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.
Nowadays, there are different types of trekking footwear with preferable features for your hiking adventures.
What are hiking boots made of?
Classified with their height, hiking boots have hard rubber soles and stops above your ankle. It also typically has a durable construction.
With this, the boots superbly protect your ankles from potential injury.
Hiking Boots Types
There are three main types of hiking boots. Each one is designed to provide unique features for hiking.
Here are some quick insights with regard to the types of boots you can choose from.
Boots for Day Hiking
This type of boots provides excellent support for the ankles. You can definitely trust that you cannot roll your ankle over when wearing them. Its solid construction helps it offer great strength even if you are wearing a lighter pack.
Most boots for day hiking weigh around 3.5 pounds each pair. They feature superb traction just like a regular backpacking boot. Moreover, most brands are fully waterproof, made with high-quality Gore-Tex material.
Manufacturers utilize leather and fabric for this type of boots. In terms of quality, it stands below backpacking boots which are purely made of leather.
Boots for Backpacking
Also known as the “Frankenstein” boots, this type is chunky and with heavy hitters. These boots were made to offer superior ankle support. You can feel at ease even as you carry a backpack of at least 50 pounds.
With these boots, you can get the most value for your money because of its durability. In fact, it can survive an intense hike on rugged trails that boots for day hiking may find challenging.
Backpacking boots provide more insulation and larger soles compared with boots for day hiking. With this, they tend to be heavier, weighing up to six pounds each pair. That is a lot of weight when you are hiking outdoors.
This type of boots is commonly made with good-quality leather. This adds up to the weight of the boots as leather is heavier than synthetic ones. Leather is known to be durable making it an ideal material for footwear.
Considered as the least preferable hiking footwear, those provide pros and cons. These shoes are excellent to utilize if you are going around town, casual walks and trekking. Nevertheless, this type of boots is only recommended in areas with flatter terrain.
They are extremely comfortable and more durable than your regular sneakers. They are made with good quality fabrics, making them a good option for long walks.
Nevertheless, its features do not compare to boots for day hiking and backpacking. Despite having similar form and traction with that of the previous types, hiking shoes provide less ankle support.
These are the main types of boots that you can select from.
We recommend you determine the type and difficulty of the terrain you are going to. With this, you can have an idea of what type of hiking boots to get.
Things to Consider when Getting Hiking Boots
What makes hiking boots, good hiking boots?
If you are on a hunt for good quality hiking boots, we will be glad to assist you.
Here are some of the things you need to consider as you purchase your hiking boots.
Experts recommend wearing hiking boots over socks. Preferable socks for this purpose are those not made from cotton.
Hiking socks offer padding inside the boots, providing you a cushiony and more comfortable walking experience. They can also help in taking off the perspiration off your feet. It keeps your feet stay dry throughout the trip.
Testing Your Boots
New shoes tend to provide blisters on your feet. Do not be surprised if your feet get hurt on your first walk with hiking boots. To prevent this from happening, we suggest you test your preferred boots before the actual trip.
You can start by walking around a block, making sure that your feet are not mobbing inside it. Big movements can cause pain and blisters to your feet.
You can alleviate this situation by getting thicker socks. Not only will it prevent your feet from moving around too much, but it can also add cushion for comfort.
Equipped with Features
Comfortable hiking boots are preferred for long walks and difficult terrain. Obviously, you do not want the boots to hurt you more than the actual walking activity.
We suggest that you look into these considerations before partaking on a hiking journey. Not only will you thank yourself for a comfortable trip, but it will also protect you from potential injuries.
Fitting Tips for Various Applications
Getting the perfect pair of boots may be challenging for a first-time buyer. Here are some of the things you should do when fitting them.
Flat Terrain Walking
Your boots must provide you with comfort especially when walking on a straight and flat terrain. Should you deem that the boots are moving on its heel part, we suggest to not get it.
Big boots usually provide blisters that can affect your performance as you hike. Moreover, we recommend getting the appropriate size for your feet.
This is for the reason that large sizes cannot be fixed.
You must try walking uphill when fitting your boots. We recommend finding a steep hill in your backyard to walk up. Make sure that the heel is not moving as you go up.
As much as possible, you must stick to boots that provide tiny movements on your heel. Any large movements can lead to intense blisters.
Aside from walking uphill, you should also try the boots for downhill terrain. We suggest that, as you go down, increase your speed. You should reach your full speed at the bottom of the hill.
You must check if your toes bump the boot’s end. If you find that your toes constantly reach the end, it might be too small. You can consider sizing up.
The bumping motion of your foot to the boot’s end may cause your toenails to be messed up. You may notice it as you go on long hikes.
These are just some of the hiking boots applications and how proper fitting can be done. We suggest you try the boots wearing your usual pair of socks. With this, you are sure that the boot size is correct.
Remember that most hikers do not prefer cotton socks to go along with hiking boots. You can try out thick polyester socks which can offer additional support and cushion.