After completing numerous arduous hikes, we have to say that a sturdy good pair of hiking shoes definitely make a significant difference to your hiking experience. So what should we look out for when choosing a pair of hiking shoes? We have narrowed it down to 5 practical tips on choosing the right hiking shoes for your next trek.
1. Light but sturdy
You would definitely want your shoes to be as minimal and light as possible. Hiking long distances is enervating enough and the last thing you’ll want is a pair of shoes that will weigh you down. Minimalistic is good but at the same time, ensure that it’s sturdy enough to endure the long distances and rough terrain! You also wouldn’t want a lightweight pair of shoes that tears up into 3 parts before your next water break. Reinforced toe cap protection would be a bonus in protecting your toe from hitting against any rocky obstacle (which happened a lot to me!)
2. Soles with solid grip
It’s not easy to trust your equipment but to take the next step forward, you have to learn to trust in your shoes. We prefer using shoes that have Vibram® soles which offers excellent grip and durability. When hiking on rocky surfaces, our shoes provide a solid grip which assures us and protects us from any nasty slips.
As long as you’re out hiking in the wilderness, you’ll always be susceptible to the unexpected weather elements. You’ll never know when it’s going to snow, rain or if you have to cross any river. The best option would be to choose a pair of waterproof shoes that would save you from trekking with wet uncomfortable feet! The best waterproof material would be Gore-Tex® which prides itself as ‘highest performance waterproof, windproof and breathable weather protection’.
4. Mid to high cut
Hiking on uneven rocky terrain is always challenging and maintaining one’s balance is not easy! A mid to high cut pair of hiking shoes helps to provide great ankle support in such situations and can even save your ankle should you happen to miss your step and fall.
The ideal type of shoes feels comfortable and right for your feet even on your first trek with it. We never had any blisters with our shoes right from the first day when we wore them. Even after trekking an average of 6-8 hours a day for a few days consecutively, our feet were still surviving fine without any blisters or serious abrasion. Remember to always get 1 size bigger as when you’re hiking, your feet will swell and to facilitate blood circulation, you’ll need a bigger pair of shoes. Never get a too fitting and snug pair of shoes when trying them out at the mall!
We are both using The North Face Ultra Fastpack Mid GTX series and we’ve been very satisfied with its performance so far! We highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an ideal pair of hiking shoes. The North Face Ultra Fastpack series has all of the above qualities and also offers a bonus which is its reflective webbing, a safety factor especially when trekking in the dark. There is a separate model for both men and women.
No matter how good the shoes might be, please note that it does not make you invincible when hiking and it’s definitely still mandatory to take the necessary safety precautions! Always better to err on the side of caution! Happy trekking! 🙂
So what do you think is the most important factor in choosing an ideal pair of trekking shoes? Share it with us in the comments below! 🙂
Thank you The North Face for providing us the above pair of shoes to test out on our adventures!