Want to go for miles and miles of trekking into the wild exploring the wildlife and the beauty of the nature around you? But confused about the footwear? Do not worry you have come to the right place. This is the right guide you should follow before you select your shoes for the enthralling trek you are looking forward to.
Shoes play a very significant role during you trek. It can make your trek more comfortable or it can even be the deciding factor in making your trek very tiresome and gruesome.
Nowadays you can find various types of trekking footwear out there in the market. Below are few types of footwear listed out from which you can take your pick as per your wish and requirements.
- HIKING SHOES
They look a lot like the trail running shoes. These are lightweight and would not be able to carry much load. They are meant for short treks. These shoes will come to very good use in warm weathers and dry terrains. Some of the recommended shoes brands you can choose from are Salomon, Woodland and Weinbrenner.
- HIKING BOOTS
Hiking boots are hard rubber soled with their height at or above the ankle. They have a good lasting durability and are made of leather and other such materials. A general misconception most people have about boots is that they are quite on the heavier side, but many of the modern models that you find in the market just weigh around 2-3 pounds. These boots provide very good support for the leg muscles especially if you are hiking on rough terrains where you are more prone to slip and fall. These shoes are best when you go for day hikes and when you are carrying bag packs with weight more than 20-30 pounds.The recommended brands are Forclaz and Kingcamp.
- MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS
The mountaineering boots are specially designed for winter hiking and climbing, high alpine environments. The design and appearance of the mountaineering boots are similar to that of hiking boots, but these are bulkier and less flexible. These boots consist of multiple layers which are made of insulated inner lining, incorporated gaiters and waterproof lining. The crampons are secured using special ridges.
- APPROACH BOOTS
The design of the approach boot is more like the trail running shoes and hiking shoes. Approach shoes are designed to handle terrain that you are likely to encounter when you head out for climbing, which the hiking shoes can’t be used for although they are used as approach shoes. Approach shoes are specifically suitable for rock climbing destination, scrambling on rocky off trail surfaces or rocky peaks.
- EXPEDITION BOOTS
These boots are made especially for experienced trekkers who trek though tricky crossings, glacial traverses and so on. They are very high on comfort level. They have thick and more aggressive out soles and the fabric used in these boots are robust too. Your feet will be nicely cushioned due to the insole padding these boots offer. They are not designed to be the mountaineering boots but offer much more than the trek boots. The popular recommended brands are Forclaz and Sportiva.
The hiking boots have different components like the Uppers, midsoles, Internal support and Outsoles.
In the Uppers, the material of the boot will affect its durability, breathability, weight and resistance. Full grain leather, split grain leather, synthetics, waterproof membrane, nubuck leather, vegan, insulation are few of the types of materials whose shoes you can find in the market.
The midsole of a boot provide your feet with the cushioning it requires. It buffers the feet from shock and determines the boots stiffness. EVA and polyurethane are the common materials used for making the midsole
The internal support consists of shanks and plates. Shanks are inserts around 3-5mm in length which are sandwiched between the midsole and outsole to provide load bearing stiffness. Plates are thin semi flexible inserts which protect your feet from bruises and these are placed between upper soles and midsoles, below shanks.
All boot outsoles have rubber; some may have additives like carbon to boost the hardness. Harder the sole the more durable it is, but chances for you to slip also increase drastically.
These are the multiple types of shoes you will get to see in the market for various kinds of treks. After going through these types the next step is to select the proper footwear for yourself. So before choosing the right one you can keep these tips in your mind.
- Wear the right socks
Try to go more for the synthetic fabric socks rather than the cotton ones, as you might end up with blisters due to that. You can feel the footwear better with familiar and well fitted socks. You have to make sure you match the thickness of the socks with what you intend to wear.
- Don’t buy boots in a jiffy
Spend some time in the shoes when you go boot shopping. Take a stroll through the store wearing those shoes so that you a get a feel of the footwear. Try climbing few inclined surfaces to know how it will feel when you go uphill.
- The right fitting
It is always best to get your feet measured before you go for a size. The correct length width and volume would just make it easier for you to choose the correct shoe.
- Soles with good grip
Opt for shoes that have soles with really good grip. This would reduce your chances of slipping and hurting yourself when you are on the trek.
We can never predict the weather conditions. It would have been a sunny day and the next minute we know we would be experiencing a heavy rainfall. We don’t want the extra weight of the water to carry with us, do we? So to avoid such issues, go for shoes that have waterproof coating.
- Lace knotting
Another strategy you can use for fitting of shoes is one with laces. The different ways you tie a lace can affect the fitting of the shoes. So next time, don’t forget to tie your laces in different styles before heading out on a hike.
That is all folks!