Your hiking shoes are one of the most important pieces of gear you will take on any hike. They need to be comfortable, durable and provide good traction. With all of the different brands and styles of hiking shoes on the market, it can be difficult to pick the right pair for your next hike. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your next pair of hiking shoes:
The type of hike you are going on: Are you going on a day hike or an overnight backpacking trip? Will you be carrying a heavy backpack or just a light daypack? The type of hike you are going on will dictate the type of shoes you need.
The terrain you will be hiking in: Will you be hiking on well-maintained trails or off-trail in rugged terrain? Will you be crossing streams or hiking in snow? The terrain you will be hiking in will dictate the type of shoes you need.
The weather: Will you be hiking in hot weather or cold weather? Will it be wet or dry? The weather will dictate the type of shoes you need.
Your personal preferences: Do you prefer a light and airy shoe or a heavier and more substantial shoe? Do you like a lot of padding around your ankle or do you prefer a low-cut shoe? Do you have wide feet or narrow feet? Your personal preferences will dictate the type of shoes you need.
Once you have considered all of these factors, you are ready to start shopping for your next pair of hiking shoes. Here are a few of our favorite hiking shoes for different types of hikes:
Day hikes: For day hikes, we like the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2. This shoe is lightweight, has good traction and is comfortable enough for long days on the trail.
Backpacking trips: For backpacking trips, we like the Vasque St. Elias GTX. This shoe is durable, has a comfortable fit and provides good support for carrying a heavy backpack.
Rugged terrain: For hikes off the beaten path, we like the La Sportiva Bushido. This shoe is lightweight, has a sticky rubber sole for good traction and is comfortable enough for long days on the trail.
Snow: For hikes in snow, we like the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX. This shoe is durable, has a comfortable fit and provides good support for carrying a heavy backpack.
Hot weather: For hikes in hot weather, we like the Merrell Moab Ventilator. This shoe is lightweight, has good ventilation to keep your feet cool and is comfortable enough for long days on the trail.
Once you have selected the right pair of shoes for your next hike, be sure to break them in before you hit the trail. Wear them around the house or on short hikes to get a feel for them and to make sure they are comfortable. And, as with all of your hiking gear, be sure to check your shoes for wear and tear before each hike and to replace them when they start to show signs of wear.