Buying the right hiking boots
Hiking/Walking Boots Buying & Fitting Guide
In order to avoid the soreness and pain of foot blisters and aches when you are on a long hike, it is vital to put some forethought into buying superior and first-rate walking or hiking boots. Choosing boots based on style or looks is not the most efficient way to make sure proper support. As a matter of fact, the process can require more trial and error than you may think. When it comes to hiking, having the right equipment, which includes your boots is vital.
Your new walking/hiking boots are one of the essential items you can purchase for hiking. Pick your boots/shoes with extra care, make sure they fit you appropriately, look after them properly and you will have a memorable hiking/walking experience.
This guide is intended to provide you sound advice on everything you might want to know to make the right purchase.
Choosing Walking/Hiking Boots Based on your Activity
Perhaps the best way to pick the kind of walking/hiking boots you want is to do base on the type of activity you will be doing.
• Light Walking Boots
If you enjoy light walking, it doesn’t matter if that is walking with your pet or simply going for stroll or rambling, then a more flexible boot is the best option. You might even find that walking shoes are perfect if you are not planning on carrying out anything strenuous.
• Backpacking Boots
These are made to carry loads of varying weights on multiday journeys. They are supportive and durable with firmer midsoles than lighter shoes.
• Mountaineering and Hill Walking Boots
If you are serious about walking, and you are going to be climbing hills and mountains, or over uneven terrain, then you are going to need a sturdy boot. You will need boots with the rigid sole to avoid the boots from bending too much, and a stronger upper to help support your ankles and feet.
Extra features you must also consider are things like if your preference is towards high cut, medium cut or low cut hiking boots? Is there enough cushioning provided for the kind of hike you are planning? These are additional factors you must keep in mind.
For outdoor enthusiasts who want stronger and sturdier footwear than their regular climbing shoes when walking and maneuvering around the cliff, it is highly advisable to invest in a pair of approach shoes. This type of show is somewhere between climbing shoes and hiking boots. This type of footwear provides support and lots of flexibility as well as mobility over the faintly more dangerous terrain.
What to Look for in a Hiking Boots/Shoes
There are ways to make boots water resistant, one by using an extraordinary membrane and utilizing seam sealing. These two are practical and have their benefits. Branded layers are likely to be assured and last longer while those with seam sealing are usually a little bit cheaper but more breathable.
• Mesh and Leather Uppers
The leather is considered the finest materials for comfort, durability as well as waterproofing, whilst mesh panels boost the breathability of boots, which make them more comfortable. There are 3 kinds of leather available, and what is ideal for you depends on an individual or personal taste; suede leather which is rugged looking, nubuck a velvety feel and look as well as full-grain leather which is a little bit glossy and smooth.
• Internal Support
There are two facets to the internal support of most walking boots that you should keep a note of. The first is shanks. These are 3to 5mm-thick inserts that are sandwiched between a boot’s midsole and outsole to add load-bearing stiffness to the midsole. Varying in length, some shanks cover the entire length of the midsole, while others only cover half.
The second internal support facet is the plates. These are thin, semi-flexible inserts that are positioned between the midsole and the outsole, and below the shank. Their primary job is to protect feet from getting bruised uneven ground underfoot such as tree roots or rocks. Any decent walking boots should comprise both these features.
• Other consideration
Most decent hiking boots on the market are waterproof, and use treatments like Gore-Tex – a waterproof breathable membrane or an own-brand waterproofing system to fend off rain. Make sure the boots you buy are listed as fully waterproof and not just water resistant – the latter can deal with a light shower but is pretty much useless in bad weather.
Hiking boots are generally designed with rugged rubber soles, some use specific technology, Vibram – designed to provide excellent traction on the widest range of surface is the last word in toughness. Look for bouncy soles with deep lugs – these offer good grip. If in doubt, boots packing both Gore-Tex and Vibram tech are bound to be pretty decent and will make a good investment
• Lacing Systems
Your dream walking boost must have solid, lightweight as well as durable lacing hardware. This is likely to come from rust-resistant metal or specialist plastic. However, either way, will let you make adjustment throughout your trip. Your feet are likely to swell as well as get bigger towards the end of a trail, so with secure adjusting hardware, you can modify the fit.
• Comfort Fit
To determine if the boots are right for you, you have to try them first. Tie them up firm and bring a medium weight sock to give you a good idea of how they fit. Search for removable insoles that allow for a good fit as well as lining materials which wick moisture away from your foot.
A hiking boot must fit snug everywhere, firm everywhere and provide space to jiggle your toes. Try them on (after feet swell) and with the socks. Know the size of your boot. It is best to have your foot’s width, length, as well as arch length measured, this may seem obvious. but feet do change size over time, so if you haven’t had yours measured for some time, it’s not a bad idea to get them measured especially before you order boots or shoes online.
Guide in Fitting Your New Walking/Hiking Boots
• Buying a pair of walking/hiking boots is a good investment, but they will be next to of no use if they do not fit properly. Here are the tips on how to ensure your new hiking boots fit well.
• Feet swell a little as the day goes on, so keep in mind you are trying new boots/shoes on. You may even need to consider the time of the year because feet swell more in the hot season.
• It is essential to wear your preferred walking/ hiking socks when trying new boots. If you ignore this, you will not get a real feel of how the boots fit and how they will feel if you are out hiking or walking.
• Ensure to leave enough space at the end of your boot. This is vital with hiking boots when climbing hills and mountains your feet will need space to move, it depends on the position of your feet. A finger’s width is a respectable amount of space to leave, and if you are not sure on how much space there is, remove the insole, and try it against your feet.
• If the boots are not laced up well, then you will not get a precise feel for how the boots fit. Ensure the tongue is inner and tightly lace the boots up, utilizing the eyelets. But, you need to be extra careful not to lace them too firmly, or they will be painful and rough.
A lot of people have taken up walking and hiking as a way to enjoy the great outdoors, but also to include some soothing stress-free time. However, to enjoy this activity, one should be dressed suitably and have the right hiking or walking gear like boots.
Whatever kind of outdoor walking you are planning, whether it be a simple stroll in the countryside or walking through more challenging environments with rugged terrain, you should consider investing in a good pair of walking/hiking boots or shoes.
There are some great walking boots on the market both durable and waterproof designed specifically to deal with the elements, keeping your feet dry and comfortable and free from blisters. A good pair of hiking boots doesn’t come cheap but the investment is well worth it and if looked after will give you years of comfort and pleasure.