How to choose trekking shoes

Educational program from the amateur estimata

It is very important to choose a good trekking shoe that will suit your needs and the conditions in which you will wear them. In this article, you will learn a lot about choosing your hiking shoes.

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of choosing the right equipment for a hike, and the more serious your trip, the more your safety, comfort and enjoyment will depend on how you prepare for it. Of all you need for long-term contact with nature, shoes are perhaps the most important. Previously, they went on hikes in almost ordinary shoes for the city - city or work boots, sneakers, spikes practically did not give their feet a chance to be comfortable in difficult conditions. Bruises and calluses, worn out skin areas, blackened and lagging nails, ankle injuries, skin stuck from constant moisture - this is not a complete list of unpleasant consequences from improperly chosen shoes. In order to avoid unpleasant consequences to the maximum and fully enjoy the surrounding beauty, it is best to choose specialized things for outings in nature, designed specifically for hiking.

Let's see what requirements hiking shoes should meet:

  • Choose by size with a small margin.
  • Have an anatomical shape, it is enough to firmly fix the leg (including on descents and ascents), preventing chafing, while not squeezing it and leaving a small space in the toes.
  • To be soft and elastic on the inside for maximum comfort during long-term wear and hard enough on the outside - both in the sole area and in the toe/heel area for reliable protection of the foot. It should be noted that different types of hiking activity require different stiffness of the sole - from maximum in mountaineering, to quite moderate in light trekking (hiking).
  • As far as possible, have reliable moisture protection, and/or dry easily and quickly in field conditions. Be as breathable as possible (breathe). This is often done using different membrane materials.
  • Have a special outsole with developed lugs, suitable for the conditions that you plan to meet on the route. The sole should be as strong and durable as possible, non-slip.
  • To be durable - capable of a long resource under very tough use in a wide variety of conditions. Modern hiking shoes are not cheap, so few people can change them too often due to wear or damage. Plus, there is nothing better on a hike than well-worn, tried-and-true shoes that you feel confident in and are still in great condition.

Important to know about trekking shoes!

  • The more the conditions of the hike differ from your usual conditions, the greater the need for the choice of specialized shoes.
  • On the hike, you will spend an average of 10 to 16 hours a day in your shoes. And so day after day, if the hike is many days.
  • You will move along the most varied terrain, steep ascents and descents are possible.
  • While hiking, you are not insured against worsening weather, with all the consequences that come with your boots.
  • This article will focus on lightweight hiking shoes, namely trekking shoes.

What hikes to wear sneakers on

Hikes of varying difficulty in warm countries or hikes in the hot season.

Hiking in the mountains on the relief, which excludes the frequent passage of talus slopes with a large number of free-lying stones, difficult water crossings, movement through deep snow, glaciers, high, wet grass. All these obstacles in a small amount with a properly selected model of sneakers and related accessories are quite "tough" for this type of footwear, but if such obstacles are encountered every now and then - you need trekking boots.

Hikes with large volumes of simple rock climbing, including simple categorical routes “via ferrata.” For such conditions, it is better to choose models with a special sole designed for climbing and long lacing that allows you to tightly fix your foot.

For a beginner about the basics in the field of extreme and emergency situations, survival, tourism. It will also be useful for fishermen, hunters and other lovers of nature and outdoor activities.

Wednesday April

How to choose trekking shoes

Revised 11.5.020

Trekking footwear (from English trekking - travel) is a special type of footwear designed for walking off paved roads, on uneven natural terrain. Most often they are used by tourists in hikes on flat or mountainous terrain, but in some cases they can also be used in other areas: when hunting, fishing, extinguishing forest fires, etc.

Modern trekking shoes are divided into four types according to their purpose:

  • trekking sandals
  • trekking sneakers
  • light trekking shoes
  • heavy trekking boots
Mountain trekking boots should not be confused with mountaineering boots. Climbing boots are designed for technically challenging mountain climbing and are significantly less comfortable for long walks and traditional hiking.

Trekking Sandals

The main advantage of trekking sandals is good ventilation, which is especially useful in hot weather.

If you are afraid of injuring your feet on stones and branches, then you can choose models with a closed toe or one size larger, so that there is additional space between the toes and dangerous protrusions.

Good trekking sandals must meet several requirements: the fasteners must be secure, all the seams must be firmly stitched. The outsole should be strong and deeply tread for better traction. A closed toe is a big plus, especially in rough terrain.

There are two opinions about trekking shoes. In feather and the most widely held opinion, trekking shoes should support the ankle joint in order to minimize the risk of dislocation, i.e. sandals cannot be used. According to another opinion, the free work of the joint and the muscles associated with it is not disturbed in sandals. On the contrary, they exercise, and the unrestricted footwork minimizes the risk of injury, since the body gets used to the new walking conditions and independently adjusts the correct position of the foot on the slope. In addition, when a twisting lateral load occurs, the foot rotates in the sandals, which helps prevent dislocation.

Hiking is unthinkable without appropriate equipment. Most of the requirements are imposed on footwear, as it must protect against stones and water. Good trekking boots are lightweight and keep your feet from getting tired after a long walk. These are the models that are collected in our 2020 ranking.

How to choose trekking boots

There are three types of trekking shoes.

  • Boots for light trekking or hiking. They are distinguished by their lightness, flexible sole, low bootleg, due to which the ankle support is minimal. These boots are similar to sneakers and are suitable for short hikes (1-2 days) with a small backpack.
  • Classic trekking boots have a taller, stiffer shaft to secure the foot and prevent injury. They protect feet from mud and puddles, small stones. This is the most popular variant of trekking shoes, which has a wide range of applications, not only suitable for climbing to heights exceeding 3000 m.
  • Heavy trekking boots are just designed for mountaineering, where the terrain is difficult, heavy backpack and changeable weather. They are also used for hunting and fishing in difficult conditions. High cuffs, thick rigid sole, durable and reliable materials that retain heat are the hallmarks of this class of trekking boots.

Modern trekking shoes are almost always equipped with a membrane fabric (mostly Gore Tex). Moisture resistance is also achieved by reducing the number of seams and impregnating the upper with special compounds.

Women's Trekking Boots

Such models fully take into account the structure of women's legs and at the same time reliably protect them in difficult hiking conditions. The best trekking boots for women open the rankings.

Meindl Literock GTX

A model that is universal. It will be convenient to walk in it both just around the city and anywhere in nature. Any bad weather is also not terrible for these boots. This is primarily achieved through the Vibram outsole. When walking on dry and surfaces, it provides shock absorption, protects against shock when jumping. On wet surfaces, the outsole provides the necessary stability and traction, does not slip even during fast movement. The foot grips well in the boot thanks to the Air-Active insole. Thoughtful lacing fixes the foot, does not allow "walking", so the boots will fit almost any foot.

The upper material is leather and suede, there is also a Gore-Tex membrane padding, which protects against moisture and has a vapor-removing effect. The model is suitable for hiking in the mountains. The wide rubber welt protects against stones and prevents the shoes from being washed even on the most difficult roads. No stones will damage these boots.

  • protects against moisture;
  • holds the feet well;
  • sole with traction effect;
  • does not wear off rubbing against stones.

  • suede may fade;
  • low.

Trekking boots (from the English trekking boots - "boots for traveling") are special footwear designed mainly for hiking off-road, but with varying difficulty. Most often used by tourists, including climbers, and in recent years by military personnel.

Trekking boots appeared in the form known to many, thanks to the Italian climber and mountain guide Vitale Bramani. So, in 1937 he managed to patent rubber soles, which later became known throughout the world under the name Vibram. Analogs of these soles are currently used in all true trekking boots.

In addition to soles made of special types of rubber and with special tread patterns, other ultra-modern materials are used in the production of the best trekking boots. For example, it can be the use of membrane fabric (better known as Gore-Tex) and high-strength aramid fibers (the leader of which is the Kevlar trademark from DuPont), etc. But this is not all, because work on the development of new materials is still underway.

Today the market has a wide variety of brands of winter and summer trekking boots. So the leadership now belongs to Italian manufacturers such as Dolomite, Scrapа, Zamberlan, Asolo, La sportive. True, other Swiss, German, Austrian, Slovenian and Polish famous manufacturers are also engaged in trekking boots.

Before choosing trekking boots, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with their varieties. Despite the fact that no one has carried out an official classification, and the "scope" of different models from the same manufacturers are not clearly delineated.

Classification and varieties of trekking boots

The main classification of trekking boots is made by travel subspecies:

  • Trekking boots for the city. They can be useful for everyday wear and a little difficulty walking. For example, one of the first boots could be a simple and inexpensive Polish Campus;
  • Trekking sneakers. They are recommended by many manufacturers for hiking, but this requires rough terrain. For example, you can walk through the mountainous regions of the Caucasus or other southern regions. However, there are some nuances here. These sneakers are usually overly short, for example, to fix the ankles and protect the legs from dislocation and the penetration of small stones with sand.

Sneakers are more suitable only for hiking on flat surfaces and relative off-road. Some mountain hikers use them as a second shoe for hiking on the greenery.

  • Hiking trekking boots overview. They are generally light trekking boots for easy travel. Unlike sneakers, they are made tall. Actually, in such shoes it is good to explore rugged terrain and low mountains. Sometimes the box is marked Tourist shoes;
  • Mountain trekking boots. These shoes can be used for mountain hikes and technically elementary climbs. They are powerful, heavy and tough trekking boots. Some of these models are equipped with special welts for climbing crampons. In their absence, cats with soft attachments can be used. Some manufacturers refer to them as Mountain boots;
  • Alpine trekking boots. These shoes are also called mountaineering shoes. However, not everyone agrees to designate it as trekking. It is mainly intended for higher altitude areas. Modern varieties consist of an inner liner made of neoprene, as well as outer plastic boots. Models of mountaineering boots can be a much more extreme modification. Their purpose is winter ascent, and to the most breathtaking mountain heights. Sometimes the boxes with these shoes are labeled High mountain.

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