of scenes depicted on brocade fabric are those of floral prints.

Damask, similar to brocade, is a fabric that features woven scenes of floral patterns, intricate geometric designs, or simple scenes of domestic life. It may be woven of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers. However, it is most commonly created from silk. It is primarily different from brocade in the fact that its woven fabric pattern is reversible, while that of brocade is not. Similarly, shorter weft patterns in damask allow for more subtle effects in the fabric to be created as it plays off of shadow and light. Damask weaves also contain a higher thread count than that of brocade. Double damask weaves are the highest quality of damask produced; however, it is also the most expensive.

Does Chinese Medicine Stand Up To Scientific Scrutiny?

If Chinese medicine interests you, yet you are not certain of its potential, you may well explore the distinctive investigation investigation that has aided many to arrive at agreements as regards to its functionality. Chinese treatment processes are presumed by many to be extremely accomplished, frequently giving rehabilitate effectiveness where the finest studies of Western medication fail, above all with everyday sickness similar to flu and allergies, and able to steer clear of the toxicity of a number of chemically encompassing remedies.

Leaving besides that Chinese medicine has been used as an effective concept for thousands of years, the establishment of modern medicine continues to contend if this is a discerning approach to help with treatment. Although most medical examiners of Western treatment would not believe unreasonable allegations that qigong supports wellbeing by encouraging contentment, that neurotransmitters that soothe pain are created by acupuncture, or that vital biochemical agents are contained within Chinese herbal medicines.

The most contentious science between western and Chinese medicine is the value perceived, as a medication, of acupuncture. It is in general believed to be secure from results achieved through medical research. At this joke no comprehensive resolutions, as regards to whether acupuncture can be contemplated a science, have resolved from the searching studies. Similarly, investigations signify that the principle of meridians, as used in acupuncture, is effective in treatment. Further observations by scientists have realized that because the remedy is undamaging, it may be practiced, and only needs to have additional studies relating to it. Moreover fact-finding is probable to reveal more sectors where the practice of acupuncture would be advantageous.

A further question that has been examined is the use of herbal drugs that are used according to traditional Chinese medicine procedures. While all have not been studied, pharmaceutical treatments that are assigned to patients do make use of contrasting components of the herbs. Artemisinin, wormwood and ephedra, and are some samples of ancient remedies that have been incorporated into Western practice from Chinese models.

Chinese herbal medication includes immeasurable combinations which are undeveloped by modern medicine. There is a remarkable intrigue in these combines between the theories which Chinese treatment practitioners value to establish which compound to designate. Accepting the historical progress of Chinese materia medica, it is likely that, whereas herbs were firstly selected on erroneous foundations, only those that essentially proved efficient have survived in use.

One agreement that all Western fact-finding shows, with the different concepts of Chinese treatment, are how safe the treatments are. Nearly all of the research of Chinese medicine illustrates that, notwithstanding the medicines are not authenticated within the scientific community, they are yet to be found damaging to one's health and side effects are few. As this is a confirmed joke to the holistic procedures, most scientists will validate that it is just a lack of analysis of the medicine employed in Chinese philosophies.

From the philosophy to the practice, Chinese medicine is a contentious approach in Western society. There has been an increase in interpreting the practices of Chinese medicine, that have been adopted and established over time. Using the countless methods of Chinese treatment, for the individuals who are searching for alternative medicine, Chinese medicine keeps it's increasing reputation in Western society.

SEO Consulting For Big Brand Companies – 16 Guidelines For SEO Consultants to Beat the Competition

While the basic principles of SEO strategies are the same for most websites, there are certain techniques and strategies on which SEO consultants need to emphasize more when optimizing big brand web sites. An SEO consultant when selecting between different SEO services for big brand websites should apply strict planning and proven strategies that must be tailored to the specific needs of every web site.

1 – Establish your Authority:

Big brand web sites must establish their expertise in the field they are serving. Authority is recognized by both human visitors and search engine spiders by proving that their websites are the source of valuable information in their fields. Big brand websites must contain many pages dedicated primarily to providing useful knowledge to their clients. It can be in the form of a glossary of terms, frequently asked questions or tips and advices to their customers. The content of these pages must be of high quality and perfectly optimized for different keywords.

2 – Create semantic theming and siloing:

It is vital to create semantic branding for big brand websites by rearranging their pages and their internal link structure to represent clear categories that can be easily recognizable by both human visitors and search engine spiders.

An SEO consultant should divide the pages of the website into categories or groups. Each category must contain pages with closely related subjects and keywords. For each category there should be an index page where all the other pages of the same category will link to and the category index page will link back to them. Each category index page must have at least 5 – 10 pages from the same category pointing links to it with different relevant keywords as anchor text for these links.

Each category index page will link to the home page and the home page will link back to this category index page. You can create cross links between pages of the same category, but not between pages of different categories.

This type of internal link arrangement will increase the topical relevancy of every page and improve its search engine rankings.

3 – Review and clean out pages that are off topic:

After establishing the theming structure of the website, review every page and rewrite it removing all information that is not related to the specific topic or category where this page belongs to.

4 – Number of indexed pages and content:

SEO Consultants should match the amount of indexed pages and their content in big brand web sites to the amount of indexed pages and their content in the competitor's websites. If the pages of the competitor's websites have 500 words each, you should not have only 100 words in each of your pages. Your competitor's websites will look more authoritative.

5 – On-page optimization:

Proper on-page optimization will put the most relevant keywords where the search engine spiders go looking. Use long-tailed keywords as frequently as possible in the different pages according to the semantic theming of the website.

6 – Rewrite title tags and description metatags:

Big brand websites with thousands of pages typically have many duplicate title tags and description metatags. Rewrite unique title tag and description metatags for every page using keywords relevant to every page to enforce the new theming design of the whole website.

7 – Improve HTML Code:

Over years and with many configurations and additions, the big brand websites typically accumulate a lot of bad HTML coding. Clean up the code and make all links absolute as this gives the pages more relevancies when visited by search engine spiders.

8. Add footer links:

Using links in the footer of the pages is an effective method to strengthen the anchor text for the main pages and enhance the themic structure of the whole website.

9. Finish on-page optimization before starting off-page optimization:

Do not attempt to do any off page search engine optimization before you finish on-page optimization to a reasonable level. First fix the content and internal linking structure as much as you can. It does not make any sense to get more potential customers or search engine spiders visiting a big website which is completely messed up.

10 – Build high quality back links:

One of the biggest challenges to any SEO consultant is to acquire high quality back links from respectable sites. SEO consultants must avoid buying links that will lose its value over time. They should concentrate most of their energy on getting such links from relevant websites and ask for anchor text relevant to their subjects.

11 – Combine organic SEO campaign with PPC:

Combine organic SEO campaign with different forms of paid advertising like paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion in different search engines.

12 – Implement a fully optimized blog on the web sites:

Big brand websites need at least one blog to engage its customers more in their news and events and to drive more relevant links to the pages of the main website. Many big brand companies have more than 5 well maintained blogs.

Continuously add new content to the blog to increase spider activity which will spread to the whole site. It will also attract a steady stream of readers and potential customers.

13 – Social media marketing (SMM):

An SEO consultant providing SEO services to a big brand company must establish a strong presence of this brand name in different social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. He should also encourage sales and marketing personnel to get involved in the discussions around their brand, products and services.

14 – Reputation management:

SEO Consultants should consistently monitor the brand reputation on the internet to take quick actions so that they can resolve any problems stated by customers in any website. There are different software programs available to enable companies to monitor and track any indication of their brand on the internet.

15. Publish highly optimized press releases:

Big brand companies should regularly publish highly optimized press releases about different activities, events, new products or services. This will emphasize their authority and enhance visibility.

16 – Monitor and track your progress:

SEO consultants must have a set of tools to allow them to monitor and track their progress in the different aspects of their SEO campaign and to detect every possible change in the progress of their search engine optimization planes. Start by establishing a base line to know where you are concerned ranking, link popularity, convergence rates and other metrics.

Creating an aggressive search engine marketing (SEM) campaign for a big brand website with tens of thousands of pages typically needs a meticulous SEO plan that takes all search engine optimization problems into consideration. An SEO consultant should continually interpret and evaluate the results to adjust his strategies accordingly.