Here is the fact: you can’t hike with sore feet. Hiking with wrong boots might make the whole thing annoying and frustrating. Point being, if you are looking forward to making your trip to the jungle memorable, you must invest on one of the best jungle boots on the market.
The question is, which are the best boots for hiking? What features should you look for when buying? Here are some few tips.
How to choose the right boots for hiking
The upper part
The weight, durability, water resistance and breathability of hiking boots are highly dependent on the materials used to make their upper part. If you go to the market, you will come across boots whose upper part are made using different materials. Here are some of them.
- Split grain leather – Split grain is normally combined with nylon mesh to increase lightness and breathability. It is cheap, but not the best choice for abrasion and water resistance. However, you can find those having a waterproof liner.
- Full grain leather – Choose this if you want better water resistance. It is designed to perform best on longer rugged terrains and heavy loads. However, it is not as light as split-grain leather.
- Insulation – You will come across those hiking boots with or without a synthetic insulation. If you are traveling to snowy areas, find a boot with a synthetic insulation for warmth.
Ensure that the midsole has enough cushioning for stability and comfort. Here are some of the best midsole choices.
- Polyurethane midsoles – Polyurethane is one of the firmest and long lasting midsoles you will ever come across. They are intended for longer walks on rocky terrains.
- EVA – If you are looking for a cheaper jungle boot, then choose the one whose midsole is made using EVA. It is also lighter and cushier compared to Polyurethane and the rest.
There shanks which are inserts placed between the midsole and the outsole of your hiking boots to increase stiffness. You will find those whose length covers the whole shoe length and those that only cover half.
There are also plates that are much thinner than shanks and are inserted between outsole and midsole just below your boot’s shank. That is if they are included in the package. They will help protect your foot from getting injured as a result of walking on uneven rocks.
In addition to rubber, some shoes feature carbon to increase the hardness of the outsole for maximum durability. Ensure that the shoe you are buying has thick lugs for a better grip. Also, check if the lugs are widely spaced for better traction. Lastly, ensure that it has a heel brake to reduce the chances of sliding when walking on steep grounds.
Three Best boots for hiking and camping
1. Merrell Men's Moab Mid Water-Proof
Merrell Moab is one of the best choices for longer hours of walking. It is fairly priced compared to its rivals and most importantly, has a high-end cushioning for maximum comfort. It is also one of the fairly priced hiking shoes with a water-resistant membrane.
It features a sturdy Vibram outsole, a highly breathable upper and the best part, bellows tongue that keeps dust and dirt outside. Merrell Men’s Moab is without a doubt the best choice for outdoor fanatics who don’t want to spend more.
- Affordable – It is almost half the price of most standard outdoor shoes on the market.
- Waterproof – Despite its low price, it has a waterproof membrane you will only find with some of the most expensive outdoor shoes on the market.
- It doesn’t offer the maximum support needed when walking with heavy backpacks.
2. Scarpa R-Evolution GTX camping boots for men
Designed with a Sock Fit technology from Scarpa, the R-Evolution GTX boot is sturdy enough to handle ice-climbing, rocky terrains as well as mountaineering. It is fully breathable, waterproof and the best part grippy. Unlike, standard walking shoes with a traditional tongue, they have a fabric gusset plus a memory foam that will offer comfort even after a long walk.
The upper is made of Nubuck and a synthetic fabric making it one of the best choices for unpredictable weather. If you want an outdoor shoe that will serve you well while in the rainy or muddy area, then Scarpa R-Evolution GTX is without a doubt your solution.
- It features a high-quality construction that will serve you for an extended period.
- An attractive design – You can wear it to meetings, unlike other camping shoes.
- The laces are somehow flimsy
3. Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX
Salewa Mountain Trainer is one of the top rated and the most affordable hiking shoes that will withstand harsh conditions for an extended period. It features a protective rand that covers the whole lower part of the shoe preventing, snow and rocks from getting in.
What lured me to this boot is, its lacing mechanism that runs all the way to toes Offering a customizable fit for many foot sizes. Mid GTX is a perfect choice for hikers who want a stronger lateral stability simply because they are stiff and slightly heavy.
- It is fully protected.
- Its lacing system is customizable
- It feels heavy and stiff on feet which might not work well for people with wide feet or those in need of lighter shoes.
The bottom line
Having the right hiking boots will make it easier for you to explore the jungle despite the harshness of weather or roughness of trails. They will not only protect your feet but also make your journey more comfortable. However, this doesn’t mean that you overlook other important gears such as the altimeter watch, multi-tool, and the rest. Use the tips above to find your best shoe and realize how enjoyable your hiking can be.