The variety of hiking shoes and hiking boots has exploded over the past decade as designs have become more and more specialized. The good news is that there are more choices than ever, but that also makes the selection process more difficult.
Many people will choose to find a pair of shoes they like and that’s it, but you’re probably curious about the new shoes out there.
Or more specifically, you pay attention to what makes a good hiking shoe/boot. The following article is a guide and suggestion for you about that.
Table Of Contents
- Why Do You Need A Good Hiking Shoe?
- #1. Lightweight and flexible.
- #2. Available in different fabrics for the best breathability.
- #3. More durable than trail running shoes.
- #4. Plenty of ankle support thanks to mid- or high-slit cuffs.
- #5. Increased stability (and no bending).
- #6. Most hiking boots during the day are pretty water-resistant.
- What Makes A Good Hiking Shoe/Boot?
- Types of Hiking Shoe/Boot
- Hiking Boot Components
- Tips to Choose the Right Hiking Shoe for You
Why Do You Need A Good Hiking Shoe?
Many people ask themselves the same question when they first come into contact with hiking shoes. They give you stability and also protect your feet more than a normal shoe. The benefits that a pair of hiking shoes bring you:
#1. Lightweight and flexible.
You’ll stick with these hiking boots throughout your trip. If unfortunately, you choose a pair of shoes with a lot of weight, it will put a lot of pressure on your feet.
Your feet also need to be rested and pampered during each trip, so let them shoulder the burden lightly. The bumpy mountainous terrain needs the flexibility to avoid obstacles, so flexibility is essential.
Allows you to move quickly, but you will have to sacrifice some support and protection.
#2. Available in different fabrics for the best breathability.
The shoes are typically made of textiles with leather, suede, or synthetic reinforcements that provide a supportive structure and add abrasion resistance.
Using for many hours will cause suffocation and difficulty breathing for your feet. Shoes are made of breathable materials to avoid odor and skin diseases.
If your intended use is mainly in the summer or mainly in warm, dry weather, a pair of shoes that are breathable, lightweight, and lots of mesh in the upper will allow your feet to breathe their best.
#3. More durable than trail running shoes.
From the material to the uppers, everything is meticulously crafted and they are durable.
Calculating the terrain and large corrosive surfaces that shoes come into contact with, shoe manufacturers have been very attentive to the durability of shoes.
#4. Plenty of ankle support thanks to mid- or high-slit cuffs.
With the boots, it will support the ankle maximum. But hiking boots are padded with extra fabric to separate your feet from outside obstacles.
#5. Increased stability (and no bending).
Mountainous terrain will require the toughness of a taller shoe. They are tough and can withstand all types of terrain and weather conditions.
#6. Most hiking boots during the day are pretty water-resistant.
If you anticipate using your shoes in wet or cold weather, waterproof hiking boots may be your best bet. Sure, you won’t want your feet to float in watery shoes.
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What Makes A Good Hiking Shoe/Boot?
Hiking can both exercise the body and satisfy the passion for travel. For effective hiking, choosing a good pair of walking shoes is also important.
A good hiking boot is meant to be a pair of sneakers designed for walking, not any other type of athletic shoe. Let’s take a look at what makes a good hiking shoe/ boot and you need to pay attention when buying.
#1. Protect your feet
The first element is protection. Anyone buying a new pair of shoes wants the highest level of protection from the outside world.
Hiking shoes equipped with cushioning, high traction support ensure the safety of your feet. When accidentally bumped, these shoes will bear part of the impact so as not to cause great damage.
#2. Be comfortable
Comfort comes in second when you want to buy a new pair of shoes. That is dictated by the material, outsole, and insole of a whole hiking shoe.
The material should be made of mesh fabric, light synthetic fiber, good breathability. Thick rubber outsole for good traction.
The integrated insole provides support and cushioning for the entire foot from the sole. The shoelaces are comfortable to open and close when putting on and taking off.
#3. Be lightweight
Your feet will carry the full weight of the shoes and your body weight. The biggest change in shoe manufacturing is the shift of technology to lightweight constructions.
Lightweight hiking shoes are a top priority in the search process. Traveling a lot on challenging roads will make you lose strength and fatigue, so having to wear a heavy shoe will make you frustrated. The ideal figure for a shoe’s weight is 2 pounds or less.
#4. Supports the ankle
A medium shoe will fit most trips, but for hikes with heavy bags, you may want a well-fitting shoe with ankle support. You can choose the type of boots for even better protection.
Hiking shoes will typically have stiffer, more stable soles that are less likely to twist and will protect your feet from bruising on rougher terrain.
You cannot control or predict when it might turn to rain. Or when going on complicated terrain, you will encounter large puddles after rain.
Or when walking through the woods, the low humidity will form water vapor around your shoes. Therefore, your shoes should be at least moderate to high water resistance.
This will protect your feet from getting wet and prevent odor-causing bacteria from multiplying when in a high-humidity environment. Water resistance is essential but not necessarily 100% waterproof.
Even the highest quality shoes will develop small holes that allow moisture to escape and enter over time.
Types of Hiking Shoe/Boot
Hiking boots can have the characteristics of a normal shoe but have the point of being a good assistant for you. Let’s take a look at 4 types of hiking boots on the market today.
#1. Hiking shoes
Hiking shoes will be a great choice for you if you have a habit of daily training with long distances. It is best to wear hiking shoes with a lower neck or ankle. Because they have a hard texture, thick soles.
The force of movement will be concentrated on the underside of the feet, so they need to be protected from sharp objects and hard surfaces. In particular, their soles will be more durable if you walk on the ground.
#2. Trail running shoes
If you run on a mellow gravel path for the first time, you may walk in your usual running shoes, but as soon as you encounter roots, rocks, and slippery mud, you will realize how important it is.
The importance of having trail running shoes. Running shoes are sturdier than regular running shoes, with good grip, foot protection, and high stability.
#3. Approach to Shoes
Approach shoes are more durable than other shoes when used on rocky terrain. They are designed specifically for the challenges on rough, bumpy, obstacle-filled roads.
We don’t recommend using it daily, but this should be preferred if your roads are hilly.
#4. Hiking Boots
One last type of walking shoe that we want to talk about is the hiking boot. Usually, hiking boots are heavier and bulkier than normal hiking boots.
Hard to carry or stow in your backpack when you’re on the go. If traveling for a long time can smell the smell if not well ventilated.
The advantage is supporting your feet and ankles for long distances on rough terrain. Because of the protection of this type of shoe, it is still chosen by many people.
Hiking Boot Components
What is the structure of a pair of hiking boots? What makes a good hiking shoe/boot? These are the things that make up a good boot that responds to changing environments and different types of surfaces.
They protect your feet from impact and abrasion from rough wild terrain, support the soles of your feet, and provide a good grip on rough, slippery, wet, and muddy terrain.
The first is the upper part of the boot. They are a combination of sections that cover the upper part of the foot, or in other words, the upper is the entire rest of the shoe excluding the sole.
They must be able to protect the foot and absorb unwanted forces at the top to protect the foot. The material for the upper should also be breathable and water-resistant. Usually will be made from synthetic leather, mesh, or nylon.
This is the intersection between the upper and the outsole of the boot. Usually made from synthetic fibers or heat-retaining foam.
EVA and PU are still the most popular materials for hiking boots. They are padded to avoid injuring your skin and keep you comfortable on the go.
The outsole is the lower part of the boot that is in direct contact with off-road surfaces. Currently, most shoe soles are made from rubber to increase friction and minimize wear.
The sole of the shoe should be firm enough but also soft enough for a natural walk. To create friction, the sole is designed with deep grooves and sharp spikes, helping to increase grip on surfaces.
On soft surfaces, the rubber lugs will press down to help the shoe grip the court better.
It is recommended to use a hiking shoe with the best stability and support for those who tend to change their feet while walking.
Wearing high-support boots will reduce your risk of serious injury in the event of an impact. Durability is also higher than normal shoes.
#5. Crampon Compatibility
A crampon is essential for your boots when moving through slippery surfaces. They provide maximum traction ensuring you keep your balance and prevent accidents from happening.
For walking instead of climbing, consider fewer technical cramps with a leash. If you want to wear boots, keep in mind that you need boots with stiff soles with thick welds or grooves in the toe and heel.
Tips to Choose the Right Hiking Shoe for You
Finally, we give you some tips when choosing hiking shoes. They will help you more than you think.
#1. Determine your foot shape and the right hiking shoes for you.
Everyone has a different foot shape and size, so you need to go to the store to try it on in person or double-check the measurements on the manufacturer’s chart. Knowing the difference will be an integral part of determining which hiking boots best suit your needs.
#2. Check the material, the waterproofness of the shoes.
As mentioned above, these two factors are very important, so you need to pay more attention. This helps prevent water from getting into the boots when you walk through rain, snow, or wet grass.
They’re also especially useful when walking over nets or loose gravel, as this type of terrain can splash on your footwear.
When you first buy shoes, you should wear them for about 30 minutes to an hour before going on a long trip.
The shoes need time to adapt to the foot and the elasticity needed when moving.
#3. You should try on shoes in the evening
Because this is the time when your feet are bigger during the day, you should try on shoes in the evening. After a long day of walking, your feet will swell and maybe squeezed together in the shoebox.
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Above is the information that we want to share with you on what makes a good hiking shoe/boot. Hope you will be satisfied with your choices.