What Kind of Shoes Are Best for Hiking?

Some people go for hiking because it’s fun and for some, it’s just a hobby. However, you surely need a nice pair of hiking shoes in order to enjoy your trip fully.

The best shoes for hiking surely has some important features. I have talked about these features right here. But first, let’s see how many types of hiking shoes you can find.

Types of Hiking Shoes

I have sorted out the hiking boots into three main categories that you can choose from. Based on your hiking situation you can choose either one of these types.

Regular Hiking Shoes

These types of boots have flexible midsoles. They are quite good for day hiking. If you are an ultra-light backpacker then these types of hiking boots are the best choice for you.

Day Hiking Boots

The day hiking boots are usually of high cut models. They are capable of withstanding short trips with light loads on your back. They flex easily so you need to take break-in time for these shoes. As they lack a little durability you shouldn’t use these for long trips.

Backpacking Boots

The backpacking boots are the best ones for heavy-duty hiking. They are designed to withstand heavier loads. Most of these boots support your ankle as they have a high cut configuration. They are quite durable and supportive for you and good of on or off-trail hiking.

Some Important Components for Hiking Shoes

Here are some components that you need to have in your best hiking shoes in order to have the best experience while you are on a hike.

The Leather Coatings

You can find full-grain leather and split-grain leather for your hiking boots. Full-grain leather is good for providing excellent durability, water resistance, and abrasion resistance.

On the other hand split, grain leather offers excellent breathability and they are quite lightweight as well. So, if you choose quality over comfort you should go for full-grain leather. Otherwise, you can choose split-grain leather.

Waterproof Membranes

In hiking, you obviously have to face water or watery situations no matter how much you try to avoid it. In such cases, if your boot is not waterproof, water will go inside your boots and it will become uncomfortable for you.

But as the waterproof membrane reduces breathability, it will cause your foot to sweat a lot in the summer. So, you should only choose a hiking boot with this feature if you want to go on a hike in winter.

Insulation System

Before you pick a boot, check if it has good insulation that will keep the cold outside when you are hiking in a snowy situation.

Midsoles of the Boots

The midsoles are there to provide you cushioning so that you don’t feel uncomfortable while walking with wearing the shoes. So, before choosing a pair of hiking shoes, it’s important for you to check the midsoles.

Internal Supports of the Boots

Between the midsole and the outsole, you will find the internal support of the boots. It is very important to have good support in this area.

Because this support is the only thing that will keep the outer sole attached to your boots. Ergo, you should check the internal supports’ quality carefully.

Outer Soles of the Boots

On the outer sole, you must have two things. One is the lug pattern and the other one is the heel brake. The lug pattern provide traction that means the deeper and thicker the pattern the more grip you will have on the ground.

The heel brake is on the heel side of your shoes. They are used to make the boots non-slippery. So, having heel brakes on your boots will keep you from slipping while hiking.

Hiking Shoes Fitting

A pair of hiking shoes that fit or don’t fit depends completely on you. You may have longer but less wide feet or you may have wide feet. Either way, you need to try on a few boots to see which one gives you the most comfort.

Wear one and walk around with it and you can definitely tell yourself if the boot is comfortable for you or not. But whatever you do, make sure to check if you have all the components I have given above in your boots.


Final Verdict

My final advice for you would be to check all the components of the shoes carefully before you choose one. Try to use work socks for most comfortable. If you see a pair of hiking shoes with the properties I have talked about, you can without a doubt choose that pair.

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