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Hiking Boots: How to Choose One

When you embark on that wilderness journey you need a shoe that is comfortable, light and offers adequate protection. Here in Kenya, you can buy hiking boots when new or second hand. Ensure the second-hand ones are as good as new ones not compromise comfort or durability.

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A hiking boot is constructed to offer comfort for walking considerable distance over rough terrain. They should be of high quality and durable to enhance hiker’s ability to walk long distances without injury.

Hiking boots that protect hiker’s feet, heel and sometimes ankles are recommended. They should be neither too loose nor too tight, to help prevent sore feet and blisters.

Types of Hiking Boots

Trail Shoes

These are designed for hiking in dry climates and on less rugged or rocky paths.

Trail Hikers

These are designed for steeper inclines and muddy paths. They are lightweight, sturdy, higher-cut, and watertight. They are meant to offer more stability and ankle protection against protruding rocks or hard surfaces. Trail hikers only support light loads.

Mountain or Hill Walking Boots/Mountaineering Boots

These are made for mountain and hill walking, backpacking and mountaineering. It is possible to attach crampons on them to offer more grip on glaciers or snow. They are usually strong, durable and high cut with stiff soles to offer ankle support and protection. They are designed to carry heavier loads on multi-day trips.

Hiking Boots Recap: Tips for Choosing Hiking Boots

Here is the summary of choosing the right hiking boots.

Decode the style

Hiking boots are made for specific types of trekking. Choose the right style depending on the trekking you are about to do.

Material of the boots

Choose the right material as this will determine how your feet feel. The wrong fabric will make your feet hot, cramped, and uncomfortable.

Nylon and polyester are easy to break in, feel light, and dry faster when wet. The biggest challenge is that they are less water-resistant.

Split-grain leather is made with a combination of both leather and synthetics. It is not quite durable like the like full-grain leather and is less water-resistant.

Full-grain leather is very durable and water-resistant. However, it is very heavy and less breathable. Most Mountaineering boots are made with this material.

Hiking Boots Cut

Low-cut boots are lightweight and are suitable for casual hiking on well-maintained trails. However, they leave your ankles exposed to injuries.

Mid-cut hiking boots offer ankle support and balance along the trail. Good to go Hiking at Karura Forest.

High-cut hiking boots offer optimal balance and ankle support and protection and are suitable for serious hikers going on and off the trail, traversing dangerous terrain such as Mount Kenya and Ngong Hills.

Hiking Boot Fit

Hiking boot should fit snug everywhere, tight nowhere and offer room for your toes to wiggle. Your feet usually swell at the end of the day and hence you should try your hiking boots at this time. Fit them with the socks you plan to wear. Walk around with them even on inclined surfaces to ensure there are quite comfortable.

Hiking Socks

Good hiking boots go well with good hiking socks. Hiking socks should be able to wick feet sweat, provide warmth and cushion the feet.

Aftermarket insoles

You should also consider aftermarket insoles/footbeds to enhance comfort, support or fit.

Go get them and see you on the trail!

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