How to choose your hiking boots

Hiking boots

Hiking in the summer is good, but hiking in the fall is even BETTER! The fresh air, the magic of the multilayer, the breathtaking landscapes. Quebec is full of trails of all kinds, both for outdoor walking enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. Winding or rather gentle, the various hiking trails require that we think of our feet. And to do this, choosing the right hiking shoe or boot is key. POP shoes is therefore taking over to guide you in choosing the right model to wear for your hikes this year. 

Characteristics of the walking area

You should know that each trail has the right shoe, sneaker or hiking boot. Thus, we prefer certain models for easy trails, others for mountain hikes, then the same thing when we feel ready to face a hike on trails or heavily rugged or steep terrain, especially during long outings. duration. And trails, there is something for everyone; it is therefore important to identify them properly. 

Easy trail

The easy trail has a slight to moderate slope and its surfaces are stable and regular. We are therefore talking about a flat terrain that everyone, alone, with family or friends can borrow. 

Mountainous and rugged path

The mountainous or rugged path (or both!) Is suitable for walkers with good shoes and offers steep slopes in addition to being strewn with stones and roots. The ground is sometimes dry, sometimes muddy, which can make it slippery and more or less stable. 

Difficult terrain

Like the rugged terrain, the “difficult” category hiking trail is ideal for adventurous hikers and hikers. It presents many natural obstacles, rivers to cross, stumps to bypass and areas to climb! 

 

Characteristics of hiking shoes

Now that you have identified your trail style, it is time to know the components and characteristics of your hiking shoe or boot. We find the sole, thin or more rigid, the strap, higher if we are talking about hiking boots, the weight as well as the impermeability. 

Sole texture

The flexible sole provides good freedom of movement and promotes the roll of the foot, but will not protect against rocks or roots. In doing so, if you prefer urban hikes or on easy trails, your sole will be absorbent, flexible and light, which will also make it more ventilated!

Although they sometimes require a short moment of relaxation (made possible by wearing your shoe or boot before a long hike), rigid soles are suitable for more arid terrain that requires your ankle to be quite stable. As rougher trails present many obstacles, the stiff sole limits foot fatigue and is also more durable. However, the choice of a rigid sole can be suitable for all types of walkers: it is only important to know that a rigid sole provides durability and stability and that in return it will be heavier and less inclined to “breathe”.

Shoe height

Here, a single piece of advice to remember: the higher the shoe, the more the ankles are protected! Beyond this advice, the precise height depends on the overall comfort when trying on your hiking shoe or boot. 

Shoe weight

It is also important to consider the weight of the shoe and to find a good compromise between lightness and stability. We've covered the sole weight, but the overall weight of your shoe is also intimately related to the length of your excursion as well as your fitness and ability to lift your shoe with every stride. 

Impermeability

As for waterproofing, here again, the right balance is in order. The more waterproof the shoe, the less it breathes, and vice versa. Is your feeling muddy, do you tend to sweat a lot from your feet? Do you plan to walk for a long time or a few hours in the heat of a balmy morning? Water resistance is a determining factor in the overall comfort of your hiking shoe or boot!

 

Shoes, sneakers or hiking boots?

Now that you know the duration of your hike, the condition of its trails and whether or not you need to carry heavy loads, it's time to select the model that will best suit your hiker needs!

Lightweight hiking shoes are ideal for short hikes, as are trail running sneakers. Hiking boots, short or long, are intended for rougher trails and provide the necessary support when carrying heavier loads. 

Lightweight hiking boots are useful when the trails are well maintained, that is, without large stones or bumps. Hiking shoes are also ideal when carrying a light backpack or on hikes that do not require any equipment. Since hiking sneakers are more flexible and lighter, they allow you to move with more agility. They are ideal for those who do not need ankle support nor for the ankle to be stabilized. 

Hiking boots, on the other hand, are your best allies in terms of stability. Whether they support the ankle at mid-height or full height, they will become your best friends against inclement weather, natural obstacles, long-lasting hikes and high loading!

 

Are running sneakers suitable for hiking?

As mentioned, it is important to know in advance what type of trail is suitable for your hiking goals and activities. While it is possible to wear your running sneakers while hiking, it is best to pamper your feet with a trail running shoe especially if you plan to enjoy and repeat this type of outdoor hobby. Trail running shoes have sturdier soles and therefore provide better traction and grip. They better protect your feet from obstacles and are more durable! 

 

The best brands of hiking shoes

Sportchief

Sportchief Hiking shoes offer an ideal blend of absorption and traction! They are comfortable and allow moisture to escape while protecting against the elements.

Here is the Trail Pro model:

Sportchief Trail Pro hiking shoes

Trail pro taupe color

See all Sportchief models

Columbia

Columbia brand hiking shoes combine comfort and style! Indeed, their look is often classic and inspired by mountaineering boots. They absorb shocks well and several models are suitable for long hikes. 

See all Columbia models

 

Keen

Keen offers accessible and often hybrid models of hiking boots; thus they are suitable for many types of hikers. Their often bright colors make them the clothing items of choice!

 

Merrell

Merrell hiking boots provide good foot protection while being lightweight and breathable. Versatile, they will accompany your hikes in all durability. 

See all Merrell models

 

There are still many beautiful fall days left to enjoy the hiking trails and mountains in your region. With the right hiking shoe, a good snack and a water bottle, you will be perfectly equipped!