When we hiked, shoes are the basic, non-negotiable element between our body and the mountain. Why not negotiable? Because seeking comfort will require our attention. Here are 8 tips, 8 tips for how to choose his hiking boots.
You remember your first pair of hiking boots? I do! I opted for shoes that were “pro”, a strong brand, good big mountain boots, quite stiff, and in addition they were beautiful. Class! On my first outing with the traditional bulbs began to arrive, including the heel, and the little toe. Either it was normal, it was the first output: it had to the “break” these shoes after all!
The walks take poursuivèrent a little longer, a little harder, always with the same concerns: bulbs course, but not that. A wicked pain in the foot, as if a nerve was trapped. And it only happened the descent. Back at home, I decided to visit a few forums on the web. Many users do not agree on everything, but an adage was almost unanimous: “.Hiking shoes, it has to get hurt, if you’re not a man” Thin ah, here I thought …
I enlarged a bit far, but that’s about it. Fortunately, those days are gone. Finally, I hope ! Let’s look at the criteria of choice when you want to buy hiking boots.
1. Our advice: good in his shoes!
Why suffer? Walking in the mountains is a real pleasure, provided you do not stand equipment because it is poorly adapted. Equipment, whatever it is, should not hurt. If this is the case is that the choice is bad (or that we have been ill advised).
Often, hiking requires walking several hours, sometimes she asks to thousands of steps in a day. Suffering is not normal, we have to keep that in mind when you walk in the mountains. Convinced (e)? We continue then!
2. Hiking: high shoes or flat shoes?
This is THE debate that shakes the world of hiking shoe for a few months / years:should you opt for high shoes or flat shoes? Everything depends on the use.
If our business is to make the climbing and / or down the big scree current and / or carry a 20kg sack for 3 weeks, and / or walk in 20cm of fresh snow, then it will opt for a high boot (also called “high-cut”).
For everything else (hiking, walking approach, lightweight trekking days, climbing, trail running, etc.), we recommend the average shoe flexible rods or even downright low shoes. Why? Because their comfort, lightness, and flexibility are unbeatable. But first, a little reminder: the average shoe flexible upper and lower shoes are not simple sneakers. They are usually provided with a suitable base (like Vibram), bracing, visors stones, sometimes with a waterproof membrane, etc., in short, enough to survey land already scabrous.
“Yes but I have fragile ankles!”, We often hear. Except medical indication-cons, it isimportant to beef up his ankles if you do not want to twist them. But keep in her ankles too high and too rigid boot prevents literally your muscles to work properly. If there is concern for these anchors, before leaving there, we can already make them work down: power walking, swimming with fins, walking in the sand, proprioception exercises, etc.
We also will insist to use batons when wearing low shoes or shoes mid Slouch: powered climb, weight distribution of the backpack, additional support points on the descent, helps balance, they have advantages.
The famous model Renegade, Lowa. A reputed shoe for versatility feet and comfort.
3. Hiking shoes: Size Matters …
Now that we know what kind of shoes is the most suitable in relation to our core business, it is time to talk about the size of shoes. If you do not want to take risks when one is hiking shoes seller, we say “go ahead, take one size above your usual size.”
Yes, but what is the usual size? And how I measure my foot? And brands all offer the same sizes? And it is better to rely on the Europe size or UK size? And is that it fills up for a day of work? These questions-swing against the assertion above.
When you’re in a store , the best course is to try the shoe, and if possible with the pair of socks we usually use. Ditto if you already have the soles keeping. Walk, clap foot, forward, backward, hillside, slope, test them from every angle, it will be the best way to realize.
When buying on the web , this can be trickier. Whatever. Because today, most serious web sites offer a grid sizes by manufacturer, and the possible return for exchange or refund.
So to return to the size, depending on the length of your feet (left and right), as we have a “foot fort ” or not, as our arch either hollow or flat, depending on thickness of socks that we according to the soles we wear, as we practiced rather in summer or rather winter, yes, it will probably take a little larger than your usual size. Is 1/3 size larger? 1/2 size larger? 2/3 more? 1 size larger? Unfortunately there is no easy answer.
It is generally said that open shoe, one must be able to slide the thickness of its index between its heel and the inside of the boot, this being rather applies to shoes and a little rigid. Let’s just say that it is easier to adapt a little too large shoe (with a holding sole or heel, or with a volume of sole), a shoe a little too small.
A small tip: on the descent, hiking, if the toes touch the tip of the shoe is that it is too small. Indeed, this is the kick that must stop the foot, not the toes. These must move freely (but not too much) in what is called “the toe box.”
4. Spotlight on blisters (and other pains)
If we have frequently (if not all the time) of the bulbs is that:
- the shoe is not suitable
- the size is not suitable
- the socks are not suitable
- the soles are not suitable
- and ultimately, our foot is not suitable
In many cases, the mere use of mid shoes Slouch or low shoes rather than high and rigid footwear significantly reduces the risk of blisters.
As we have said could top, choose the size of its hiking shoes is a difficult art. In any case, the rise, our heel should not (too) off. And the descent is our kick which must stop the foot, not the toes …
The bulbs may also be due to too warm socks, especially in summer. Do not forget that our feet warm during a hike, and it tends to swell. Depriving the foot of proper breathing / ventilation, means taking the risk of blisters. Do not hesitate to have at least two pairs of socks in our closets: one pair for the winter (high and hot), and a pair for the summer (lightweight and breathable).
A foot wrong position in a shoe cause fail bulbs or even pain in the foot, knee, pelvis, or back. The feet are the base. But if the base is not perfectly stable, it is the highest organ that will have to compensate for this lack of stability. Depending on the shape of the arch (normal, low, or high), we will not hesitate to ban provided the sole original (known insole) for a “real” holding sole.
If despite all this you still have blisters and / or pain, you should consult a surgeon.
5. Gore-tex shoes, Gore-tex or not, that is the question
Ah, the famous Gore-tex membrane! Waterproof and breathable, we say aficionados.But as there is rarely only one truth, opt for shoes lined with Gore-tex, or not, well it depends! But roughly speaking, one can say that in 90% of uses, a Gore-Tex membrane is justified.
A meadow and dew in the morning, a stream to cross, a shower during the day that brings a little rain, so many reasons to choose a Gore-tex membrane.
If we really hiking in hot weather, or in countries where we are certain not to meet humidity, so we prefer a model without Gore-Tex lining. Why? Because we may bemore wet from the inside than from the outside. Blame? The sweat generated by our feet. In all cases, membrane or not, ventilate our feet during phases of rest, let them dry in the open air, will allow unparalleled comfort.
Speaking of membrane Gore-tex has recently released a great concept that brings a real “plus” in our practice: Gore-tex Surround. Footwear fitted with this membrane are ideal for a high temperature use, for example in summer in mountain, when we already have 25 ° C in the morning on departure and a good 35 ° C hot under our feet the midday sun!
The principle is simple: the air circulates around 360 feet, even under the arch. The foot finally breathe fully, providing a feeling of softness and freshness. Here’s an explanatory video:
MEINDL in partnership with Gore-tex, just use that Surround technology on itsmodels Slouch X-70 So, for men or for women:
6. Hiking shoes: light!
It does not look like that, but 100 grams saved by shoe multiplisés by the number of steps that is made during a hike (thousands in a single day, sometimes more), then we understand better the importance of not overloading his thighs too heavy shoes!
Light shoes are often hired comfort. Even mountaineering. Today, a low shoe should rarely exceed 400 grams. And a climbing shoe should rarely exceed 1000 grams. Everything depends on the use, it is obvious (we will not ask the same lightness criteria to a boot cut for very high altitude, for example), but look for the light will be good for our legs, allowing rapid progress and comfortable.
7. A hiking boot “to do everything”, it exists?
We would say “yes”, but unfortunately, it’s complicated. Whatever. If we do that hike in the summer (and late spring / early fall), a single pair of medium Slouch boots or low shoes hiking will do nicely.
If one plans to also practice in winter (snowshoes for example), then it will choose ashoe with high upper with waterproof membrane.
If one considers a practice mountaineering , priority will be given to shoes crampons obviously, more or less rigid.
8. They are too good!
Why should we wear at the feet of ugly shoes and / or they do not like us? Be proudof the shoes we wear is not restricted to the fairer sex. The current offer of manufacturers is such that it is quite possible to find beautiful shoe fits, while giving priority to comfort. Design, color, technique, materials, supply is bloated, so enjoy it!
We have included: a hiking boot must be comfortable above all. Hiking without pain or suffering should be the motto of every person walking down our alpine paths or elsewhere.
Misconceptions about hiking shoes have only one goal: to be contradicted! Seeking comfort, elimination of pain, lightweight design, low shoes for most hikers, are the speeches that we hear too rarely in stores and on the web.
There are no established truth, much less in the field of hiking boots. This shoe is perfect at the foot of one of your friends, but do not necessarily agree with yours. Find Shoe Fits deserves spends a little time. Refine with the right pair of socks and with the right shoe should allow long hours of walking and fun!
Where to find (good) hiking shoes?
Adidas, La Sportiva, Lowa, Meindl Merrell, Millet, Salewa, Salomon, Scarpa, find the top brands in hiking boots for the 2015-2016 season in the online store of whicheverhealth.com!
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