Are you dreaming of your next hiking adventure?
Need advice on what is the best shoe for that adventure?
Let’s be honest we all dream of adventure of some type or another but one of the things that we like to ensure is that adventure does not turn into misadventure.
At this time of year I am sure we all get inspired to get out into the great outdoors and make the most of our beautiful country and part of that enjoyment is based on having comfortable feet. If you have ever seen the face of some one that has painful feet you would know they are not having a good time.
It is really difficult to see through all the shoe and sock fads to get good honest advice on what is the right shoe for your chosen adventure and your feet.
If you have difficulty choosing shoes or you would like to take on a new adventure and you are not really sure where to start then our top 6 tips on matching the right shoe to the adventure are just for you.
So the top six things to consider when purchasing a pair of outdoor shoes are …..
- Your foot type and shape
So to put this into perspective there is no point wearing a pair of your flyweight Solomon trail running shoes carrying a 20 kilo pack and walking through snow. You are just going to suffer. Unless you enjoy suffering then go ahead …I guess .
One of the first things to consider is your intended adventure. If you are looking at a multi-day trek over rough terrain carrying a 16-20kg+ pack then you will need to look at a more rigid boot to give you stability when your foot is fully loaded with pack and body weight. It will also need a thick sole to help absorb shock. Some examples of this are:
SCARPA SL ACTIVE
ANATOM Q3 BRAERIACH
ASOLO POWER MATIC 200 WIDE
If you are aiming to travel the same distance but you want to move quickly whilst carrying an ultralight pack, where speed and weight are your most important factors then you need a shoe that allows you to be agile. Like these ones:
Terrain is another important factor. For example a low cut trail shoe will be perfectly suited to a graded track with an even surface and undulating terrain.
Whereas if there is going to be elements of scrambling and rock hopping then a boot that is a higher cut will provide your foot and ankle with more stability.
Now lets talk weather – if the forecast is for rain or creek crossings and the likely hood is that your feet will get wet then you have two options. Some people prefer to go with a shoe or boot that does not stop water from coming in but that drains and dries quickly such as:
These shoes are really only suited for shorter distances. If you are spending longer periods out and about i.e. multi-day treks then going for a waterproof shoe with a Gortex lining will prevent water from coming in the shoe and keep your feet dryer therefore preventing skin maceration (soggy skin) and tinea type infection. Goretex is a clever fabric that is breathable and allows your sweat to wick away from your skin however a Gortex shoe will not stop water from coming over the top of the boot and once it is in the shoe it tends to be held in the shoe.
Additionally if the weather is wet and cold or even snowing then looking at a leather boot is the way to go. This can either be full grain leather if it is alpine conditions or suede leather for cold but not extreme alpine weather.
Finally your foot shape and foot type come into play. Despite all of the above it may be your body that trumps all of the other conditions. If you have a particularly wide foot then obviously you will need to go into a wide fit such as (ladies sometimes that means going into the men’s boot to get the right width)
Additionally if you have a history of injuries or you have a flat foot you will need a more rigid boot or shoe such as
Likewise if you have a high arch or rigid foot then you will need a boot with more depth such as.
If you are looking for a general all rounder boot that can be used on mixed terrain and under various conditions then I suggest…
LA SPORTIVA TX5 GTX
Now that you have your shoes all sorted you are one step closer to that adventure you are dreaming of. If you still have questions or just looking for some reassurance we have created a footwear assessment that will answer all your questions.
Our individualized footwear assessment will break down your foot and body functions and match it with your intended activity to recommend the best shoe for you.
To get this all you have to do is click here to learn more and send us your contact details and we will be in touch.
Remember “adventure begins at the end of the roads you know” (Jamie Lyn)