Going Hiking This Summer? Here's How to Choose the Best Shoes

Shoeography | Wednesday, June 26, 2019 | 0 comments

With summertime finally here, it's time to get outside and enjoy nature. One of the most common summer activities is hiking -- after all, what's better than getting some exercise while taking in all that the Earth has to offer? But whether you're traveling to the Rocky Mountains or hiking at a local park, you need the right gear. And choosing the right hiking shoes is the perfect place to start. So let's take a look at a few important tips that will help you pick out the best shoes for the job.

Consider the Cut

When choosing hiking shoes, one of the first things you should consider is the cut. There are three main different cuts: Low-cut, mid-cut, and high-cut. Low-cut shoes are perfect for simple, well-maintained trails -- they don't offer a lot of ankle support, so while they're nice and light, they don't offer the support needed for rough terrain. Mid-cut boots offer more support and can help you balance on trails will bumps and debris. But if you're going off-trail hiking or on a really tough trail, you need high-cut boots. With there being 31 million injuries that require medical attention each year, the last thing you want is a sprained ankle while you're hiking. So make sure you choose a cut that will provide the support you need.

Know the Materials

All shoes come in a wide variety of materials. And while the material of a sandal or casual shoe may not matter much to you, you need to choose the right material for your hiking shoes. If you're going on an adventurous hike and need an extremely durable shoe, leather may be the way to go. While these boots are heavier and may not breathe as well as other materials, they'll hold up in harsh conditions. But if you're more of a casual hiker and want something simple, you could consider something like polyester or nylon. With 95% of Americans being able to drive less than an hour to get to a navigable body of water from their home, you may find yourself hiking near a lake or even just a stream. In this case, you want something that's waterproof and will dry quickly -- which most nylon and polyester shoes can do. Consider where you'll be hiking to help you choose the best material.

Take a Look Inside

It's not just the outside of the shoe that needs to be durable and hold up well -- the inside of the shoe matters, too. When you take a look inside a hiking shoe, it should have a good amount of padding both on the bottom, on the sides, and even on the tongue. This will be especially important for stiffer boots that may be harder to break in. It's important to remember that the stiffer the shoe is, it needs more padding on the tongue to prevent the top of your feet from becoming sore when going up or down hills. Additionally, the sole of the shoe should be molded to fit a foot, with molded heel cups and plenty of room at the toe. Overall, the boot should have an ergonomic design to ensure your feet stay comfortable on long and difficult hikes.
Many people take vacations and trips over the summer. In fact, in 2017 alone, domestic travel within the U.S. increased 1.9%. So if you're traveling and planning on doing some hiking this summer, then keep these tips in mind to ensure your feet enjoy the hike as much as the rest of you.

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