Finding The Right Pair of Boots
Choosing the right hiking boots for your hike is not an easy thing. There are thousands of different boots and shoes to choose from out there, and it's often difficult to know exactly what model would suit you best.
However, if you know what you're going to use the boots for, this guide will help you in your quest of finding the right hiking boots.
Know What You Need Them For
Are you planning on going on long hikes in harsh terrain, or are you just aiming at taking a few day trips on the local hiking trails? Either way, it's important to know specifically what you need from the shoes, as different boots are better suited for different terrains.
With that in mind, you should take a look at the various types of hiking boots available.
Types of Hiking Boots
There are four main types of boots, all with their own strengths and weaknesses:
Trekking shoes are more related to regular running shoes than actual boots, and are well suited for lighter trips. Trekking shoes are the lightest option for hiking out there, but are still fairly padded and weather-proof compared to regular shoes. They provide a certain level of support for your feet, and serve as protection against light trail conditions.
Pros: Light-weight and agile.
Cons: Poorly suited for heavier terrain or trips with a heavy backpack.
Recommended for shorter trips on well-kept hiking trails.
Light Hiking Boots
These are the typical hiking boots, which can be used in most terrains. They are sturdier and more durable than trekking shoes, and are therefore more suited for off-trail hiking and somewhat rough terrain.
Although these boots are generally low-cut, they provide a certain amount of support and balance, which also makes them suitable for longer trips with somewhat heavy backpacks.
Pros: Somewhat sturdy, while still remaining fairly lightweight. Can be used in most terrains.
Cons: Heavier than trekking shoes. Unsuited for extreme terrains.
Recommender for most trips in somewhat rough terrain.
Heavy Hiking Boots
Just as the name suggests, these boots are of the tougher kind. They're intended for use in heavier terrain, and are therefore more durable and supportive. They are designed to provide support for your feet and ankles, as well as absorb and lessen shocks. Heavy hiking boots are also water proof, or at the very least, water resistant, to ensure you can pass (somewhat) comfortably through most kinds of terrain. They are equipped with stiff soles and are most often made from multi-purpose materials such as Gore-Tex.
Pros: Provide good support and balance while carrying heavy loads. Keep your feet safe from most kinds of strain and injury.
Cons: These boots are always heavy and stiff, and are ill-suited for light terrain.
Recommended for trips in rough terrain and longer trips where you carry a heavy backpack.
Mountaineering boots are the hardcore option for hiking. They are the heaviest and sturdiest boots out there, and are generally ill-suited for anything but extreme conditions. They have a very high shaft, combined with extreme ruggedness and stiffness throughout the boot, which makes it perfect for mountain climbing in rough terrain.
Pros: Provide ultimate support while climbing mountains.
Cons: Heavy and unruly.
Recommended only for mountain climbing in harsh conditions.
With this information, you should know enough to be somewhat sure of which hiking boots to choose that would best suit your needs.