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What Are The Best Boots and Shoes For Hiking?

What Are The Best Boots and Shoes For Hiking?

Posted by Crescent Moon on Apr 30th 2021

If you are trying to choose the right hiking boots or hiking shoes, consider this something of a matchmaking process. Depending on the temperature, the terrain, and skill level, the right hiking boots or shoes may change. There are several factors you should consider when you are looking for hiking boots and hiking shoes. 

Factors To Consider When Looking For Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes

  • The individual type of hiking boot or hiking shoe
  • The components that go into each hiking boots and hiking shoe including uppers, souls, and other parts of the boot
  • The fit of the boot, meaning its size

If you can consider all of these factors, you should find the right hiking boots for you.

The Material Used To Make Hiking Boot Uppers

One of the first factors you should consider is the material used to make the hiking boot uppers. Essentially, this is everything above the sole of the shoe. The main body of the shoe is made using several materials. A few possible examples include:

  • Full-Grain Leather: Full-grain leather is popular because it provides abrasion resistance and durability. Furthermore, it is also very good for water resistance. It is commonly used during hiking and backpacking trips that last for multiple days, require transporting heavy loads and traverse various terrain types. It is not as breathable as other types of materials.
  • Split-Grain Leather: Split grain leather is literally split between full leather and nylon or nylon mesh. This creates a more breathable material. Even though this is less expensive, it is also less durable and not resistant to water.
  • Synthetics: Another possible option is synthetic materials. This includes nylon and polyester. They are commonly found in modern boots. They are easier to break in, cost less money, and dry quickly if they get wet. On the other hand, they are not nearly as terrible as the other options.

Consider these options if you are looking for hiking boots.

The Midsole Material of Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes

Next, you also have to think about the material used to make the midsole. This provides cushioning for your shoe, separating your feet from certain shocks. There are two general options for midsoles. The first is called EVA, which feels like a cushion. It is lighter and less expensive.

The other option is polyurethane. Polyurethane is a firm material that is more durable and a better option if you are going to be backpacking several miles across challenging terrain.

Hiking Boots and Shoes Internal Support

When choosing your hiking boots or hiking shoes you should also consider the internal support for your feet. You have two general options for your hiking boots and hiking shoes internal support.

The first kind of internal support is shanks. Shanks are thick inserts ranging from 3 to 5 mm that are sandwiched between the midsole of your boot and the outsole. This will help you add load-bearing stiffness to the midsole itself. Even though these shanks can vary in size, they are a solid option.

The other choice is plates. These are thin and provide semi-flexible support. Plates are positioned between the midsole and outsole. These are important for protecting your feet against roots and rocks.

The Outsoles of Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes

Finally, you should also think about the outsoles. Even though rubber is used on just about every hiking boot, there could be additives, such as carbon, that are included to increase the shoe’s durability. You should also consider the presence of the lugs, as these are bumps that provide traction to the outsole. You should think about how deep and how thick you want your lugs to be. If the lugs are widely spaced, they offer great traction while also shedding mud and muck easily.

What About Hiking Boots vs. Hiking Shoes?

You may be wondering if you should choose hiking boots or hiking shoes. The biggest difference between hiking boots and hiking shoes is that hiking shoes are significantly lighter. They tend to be more flexible, more versatile, and allow you to move more quickly. Even though hiking shoes are usually not as durable, and they may not provide as much protection against rocks and roots, they are much easier to break in, are usually more comfortable on your feet, and do not inhibit the range of motion of your foot and ankle.

You might also be able to use accessories to help you get more out of your hiking experience. With accessories to protect your ankles, increase traction, and prevent injuries, you can plan effectively for your next adventure. Think carefully about whether you want hiking boots or hiking shoes.

Rely on Crescent Moon for All Your Hiking Boot Needs

These are a few of the many factors you should consider if you are looking for the right hiking boot or hiking shoe for you. At Crescent Moon, it would be our honor to help you plan your next trip. We have a wide array of hiking accessories from which to choose. Contact us today to speak to our professionals and find the right hiking accessories like trekking poles and headlamps or your next adventure!

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