How to Choose the Right Footwear for Hiking

How to Choose the Right Footwear for Hiking

Everyone loves an adventure. It can be an indoor adventure like poker or an outdoor adventure like hiking. Indoor adventures challenge the mind and outdoor adventures challenge the body. Outdoor adventures, which are pursued either as a competitive sport or leisure activity can include scuba diving, river rafting, horseback riding, etc. Hiking, however, of all the numerous outdoor adventurous activities possible, is the simplest and widely practiced one.

Hiking is nothing but a long walk, especially across the country. Though hiking is one of the more non-complex activities requiring very limited preparation, care still should be taken to keep oneself free from injuries, starting with the right equipment. The most important equipment required for hiking is the right pair of footwear, but unfortunately, it is usually the most neglected item. So here, are a few tips on how to select a proper pair.


Choosing the right footwear for hiking is essential

Depending upon the distance and the terrain you are planning to cover, you’ll likely have three options of footwear. If the terrain you have selected for hiking is a smooth and even ground and the hike will not extend to a full day, a good low-cut shoe would suffice. However, if the terrain is uneven and the hike will last until or slightly beyond sunset, a mid-cut boot will be more appropriate. Also, a mid-cut boot will be adequate for multi-day hiking on an even surface. But, in general, it is highly advised to consider a high-cut boot for any hiking expected to extend more than a couple of days on an uneven surface.

First and foremost, when selecting footwear, be mindful of two things: size and fitting. While a very tight fit can cause you blisters and swellings after a long walk, a loose one can also be a burden to you. When shopping for a new pair of hiking footwear, or for any other purpose for that matter, measure each foot separately and select the size that is bigger. If there is a considerable difference between the sizes of each of your feet, you may have to buy different sizes. Always remember to wear the same type of socks you plan to wear with the new shoes/boots on the hike when trying them on. Also, remember to try them on in the afternoon as opposed to any other time of day because it is the time when your feet are expanded. Then select the pair of shoes/boots that give you a sufficient amount of space to move your toes even while climbing a hill.

The next important factor is the type of material. A short to medium distance hiking on an even surface may be done with a softer sole but a challenging terrain would definitely warrant a harder sole with a sufficient grip. Depending on one’s preferences, there are two options for upper material. If you want more durable and water-resistant boots, leather is the ideal choice. But, if you are looking for a lighter, more breathable and affordable material, fabric shoes/boots may be the best choice.

Apart from these, there are a few other points to consider such as foot arch, which can be flat, normal, or high. The shoe/boot should provide your feet with ample arch support as it is necessary for proper shock absorption and balancing. When it comes to heel height, however, select your heel according to your convenience and not by the product description. Very high and pointed heels are not ideal for hiking.

Once all these factors are considered in selecting your footwear, there is still one last step in your preparation regarding footwear for hiking: You have to practice wearing the footwear on smooth terrain or indoors before you set out for the real test. If all these boxes are ticked, you can be assured that your hiking experience will be a comfortable one.



No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Post Reply