When choosing a pair of hiking shoes, it’s important to pick a pair that will be suitable for your feet. That’s not always an easy thing to do and consequently, it’s easy to make mistakes.
Accordingly, here are five tips for choosing the best Hiking Shoes or Best Rocker Bottom Shoes.
#1. Tough Enough Outsole?
The outsole and lugs are not the same on a hiking shoe as they are on a more robust hiking boot.
You can expect to see rubber outsoles that do offer better grip than a sneaker would normally do. With that said, the outsole isn’t as thick as on a hiking boot and that must be factored into the terrain that you plan to cover.
For instance, when moving over rocky outcrops or undulating mountain ranges, will the landscape be navigable with hiking shoes? Choose a pair of shoes that maintain grip across a range of surface types to be sure.
Also, consider whether you have a tendency to accidentally stub your toe on a hike? If you do, pick a shoe that has reinforced toecaps to protect yourself more.
The longer your hiking trips, the more your feet will heat up. It becomes an issue when wearing thicker socks to ensure your feet don’t get blisters, but this does add to the warmth. A double-edged sword.
If you find that your feet get hot with a standard pair of sneakers, then you should most certainly pick a moisture wicking model. These usually have a mesh lining to let perspiration find ways to move around and escape. This will definitely help to avoid your feet heating up, which can make them vulnerable to blisters that can form in reaction to heat and friction.
#3. Do You Need a Waterproof Pair?
While we usually try to avoid going hiking on rainy days, sometimes the weather changes overnight when camping out and you’re forced to move on foot after the heavens have opened. Consequently, the grip on your hiking shoes will be thoroughly tested.
Will you need to walk across small brooks or streams on your hiking trips or mountain walks? It may be the most expeditious route but if you haven’t chosen waterproof shoes, it’ll be a source of regret. Cast your mind back to past trips to recall whether trails taken have included bodies of water or perhaps may in the future?
Some hiking shoes are waterproof to varying degrees. Some include membranes specifically designed to protect from water intrusion. Check these ones to find an attractive pair that offers protection from water, rain and damp conditions.
#4. Think About the Weight of the Shoe
Hiking shoes aren’t all the same weight. There are considerable variances.
For instance, the Oboz Sawtooth II Low weighs 2 lbs 8 oz, whereas the Garmont Karakum Low GTX weighs just 1 lb 10.8 oz. That’s quite a difference.
While it might not seem like much, if you’re shorter in stature or have underdeveloped legs, then the longer the hike, the more tired your legs will become. Price can be a factor here too; better materials are often lighter than with less expensive brands.
#5. Don’t Be Afraid to Replace the Inner Sole
If you find a hiking shoe that you like but the inner sole doesn’t offer enough cushioning for you, consider buying the product but replacing the inner. We view this as a successful move because you get the best of both worlds that way. A shoe that has the features you’re looking for and greater comfort on long hiking days.
When you pick your hiking shoes carefully, it’s far more likely that you’ll make the right selection. As a result, any future hiking trip will be far more enjoyable too.