If you are an avid hiker or outdoors person, you know that there are a lot of degrees of hiking and it is often necessary to have a selection of quality hiking shoes. Depending on the length of the hike, the weather conditions, the quality of the trail, and your style of hiking, you may require different kinds of footwear. Having a least a couple of well made, versatile trail shoes is essential for hiking, camping, and many other wilderness activities.
Choosing great shoes is all about knowing what features to identify since there are so many trail shoes on the market. Factoring in the varied conditions under which you wear the shoes is important in assessing durability and weather resistance. Determine how you use your shoes and decide what the best style of shoe would be for your hiking level. Often it is easier to have a light and versatile shoe that can be comfortably worn anywhere. You’ll benefit either way if you make sure and identify features of well made hiking shoes.
Perfect Fit–Always assess the fit of the shoe first. Many hiking shoes take some time to adjust to your feet, but you want to make sure the shoes aren’t pinching your toes and constricting your feet. There should be enough room in the forefoot to comfortable move your toes. The heel should sit securely in the back of the shoe so the foot doesn’t slide while walking.
Well Cushioned–You’ll be traversing some rough terrain and putting a lot of strain on your feet, so a well cushioned shoe is necessary for the many hours on the trail. Cushioning in any shoe is important, but trail shoes need multiple points of cushioning for added comfort. The midsole needs to be well formed with a quality foam to protect the arches. To help prevent heel pain, a cushioned heel area is needed to absorb shock while walking over changing surfaces.
Highly Durable–Any outdoor shoe worth it’s price tag will be durable. The levels of durability vary from one shoe to another, and a mountaineering boot is obviously going to be more resilient–and heavier–than a more casual trail shoe. Quality water resistant fabric with a breathable mesh outer layer is desirable to keep your feet cool and dry. A thick rubber outsole will offer the most traction but can add weight to the shoe. Striking a balance in how much strength and grip you need in your shoes is crucial to comfort and performance on the trail.
Versatility–Owning at least one pair of all around hiking shoes is advantageous for the active lifestyle. Lightweight trail walking shoes are great for hiking, camping, or just a day working in the yard.