Choosing hiking boots may seem like a pretty simple exercise. Head to the shops, try on some boots, and pick the ones that feel the best. While in principle, you do need to choose well-fitting, comfortable hiking boots, there are a few more factors you need to consider when choosing hiking boots. Here are 4 questions to ask when choosing hiking boots, as shared by our team of podiatrists in Sydney at The Foot Hub.
1. Where Will You Be Hiking?
There’s hiking and then there’s hiking. Think about what sort of terrain you’ll mostly be hiking across.
Will it be trail hiking along mostly clear footpaths? Will it be rough terrain involving stony trails or desert tracks? Are you going to be doing a lot of off-trail hiking, across tough terrain with no clear trail?
Different types of terrain will mean you need to consider different kinds of hiking boots to fit the conditions.
Lighter boots are more suitable for easy, everyday hiking.
More supportive and waterproof hiking boots will usually be better if you’re going to be hiking on rough terrain or off the beaten track.
2. What Sort Of Weather Conditions Will You Be Hiking In?
Are you planning on hiking in hot and dusty conditions? Or do you prefer hiking in winter or cold climates?
What sort of weather conditions you’ll be hiking in will help narrow down the features you need in your hiking boots.
If hiking in wet and cold conditions, having waterproof hiking boots is essential. If hiking through the bush or in hot conditions, a breathable boot is more important to avoid excess moisture in your boots.
3. How Long Will You Be Hiking For?
The duration of your hikes is another key consideration when it comes to choosing the right hiking boots.
Of course sometimes you may hike for longer or shorter, but think about whether you’ll be going on hikes for a few hours, a full day, or whether you will hike over several days or even weeks.
The longer you plan to hike, the more supportive your hiking boots need to be. Longer hikes usually mean you’ll be carrying more gear so your shoes will need the extra support for the extra weight you’ll be carrying.
For longer hikes, make sure your boots are durable, and don’t forget to break them in before setting off on your hiking adventure.
4. What Type Of Fit Do You Need?
In terms of hiking boots, fit comes down to 3 key factors – length, weight and volume.
For length, make sure you can wiggle your toes inside the boot.
With regards to width, your feet shouldn’t slide around inside the boot. Equally, they shouldn’t be so tight that they are being compressed from the sides.
Volume refers to how much space your foot takes up inside the boot. Your foot should feel secure inside the boot, but not too tight either.
All these points will help you avoid unnecessary pain and blistering from poor-fitting hiking boots.
If you’d like a professional opinion on choosing the right hiking boots for you, make an appointment with a podiatrist in Sydney at The Foot Hub.
Our Alexandria podiatrists can help you ensure that your hiking boots are up to the job and your feet will thank you for it too.