There exists a range of footwear that fall under the category of ideal shoes for hiking. From simple trail running shoes to sturdy boots, all qualify as hiking shoes. But if conquering more challenging and rugged trails is in your mind, going for leather hiking boots is the right idea.
While tracing rough, rugged, and uneven terrain with a heavy backpack weighing more than 30 pounds, your feet will need optimum support. Only tall and sturdy hiking, men’s and women’s boots can guarantee you that kind of support and stand up in the face of tough terrain.
Now that you understand the importance of hiking boots, let us guide you through the process of buying good-quality men’s hiking boots. Here is how to buy the right hiking boots.
- Check the material
In terms of the material of hiking boots, you will find yourself spoilt for choices. From synthetics to leather, shoe manufacturers offer an array of material options. Being vigilant with the material will spare you all the pain and discomfort the wrong fabric can cause.
If you are looking for light and comfortable shoes that are easy to break into, go with synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. These fabrics may dry faster, but their water-resistance quality is questionable.
Split-grain leather, a cross between leather and synthetics, is also an option. This material is breathable but not durable and water-resistant.
The best option to go with is full-grain leather. Ideal material for mountaineering boots, this leather is durable and sturdy. Although, their weight and breathability can cause issues.
Select the material according to the intensity and difficulty level of the hike.
- Understand the cuts
While buying hiking boots, you will come across three cuts- low-cut, mid-cut, and high-cut. Again, the type you select depends on the kind of hiking.
Low-cut boots are lightweight and so, ideal for casual hiking on well-maintained and regular trails. Wearing them on rugged terrains can give you ankle injuries.
Mid-cut boots offer optimum balance and ankle support. They also protect your feet from debris along challenging terrains.
High-cut boots are designed to offer comfort, protection, support, and balance on dangerous terrains.
- Check the traction
An ideal hiking boot will not let you slide on the trail. It provides you the right traction with the help of lugs placed strategically on the outsole.
Before you invest in a boot, check the knurled rubber knobs on the outsole. Wide and shallow lugs work great on smooth terrains like granite and sandstone. Narrow and deep lugs provide better traction on rough terrains.
Opt for boots with deep and narrow lug patterns to ensure a safe hiking experience in wet and dry weather.
- Check the size
A poorly-fitted hiking boot, irrespective of how well-made and expensive it is, will always give you a tough time on the hiking trail. Conversely, a good-fitted hiking shoe, irrespective of its quality, will help you enjoy your hiking experience. Hence, size is the most important factor to keep in mind when buying hiking boots.
Your boots should offer you a snug fit around the heels and balls of your feet. Your toes should get enough space to move.
Always put on your trail socks before trying hiking boots to determine the exact fit and comfort level.
The bottom line
Now you know how to get your hands on the right hiking boots. So, what are you waiting for? Visit your nearest shoe store or a trusted online store to buy a pair of hiking boots. Once you buy them, wear them around to break them in.