Are you just going for a day trek with the family or on a hiking adventure vacation with the pros or to a fat farm
? The answer to this question is what will undoubtedly influence you one way or another on what you purchase to protect your precious pieds, that’s the French word for “feet”. There is nothing worse than finding yourself completely immobilized by multiple blisters during a day outing with loved ones, or worse yet, while at a fat farm or detox retreat for which you have shelled out a pretty penny. Either way, you’re going to pay for not knowing how to choose the right footwear.
Hiking Shoes vs. Hiking Boots
OK, maybe it’s not an age old dilemma but since the modern day wilderness walking ware was created, it’s become a real stand off and here’s why. The hiking shoe employs sneaker style, with it’s lighter weight and great traction which is perfectly suited for a day on the trail with a light pack. Certainly it is an appealing contender for your consideration, however the hiking boot, (above the ankle), is not to be matched for warmth and support, should things get messy. And, sooner or later, it always gets messy if you’re really out there on the trail for more than part of the day with a medium to heavy weight pack. Also, keep in mind that the simplest unexpected deluge of rain can make those little netted hiking shoes next to useless in some serious mud. On the other hand, the heavier hiking boots, unless of course you’re going for an added weight workout, can result in tired legs before the end of the hike which can make a great day turn out to be simply exhausting.
Knowing Your Strengths And Weaknesses
The key to making the right gear choices so you can really enjoy participating in a sport is knowing what your capability zone is. Do you have any body parts that are weak? Do you have any areas that are particularly strong? Granted, if you never venture out of your comfort zone then you won’t grow. However, if you constantly push the envelope too far you’ll just keep getting hurt, or worse. Your power and weak areas are going to dictate what your level of competency is for any particular sport, like it or not. You’ll need to get real with yourself and ask the hard questions. “Am I physically able to carry a 40+ pound pack all day?” and “Do I have weak enough ankles to warrant my buying hiking boots with enough coverage to support them?” Then you can begin to decide what kind of trek you’re going to take. These questions help you to prevent injury and exhaustion while having the best time possible.
Know Your Route
Having a good idea of what you’re likely to encounter during your day hike or fitness vacation is a great way to be able to choose your footwear. Many hikers have multiple hiking shoes and boots to choose from in their gear closet and use them according to the route they’ll be taking. It’s not altogether uncommon to see a hiker whip out their extra pair of shoes or boots after the feet are tired and sweaty or if there is an unusual change in the forecast. Also, always remember that Goretex is your friend because it is water repellent and provides insulative properties that are a must when hiking. Whatever you choose, make sure you don’t sacrifice foot security for a sale price. Because in the end, you’ll wish you hadn’t.