Hiking is now coming back to the limelight, and a lot of people have rediscovered the immediate benefits of communing with nature.
May it be weight loss, stress relief, or simply just to get away, people have been taking to hiking whenever they have time to spare.
If you are looking into getting your time with nature and are looking for the basics, you may have already asked, hiking boots or shoes?
There are a lot of things to consider, but your feet’s comfort should always come first.
Conventional thinking will always point to the garden variety hiking boots since they are made for the sole purpose of getting you through tough terrain; as others have discovered there are also other options.
Hiking Boots or Shoes? What’s the difference?
What are the options and why are we to choose between hiking boots or shoes? Read on and find out:
Hiking boots are the footwear that hikers come to as a default sole protection. We all have our own preferences and our own needs, let us study the merits of the good ol’ hiking boots before we get into the other choices:
They have always talked about waterproof and protecting your feet from moisture but it actually works both ways. It keeps water out, but it keeps your sweat in too.
Having waterproof boots will delay getting your feet wet, but when your entire body starts to get wet; the water starts to trickle down your leg down to your boots where they stay.
Gaiters and rain pants can help with the swamping problem, but prolonged exposure to the rain will surely leave your feet in cold waters.
Hiking boots are made for the tough and uneven terrain with a high collar for ankle support and a wide range of torsion rigidity.
Boots are made from a wide range of materials with the thread made from thicker, harder, durable kind of rubber to give you sure footing and proper traction.
On the contrary, these rigid soles take the time to break in and it does not flex along with your feet.
They may provide the best protection for your feet, but they also cause blisters over a longer hike.
Since they are waterproof, your feet will soon be soaking in its own sweat and will soon be soft and tender, making it more susceptible to blisters and scrapes against the rigid body of the boots.
It is made for maximum protection against all odds when you are out in the wilderness; some are tough enough against snake bites, but all these come with a price.
These boots are very heavy and they usually range from 2 pounds as the lightest you’ll see out there and the heaviest at 4 pounds.
This means more pounds for your back to carry on every step of the way to your destination.
There are a lot of nature lovers who are now switching from the boots they have gone to love to these new trail runners that are supposed to give you that movement, flexibility, and protection on hard terrain.
Here are the merits of our contender, and let’s read on why they are the more popular choice these days.
All though it is not as waterproof as your garden variety hiking boot, trail runners are made from breathable fabrics that allow your feet to vent and dry out.
All though they will get wet when it rains, but it will also allow the water to drain and let your feet dry when the rain stops.
Since they are made from light breathable fabrics, they usually weigh from between 15 to 20 ounce per pair.
Light does not mean weak; they too are made for protection and the harsh terrain.
You can opt for those that go up to the ankles for more protection and security with your footing.
Trail runners are light but very sturdy and will allow you to move as fast as possible with very less contribution to fatigue and the weight on your back.
They provide excellent traction and needs a little time or no time at all to break in. They are very flexible and do not leave blisters or scrapes against your skin.
So, what is the better choice? Before switching or bashing the competition, look out for more pros and cons, or better yet, try them on for size.
Each contender has great things to offer the nature enthusiasts, to know what suits your taste and style better, make sure to list down your priorities to be able to make decisions accordingly.
Are you looking for extreme comfort, or are you looking for that heavy-duty protection?
Do you want light weight material for easy movement, or a few pounds do not really matter? There are tons of options out there, so it’s time for some market research.