With the popularity of backpacking and trekking, hiking shoes and/or boots have gained popularity over the years. Aside from equipping your feet with protection, hiking boots are also durable in extreme conditions, so if you love to go on adventures, then a good pair of boots would be a great investment. Let's look at the best hiking shoes you can get for your next hiking trip.

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Your Hiking Boots 101

Hiking shoes or often called hiking boots/trekking shoes are an important type of footwear for climbers, backpackers, and trekkers. In contrast to other types of footwear, the main purpose of hiking boots is to protect and provide comfort to the wearer’s feet and ankles in trekking expeditions. It should be robust enough to provide protection against the elements while comfortable enough to prevent potential injuries and painful blisters while on an alpine trek.

Three main types of hiking shoes

There are three types of hiking shoes: which are trail shoes that are mostly used for long-haul treks, trail hikers which are tougher versions are able to withstand rougher terrains, and mountain walking or hiking boots that are made for extreme terrains.

Build quality and comfort provide varies across all three and each have their own specific uses and areas that they excel in according to the situation. Higher quality shoes may use Gore-tex that is a durable, lightweight and waterproof material that is perfect of all-weather use.

  • Trail shoes - These shoes are low cut models that are made for long journeys with comfortable soles which are excellent for day hiking or trek running. This is a great option if your destination has a dry, less rocky climate. Trail shoes are lightweight, easy to carry and can last long distances. These have the lowest price point of the three types.
  • Trail hikers - Trail shoes’ big brother, Trail hiker shoes are made to withstand rockier, steeper, and muddier journeys compared to trail shoes. These type of shoes range from low to mid-cut and offers more stability and protection against rocks and protruding limbs. Price for these shoes hovers in the mid to high range.
  • Mountain walking or hiking boots - If you are ready for more frigid climates, rugged terrains, and extreme elements, then a pair of mountain walking or hiking boots would suit your trip. These type of boots are made with attachment options with crampons to make walking on a glacier and slippery rocks easier. Commonly these type of shoes have robust build quality as well as being waterproof and are high-cut with stiff soles to provide maximum ankle support for steep climbs. Be prepared to pay a high price for a high-quality mountain boots if this is your choice.

How to choose the right hiking shoes

Choosing the right pair of shoes determines how well your trek will fare. Failing to choose the right pair of shoes would result in long uncomfortable hikes, blisters, and even injury! Choosing the right pair for your feet is as important as the trip itself. Here are some great tips on how to choose the perfect hiking shoes:

  • Before you start your search, you should consider the environment of your journey. Obviously, you can’t wear trail shoes on a mountain hike, so always consider what type of weather or terrain lies ahead on your journey.
  • Also, consider how long your journey is going to be. Lighter pair of footwear is great for long distances while heavier mountain boots would suit shorter distances.
  • If you are going to encounter a river, a lake or any body of water on your journey, then consider buying a waterproof hiking shoe.
  • Like all shoes, choosing the right size is important when choosing a hiking shoe. Buying too small could cause swelling and neuropathy. Likewise, buying too big could cause unnecessary fatigue and blisters. Be sure to try on with appropriate socks to ensure a snug fit everywhere, tight nowhere and with enough room to wiggle your toes.
  • Consider if you require orthotics (special medical insoles) and if the pair you choose is able to accommodate them.
  • Preferred build material also comes into play as there may be those who prefer leather over a synthetic material like Gore-tex. Likewise for those that prefer vegan options using non-animal sourced materials that look like leather.
  • Another thing to give thought would be the various attachment options are available for your boots. These include different outsole lugs for various terrain (to improve traction), heel brake to reduce slippage during descents, and crampons attachment for icy treks.

Best hiking shoes online

If you are looking for the best hiking shoes for your next trip, then don’t forget to check out our wide array of hiking boots for you here. Merrell, Adidas Outdoor, and the North Face are just some of the best you can get online!

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