How fun your hiking expedition will be ultimately depends on the type of shoes you wear – you probably didn’t know this. While outdoors, you want a comfortable, fitting pair of kicks designed to counter the rough terrain and conditions of Mother Nature. With this in mind, finding the best hiking shoes can be an uphill task in itself. Fortunately, we’ve covered how to choose the best hiking shoes for you below, just to make your outdoor expeditions worth looking forward to. Enjoy.
How to Choose best hiking shoes
Before anything else, it’s worth noting that the type of shoe you go for should complement your preferred terrains and the amount of load you carry. That aside, here are the major features to look out for next time you go out shopping for a hiking shoe.
The midsoles of hiking boots are built to support and cushion the arches of the feet:
Other Considerations in Choosing the Best Hiking Shoe
Fit is possibly the most important aspect to consider when you are choosing any hiking shoe. All the other features contribute to the value and performance of the hiking shoe, but a poor fit will negate these entirely. Some issues to consider when trying a hiking shoe for fit are:
Durability is often played off against weight and the other features that go into the creation of a good hiking boot. Hiking shoes will in most cases be lighter in construction than a hiking boot. Some hiking shoes which are built with mesh uppers may have protective layers placed over the uppers for protection. These are the type of hiking shoes which score well in the categories of both durability and lightness.
As earlier stated, the amount of weight you carry is a primary factor to consider when shopping for a hiking shoe. The amount of support you need should be commensurate to the weight on your backpack, the distance travelled and the terrain itself. In a nutshell, you stand to benefit from a hiking shoe with more support if you are navigating a long and rough terrain. Sufficiently supported feet will be less fatigued eventually regardless of how heavy your load is.
When it comes to the outdoors, light is always right. Thanks to technological advancements and modern materials, it is now possible to find the extremely light hiking shoes with plenty of helpful features. The best hiking shoes today offer performance, support and comfort at significantly lower weights compared to just a few years back. The latest trend in hiking footwear design comprises of trimming every ounce possible. However, be quick to distinguish the thin line between weight and durability while at it.
When hiking, the importance of maintaining dry feet can never be overstated. The point is, when it’s hot, dry feet are cooler and conversely, warmer when it’s cold. Secondly, wet feet will ultimately lead to blisters and thus, ruin your entire expedition even before it starts. You want breathable, yet waterproof membranes to keep your feet dry while navigating through heavy dew, puddles and mud. While non-proof hiking shoes tend to be more breathable overall, a waterproof membrane serves as ideal for those who hike in extreme weather conditions. In a nutshell, waterproof hiking shoes deliver optimal performance in extremely cold hiking conditions.
When you talk of comfort, it all boils down to how well your shoe fits. Once you’ve trimmed down your search – using the above factors – try on several pairs of similar hiking shoes to determine which one fits best. Keep in mind that some brands are specifically designed for individuals with narrow feet, while others tend to complement wide feet better. The idea is to ensure the shoe captures your foot well to avoid it sliding up and down – the main ingredient for blisters.
When shopping for any product, the price should rank high on your list of priorities. Hiking shoes are no exception. You want an affordable shoe that provides great value for your investment. What’s the point of breaking bank for a hiking shoe you only use once or twice a year? In a nutshell, go for a low budget, but durable shoe that will serve you years if you rarely hike.
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While the above factors should help you find the best hiking shoes for your outdoor expeditions, it is of paramount importance to keep in mind that sometimes, more is better. In short, one brand may not meet all your needs – considering the vigorous needs of Mother Nature. For instance, you may need a highly breathable membrane for hot weather conditions and a waterproof hiking shoes for when it gets wet. However, the tips above should ultimately serve you right when out shopping for the best hiking shoes out there.