Choosing Hiking Boots
If you’re going hiking then there are many considerations to figure into your plan, including food, clothing and a route! One of the most improtant parts of hiking wear is what goes on your feet, as it will be your feet which will be working hardest, to navigate the rugged terrain. If you can’t walk, you can’t hike, so get it right.
Many people think that an ordinary pair of trainers or wellies will do, but they are usually wrong. In the event of unfavourable weather conditions, it’s important that proper hiking footwear is used, to help support and protect your feet properly.
A decent pair of hiking boots can last a long time, so sometimes it is better to spend a bit more on a boot of superior quality, offering better comfort, support and protection. Make sure you get the right size and ensure that the boot will fit with your choice of hiking sock (usually someething thick). Ensure that your toes are protected by the shoe, and walking up and down a ramp might also help you make your selection.
Low cut boots are the most suitable for short, day hikes, and are perfect for use on level ground. Longer hikes are better served by mid cut boots, which are better for inclines and rugged surfaces. They offer more ankle support and are more waterproof. They are available in synthetic or hybrid leather-synthetic blends. They keep out gravel or stones more effectively than shorter boots.
High cut boots are really only for very serious hikers, with additional strength and ankle support designed for use with a heavy backpack on the most troubling of terrain.
One important thing to remember about hiking boots is that if they break they will not work properly. Always carry a spare pair of decent laces on the hiking trail. Round laces tend to be strong than the flat type, and so they tend to last longer and are more reliable. The pressue and support offered by decent laces are essential to a good hiking experience.
The sole is really important; as you need to make sure that it is strong enough for the terrain you plan to walk on. The rockier and harsher the terrain, the more robust the sole should be. Forest or jungle hiking will usually benefit from soft soles while mountaineering requires rigid, thick soles.
If you plan to make a habit of going on hiking trips then it’s well worth investing in a decent pair of hiking boots before you realise exactly why they are so necessary.
John Mce writes on a number of subjects including hiking boots, walking boots and ski wear.