Get all the gear you need for a successful hiking adventure before your next hike. A good pair of hiking boots, a good pair of hiking boots, a hat, sunglasses, and some form of water supply are also a requirement.
Depending on what kind of trail you’ll be on, the elements you’re expecting (or not) and the type of support you require will determine what type of shoe is right for you. AllTrails head of communications, Meaghan Praznik, says comfortable, secure footwear is key when planning a hike.
Choose hiking boots that are right for you
One of the best things you can do before heading out on a trail, says Praznik, is to do your research and plan ahead. The app allows users to read trail reviews and view images, as well as information like the difficulty level and elevation gain. She says you can start your boot search once you have a complete understanding of the trail. Keeping these points in mind:
1. Comfort is essential
In order to make hiking as comfortable as possible, Praznik stresses the importance of considering comfort first. You’ll still need to break in your boots, but if you feel any discomfort, it’s not for you. There is no reason the boot shouldn’t feel comfortable when you put it on.
2. Seek support
Apart from comfort, pranznik says it’s important to consider how much time you’re going to spend on your feet, uneven terrain, whether you’re going uphill or downhill, and how much weight you will be carrying. The ankle should be supported as well as the arch and cushion should be there as well. For hikes on well-maintained trails, it’s probably safer to choose a lightweight and low-cut boot. To ensure extra protection, she recommends a boot with a larger cut for hikes that are more intense and rugged.
3. Don’t forget to fit
Praznik recommends avoiding boots that cut off circulation when trying them on. You should feel secure in your boot, “slightly tighter than a running shoe, but less tight than a ski boot.” You want your foot to feel snug and cradled by the boot, while you should still be able to comfortably move your toes inside.
Ideally, Praznik advises trying on boots at night as your feet will be more swollen and you will be better able to determine how comfortable they will be. If you want to get an accurate sense of how the shoes will feel, try them on with the socks and gear you intend to wear on the hike day.
4. Reflect on what you read
Here’s what your boot’s material looks like. You’ll need a more lightweight and breathable option if you’re hiking along an easy, level trail without too much treachery.” If your hike will be more intense, opt for a shoe that is hard-wearing and protective. The tread of your shoe and environmental conditions, including rocks and rain, should also be considered.
Boot break-in: how to do it
The next step is breaking in your boot. During your daily activities at home, Praznik recommends wearing these with the same socks, insoles, braces, and other items you plan to wear while hiking. According to Praznik, you will need little to no break-in time with a lightweight shoe, in contrast to one that is stiffer, such as a leather boot.
Starting out on trails near where you’ll hike will make your shoes more durable, she says. It is important that you wear all the same gear you would wear on the hike, and that you find elevated areas to walk up and down as the boot fits differently when walking up and downhill with a pack, “so breaking it in, in all different positions, is crucial,” she says.
You’ll be the most comfortable person on the trails no matter if you’re on an afternoon hike or multi-day trek with our top picks for women’s hiking boots.
Women’s hiking boots at the best prices
69.00$ The North Face Women’s Vectiv Exploris Mid Futurelight
If you aren’t sure what kind of trail you want to hike or want to do it all, this is the shoe for you, calling it “the best all-around hiking boot.” It is comfortable and sturdy, waterproof and durable, and protective and breathable. It’s a good place to start if you’re thinking about investing in your first pair, with no specific trails in mind.”
Danner Mountain Light Cascade – $360
In a review of the Danner Mountain Light Cascade boot, Praznik calls it a classic and recommends it for those looking for scenery rather than speed. Additionally, the boot is sturdy and protective, according to Praznik. Make sure you break this in properly.
The Salomon Speedcross 5 costs $130.00
“If you feel like speeding down the switchbacks at top speeds, there is no better course than the Salomon Speedcross,” says Praznik. A tread designed for unforgiving terrain, along with a mid-high rise that keeps you protected if you decide to run fast.”
$160.00 Salomon Vaya Mid Gore-Tex
In order to prevent injury and support you while hiking, you need a pair of good shoes. With its Sensiflex technology, the Salomon Vaya Mid Gore-Tex boot is designed to adapt to your foot. This shoe also features high ankle support, a sturdy outsole, as well as being waterproof to provide you with the best grip and protection.
$210.00 on Cloudridge
On’s running shoes are renowned, and its hiking boots don’t disappoint, either. If things start to get intense, the 3D mesh lining and tongue on this shoe will keep your feet cool and comfortable. Furthermore, the mesh material of this boot ensures breathability in warm weather, so it is ideal for hiking.
$150.00 for Teva Ridgeview Mid
Trekking for several days? A good pair of shoes is essential. Booties like these are both waterproof and breathable, so you’ll stay dry no matter the weather. You can customize the fit to your foot’s exact measurements via the lace-up entry, and the responsive footbed provides you with both cushioning and a bit of spring for the moments when your legs feel fatigued.
For water sports and day hikes, shop the best hiking shoes
The Chaco Z / 2 Classic Sandal costs $95.00
In case you’re planning on getting wet during a hike, Praznik suggests hiking sandals rather than boots. Chacos are light, easy, and breezy, and have just the right amount of tread for safely navigating well-maintained trails,” she says. Putting on a pair after swimming is also recommended by Praznik.
Hurricane XLT2 – $70.00
Teva Hurricane XLT2 sandals are another great choice for hiking on trails and enjoying the water. A quick-drying webbing and a rubber outsole provide durability and traction. This sandal is designed to support your foot and has a rubber outsole for a durable and comfortable fit.
Make your next hike more enjoyable by following these steps:
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