Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Select ideal hiking boot for trail conditions

Rocky terrain requires hiking boots with rugged tread. 
Depending and when or where you hike, your feet have different needs to protect them and to ensure they can easily cross the terrain.

While some avoid backpackers have multiple hiking boots to meet different situations they encounter, for most day hiker that’s impractical. The challenge then is to find the right boot that works best in the conditions you most frequently hike.

Here are descriptions of the ideal hiking boot and sock for various conditions.

Cold-weather hikes
For the northern United States, winter as well as early spring and late autumn require cold-weather clothing. Hiking boots will need to be waterproofed, and if snow is present you ought to consider wearing mountaineering socks. Always bring extra socks and even shoes to change into after the hike. Boots likely will get wet on a cold-weather hike, and if children are with you, they will need dry socks so they don’t have to suffer through cold feet on the drive home.

Desert trails
In the desert, you’ll want footwear with ankle support, that breathes, and that has a soft, flexible sole to ensure traction. To that end, wear lightweight, breathable hiking boots. Sandals will expose your skin to sunburn, thorns, and sharp rocks while running shoes lack the ankle support needed for crossing rocky terrain.

Easy, dry trails
For flat, smooth, dry trails, sneakers and cross-trainers are just fine. If you really want to head onto less traveled roads or tackle areas that aren’t typically dry, though, you’ll need hiking boots.

Muddy trails
In some parts of the United States, such as the Pacific Northwest, trail sections will be muddy even after a few days of dry weather have passed. Sneakers quickly will become soaked and unable to traverse mud. Hiking boots with taller lugs will provide increased traction.

Rocky, steep trails
Once you start doing any rocky or steep trails, you’ll want hiking boots that offer rugged tread perfect for handling the rough terrain. The boots also should be durable to withstand bends in the boot caused by uneven footfalls and so that sharp rocks can’t press against or pierce the leather.

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