With hundreds of various kinds of boots available on the market today, it’s essential to understand the basics before picking the right boot for you. Having the correct boots for your future endeavors will guarantee that your feet will be supported and comfy whenever you are in the outdoors.
Boots are the key to having a comfortable walk – so ensure you choose the right pair by following these tips:
Must Be Waterproof
Almost all boots released today are made with waterproof outer material which is helpful in weatherproofing them. This will allow you to traverse streams on your journeys without worrying that your feet might get soaked. However, you don’t just want to keep your feet away from water, you need to let the sweat out too; otherwise your boots will be filled with condensation. Waterproofing your shoes is one way to avoid smelly feet as it should allow vapor to escape. In other words, you will need to find a great pair of boots in order for your feet to breathe.
Most boots are made from synthetic components, leather or a combination of both items. When planning to buy high quality hiking boots, the materials from which they are made are important. Good materials guarantee that your shoes will last and withstand the harsh conditions during your hikes. In addition, it is also a factor in determining the weight of the shoe. Heavy boots might slow you down when hunting for animals. Depending on which season you are going to hit the trails, make sure that your shoe materials’ heat resistance is just right. For example, when hiking during the summer season, make sure that your boots have porous materials which help your feet breathe. Additionally, your winter hiking boots should have non-absorbent materials to prevent the cold and water from coming in.
Shape Of Your Foot
Some shoe brands are known to be a great fit for people with wide feet while some are better for those who have narrow feet or are flat-footed. Never be stuck on just your shoe size. You could be a 7 with one company but an 8 with another. Always ask the staff to help you look for the right shoe that fits the shape of your feet and to give you some advice on how some brands fit compared to others.
Find A Trusted Manufacturer
Always buy from a trusted outdoor manufacturer like kryptek.com who has proven experience in crafting outdoor footwear. Their website should lead you through the available selection and help you to select a shoe that best fits you and will be suitable to your activities.
Try Them On
We can easily get enamored with the brand and look of a product, which can make you forget that a great boot should fit you perfectly. When choosing from a selection of shoes you should try them all on, and make sure to pick which fit feels the most comfortable. Your toes should have plenty of room to wiggle around in the toe box. It should also fit nicely around the ball of your foot while the heel must stay in place. A moving heel is a cause of blisters which you definitely want to avoid.
Always try boots while wearing the appropriate socks to get the exact feel for fit and comfort. While you are shopping for your boots, also ask around about the correct socks, insoles and lacing techniques. All of these contribute to the total fit and comfort when choosing your boots.
Where Are You Going?
Boots are made depending on the environment they will be used for and the amount of load you are expecting to carry. Features including sole stiffness and ankle height will differ depending on the topography and weather conditions of your destination.
Here are the type of boots you should be looking for depending on the kinds of hiking trails you’re going to use:
- Simple Trails – When your trail is simple and your load is light, mid-cut or low-cut boots are your best choice. The leather and fabric combination of these boots usually have numerous seams. So, unless there is a breathable and waterproof lining inside, you have to pair them with waterproof socks. Trail shoes usually have thick soles, better stability and more physical resistance compared to the conventional running shoes. However, most individuals find them unsecure on rocky and slippery terrain. Try using gaiters on your ankles to prevent debris from going inside your boots.
- Rough Trails – If aggressive day hiking is your thing, then ankle-high boots are your perfect choice. These boots are made from split-grain leather, have breathable and waterproof lining and for some, great ventilation and porosity for hot weather conditions. Receding midsoles and shanks provide these boots great rigidity on the sole to protect your feet from stone-filled trails while allowing good flexibility on the balls of the feet.
- Off Trails – If the trail available is through lush jungle and over slippery stones, you’d better buy boots made with full-grain leather, exemplary ankle support and the unyielding sole cohesion that only off trail-boots can provide. This is your main choice for prolonged backpacking trips while carrying heavy loads because they offer extensive protection to your feet but still give enough mobility at the balls of your feet for short strides given the tough trail and heavy pack.Professional hikers will usually wear out off-trail boots into startling softness but it will take a long time to break these in before the sole and heel can soften up. These kinds of boots provide exemplary durability and waterproof ability because of their all-leather construction and nominal seams. Most off-trail boots are shockingly lightweight thanks to improvised midsole development. Some even have a lip on the stripe of the sole to welcome specific kinds of crampons when travelling through a glacier area, or feature the newest developments in snowshoe bindings.
- Mountaineering – If you are planning to scale a mountain with steep and uneven terrain, then you will need to buy a boot with more rigidity and great ankle support. These kinds of boots are distinguished by full-grain upper leathers, nominal seams, great traction, fit well above the ankles and sometimes they come with insulation.With strong nylon soles, these boots are typically too rigid for convenient stride hiking.However, when carrying a heavy load on steep pathways, your strides will be shorter anyway, and these will definitely get you to the mountain peak. Ensure that they are well broken in before trying to climb a mountain or you will suffer from massive blisters. Pick the ones with rockered middle soles that provide less heel slipping, and they must have rubber bands along the welts for better durability and waterproofing.
- Technical Scrambling – These are basically low- to mid-cut hybrid boots with a tight fit, tacky soles and a toe rand that lessens friction. Designed for just simple hiking, these can be adequate if you are carrying a light bag under good trail conditions. If you’re planning to take them for a rugged adventure, make sure you have gaiters to prevent sand and twigs from getting in your shoe.
Break Them In
This is about familiarizing your feet with your new boots. Breaking in your new boots makes them a lot more comfortable which reduces the risks of getting various foot conditions. Wear your newly bought boots every chance you get in order to soften them up. If ever you find them uncomfortable and tight, you can return them to the store and exchange them or even ask for a refund as long as they are still in great condition.
Other Great Features
Here are other features that will help you in picking the best boot for you:
- Comfort – If a shoe does not feel comfortable on your feet, you are not going to wear it anyway! Look for shoe brands who boasts about having comfortable boots and think about your foot’s structure.
- Arch Support – Great arch support does not let your feet flatten out even under pressure, which protects you from experiencing severe pain. If you have high arches you might want to buy orthotic insoles for your new boots.
- Protection – Probably the most important feature a hiking boots must have for any kind of trail condition. Your boots must have the ability to protect you from heat, dampness and snow. It is recommended to pick boots which have high ankle cuts instead of the low-cut option during the summer. You should also choose boots that are made of durable leather, have waterproof linings and extra protective features such as rubber toes and heels.
- Load Support – A heavy backpack requires flexibility and durability from your boots. To function well, our feet need full mobility as well as the right kind of protection that will prevent our feet from bending too far.
Knowing how to choose the perfect pair of boots will make your investment worthwhile. The best walking shoes should feel like a second skin. You won’t notice that they are still on you even though you’ve been wearing them all day. We hope you enjoyed this guide and picked up some useful tips.