Hiking Boots Guide
While on a trekking trip, the comfort level of your feet can seriously impact your mood and energy. Your hiking boots play an important role in the overall experience of your trek. They serve to support your body weight, along with all your gear and backpack. In addition to support, your boots also protect your feet from rocks, branches and moisture. In challenging terrain, they protect your ankles from uneven rises and drops.
What type of boots to choose depends on the length of your trek and type of terrain you will face along the way. When hiking through wet soil, as often seen in certain areas of the Swedish mountains, requires boots that are waterproof. If you plan to carry a backpack loaded with gear for a multi-day trip, then you need a sturdier boot compared to simply heading out for a day hike. Read further to learn more about choosing the right type of hiking boots to ensure an enjoyable adventure in the great outdoors.
Size & Fit
As with all active footwear, size and fit of hiking boots is of the utmost importance. They should never be too small, as it is essential to have freedom of motion inside the boots. When trying on for size, make sure to wear socks similar to what you plan to be hiking with. There should be a minimum of 1 centimeter between your big toe and the front tip of the boot. Feet have a tendency to swell while walking, and should the trail slope downwards, your toes should not reach the front of your boot – as this will lead to problems with sore toenails. Fit is another key component, try on several types until you find one that fits your foot well. To avoid blisters, it is important to have solid grip at the ankle and heel. The front of the boot should be wide enough to permit your foot muscles to relax. Lastly, consider adequate arch support, since this is another significant element to the comfort level of your hiking boots.
Layer Up On Socks
The right choice of socks is critical, equally as important the boot itself to providing comfort. It is recommended to wear high-grade socks made from wool or a wool/synthetic blend. A common practice among experienced trekkers is to wear two layers; one tight fitting layer and another thicker, porous sock. This helps to transfer friction within the boot to occur between the layers of socks, thus not directly affecting your skin. A common mistake is to embark on a trek in cotton socks, this is not a good idea. Blisters are often a result of this misstep, as cotton traps moisture.
Another tip is to remove your boots and air-dry your feet as often as possible, even better would be to put on a pair of dry socks. This will considerably reduce chances of developing blisters.
Break In Your Boots
It is highly recommend to break in your boots prior to embarking on a long trek. A popular rule of thumb is to wear your boots for at least 200 kilometers to make sure they are properly broken in. This will help reduce problems such as blisters, which can take the fun out of a wonderful day on the trails.
Swedish Proverb: Old love never rusts – or does it?
Your cherished, trusty pair of hiking boots need love too. Don’t forget that boots are technically a perishable item. It is highly recommended to swap out worn-out insoles for a new pair, and to check the seams closely for rips. Wear and tear on laces are often overlooked, along with the condition of leather – applying a treatment agent will help guard against premature cracking. Soles are similar to a building’s foundation, check for fissures and make sure they are not loose. The lifespan of your boots often depends on how they are stored. Cool and dry storage conditions will lead to a long trekking life with your boots.
About HANWAG Outdoor Footwear
Our sister brand HANWAG has been manufacturing top-quality outdoor footwear since 1921. The master craftsmen and craftswomen from this legendary Bavarian brand have been producing first-class boots and shoes for over 90 years. HANWAG stands for innovation spawned by tradition. Discover the collection at www.hanwagboots.ca