When your feet hurt, you hurt all over. For this reason, buying the right hiking boot is a project that requires preparation and careful consideration.
Depending upon how rigorously you engage in this popular hobby, you will have different footwear needs. If you hike at least once each year, you can get away with a much different boot than if, say, you intend to hike the Continental Divide Trail this summer.
Different Levels of Support
The features that enable a boot to withstand the longevity of a trek across great distances and treacherous terrains are also what make the shoe heavier. The footwear might include thicker protective material, high-impact soles and waterproofing. On the other hand, these added benefits can cause the boot to become much weightier and slow down the average amateur. Therefore, honestly determine the kinds of environments in which you anticipate using the hiking gear; a stroll through a city park may be complemented by lightweight walking shoes from brands like Naot, while days on the Appalachian Trail will require much sturdier alternatives.
Preparing for the Elements
The materials used in walking footwear are widely varied, and each textile carries its own set of pros and cons. Thinner options like mesh, nylon and suede are utilized to encourage the flow of oxygen in order to prevent the buildup of heat and perspiration. Of course, this does not offer as much protection from the weather like heartier, waterproofed leather, which consequently allows limited breathability. Hence, it is important to research the temperature and hiking conditions of your next destination before making your purchase.
Get Into Your Feet
As you try on the boots, close your eyes and ‘be your feet.’ Do you feel any irritation? Is there a seam or fold on the inside of the boot that you can actually feel? Know that, on the trail, this little sensation may likely become a full-fledged blister. To make an educated judgment call about whether or not the hiking boots are for you, try on the footwear with the socks and orthotic insoles you intend to wear on your journeys. Any pressure, pinching or squeezing should disqualify the boot.
There are benefits to ordering the hiking boots online – starting with the fact that you can try on the footwear at multiple points throughout the day. Because our feet slowly swell from morning to evening, what may be the perfect fit at noon might not feel the same around dinnertime. Footwear etc. will allow you to exchange the shoe for free so you can be 100% satisfied; click here to learn more about our shipping policies.
Good hiking boots can be a big investment. More importantly, the fit and quality of the boot can make the difference between an exhilarating day on the trails and a miserable waste of time, energy and opportunity. Be protective of your feet and treat them for what they are: your greatest mode of transportation. To begin the search for the perfect pair for you, check out the outdoor boots from New Balance, Merrell and Wolverine.