Saturday, November 15, 2014

Different types of footwear available for hike

Day hikers carrying loads on their back should stick to hiking boots for the
best foot and ankle support. Photo courtesy of Qole Pejorian / Photoree.
When selecting footwear for a hike, you’ll find there are many different types, each used for different purposes. Choosing the right kind will help ensure your feet are best prepared to handle the trail.

Generally, there are three types of hiking footwear:
g Trail shoes – More rugged than a tennis shoe, trail shoes are excellent for well-established trails that aren’t rocky and for dryer climates or days. If you stick exclusively to asphalt or flat trails in urban settings, a trail shoe is a safe bet.
g Trail hikers – Lightweight like a trail shoe, trail hikers offer more protection from branches and roots and provide better traction on inclines and muddy trails. Use these for a day hike if heading on narrow, rugged paths into the wilds or if hiking in a wet climate or on a wet day.
g Hiking boots – Also known as mountain walking boots, this footwear is useful when heading into the backcountry and if lugging a backpack or child carrier. These are the most durable and the heaviest of the three types.

There are other types that you may run into as well. For example, some footwear is intended for those into trail running.

You don’t have to buy a different kind of hiking boot for each trail. Generally, a hiking boot is your best bet for covering any trail situation, though you’ll be a bit overdressed for a trail that is short, flat and paved.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.