Hiking boots are available in all sorts and sizes but which boot doo you choose? We are evaluating all your options so you can decide what hiking boot you’re your needs best. Matching the shoes to your trekking ambitions is probably the most important factor for your decision. In general there are four different categories of hiking boots that you can choose from; light hiking shoes, hiking boots, backpacking shoes and the heaviest of all the mountain boots. We will discuss every boot so you know what to buy.
Light hiking shoes
The light hiking shoes all have a low-cut with flexibel soles that give your feet stability and comfort. These boots are the best choice if you like to walk day trails without too much rocks and climbing obstacles. A normal forest path meets the perfect conditions for these light-hiking shoes. For lightweight travelers this boot is probably the best choice even for long distances hikes. You can walk many years on light hiking shoes, as they are very durable.
Hiking boots are designed to carry and support your weight together with some addition weight like a lightweight backpack. This boot is always mid- or high-cut, which gives support to your ankles and feet. A higher level of stability is obtained with hiking boots but we cannot recommend walking rocky paths and climbing mountains or snowy trails with them. Hiking boots are perfect for a weekend or midweek backpacking in the forest. Hiking boots will last for many years but can be worn out.
Backpacking shoes are the best option if you don’t have to walk rocky paths. These shoes give support to the ankles and legs, which improves carrying heavier loads. You gain stability, which helps a lot for endurance walks with heavy loads in the countryside. Backpacking shoes are available in low, mid- or high cut models. Buy the right shoes adjusted to your needs; weak ankles need a higher cut boot. Durable boots that only need to be replaced when the sole is gone.
The mountain boots are the real deal. These boots are worn by the pro mountaineers and are perfect for climbing mountains in any condition. The shoes are always high cut and offer full support for feet, ankles and balance. The shoes are made of hard leather, which makes them durable and almost indestructible. These boots are also the only boots that are compatible with glacier crampons. Planning to climb a famous mountain or rocky and snowy one then mountaineering boots are the ones to buy. Likely to replace these boots every couple of years since it is very important to have excellent footwear in difficult terrain, your life can depend on it.
Which hiking boots to buy?
As described above there are four categories hiking boots to choose from. This doesn’t make it easier but with our help you will be able to choose the right hiking boot to buy.
Follow the steps and you know which shoes to buy
- Decide what kind of trekking you are planning to do with the boots. Looking at the terrain and distances of the trip.
- Weak ankles are better supported with high cut models.
- If you enter winter/snowy terrain on your hikes then waterproof boots are vital for your feet and shoes.
- The stiffness of the sole gives greater comfort on long walks and rocky terrain.
- Try different shoe brands so that you can evaluate the right size and fit. Both measures are different between brands and shoe models.
- Don’t buy a shoe because its on sale and looks cool, buy it because it fits your needs and body.
Steps to follow when fitting shoes
- When fitting shoes your toes must be able to wiggle inside the boot.
- Sliding in your shoes will result in blisters; prevent this buy buying the right with of your shoes.
- The shoe should fit your feet, as it is an extension of your body. This greatly improves your capabilities and prevents foot injuries.
Three points of advice; buy good socks that are designed for walking and hiking. These socks give greater support and reduce simple but annoying foot injuries like blisters. Use waterproof sprays to improve the water resistances of your boots. And final; keep the leather of your boots flexible by using special leather treatment waxes, this way your shoes last longer.