Life Style

A quick guide to hiking boots

Among the choices you will make regarding your outdoor gear, choosing the right pair of shoes for hiking is the most important decision. A correct pair of shoes will dictate whether your hike will be a pleasurable or a painful one.

Nowadays we have many available choices in hiking boots in terms of build and brands which itself makes our job difficult to zero down on one pair. Hiking shoes can broadly be categorized into Barefoot hiking shoes, Trail running shoes, Hiking boots and Mountaineering boots.

Barefoot hiking shoes

Barefoot hiking shoes have a very thin and flexible soles that gives you feel of walking barefoot and hence the name. These shoes are extremely flexible, very light weight and more breathable than any other shoes. They also dry up very soon therefore are ideal even for water sports. However, they are not ideal for cold conditions and their thin soles can get pierced by sharp objects.

Trail running shoes

Similarly, trail running shoes too are quite flexible and lightweight and in case you manage to get them wet, they dry up pretty quickly. They are good for day hikes in plain surface like grass and paved trails. They are not suitable for cold as well as rough terrains as they do not provide much leg/foot/ankle support. Moreover, trail running shoes are pretty expensive for what you get so not ideal value for your money. Unless you are carrying more than about 40-50 pounds and are in a decent walking trail, you can wear a pair of trail shoes. However, if you are in colder climate or higher elevation or walking on a rough terrain, carrying some weight in your backpack, you are better off in a pair of boots than a pair of lightweight trails running shoes.

Hiking boots

Many new hikers find that heavy boots add a lot of weight to your feet where the weight has to be moved the furthest and rightly so. They are heavy and can also get uncomfortably warm during summer. Therefore, it is advisable to go with boots if you require ankle support and are willing to slow down because of the extra effort.Hiking boots are very sturdy and durable so it gives a lot of protection against weather and rough terrains. They also give a lot of support to your feet and ankle so you don’t get sprains or roll your ankles suddenly.

Mountaineering boots

These are the ultimate thick, heavy and sturdy boots that gives a lot of protection against the elements and rough terrains. They also provide ample support to your feet and ankle and are suitable for crampons. However, they are pretty heavy and are not comfortable to wear in the long term.

Another important thing is to invest in socks. You will go through them fast anyway so if you aren’t sure which ones to buy just pick up a few pairs. It is goof to use dual-layer socks that allow the inner layer to stick to the foot and outer layer the boot – so the sock takes all the friction and you don’t get blisters.

Back to top button