Hiking Boots Shopping Guide

Hiking Boots Shopping Guide

Hiking Boots Shopping Guide

As a walker, one of the most important things you can do is look after your feet. Even though choosing the right pair of walking boots can be a little confusing, this can actually make the difference between a comfortable and a painful walking day. Moreover, wearing the wrong type of hiking boots can lead to dangerous accidents. Unlike in the case of regular boots, aesthetics does not play a major part when it comes to shopping for hiking boots. On the contrary, some of the major things to consider when shopping for men’s or women’s hiking boots include the type of terrain you intend to walk on, whether the boots are right for your foot shape, and the time of year you want to walk. This guide will give you all the details you need to make an informed choice.

Choose the Right Type of Hiking Boots
The type of hiking boots you should wear is determined by your hiking ambitions. For example, if your routine often involves carrying light loads, you should opt for a pair of lightweight boots. Hiking boots come in both mid- and high-cut models, both of them being a suitable choice for backpacking trips and semi-professional hiking. However, high-cut boots may often be a better choice for cold weather, as they do a better job when it comes to protecting your feet from cold. If you plan to do hiking on icy terrains, a pair of mountaineering boots would be a better choice, as they are compatible with crampons for glacier travel and can also accommodate heavier loads.

Pick the Right Kind of Leather
The material from which a pair of boots is made impacts its weight, durability, breathability, and water resistance. Full-grain leather hiking boots offer excellent resistance to abrasion, excellent water resistance, and enhanced durability. Most users recommend these for rugged terrain and prolonged trips. If you choose a pair of boots made from full-grain leather, allow for plenty of break in time. For a lighter option, go for split-grain leather hiking boots. These boots are less water resistant, but they may provide enhanced comfort and are less expensive than full-grain boots. Many modern hiking boots are made from synthetic materials, which are suitable for those looking for lightweight boots with a lower price tag that dry faster and break in quicker.

Midsoles Materials
The role of the midsole is to provide cushioning for the feet, protecting them from shocks and determining the stiffness of the boot. Even though the term stiff boots may not sound very good, the fact is that can add enhanced stability and comfort for uneven terrain. The most common types of materials for midsoles you can choose from include EVA and polyurethane. The former is often lighter and less expensive, whereas the latter is typically more durable and firmer, being a good solution for extended hiking.

Outsoles Materials
The vast majority of hiking boots have rubber outsoles, but not all kinds of rubber are created equal. To boost the hardness of backpacking boots outsoles, carbon is often added to the rubber. Choose a pair of boots with a thick outsole if you want to increase the durability of the soles. When choosing the outsole, consider the lug pattern as well, as this can make or break the grip of the boots. For good traction and the ability to shed mud easier, reviews often mention that widely spaced lugs are a good choice. Furthermore, opt for a pair of boots with a clearly defined heel zone, as this reduced the sliding chances during steep descents.

Crampon Compatibility
If you want to use crampons with your boots, you can choose from three main types of crampons. These include strap-on crampons, which use nylon webbing straps to secure the crampons to the boots, step-in crampons, which come with a wire bail that helps keeping the toe in place. Step-in crampons are generally a good idea for heavy-duty mountaineering boots, but they tend not to work well with lightweight mountaineering boots. Finally, the third type of crampons, hybrid, mixes the benefits of the first two types. These crampons feature a heel lever and a toe strap and work well with with most lightweight mountaineering boots and some types of backpacking boots.

Waterproof and Breathability
Moisture can cause discomfort and rubbing, which may then lead to blisters. Keeping the feet dry when wearing hiking boots is thus paramount for a comfortable experience. The two main reasons for which your feet may become damp when wearing hiking boots are sweat and wet conditions, so look for a pair of boots that is both breathable and waterproof. Full leather boots are highly recommended in situations where you expect very wet weather conditions. Breathability is also important, so look for a breathable pair that allows moisture to escape while keeping your feet dry.

Top Rated Hiking Boots for Men
According to reviews, some of the highest rated hiking boots for men include the Vasque St. Elias GTX, which are comfortable and have a minimal break-in time, the Salomon Quest 4D II GTX, which offer enhanced stability and support, and the La Sportiva FC Eco 3.0, which are ideal for those looking for boots with a durable sole. You can find all these and more on BestSales, by clicking on the links at the end of the guide.

Top Rated Hiking Boots for Women
Available in no less than 11 colors, the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is one of the best-rated pairs of hiking boots for women. This lightweight pair of boots features a PU monowrap frame construction and Gore-Tex lining. If you’re looking for a pair of women’s hiking boots with virtually no break-in period, the Ahnu Montara is a perfect choice that also offers superior water resistance. The Keen Targhee II Mid features sturdy soles and excellent toe protection so you can enjoy an entire day of hiking in comfort.

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