Hiking shoes are often more lightweight than their sturdier, boot counterparts. This is one of the main reasons why people choose hiking shoes.
Hiking boots are more suitable for those people who will be walking very long distances uphill and on uneven terrain in all weather conditions.
The lightweight hiking shoe is a better choice if you are a more casual hiker that tends to stick to paths that you know and on flatter terrain.
Hiking boots can often be quite heavy, causing pressure on your feet after a long time wearing them.
As well as this they can often cause aching if you have been walking for long distances.
Lightweight hiking shoes, however, will not add any unnecessary weight, and you will be less likely to be affected by them even on longer walks.
Consider whether you need to consider waterproofness in your shoes. If you are someone who is not put off by weather such as heavy downpours and snow, then it will be worth choosing shoes that will protect your feet and socks from the damp conditions.
A lot of the time people choose hiking shoes as opposed to boots for hot weather and lots of sun. this may lead them to disregard the need for waterproofing.
However, as many people will tell you, even the hottest and sunniest day can bring an unexpected downpour, and there is nothing worse than having to walk in shoes that have been soaked through as this could increase your chances of blisters, infections, and even trench foot!
Of course, if you know for sure that you will only be wearing your hiking shoes for short periods of time and you are confident that waterproofing will not be needed, then you will likely be fine without it.It is a personal choice and one that should be weighed up based on your own needs.
How they fasten
Typically, hiking shoes will have laces on them that you need to tie up when you have put them on. This will ensure that they fit properly and can be adjusted to your feet.
However, some people may not be able to use laces or may need something that requires less effort.
Velcro straps or even slip on hiking shoes may have to be considered for someone with low mobility who cannot bend to tie their laces or cannot have laces for any other reason.
Consider this first as it can be a little trickier to find adequate walking shoes without laces.
Consider where you will be hiking
Where you plan to hike is going to tell you a great deal about what sort of shoes you need, and indeed, whether shoes are actually the best option and whether you should purchase hiking boots instead.
If you tend to tackle a variety of terrains, you are best off choosing a shoe that is versatile.
If you choose something with good amounts of support, excellent tracking, and a waterproof material then it is likely that you will be able to wear them on all terrains.
If you know for sure that you will only be using them for short day hikes on walking paths and in good weather, then you may find that a more lightweight and less supportive pair will be fine.
Think about the tread you will need, which will change depending on whether you will be on softer, muddy paths or rocky paths in the desert that may have cacti and other sharp plants in tow.
Generally, the thicker and deeper the tread, the better hold you will get from your shoes, even on steep inclines and rocky terrain.
The environment in which you take your hikes is more important to consider than you may think!
Do you need toe protection?
Toe protection is always essential to some degree, and it goes without saying that you will need your toes to be supporting.
However, you should also consider whether you need a little more protection from them than just your typical shoes.
If you are going to be walking on very rocky terrains where there is a risk of rocks falling onto your toes, then it is well worth investing in some hiking shoes that have molded toe caps.
Keep in mind though that these are often heavy, adding weight to the shoe overall.
If you are looking for the most lightweight pair of hiking shoes possible then toe protection may not be something you want.
Consider what will be of more benefit to you, a lighter shoe, or toe protection. Again, this will be dependent on your terrain.
It might seem frivolous to some, but we think that it is important that you choose a pair of walking shoes that you like. It’s no secret that some of them can look huge and clanky, resembling a pair of mucky work boots.
Given the wealth of choice out there these days, though, there is no reason why you cannot find a style and color you like.
Sure, it is more important that they are practical and functional, but a bit of fashion sense never hurts anyone!