A few tips for the choice of hiking boots

Image: © Kavita / Fotolia

Although tourism does not require much equipment, some of it, which is probably the most important thing, is namely the hiking boots. Some good shoes will give you comfortable support and the traction you need for even the most dangerous surfaces on which you will step. While some bad and poor quality shoes will make your day unbearable.

The transitions in the mountains at whatever distance subject to heavy load of your feet and knees, which in turn is passed up the legs and affects your back, not to mention the whole body. Although most people under bad footwear understand those which could form calluses, the real problem is not the opportunity to get calluses, but the lack of good solid support.

The good hiking boots provide both – and firmness and flexibility which your legs need. You should be able to step on the ground with confidence no matter what the surface is and to know that your shoes will not “mislead”. Without this support the inflamed feet and knees, as well as the sprains are guaranteed.

A large part of hiking shoes today are made from a variety of special materials, but the natural leather is still the basic for the good quality. It is no accident that the leather has been used for many years in the manufacture of shoes and boots and is still used today because it is durable, waterproof (when processed), has good density and excellent resistance to moisture and temperature.

When it comes to comfort it is easy to overlook the word “luxury”, but when it comes to hiking boots, comfort is a necessity, not a luxury. You must be able to travel long distances without getting blisters and bruises, and should be able to wear your shoes for a long time without to penetrate moisture or the temperatures, either high or low, to constitute a problem.

Buy a pair of shoes that fit your feet well and this does not necessarily mean buying shoes that are your proper size. Buy hiking boots that immediately fit your feet as soon as you put them on and do not be fooled by the old stories, “it is normal to feel a little uncomfortable until they relax a bit”. Of course, your shoes will wear out and if you do not feel comfortable when you are buying them, it will hardly get any better with time.

Keep in mind also that hiking shoes are not ordinary shoes. They should be tight and not very elastic at the outer sole and around the ankle if they need to serve their purpose.

You will be climbing on wet rocks, slippery sand, on friable screes and mud trails, and while no other shoes would have done all this, for some quality hiking boots that would not be a problem.

The modern and well-constructed hiking boots combine different materials and shapes to minimize the possibility of slipping on wet rocks and to increase the grip on the crumbly and steep hills. They look a bit like car tires, but with a little more plastic and a bit less tire.

There are of course other things to look out for when buying shoes, but the main things which we mentioned here will give you a good starting point. The really serious tourists will probably get several pairs of shoes to deal with the different types of transitions. But for beginners, a pair of quality hiking boots would do the job. And if you buy wisely, they will last many years.


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