Choosing footwear for the outdoor is not an easy task. However, investing time and money in good hiking shoes is wise. The ideal footwear should be as light as possible. In addition, hiking shoes should have features that keep your feet dry, warm, and protected. After all, you can come to terms with a hot sleeping bag, a heavy backpack, or soaked clothes, but walking 8-10 hours straight in uncomfortable footwear is next to impossible.
The best hiking water shoes often feature a Gore-Tex membrane. Gore-Tex is the most popular material manufacturers use for building outdoor clothing and footwear because it allows them to breathe and effectively resist water and wind. Thanks to micropores thousands of times smaller than a water drop and hundreds of times bigger than a moisture molecule, it prevents water from passing through from the outside but allows perspiration to escape.
Types of Hiking Footwear
Consider what type of hiking you want to do and what conditions you'll want to use your footwear to choose the shoes for maximum comfort. For simplicity, let’s divide all hiking shoes into several categories.
Trail Running Shoes. This hiking footwear type is the lightest and most flexible to ensure less energy-consuming footwork while running. These shoes are typically made of highly breathable material and feature a mesh upper, which means faster evaporation of water and sweat. Trail-running sneakers are best for warm weather conditions and light-baggage traveling, but they tend to wear out faster than other types, feature the least support, and are unsuitable for winter trips.
Hiking Shoes. The main difference between these and trail runners is the stiffer midsole that provides enhanced support for negotiating rugged rocky terrains. They are heavier and don’t feature a mesh upper like trail runners, which means less air permeability and, thus, more time to dry. Cheap waterproof hiking shoes usually don’t have technologically-advanced breathing membranes, and in case your feet get sweaty, moisture and friction will make you suffer from blisters. But generally, these are great for rough terrains, cool or muddy conditions, and lightweight traveling.
Hiking Boots. Mid-cut and high hiking boots provide the most ankle support required for uneven terrain, especially mountains. They feature a thick stiff rubber sole with deep lugs for superior balance and traction. Insulated hiking boots are the only way to go if you need footwear for winter trips. Besides, hiking boots have tight collars, gusseted tongues, and toe bumpers that prevent water, rocks, debris, and dust from coming into the inside and protect feet from abrasion and bumps. The best hiking boots are very durable. The disadvantages of the boot design include restricted mobility, considerably less breathability, and more weight.
High-quality and comfortable hiking shoes are a must-have. We go hiking to experience the joy of movement, but uncomfortable footwear can turn every step into torment. We offer quality women’s, men’s, and kid’s hiking shoes for sale. And if you need footwear for crossing creeks and rough terrain, GRITR Outdoors carries the best waterproof hiking boots from Garmont, Kenetrek, and other trusted boot builders.