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Old 01-10-2020, 08:18 AM
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What do experts put into consideration when choosing hiking boots?

Choosing good hiking boots sometimes could be a game challenge. Feeling totally satisfied when investing some money in a good pair of hiking gear, then turns out that it does not sync with you when out in nature. Before checking out your order, let's see our guide on how to choose the right one!

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Define the type you're looking for
  • Hiking shoes are very flexible. Many light-duty backpackers or hikers utilize the trail-running shoes for long-haul trips. But in case you want to pick one pair from the store, low-cut models with stretchable midsoles are perfect.
  • Day hiking boots usually come with mid- or high-cut models that are quite flexible and need a short break-in. However, they are commonly short of support and heavy-duty performance.
  • Backpacking boots are ideal for bulkier loads and multi-day journeys. Most of them are over-the-ankle to provide full support and protection. Additionally, they come with more intense mid-sole and also some techniques of higher fraction and grip to make your pleasant experience on and off the trails.

Which components of a boot can affect the hiking performance?

When it comes to the boots features, there are some parts that you need to take into consideration: Uppers, Midsoles, Internal support, and Outsoles.

The quality of hiking boot uppers would be strongly dependent on the materials that decide the weight, waterproofness, durability, protection, and breathability.
  • Full-grain leather offers the best protection, support, water resistance, durability, and abrasion resistance for heavy-duty trips and hard terrain, but requires break-in time. It's also not light and breathable.
  • Split-grain leather with nylon/ nylon mesh is the more economical replacement for full-grain counterpart, offering more breathability and lightweight, but less water resistance.
  • Nubuck leather is an excellent alternative that is buffed full-grain one to resemble suede.
  • Synthetics with polyester and nylon are lighter, more breathable, require less break-in time than leather, but less durable.
  • Waterproof membranes, such as Gore-Tex® or eVent®, is used to improve the waterproof feature of hiking boots, but also reduce the breathability, making some bad odor when your feet sweat easily.
  • Synthetic insulation is usually found in the best value hiking boots for keeping your feet warm under the cold temperature.
Midsoles play an essential role in keeping your feet away from shock and abrasion by providing cushioning and define the stiffness of the entire boot that brings comfort and stability for rugged terrain and long-distance hike. Midsoles are commonly constructed in EVA or polyurethane. The former is lighter, less durable, and more affordable than the latter, usually found in heavy-duty and mountaineering gear.

The internal support is the 3-5mm thick layer between midsoles and outsoles to provide additional load-bearing solidity, keeping your feet from getting hurt by some hard obstacles on uneven terrains.

Almost popular hiking boots' outsoles are made of rubber and sometimes with some additives (i.e., carbon). Outsoles improve the durability, stiffness, create more protection to the footbed.

How to pick a pair of perfect-fitting boots?

The most important thing is to know your foot size – length, width, arch length, and foot volume. When trying a new pair of shoes, some notes here could help:
  • Re-check the length match by standing on the separate insoles only. There should be a space of a thumb's width between the end of the insole and the longest toe of your foot.
  • Test the boot at in the afternoon when your feet get enough activities during the day.
  • Try on the boot for some time, walk up and downstairs at different speeds.
  • Wear the socks that fit your intended activity for the boot.
  • Look for the boot comes with a lacing system, that can adjust the fitness with your food volume and the changing size of your foot during the day.
  • Look at the detail size table of the brand. The size is quite the same, but the specific measurements (Length, Width, Insole size) could vary.
  • Break your boots/ shoes in before the first wear.
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Best hope to your hiking boots purchase!

Last edited by kratos97; 07-28-2020 at 03:59 AM.
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