All posts by markw

10 Hiking Tips for 2016

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Our Tips For Hiking

We’re celebrating the 2016 Hiking Season with the Merrell Moab, the number one hiking boot!

We want to get you outside and into nature, so today we’re sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks for those getting out for the first time (and even some for the seasoned hiker!).

  1. Protect Yourself from the Sun!

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    This especially goes out to those of us that aren’t used to spending long hours outdoors. Save your skin with 30+ SPF sunscreen and don’t forget your sunglasses! Protect your eyes from the sun and take it all the sights with a pair that blocks 100% of UV Rays.

  2. Be Prepared!

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    There’s a reason for the scout motto. You want to be prepared for the worst case scenario so that you don’t end up in serious danger.

  3. K.I.S.S.

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    It’s easy to get caught up in all the hyped up tech and gear out there, but it’s really best to keep it simple. If it’s your first hike, you probably won’t need a high-altitude expedition tent or $600 waterproof binoculars. You’ll have a lot more fun and a lighter pack if you take only what you need.

  4. Invest in a Headlamp

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    This is a classic piece of gear that you’ll truly appreciate if your hiking adventure involves dark places or later hours.  Headlamps are hands-free and often have long-lasting batteries. Plus, a headlamp strapped to a gallon jug of water makes an instant tent lantern!

  5. Pack an Essential First Aid Kit

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    A large clunky first aid kit isn’t helpful if you can’t take it with you. Make a small kit with just the essentials for your hike.  You can buy a pre-made kit or pack your own. Don’t forget personal medications, pain, itch, or allergy relief, and santizing agents.

  6. Don’t Ditch The Map or Compass

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    Just because you bought a fancy GPS or have GPS in your smartphone does not mean that you can toss the Map and Compass. Remember your last road trip when your GPS thought you were in the middle of the ocean? Plus, GPS takes up a lot of battery and you don’t want to wind up stranded.

  7. Be Aware (and Beware!) of Wildlife

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    If you’re going hiking in a less-populated area, be sure to speak with a local wilderness expert or an authority about the wildlife in the area–or do a quick Google search(and be sure to fact-check!). You want to know how to avoid dangerous animals and what to do if you encounter one. It also helps to know your poisonous plants.

  8. Mind Your Manners!

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    You are likely to run into other humans on your hikes. Be pleasant and considerate, alert others of your presence with a friendly greeting–and know when to yield the trail. Need to brush up on your manners? We like this Hiking Trail Etiquette guide from HikingDude.

  9. Save the Phone for Emergencies.

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    Turn it off, and put it in your pack.  Not only will you be more alert to potential dangers, but you’ll also be able to spend a lot more time enjoying nature. Plus, it’s rude to be talking loudly on the phone or not paying attention when there are other hikers trying to enjoy the outdoors.

  10. Have fun!

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    It’s nice to get out of dodge and get some fresh air. If you forget something, don’t let it ruin your hike. Part of the fun of hiking is the challenge.

Want more tips? Follow us on Twitter (@TheShoeMart) and check out #TSMTips.

Start the 2016 Hiking Season with the Merrell Moab

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We’re celebrating the 2016 Hiking Season with the Merrell Moab, the number one hiking boot!

From now through May 7th, we’ll be focusing on the outdoors. Follow us on Twitter and stay tuned to #TSMTips for hiking tips and info, and stay tuned to the blog as well! Learn more about the Merrell Moab and why it’s one of our favorite shoes for hiking!

Things to Look Forward To

Thu. April 28th – Savings Begin. Check out Merrell’s #1 Selling Hiking Boot for yourself!

Fri. April 29th – Last day to enter our Merrell Moab Giveaway on Facebook. Hiking Tips!

Sat. April 30th – Learn about what makes the Merrell Moab great here and on Twitter!

Sun. May 1 – Discover which Moab is right for you on the blog. Find some great snacks for hiking on Twitter at #TSMTips.

Mon. May 2nd – Merrell Moab Giveaway Winner Announced on Facebook. Kid-Friendly Hiking at #TSMTips on Twitter.

Tue. May 3rd – Hiking Inspiration is everywhere.

Wed. May 4th – We’ll highlight our Favorite Hiking Spots (and yours too!) 

Sat. May 7th – Don’t get left behind. Be sure to pick up a pair of Moabs and get outside!

 

 

Merrell Moab Giveaway

Merrell Moab Giveaway : Earth Day 2016

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Happy Earth Day!

Our favorite way to connect with the earth is to get outside and enjoy nature whenever possible. We love to head out to our favorite trail on a Saturday morning and explore.

The 2016 Hiking Season is almost underway, and we’re getting ready to celebrate with the Merrell Moab! At TheShoeMart, we do our best to get to know our customers, and we want to know all about your favorite place to hike.  We’d also like to get you out there in our favorite hiking shoe, so we’re giving away a pair of Merrell Moabs!

 

How To Enter TheShoeMart’s Merrell Moab Giveaway:

  1. Find our entry post on Facebook. You can hunt it down yourself, or click here.
  2. Leave a comment on the post telling us about your favorite hiking spot.
  3. Each person who comments will receive one entry into a raffle for a pair of Merrell Moabs! (Easy, right?)
  4. Make sure you read the rules below!

Official Giveaway Rules:

  1. You must comment on the original Facebook post to enter. One entry per person. Winner will be randomly chosen from the entries.
  2. This contest is USA only.
  3. Winner can choose from the qualifying Merrell Moabs in stock when their prize is claimed. Qualifying styles:  J88623, J88623W, J87323, J88621, J86595, J86595W, J24441. (Excludes Moab Rover and Moab Polar styles)
  4. This giveaway is not sponsored, supported, organized, or connected in any way by Facebook.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to fully release Facebook from any liability.
  5. Entries will be accepted through 4/29/2016. A winner will be drawn on Monday, May 2nd.

 

How To Waterproof Your Shoes

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Why should you protect your shoes? A pair of quality shoes is an investment—a well made pair can last quite a long time if properly cared for.  However, one of the quickest ways to wear out your shoes is to allow them to be water-damaged. At TheShoeMart.com, we have a variety of waterproof shoes. However, if you’d like to protect shoes you already have, you can learn to make them water resistant below!

Always let your leather and suede shoes dry naturally and never put them near heat (fireplace, radiator, etc) to dry.  Shoes that dry out quickly can crack if not treated well.  To speed up drying to an appropriate rate, remove insoles and stuff shoes with newspaper, changing out for dry newspaper occasionally. The same way shoes shouldn’t lose moisture quickly (dry naturally), they shouldn’t intake a lot of moisture at once, either.

What materials SHOULD be protected, and what shouldn’t?   Soft leather, silk, suede, fish and reptilian skin should all be protected from water damage. However, attempting to waterproof patent leather, shiny soft leathers, animal hairs, or sparkly artificial materials like sequins or glitter will only ruin the finish of your shoes.

Step 1: Make sure shoes are clean.

You don’t want to waterproof over dirt, dust, or excess polish, so be sure to clean shoes and remove excess build-up before waterproofing.  A universal product like Collonil Clean & Care (Colorless) works on a variety of materials, including canvas/fabric, suede, nubuck, and smooth leather. Remove the laces before cleaning, polishing, or waterproofing. As with all products, test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous patch of the shoe to ensure it does not cause discoloration. Dry shoes as instructed above.

Step 2: Make ’em water resistant.

We suggest you follow the directions on whatever product you choose, but here are some tips:

1. Always do a spot test, just as you would with polish or cleaning products. Use the side of the shoe’s tongue where the laces will hide a mistake or the inner side of the back of the shoe.

2. Be sure to read all of the labels and ensure that the product fits the material. We have various products from Frye, Collonil, Skidmore’s, and Alden to help you protect your shoes from water damage:

Alden Leather Defender: Water-based spray for leather shoes and boots. Should not be used on suede or nubuck.

Skidmore’s Beeswax Waterproofing: Penetrates leather leaving a waterproof seal. Leather only, no suede or nubuck.

Collonil Waterstop Spray (200 ML) is designed for a variety of materials, from leather to suede to canvas and fabric.

Frye makes a weatherproof spray for leather. You can find our blog on using Frye products here.

 Step 3: Shake it off.

Now that your shoes are water resistant, take pride in their longevity. Waterproofing is no excuse to slack on shoe care, however. Be sure to maintain your shoes and create a rotation so that they have time to dry out in between uses.

In warm dry climates you can get away with weekly polish and waterproofing once or twice a year, but in rainy and cold climates you should polish and waterproof much more often, and possibly invest in a pair of waterproof shoes or galoshes to travel in.

Winter Shoes

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If you haven’t woken up to frost on your windshield yet, we are slightly envious.  If you have, you have likely realized that the cold of winter is getting ready to take over.

You’ve found your shovel or snow blower and you have your windshield scraper on hand.  You’ve got gloves and hats… but are your feet ready for the cold? Snow and ice are major challenges of the season, and your footwear plays a major role in keeping you safe and healthy in the winter.

At TheShoeMart.com, we have a large selection of Snow Boots for Men and for Women. Browse our online store to find the perfect style for you.

To make it a bit easier, we’re featuring two of our favorite styles for men and women. 

Kamik Men’s Bushman

We like the Kamik Bushman boot because it has serious antibacterial power.  An important part of taking care of your feet in the winter is keeping them from creating a hot, humid climate for bacteria to grow.  Kamik‘s Aegis Antibacterial treatment and waterproofing technologies will keep your feet dry and warm. 

Sorel Women’s Tofino Cate

The Tofino Cate boots from Sorel  make it to the top of our list with a sophisticated and fun quilted look. Waterproof construction, faux fur, and leather shell will keep your toes warm, dry, and cozy in a look that’s sleek enough for the streets. Sorel boots are very popular this year and have been flying off our shelves.

For the rest of the month, we’ll be bringing you tricks and tips to help keep your feet comfy, as well as ways to clean your winter footwear.

Are your toes ready?