Birder's Guide

NOV 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 33 of 51

32 Birder's Guide to Gear | November 2017 Footwear to the ground. A new pair of shoes is far cheaper than a new set of hips, so if you can no longer make out the tread pattern of your shoe, it is time for a replacement. The Personal Touch As I hope you have gathered, there is no one choice for you or for any particular outing. What you choose to wear ends up being a personal decision, dictated by your own comfort and fashion sense. I have been known to frequently bird in a very flat and unsupportive pair of high - top Vans skate shoes, for no other reason than that I consider them fashionable. To find the specific model that is per- fect for your feet, I recommend visiting specialty shoe stores. The employees at this type of establishment tend to be knowledgeable and capable of fitting you with the shoe of your dreams. Good luck, and good birding! across the year, this may never become a problem. However, for those of us who prefer long, frequent hikes in search of birds, it is necessary to check the condi- tion of your shoes. In a pair of shoes that has otherwise served you well for many years, the compression of the soles due to excessive mileage can result in sore feet. Compression can be checked by depressing the center of the sole; if it gives easily, it may be time to search for a replacement. However, this can be largely a matter of the initial softness of the shoe, so judge with caution. My final warning is to check your tread wear. Birding and walking on rough sur- faces such as rocks or asphalt affects your tread the same way it does on car tires. Eventually you get balding and the potential for a "blowout". While your shoes once kept you safely planted on the trail, a wet rock may now send you Continued from page 30

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