Hiking Shoes or Hiking Boots?

Hiking Shoes or Hiking Boots?
April 26, 2016 lmg

“These boots are made for walking”, like Nancy Sinatra was expressing in her song from 1966. And yes, you must find the right boots to walk in when you are out hiking. Not in the way Nancy means, but with a critical view when it comes to choosing the best hiking boots for your trip.

Owning good hiking boots is an essential part of having a complete set of outdoor gear. Here we give you a few things to consider before choosing which ones to equip yourself with.

Boot Cut

The first question you should ask yourself is what kind of cut that is needed for your adventure. The guidelines stick to low-cut, mid-cut or high-cut and the choice hang on what kind of hiking ambitions you have.

  • Low-cut provides less roll resistance for your ankles and a great choice for maintained trails.
  • Mid-cut wraps around your ankles and protects them from rough terrain.
  • High-cut supports your ankles and helps you control the balance in rough terrain and off-trail. A good choice for longer trips with more loads.

Fit

And now for an even more relevant task – what are the important questions to ask yourself to find the perfect fit? There are three dimensions of your foot, length, width and volume. Make sure you have enough space inside your hiking boots that keeps your foot warm and gives, on a long distance and with a swollen foot, the best comfort. But regard the fact that the foot shouldn’t slide around inside the footwear. When the boot fits perfectly it is variables between a good heel slip and no toe bangs. Your foot should feel easily enveloped.

Materials

The material tells you about the hiking boots quality. For example, full-grain leather gives you a full score on durability, water resistance and abrasion resistance.  For a lower cost you can choose split-grain leather, but with the benefit that it offers you a lightweight and more breathable comfort. Polyester and nylon break in more quickly but dry faster. There are also boots with waterproof and breathable membranes, they keep your feet dry but are usually not breathable enough because of the membrane. For the outsole, rubber is mostly used as material on all hiking boots and we recommend a lug pattern to improve the grip for off-trail.

Tip: Use your Naimakka bracelet if your laces break.