The eternal dilemma of people starting their adventure with the mountains – the choice of shoes for those difficult terrains is not easy. However, we suggest how to choose the right model!
The first trip to the mountains is not only about adrenaline, excitement and beautiful views. Proper preparation is more important than that. You need to remember about the choice of clothing, equipment, accessories, but also boots. In this article we will focus specifically on footwear. You will learn what features should have the right shoes for walking in the mountains and how to choose the best ones.
The role of mountain boots
– protection of feet from hard and uneven surface,
– protection against protruding rocks, branches or roots,
– stabilization of the foot,
– shock absorption,
– moisture removal from the inside,
– guarantee of grip on slippery, sometimes steep trails,
– guarantee of thermal comfort,
– protection against penetration of moisture to the inside.
These are few basic functions, which every hiking shoe should fulfill. On the market you can find many specialized proposals at really good prices. At the beginning, you have to notice that mountain boots are quite a big expense in comparison with running or regular sports shoes. However, a properly chosen model is worth its price!
High or low shoes?
The belief that ankle boots are the only sensible choice for trekking in the mountains has become entrenched. However, technology has advanced, and many manufacturers have decided to opt for lower solutions. They’re not bad at all – the only drawback is the possibility of water getting inside from the top. However, you can remedy this problem by buying a stompbox. Low mountain boots are also much lighter. You can also use high boots to stabilize your feet. So which ones should you choose? It’s best to buy shoes depending on the weather conditions but also the trails you’ll be walking. Are you just starting out, so short runs on sunny days are something for you? Opt for lightweight and comfortable low shoes. However, if you love difficult conditions, mud, the toughest trails – your choice should be high trekking shoes.
What to pay attention to when choosing shoes?
Comfort – the most important issue, which should be met by any shoes, not only those for hiking in the mountains,
Size – mountain boots cannot be too big or too small,
Profile – the small tendons, muscles and bones that make up the foot are prone to damage. A properly shaped shoe will stabilize every part of it,
Tread – it should be a bit harder so that walking on rocks or stones is not a problem. Moreover, it should be quite thick and properly criss-crossed, which will translate into the certainty of steps in rainy weather, during thawing or icing up in winter,
Warm finish and vice versa – in winter you need thermal insulation, protection against moisture, snow or cold. In summer, on the other hand, you need to make sure your shoe “breathes”, so it can’t have too many layers of material. So ask yourself, at what time of year are you going to hike?
Cushioning – mountain trails are demanding and quite hard in many cases. After a few miles of hiking without proper cushioning in your shoe, your legs would start to feel it. Keep this in mind when choosing footwear.
Membrane or no membrane?
The last issue is the membrane, which people who hike in summer or spring are not convinced to use. In winter trekking shoes it is an essential element. It provides insulation and waterproofing. In fact, it is the only way to keep your shoe dry during rainy/snowy weather. If you decide to go hiking in winter – you must remember about shoes with this element. However, when you hike in the summer, late spring, or early fall, the membrane can lead to overheating of your feet. Ask yourself whether you care more about comfort and ventilation or waterproofness and adjust your purchase accordingly.