Hiking shoes are a must whether you are going for simple hiking or a long expedition over mountains, forests, and rough trails. This is because hiking shoes provide complete support to your feet when walking over gravel, rough rocks, sea beds, etc. Conventional shoes cannot protect your feet over such paths, and you are likely to end up with twisted ankle or knee. The most important feature of any pair of hiking shoes is fitting. Regardless of other characteristics, if the pair of hiking shoes are ill-fitting, then it is of no use because you will end up with blisters on your feet. Other essential features of hiking shoes are waterproofing, shock absorption, high degree support for ankle and foot, breathability, lightweight, high traction, and durability.
There are many types of hiking shoes in the market. Some of them have been discussed here. you love to check best hiking sandal
Trail runners are hiking shoes that are lighter as compared to most other types of hiking shoes. Trail runners have midsole foam made of ethyl vinyl acetate or polyurethane which protects the foot against hard and uneven surfaces by absorbing shocks. Traction on the trails is provided by grippy lugs present on the soles.
Trail runners are highly suited for hiking in warm weather and environment because high breathability of the shoes enables swift evaporation of sweat from the feet, thereby keeping them cool and dry. However, trail runners are not suited for cold winter months and cannot be used to hike through snow or ice. There is also no ankle support, which makes it unsuitable for climbing rocks and hiking on rough and hilly terrains.
Day hiking shoes
Day hiking shoes are light and flexible. Day hiking shoes provide more stability and protection to the foot as compared to trail runners. They come in a plethora of fabrics having different levels of breathability and waterproofing. Day hiking shoes are suitable for groomed trails and day pack hikers. They are also more durable as compared to trail runners. The downside is that there is not much ankle support.
Day hiking boots
Day hiking boots provide strong ankle support. Hence, they are well suited for long-distance hiking on rugged terrain and for hikers carrying heavy day packs. The solid support prevents the twisting of the ankle. Most of the high-quality day hiking boots are fully resistant against water due to the gore-tex membrane present around the shell of the boot.
Day hiking boots are heavy and are not much breathable and less flexible as compared to trail runners and day hiking shoes. Thus, the hiker needs to take a break from time to time.
Backpacking boots provide a very high level of ankle support even when carrying heavy loads. The high durability of backpacking boots makes them suitable for very rough terrains. They provide excellent stability and prevent foot fatigue due to stiff midsoles.
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Backpacking boots are heavier as compared to other types of hiking footwear. This is because the sole is larger, and the material is pure leather.