How to choose hiking boots
Before starting your hiking trip, it is a necessity to make sure that your hiking boot fits perfectly if you don't want to end getting blisters halfway through your journey. Even the best hiking boots for men are capable of giving you such nightmarish moments if the right fit is not picked. To make sure you don't end up in such a situation, here are some expert tips and advice on how to choose hiking boots.
Look at the types
Trail Shoes: These are more breathable and are good for day hikes on less rugged paths when the climate is usually dry.
Trail Hikers: The trail hikers are useful in muddy paths and steep inclines. And hence, they are also sturdy and closely sealed, preventing water entry to some extent.
Mountain walking/hiking boots: As the name suggests, these are used specifically for long-distance backpacking and mountain climbing. Mountain boots are tough, durable, and have stronger foot soles giving much-needed support and protection for your ankles. They are built to face almost any challenge.
Now that we know about the three different types of boots, it is very important to pick the right one for the occasion. Mountain boots are recommended for long hikes, so for anything else, they might give you uneasiness. Additionally, you may look into hiking boots with crampons if your desired hiking location has a heavy amount of snowfall.
The proper length matters
Length plays a major factor when picking the right hiking boots. You have to make sure that the length of the boot is neither too tight nor too loose. It is recommended to look for boot lengths that are a couple of inches more than the length of your feet. This way while climbing a hill, your toes won't press against the front of the boots, giving you a more comfortable experience.
Look at the width
Just like length, width is also a major factor for hiking boots. No matter the type of hiking boots, always make sure there is a width space on either side. But also make sure you do not overdo it as it may result in loose footwear.
How to Break in Hiking Boots
Now that we know how to choose the perfect fitting hiking boots, let's now look into breaking. For those who don't know, breaking is the act of making the sole and fabric of the boot soft and making it fold the same way as your foot does. Doing so, the boots, when worn, mould to your feet giving you a more comfortable experience while wearing. Here is a step-by-step process on how to break in hiking boots:
Start waking inside the house
Yes, this is especially needed if you are beginning your journey in trekking. Walking inside the house with the hiking boots lets you understand your boots better. This helps you know if the particular boot you bought is the right pick for you or not, and also makes you prepared for the next step. Start doing your usual chores wearing the boots. Be it cooking, cleaning, or watching TV, get yourself comfortable with it.
Short Outdoor walks
Now that you are comfortable walking in and around the house, it's now time for you to take it a little further and venture outside for short walks. Unlike inside the house, where you wouldn't walk as much as you would like to, shorter walks like getting your coffee, or shopping help you know the sore areas in the boots. This, in turn, can be sealed with tapes, helping you reduce the number of sore spots in the boots.
Work with the leather
When it comes to hiking boots, leather plays an important factor. These leathers are the ones that will become soft over time, moulding to the shape of your feet and helping by giving comfort to your feet. Basic boots like trail shoes and trail hikers have leathers that soften faster than your typical mountain hikers. Thus it is always recommended to walk in them as much as you can and get comfortable. If you ever feel the leather needs to be adjusted, use your fingers and apply enough pressure moving in the direction that you want the leather to be adjusted. Never use a blow dryer as this melts the glue completely.
Longer Outdoor Walks
Now that the basics have been covered, it is time for you to test out real-life examples. Here, wear your boots and take them for longer but easier adventures like mountain trekking to a nearby hill or long walks on rough surfaces. This last step will make sure that the boot lives to its potential and helps you to overcome any mountain hiking challenge.