Good footwear is the basic equipment of every hiker. Deciding on a trip to the mountains or other difficult terrain, it is necessary to equip yourself with shoes, which will not let you down halfway. How to choose the right ones?
Features of trekking shoes
Trekking boots are shoes designed for moving in difficult ter rain, such as mountains or forests. Their special construction properly insulates the foot from the ground, provides optimal ventilation and at the same time guarantees waterproofness
Properties of good trekking shoes:
Good trekking shoes perform well in difficult conditions and must meet several basic conditions:
- protect your feet from uneven terrain – a sufficiently thick and flexible sole must protect against stones, and other bumps in the road, which can lead to unpleasant blisters and corns;
- provide proper cushioning – marching for many hours requires proper cushioning of the feet, otherwise there is a risk of unpleasant pain and the feeling of “bouncing feet”;
- protect the ankle – trekking shoes should have higher upper to protect the ankle from possible sprains or abrasions caused by protruding rocks or roots on the route
- ensure thermal comfort in all weather conditions.
How to choose good trekking shoes?
Adjusting shoes to your needs
When you decide to buy trekking shoes, first of all you have to define your needs and expectations. There are plenty of products of this type offered by different manufacturers on the market. Prices also vary from several hundred to even several thousand PLN. So, if we are occasional hikers, who move on the beaten tourist trails, then we should consider the purchase of shoes from the so-called middle shelf (up to about 600-700 PLN). On the other hand, if our adventure with mountains is much more advanced, then we should look for proven brands, which guarantee comfort of use even in the most difficult conditions – in this case the question of price should be of secondary importance
Measuring outdoor shoes
It is best to try ontrekking boots before buying them. In the age of online shopping, this is also possible – many shoe stores offer free returns or exchanges. This is extremely important, because the perfect fit for your foot is what matters when it comes to functional footwear. The footwear cannot be too tight or too loose, as this could even result in injury. Another aspect that you need to pay attention to is the sole that protects your feet while hiking. It should not be too stiff, as it will quickly cause your feet to get tired, but a sole that is too soft will not work either (then you will feel every unevenness of the terrain directly on your skin). The best sole will be one that flexibly adapts to our gait.
The weight of trekking shoes
Equally important is the weight. Outdoor shoes weigh quite a lot, especially when it comes to a solid sole and a high upper. That’s why it’s essential to try them on to assess whether you’ll be able to move for hours in shoes of that particular weight. If we care a lot about the ankle protection and we don’t want a high upper, then we can decide on the stomp boots, which will cover the shoes from the top and protect the lower part of the leg.
When buying trekking shoes, it is worth choosing models equipped with a membrane. It is an invisible element, but thanks to it the shoes become waterproof and you can keep your socks dry even in a heavy downpour.
Trekking shoes: how to care for outdoor shoes?
Good trekking shoes are a big expense, so in order for them to serve us well and for a long time, we have to take care of them properly. First of all, after each expedition you should immediately clean your shoes. First of all, it is worth to read the manufacturer’s instructions, which clearly indicate which agents should not be used for the care of a given type of footwear. In most cases, you should use a soft brush and warm water, which will help you get rid of dust, mud and other remains after the expedition. Thoroughly dry the cleaned shoes in a warm room, away from radiators, heaters or other heat sources.
After drying, it is worth applying an impregnating agent intended for the material from which our shoes were made. This treatment will protect them from getting wet