How To Choose Hiking Shoes That Are Perfect For You
Hiking is an activity enjoyed by many people that helps you get in touch with nature and become closer to it. Being out in nature at the trails is one of the best feelings there is because everything is so fresh. Taste, air, smell and view are all enhanced when you’re in those surroundings.
Hiking provides a full range of benefits that can help your physical health while having fun. However, if you’re like most hikers, then the thought of picking out hiking shoes stresses you out. It’s so easy to go on online shops, read all of the reviews, and just choose what’s listed as the best seller.
The problem is that there are lots of factors that determine whether a certain shoe is right for you, and it can be confusing to filter through them all. You need to make sure that your new pair will not only fit properly but also allow you to move freely during hikes. For that reason, let’s go through some tips to help you shop for hiking shoes based on what’s most important to you.
Know Your Foot
When it comes to hiking shoes, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. For you to pick out the best hiking shoes for you it depends on the shape of your foot, your hiking style and the terrain you plan to cover.
If you have flat feet, you need more support than someone with high arches. If you have wide feet, you’ll want a wider shoe design than someone with narrow feet. If you have high arches, look for flexibility and cushioning in your shoe. Here are some characteristics of the different arches:
A high arch means that your foot isn’t very flexible and makes an arch shape when standing on it. You may be prone to heel pain because your entire weight rests on this part of the foot when walking or running.
A flat foot is quite flexible and doesn’t make an arch when weight is placed on it. Flat-footed hikers tend to have issues with heel pain because the shock of impact is distributed across the entire bottom of the foot instead of being absorbed by the heel.
Think About Fit And Flexibility
The best hiking shoes for your feet are those that conform snugly, don’t have slippage or tight spots. The right pair should have enough arch support to prevent foot strain on long treks, but not so much that it causes discomfort.
Hiking shoes should provide stability and traction on uneven surfaces. When lacing them up, make sure the laces are tied tightly enough that your foot is secure in the shoe, but not so tight that cuts off circulation. To check for comfort levels, wear the shoes for an hour or two before buying them — many retailers allow this.
Make Sure Your Shoes Are Weatherproof
Some shoes are more waterproof than others, so it is important to take into account the conditions you will be hiking in. If you know you are going to be hiking through ponds or streams, make sure that your shoes are completely waterproof.
If you know there will only be some dew on the grass, and a little mud, then it is probably not necessary to buy the best waterproof hiking shoes. You will also want to make sure that your shoes are breathable. This is important because if your feet do not get enough air, they are more likely to become sweaty and smelly.
You can get a pair of hiking shoes with mesh fabric which allows for better circulation of air. Some people also like to hike during the winter months, so you may want to consider getting insulated shoes as well.
This can help keep your feet warm in cold temperatures and prevent frostbite from occurring during the winter months. The type of hiking you plan on doing will also determine what type of shoe is best for you. You can choose from leather boots, canvas sneakers, or even sandals for hot weather hiking.
Take Them for A Hike
You can’t just buy the best hiking boots there are and expect them to be comfortable by wearing them only on the hiking trip – you need to take them for a preparation ‘hike’ as well! Take your new kicks on a short walk around the block to break in them and test their comfort level. For more involved hikes, wear your shoes around the house and on shorter walks before hitting the trail.
And after a few hikes, you may find that your shoes are too tight or too loose. If they’re too loose, consider getting laces that have more adjustment points, like a shoe with laces that go all the way to the toe. If they’re too tight, consider getting laces that have fewer adjustment points.
To Sum Up
So, there you have it. Not all shoes are created equal, and not all hiking shoes will be the right ones for you. The key is to find a shoe that fits your activity, as well as your feet, properly. There’s nothing like a good fit from a shoe that fits you like it was made just for you.
Use this guide to help you narrow down the options and find a hiking shoe that you’ll love. Some of you may be surprised by the number of factors that come into play, but don’t let yourself become overwhelmed—there are a lot of great pairs in the stores, but they all have their pros and cons. In the end, though, having the right information can make all the difference.