How to choose a good pair of hiking boots?
Hiking through nature can be a spectacular experience. From great open plains to golden deserts to lush forests, our planet never ceases to amaze. But the price of these hiking attractions is often paid for by your feet as you walk over all kinds of terrain like gravel, mud, sand, snow, and woodland foliage. Therefore, it is important to choose the right pair of hiking boots in order to reap the maximum benefits of a hike while minimising the harm done to your feet.
- Sturdy ankle support
Tripping and spraining your ankle when you are out in the middle of nowhere is the last thing you need, especially if you’re alone with no mobile signal. A boot that goes up to your ankles and wraps them solidly but comfortably is a good hedge against sprains if you happen to fall.
- Water repellence
We all know the icky feeling of having soggy feet wrapped up for hours in waterlogged shoes. It takes away from your enjoyment of the hike. Plus, keeping your feet in unbreathable, bacteria-infested wet conditions for a prolonged amount of time can lead to nasty Trench Foot. Wearing a pair of water repellent hiking boots goes a long way in keeping your feet dry.
- Slip resistant thick outsoles
While hiking, you will become well acquainted with gravel, rocks, wet surfaces, and maybe even hazardous litter like glass or sharp plastics. Having a thick outsole such as Vibram® on your hiking boots will allow you to move confidently on your trail without having to constantly worry about a rock puncturing the bottom of your boots. Ideally, your outsoles should also have good traction to give you maximum grip on slippery surfaces.
A good hike should not feel like you are constantly walking on burning coals. If your hiking boots are not well ventilated, the air in your boots will get hotter and your feet will sweat a lot more, creating a swamp-like environment in your boots. The upper of a good pair of hiking boots will be ideally made of materials which promote air circulation in order to cool your feet.
Chances are you will be carrying some gear with you on your hike – a backpack, trekking poles, lots of water, some food, camping gear etc. All of which can add up to a considerable amount of weight, particularly if you are on a long hiking expedition. Your feet have to bear the brunt of all that gear. A pair of lightweight hiking boots will help ease the burden on your feet and keep you going for longer.
- Abrasion resistant
Besides a sprained ankle, you are also prone to cuts and bruises when you hike through rough places like the undergrowth of a forest where there are thorny bushes and sharp rocks. For this reason, you will need a pair of hiking boots that serves as flexible armour around your feet.