Lately, Trekking has become a hot hobby for travellers across the country as famous trekking places like Hampta Pass Trek, Beas Kund Trek, Chandrakhani Pass Trek and several others are full of trekkers. And one of the important thing for a trekker is to have suitable trekking shoes which would serve the purpose to complete a trek successfully. But apparently, there has been a lack of guidance across the new trekkers which has been spoiling their trekking experience but also risking their foot as well.
As there are lots of models, designs, and materials available in the hiking footwear market which would easily confuse anyone. No doubt, comfortable and reliable are the basic qualities for any hiking footwear but still, there are other things one should know before buying trekking shoes. So we have gathered important information on various types of Trekking Shoes which would definitely help you to find perfect shoes for your future trek and enhance the experience.
Below are the various types of Mountain trekking shoes and the most popular among them are
Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking Shoes– These are thin, flexible and have a grip sole with a neutral heel and spacious toe box. They have minimal cushioning and no arch support which makes them unsuitable for rugged terrain but still, you feel a true barefoot experience and feel the ground beneath you. Gradually they strengthen the feet and legs which decrease the chances of foot injuries like Plantar Fasciitis. As they are made of light material means fast to dry when gets wet and also compact & packable making them ideal for travelling purpose.
Hiking Sandals– These are best known for summer trips among travellers as they are durable and strong as well. They come with a solid footbed and a toe strap which allows our foot to stay dry and cool while walking in terrains. Even if they get wet on crossing water paths, our foot doesn’t lose the grips as they dry easily. However, shock-absorbing outsoles and rimmed edges are best suited for difficult hikes or well-maintained trails. As your foot is open to the air in sandals, you are suggested to avoid walking in a forest or semi-arid climate which could cause itching or any other allergy to you.
Trail-running Shoes– These are light in weight and provides comfort & flexibility resulting in less effort for walking. They are suitable for warm and wet conditions as they get dry easily than other hiking shoes. Undoubtedly ideal for multi-day hikes on any kind of trail as they are highly breathable for dry and cool feet. But they are not preferred for climbing rocks as you can’t use crampons, snowshoes and microspikes with them. You are also suggested to avoid muddy terrain when wearing trail running shoes as they get uncomfortable in these situations.
Hiking Shoes- Different from Trail runners as these shoes are heavier and the stiffer flex provides a solid platform for walking on rough trails and protects feet from sharp rocks. Generally, preferred for hiking and backpacking with moderate load or rough terrain but not easy to dry as they are thick and strong in shape so not suggested for cold and snowy weather. They also come in waterproof models so choose wisely regarding your trek weather conditions as they take longer in dry as well.
Hiking Boots– These are popular among the trekkers for their comfort and solidly built as they are mid-cut footwear that keeps them warm and offers ankle support and stability over sandals or trekking shoes. As they provide enough traction and balance for off-trail hikes and rough terrain makes them successful for trekking in all places. Waterproof boots ensure water protection in crossing creeks, swamps and flooded areas while keeping the comfort and durability of the boots.
Backpacking Boots– They are best suited for winter and off-trail hiking on rugged terrain as they give stability, support and motion control over other hiking shoes or boots. They are high-cut with balance and ankle support and designed for carrying heavier loads as they have full-grain leather, thick rubber outsole and midsole with PU foam, rock plates and toe bumper. So they are preferred for trekking in winter and forests for keeping the feet warm and comfortable.
Mountaineering Boots– These are the best choice for glacial travel and higher elevations as they are extremely tough and durable with thick uppers of more than 3mm, and thermal insulation for warmth in low temperatures. However, stiff plastic boots are bulky limiting ankle flexibility and sometimes found uncomfortable on long expeditions for being too heavy. As they are usually recommended for professionals only which makes them expensive as well.
These are all the different types of trekking or hiking shoes and boots available in the market. Next time, you can wisely choose your footwear with proper guidance which will definitely enhance your travelling and trekking experience.
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