Ensuring A Quality Pair Of Hiking Shoes

You must have had a bad day out there when hiking. It happens to everyone. You prepare, plan and head out into the mysterious wonders of nature, only to find out you forgot one important thing; good hiking shoes. Or you have the shoes only to head out and discover they are not a good choice for your hiking adventures. They feel heavy and extremely uncomfortable after hours of walking. They even blister your feet and leave you with some pain. Before your hiking is over, what you thought were good hiking shoes have thinned, the lugs have worn away and laces are just ugly. So, just how do you shop for the best shoes for hiking?

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Know What You’re Looking For

Hiking footwear is divided into three categories. You have no choice but to figure out what will be suitable for your trek. The categories are:

  • Lightweight hiking boots – They are designed for day hikes only. They stress comfort and adequate cushioning for your feet. As a result, they are less durable and less supportive than heavyweight hiking boots.

  • Midweight/backpacking hiking boots – They are specifically designed for hiking and trekking over rough grounds while wearing heavy backpacks. They tend to be more supportive and durable than lightweight hiking shoes for men. They are intended for short trips of less than five days over rough terrains.

  • Mountaineering hiking boots – They are designed for on and off hiking with heavy backpacks during long day trips. They are supportive, durable and provide enhanced ankle protection. Their thick, stiff soles are designed rough terrains and winter climbing. Often costly but are always worth the extra dime.

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It is easy to get confused when it comes to choosing the best material for your hiking footwear. Some brands like Dansko professional footwear are ideal but there’s always more to hiking shoes than just brands. One wise thing to do, is to stick to waterproof and New Balance hiking shoes. In that case, consider the following materials:

  • Mesh

  • Nylon

  • Split grain leather

  • Full grain leather

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Of these four, the last two are the best. Full grain is however expensive and may not be suitable for the average hiker on a budget. The first two, mesh and nylon are ideal because they are light on your feet.

Proper Fit

It does not matter if your preferred shoes have all the bells and whistles. If they don’t fit, they are simply not right for you. The shoes you choose to go out for a hike with should allow your toes to feel a snug. They should also be somehow loose to allow your feet to flex with ease.

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It sounds interesting but your hiking boot size is not the same with your regular shoes. Why so? Extra insoles, thick socks and lacing techniques have to be employed when fitting hiking footwear. This means that your hiking footwear will not be the same as your regular shoes because of all the factors mentioned.

Going out for a hike is without a doubt a good idea. Shopping for ordinary hiking shoes on the other hand is not. You just have to take your time. Understand the nature of the terrain you’ll be walking on and choose good hiking shoes for women or men that will not let you down during your adventures. Remember to carry an extra pair just in case the ones you have let you down or you lose them. Remember too to buy strong shoes. Who knows? You may have to step on scorpions, spiders or even snakes!