What sets hiking boots apart from one another?
Looking for hiking boots but don’t know which one to get? You’ve come to the right place. There are so many options on the market, ranging widely in prices and styles, so if you are overwhelmed, let us give you a simple answer: the best hiking boots of all time are ones that suit you.
Below are the common features that every shoe and boot should have. Read along to get a grasp on how they function as well as to find out what design fits you the most.
You have probably noticed the varying sizes of hiking boots. Some are large and bulky, others are thin and lightweight. The reason depends on what type of hikers you are. If you are a trail runner who runs mostly on flat and maintained terrain, you probably only need a pair of lightweight hiking boots. If you like to hike in the mountains, on tough terrains with lots of bumps, a bigger, more sturdy pair of boots would be more suitable. The difference lies in the midsole, designed for cushioning and absorbing shocks. The thicker the midsole, the more stable the boot.
With that said, you’ll probably hear terms like insole, midsole, and outsole when shopping for boots. They refer to the inner, middle, and outermost part of your boots. The insole lies in the boots and comes in direct contact with your feet, important for absorbing sweat. The midsole is made for reducing shocks, while the outsole is the bottom of your boot that directly touches the ground.
As mentioned above, the more stability there is, the thicker the midsole and the heavier the boots. The Salomon quest 4D 3 GXT has been recommended by various hiking boots reviews as one of the most supportive boots that offer nearly perfect protection on tough terrains. This boot has a high cut that offers good ankle protection and heel support that prevents the heel from dropping when climbing, thereby lessening calf fatigue.
The breathability of a boot refers to how much air is allowed to circle in and out of the boot, allowing for sweet ventilation. If your boots are strictly covered, air won’t be able to circulate and this makes your feet wet from perspiration. Most waterproof boots require the sacrifice of breathability because they are covered in a (thin) layer of fabric-- the most common type is called “Gore-Tex”-- that repels water. If you’re travelling through deserts or areas with high heat and humidity, it is best to get a pair that is non-waterproof so they would allow your feet to breathe.
Durability is a top priority for many people since it’s a waste of money to keep having to spend on new boots every other year. The truth is, The Best Hiking Boots are not cheap - they cost at least $200 a pair. For that much money, you would expect them to last for at least two years. Some boots are made from synthetic nylon, which cuts down the weight but do not last long. Others are covered entirely in leather to ensure good long durability, yet are most often heavier than the nylon ones. There are some options in between on the spectrum that mix leather and nylon, like the Lowa Renegade, that offer the best of both worlds-- lightweightness and durability.
You don’t have to be a boots guru to understand different types of boots. The list above should give you enough information to spot the right kind for you. And with that, good luck!
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