Are you confused when selecting from a wide array of hiking boots and shoes? If you are unsure where to start, here are some useful information you can look into.
In this article, we shall discuss the types of hiking footwear available in the market. Moreover, we shall also discuss the key consideration to check when selecting one.
Before selecting your hiking shoes, you must first examine the different types of footwear for hiking. A long time ago, the only selections for hiking footwear were chunky and heavy boots.
In today’s time, there are several options available in the market such as mids and trail runners. Here are some of the common hiking footwear types you can look into.
This type of footwear provides lightweight characteristics for trail running. Its performance is similar to the shoes for trail running but tends to be heavier. They are also more durable and sturdier.
There are several models in the market where you can select a waterproof or a non-waterproof one. In general, hiking shoes need less break-in period. They also last for a longer time compared with regular shoes for trail running.
Because of its affordable price, you get the most value out of your money. We recommend this footwear type for hiking and trail running. It is at its best as you conquer moderate terrain even when backpacking on long distances. You may think of it as hiking shoes but with upgraded features with that of running shoes.
Running Shoes for Trail
This type of footwear is designed for different terrains. These include uneven surfaces like granite and dirt trails.
Despite its pros, experts deem that these are not specifically designed for hiking. Nevertheless, it can still be a great option especially for hikers who want to cover long distances. They can maximize the travel distance in a lesser time amount.
The common weight of an average shoe for trail running is 20 ounces per pair. This is several ounces lighter compared with a hiking shoe.
You should note that it offers lesser protection in the toes. Furthermore, it provides sensitivity characteristics under the food. Nevertheless, it is usually comfortable as you take it out of its box, providing no period for break-in.
Classified with their height, hiking boots have hard rubber soles and stops above your ankle. It also typically has a durable construction.
Most people think that hiking boots tend to be heavy. Nonetheless, there are new models which only weight around two or three pounds each pair. It offers stability and sport in your ankles compared with a normal shoe.
Boots are preferable should you need to carry backpacks weighing more than 20 pounds. If you need a reliable bag, check out the out waterproof backpacks reviews. Though boots are great for outdoor activities, you may still encounter disadvantages.
Full-leather ones may require breaking in or get worn on to conform to your shape. They need to be used on moderate hikes to soften it up. Nonetheless, if you require it immediately, you may opt mesh or leather hybrids. These offer great comfort which you can use as you take it out of its box.
Similar with shoes for trail running, approach shoes utilize a rubber sole and toe rand. They are great to use on rock climbing activities and rocky trail surfaces.
Some travelers prefer hiking and trail running shoes which are specifically designed to better handle hard terrain. Nevertheless, approach shoes are better options should you plan on climbing 5th class terrain.
Just remember that you need to get a size with a slight snug than a typical shoe. This will provide you better sensitivity when dealing with rocky terrain.
These are the common footwear worn by outdoor travelers. We suggest you look into their features before deciding to invest in one. You must make sure that your shoe can handle the terrain and elevation you are going to.
Since you have a better understanding of the footwear types available, we can now identify considerations when selecting one. Provided below are some of the things you must understand before investing in a hiking footwear.
As you select appropriate hiking shoes, you must identify your terrains difficulty. You must also anticipate the challenges you may encounter to help you decide the appropriate footwear.
We suggest that you get a pair that offers versatility for your hiking needs. You must identify the primary use of the hoes. Is it for backpacking, hiking or both? The next step is to identify the level of difficulty of your terrain from easy to strenuous.
Lightweight shoes are great for hiking during the day where minimal support is enough. We also recommend durable and waterproof shoes for up to moderate backpacking. On the other hand, shoes with enough support and durability are recommended for strenuous hiking.
To achieve water resistance, shoes commonly have an inner waterproof membrane. Some brands also include an additional chemical waterproof treatment in the upper part.
The most common breathable and waterproof material is Gore-Tex. This material is commonly used for footwear and outdoor apparels. This material prevents the moisture from the outside from entering your shoes. It also vents the moisture inside the shoes for durability.
You need shoes with waterproof capabilities if you plan to hike for multiple days. We recommend shoes with this capability for long hikes with the possibility of weather changes. Getting a wet shoe can be hard to walk with the whole day.
We suggest that you look into the terrain before deciding for your next footwear. The shoes you need to get for soft hikes or muddy trails shall be different when you are in the desert. You also need a different pair again if you plan to climb high mountain peaks.
If you are working with a steep rock you need a pair of shoes that has a sticky sole. On the other hand, traction is not an issue should you plan to go on flat and soft trails.
Experts recommend soles with hard rubber grip on trails and soft ones on rocks. We should take note that it is rare to find one which can address different types of environment. With this, you must get one that comes close to these characteristics.
Fit and Weight
In general, the fit depends on your preference. All of us have different foot sizes and shapes. We recommend getting a comfortable pair which works for your food shape.
When trying a pair on, you must wear your usual socks that you intend to put on. You can also bring footbed inserts. These allow you to ensure that the pair you’re getting can be worn with them.
When dealing with footwear weight, you must get a light pair to help you move faster. Heavy boots can serve a specific purpose but lighter shoes are generally preferable. Nonetheless, make sure that it is not too light to the point where it lacks comfort and support.
We recommend looking into these key considerations when selecting footwear for hiking. It is important that you feel comfortable and confident wearing them throughout the day.