There are fewer things that put you in touch with nature quite like a good hike and I have spent at least 2 or 3 weeks each year for the last 10, on hiking trips around the world. I love to explore anyway and hiking enables you the complete freedom to discover the world around you in a way that car, bike and air travel simply cannot.
I always focus very heavily on what I buy when it comes to my hiking equipment and after many years of making mistakes in terms of what I took with me, I now have this down to a fine art. One such decision that I always find tough, is which hiking shoes to buy and it has only been very recently that I have got this decision just right. If you are in the market for some hiking shoes, here are the most important things that you need to consider before you even look at brands or models.
Picking the size of your hiking shoes is not like when you shop for trainers or boots, where you can give yourself a little leeway, hiking shoes have to be just right. If you allow for space at the front or the sides then your feet will be moving around a great deal as you walk and this means blisters, something which could potentially ruin your trip altogether. If you have hiking shoes which are too tight, you will do terrible damage to your feet and end up with any number of problems. The reason why this is so difficult to gauge is that as you walk, your feet will swell so you must have a little bit of room free to allow for this. Try to find hiking boots which have around 0.5 centimeter of space on each side, this should be enough to give you feet space to swell and avoid them being too loose.
Honestly, unless you are an Instagrammer looking for likes, leave the fashion choices at the door when you are picking your hiking boots. First of all you will usually find that the prettier the boots, the worse that they are and it is far better to focus on practicality rather than fashion. The second point to make is that even if you get some beautiful boots which fit like a glove, they won’t stay beautiful for very long once you hit the mud, dust and water.
When you are hiking, your feet are the most important part of the operation and you should look after them at all costs. If you have spent a pretty penny on some comfortable and durable hiking boots, and then after your first hike you realize that they are not suited to you, it is time to sell them. This is not easy to accept but the truth is that you don’t know how good the boots are until you have tested them. If you are not ruthless in this decision, you will only cause yourself more problems in the future.
Spend time on making the right choice and accept that you may not get it right first time.