Four Steps to a Better Boot Fit in the Heel

Alpine Shop certified pedorthist and senior bootfitter Angie Bono shows how Alpine Shop custom fits the heel of a boot for one of its customers.

Using a sequence of heat, pressure and cold, Alpine Shop bootfitters can remold the shape of your boots to perfectly fit your heel and ankle.

Alpine Shop can also use different techniques to help you deal with problems like bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel and leg length discrepancies.

You can learn more from all of Alpine Shop’s boot fitters by stopping in any one of our locations in Missouri. You can also visit for continuing instructional videos.

How to Tell a Good Hiking Boot from a Bad One

Alpine Shop’s head bootfitter and Certified Pedorthist, Angie Bono, explains the main differences between a “Good” quality hiking boot and a “Bad” boot. Beware—Looks can be deceiving!

Back in the early 1900’s mountaineering and backpacking boots were built on steel shank. This was great for sturdiness and for protecting your feet from rocks and turned ankles. However, it was also heavy and unyielding—not quite the solution we are looking for today. With current technologies, the top quality hiking boots today are based on a nylon shank that runs the length of the boot from the toes to the heel. This stiff nylon helps to protect the hiker’s foot and ankles while also helping to keep weight down and comfort up.

All of Alpine Shop’s hiking boots will contain this feature. However, if you visit some other store that claims to sell hiking boots, watch out for cheap imitations that may put your body at significant risk. Once Angie shows you what’s inside two boots that look almost exactly the same on the outside, you’ll know where to look for your next boots—Alpine Shop!

Enjoy the video!

3 Lacing Techniques for a Better Fit – Fixing Footwear Problems with Alpine Shop

Alpine Shop’s head bootfitter and Certified Pedorthist, Angie Bono, spends a few minutes on this video going over some easy and effective lacing techniques to help your shoes or your hiking boots fit better.

For problems with your heel slipping in your boot or shoe, the “heel lock” technique helps lock your heel into the back of your footwear. This prevents your foot from moving and reduces the chance of a blister forming on the back of your heel.

If you have problems with too much pressure on sensitive parts of your foot, Angie shows you how to use the “box lace” technique to simply go around those sensitive parts while keeping your footwear as snug as it needs to be everywhere else.

Finally, Angie demonstrates how the “surgeon’s knot” can be used to custom tighten the lower section of a boot for new boot wearers (and another great option to help with heel slippage).

We hope you enjoy the video. We apologize for the focus coming in and out on the boot. We’ll get it fixed before our next video later this week!

Support for Missouri’s Streams Every Time You Drive

There are over 110,000 miles of streams, both large and small, that need our attention and protection in Missouri. The Stream Team program brings together groups of concerned individuals to work on stream improvement projects, water quality monitoring, and serve as the eyes of the agencies that protect our watersheds. Alpine Shop is proud to have worked with Stream Team in the past, and we just found out about a new program that will help others across Missouri support them even more.

Now you can show your support for our wonderful waterways by ordering your Stream Team License Plate. In order for the plate to be produced a total of 200 people must pre-order the plate. These plates are personalized with your selection of letters and numbers. By purchasing these plates you will not only show everyone that you are protecting our crucial watersheds, but you will help fund this great program.

We hope that you will take this important step in helping keep Missouri’s streams clean and safe.

Click here for more information on the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition and the Stream Team License Plate Program.

Here is how to order your Stream Team license plate:

1. Fill out Form 1716 .

2. Write a check to Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coaltion for $40.00 for 1 year or $65.00 for 2 years (this covers both the donation and specialty plate fees).

3. Mail Form 1716 along with your check to:

P. O. BOX 2132
OZARK, MO 65721

4. A voucher will be mailed to you after 200 plates have been pre-sold.

5. Take your voucher to your nearest Missouri Department of Revenue License Bureau to complete the purchase of your Stream Team license plate.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note this is a separate process than renewing your license plate at the Missouri Department of Revenue, and you will still be required to pay your registration fees in addition to the donation and specialty plate fees you send to MSTWC as outlined above. If you have just renewed, your renewal registration payment will be pro-rated when you receive your personalized specialty plates. Your pre-collected payment to MSTWC includes either a $25.00 for one year or $50.00 for two years donation to MSTWC, plus an annual $15.00 specialty plate fee to the Department of Revenue. You cannot pay the annual fee directly to Department of Revenue for this first-time purchase. We must pre-sell 200 plates before they go into production. We will send the MSTWC donation voucher to you after the 200 plates have been pre-sold. Only after you receive your voucher can you complete your plate transaction at your local licensing office.

Ambre’s Picks

Ambre Tiggs of Ginkgo Adventures recommends her favorite gear to anyone interested in camping, hiking, backpacking, climbing, and paddling.  Ambre’s Picks include basic gear that is essential for most outdoor adventures.


Ambre’s Top Picks:

Camelbak Mule

Eagle’s Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock

Jetboil Group Cooking System

McNett Aquamira Water Purification Tablets

MSR Whisperlite International Stove

Outdoor Research Coastal Sombrero

Outdoor Research Ultralight Ditty Sacks

Petzl e-lamp Headlamp



Ambre founded Ginkgo Adventures, an outdoor adventure company based in St Louis in 2006. In addition to running Ginkgo Adventures she is also an adjunct instructor at Meramec, Wildwood, and St. Charles Community Colleges teaching Backpacking/Hiking and Camping/Paddling.  Ambre is a Wilderness EMT and American Red Cross instructor in CPR, Standard First Aid, and Wilderness First Aid.  She backpacks, rock climbs, canoes, kayaks (whitewater, sea, and flat water), mountain bikes and snowboards.

Ambre Tiggs

Ginkgo Adventures



Alpine Shop Looks to Earn Retailer of the Year Honors

Alpine Shop Wins 2012 Retailer of the Year Award for Growth in Outdoor Sports

In the outdoor specialty retail world that we work in, our main industry magazine is known as SNEWS® (or Specialty News). Each year SNEWS and BACKPACKER Magazine award their Retailer of the Year Awards. There are six different categories that retailers are honored in:

  • Sustainable Business
  • Community
  • Youth Involvement
  • Growth of Outdoor Sports
  • Conservation
  • Best Online Retailer

While we would put our standards up against others in almost all of these categories, our vision as a company is to see: “Generations Transformed Through Discovery Oudoors.” Those five words have driven Alpine Shop to truly dedicate itself over the past 37 years to the “Growth of Outdoor Sports” in St. Louis and the Midwest because of the physical, emotional and spiritual changes that the outdoors can bring to every one of us. And we like to think we’re doing a pretty good job of it. If you are one of the more than 4,000 people who have been a part of the 275 clinics or instructional classes we’ve put on in the past year, or if you participated this year in the Off-Road Racing League in either the Alpine Shop Short Track Dirt Crit Series or the Trail Run Series, we hope you agree. If you do, we’d humbly request that you put in a nomination for Alpine Shop as a Retailer of the Year in the category of “Growth of Outdoor Sports.”

The process is simple. Just visit and fill out the short entry form. We promise it doesn’t take very long and this type of recognition–and the interest and funding it can provide–would make it easier for us to continue to improve the events, programs and races that we already offer. Nominations are open now through October 1, 2011 and can be found at

Thanks for taking the time to help. If you’re interested, below is the information we’ve provided as our own nomination.

“Generations Transformed Through Discovery Outdoors.”

That’s Alpine Shop’s vision and that vision drives our continued efforts to get more people of all ages active in the outdoors. Our dedication to the “Growth of Outdoor Sports” has never been more recognizable in our business than over the past 12 months. During that time period, this St. Louis-based outdoor recreation company has taken in nearly 4000 registrations for 275 educational and experiential programs designed to teach paddling, cycling, wilderness first aid, backpacking and much more across 13 different disciplines. 103 of those programs were absolutely free of charge to everyone in the community.

What’s even more impressive is that the 4000 registrations listed above don’t even include the attendance at Alpine Shop’s largest effort to grow outdoor sports in 2011: the Off-Road Racing League. The Off-Road Racing League includes Alpine Shop’s Short Track Dirt Crit Series of mountain bike races and the Trail Run Series held at a local state park in St. Louis. These two series, which feature a nine nights of outdoor racing in St. Louis, brought in a total of nearly 1200 registrations – including over 200 newcomers and kids – to the two disciplines. The Off-Road Racing League sold out each of five nights of racing for the mountain bike series and experienced 200% growth for the four races of the trail run series despite a St. Louis summer that registered seven record high temperatures throughout the months of July and August.

That’s truly putting our vision to work. And that’s also why believe we’re one of the best retailers in the country in bringing about the “Growth of Outdoor Sports.”

Check out for more information on this series of races and see for yourself how Alpine Shop is helping to grow outdoor sports in St. Louis like never before. Or for more information on Alpine Shop’s complete list of clinics and programs, see

You can nominate Alpine Shop for a SNEWS/Backpacker Retailer of the Year by visiting