How to Choose the Right Hiking Boots
Because hiking can be such hard work for your ankles, knees and hips, it is important that you begin by wearing the right hiking boots. Hiking boots not only protect your joints from impact whilst hiking, they can provide you with stability, protection and lasting comfort for your feet.
Assessing Your Hiking Footwear Options
Hiking footwear can be sorted into four broad categories, each of which will give you an overview of what you can expect from that type of footwear.
Light hiking shoes are more akin to running shoes or trainers than they are to backpacking boots; they're flexible and light but not suitable for off-trail hiking or for wearing whilst carrying a heavy backpack. However they are so light that many people choose to wear them when undertaking long distance journeys.
Hiking boots are usually cut either mid or high, and are usually intended for day hikes or weekend trips where you will be walking with lighter loads. They're flexible but not durable, and are not intended for intensive hiking.
Backpacking Boots are designed to be worn by people who are carrying varying weights for longer amounts of time. They are durable and supportive with less flexible soles than hiking boots, and can be worn on more varied terrains.
Mountaineering boots are more heavy and stiffer than all of the other types of hiking boots, and can be worn across most terrain types. Their stiff soles make them excellent for mountaineering, particularly if you are using specialist equipment like crampons.