Best Hiking Boots -4 Important Factors to Consider When Buying
If you’re new to the hiking world, you may be bewildered by the choices- don’t know what Salomon hiking boots look like? Aren’t sure how to get the best hiking boots for you? Don’t know the difference between a hiking boot and a hiking shoe? Keep reading for some great tips.
Know where you’re hiking.
There’s a world of difference between the needs of a short, well groomed trail and a multi-day trek through wilderness. The best hiking boot is the right one for the job, not the most expensive one or the fanciest one available. Low cut hiking shoes are a popular choice for easier trails, as they’re light yet stable and supportive. However, a mid-cut boot offers a little more protection to your ankles.
Know your soles.
A big factor in the different styles of hiking boots for women and men is the sole. Stiff soles are, surprisingly, a good thing for tougher terrain as they make for a stable and more comfortable hike. Some shops actually provide an incline test area and a terrain test area, and if you’re very new to the idea a little experimentation here should tell you everything you need to know about the differences a stiff sole can make. However, it will make walking slightly harder and even the best hiking boots for rough terrain take a while to break in, so where you intend to stick to more manicured trails you’ll be better off with a more flexible sole.
On the outsole, look carefully at the tread. Rough, steep terrain needs a deep and aggressive pattern and a ‘heel brake’ to keep you from slipping.
What upper makes for the best hiking boot?
Leather is the most durable upper, but full grain leather takes a long tie to be truly broken in. For lighter trails, choose a multigrain or synthetic, or a mix of both. Remember to consider your waterproofing needs carefully, as there is nothing worse than wet feet and soggy socks on the trail. Likewise, you want breathability where possible [good hiking socks help with this] to ensure that you don’t puddle in your own sweat. Dry feet are less blister prone.
Get the fit right above all else.
The best hiking boot in the world won’t work for you if it doesn’t fit. Be prepared for the fact that you may wear a different, usually larger, size then your street size when it comes to hiking boots. Evaluate not only the length, but the width when you judge for comfort. Try the boot on an incline to see if your foot slides within the shoe- it should never do that. Evaluate for pinching and other discomfort too. If it hurts in the store, it isn’t going to get better on the trail.
As a beginner, you may want to stick with the tried and trusted brands. Saloman hiking boots, for example, have been a staple of the genre for years. But whatever you do, remember that the best hiking boot for you is the one that fits and feels comfortable.
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