The Key Factors to Remember When Purchasing Hiking Boots

The Key Factors to Remember When Purchasing Hiking BootsHiking footwear is the hiker's most important piece of gear. Only the choice of backpack will even approach hiking shoes in importance. A bad choice of shoes will at the very least be the cause of blisters; will probably lead to ankle, knee and maybe even back trouble; and may very well fall apart on a hiker at a bad moment. Choosing a good hiking shoe is about more than just a good fit.

Experience

This is the first consideration before shopping for hiking boots. Because our bodies adapt to our activities, a seasoned hiker's feet, ankles and legs will have been built up to withstand a pounding. These people can get away with a lighter shoe. A tenderfoot, on the other hand, will not have developed this kind of resistance to injury, and will need a shoe that can offer good cushion to the feet and heavier ankle support. Veteran hikers in good shape might be able to get away with wearing a light hiking trainer and hauling 50 pounds over rough ground, 15 miles a day for 10 days, without injury. A tenderfoot cannot.

Socks

A common mistake is to wear hiking socks on the trail, but show up at the store with whatever socks that were worn that day. If boots fit snugly, thicker socks lead to chafing. The general rule is that a hiker should wear the same socks to the store that she wears on the trail. If a hiker goes out on the trail with ordinary tube socks, she ought to wear those to the store to get an accurate feel of the boots.

Waterproof

Even the best waterproof boots are merely very water resistant. If a hiker is going to spend a lot of time getting in and out of streams, or trudging through driving monsoon downpours, the typical hiking boot is not going to keep his feet dry. Under those circumstances, it is a good idea to look at heavy hiking sandals instead. The idea is that the hiker gives up on trying to keep the water out altogether in favor of a shoe that will let the feet dry quickly.

Size

Always remember that the feet are going to swell up a bit after a few hours of continuous walking. So boots that are too snug will cause chafing and blisters. Find a good fit, and then buy the same boots half a size bigger.

Resources

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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