Hiking and Walking  

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Purchasing a good pair of hiking shoes is not just about getting a pair you like the look of. It’s not the same as getting a pair of fashion shoes where everything is about the look and style and nothing to do much with the suitability or the “firm” feel of the soles. When you’re looking for a pair of shoes that’ll do the job, you need to think about several points, among them the kind of hikes you’ll be setting out on.

What can you pay for a typical pair of walking shoes? They can cost anywhere from $70 to $150. That’s a bit pricey for only a pair of shoes, right? But while it’s true that hiking shoes are a bit on the pricey side, every walker knows that a quality pair are essential.

What should you look out for?

Your shoes are bought for a reason and that reason is to cope with as much rough outback hiking and trail blazing as they can in order to shield your feet. The type of landscape and distance you’ll usually cover and the degree of shielding from the weather are all points to consider. A standard trail for instance, typical in most moderate treks, doesn’t require more than a pair of day hikers. These are a slightly more robust version of your everyday trainers used for walking or running.

But, for extended trips, you might need something more robust. Rough trails or hikes often mean that you will be loading extra supplies and equipment on your back. So you will be better off with a higher, firmer shoe than just day hikers.

Your hiking shoes should also contain a hard steel or plastic shank for better shielding against rough surfaces and suppress the boot from twisting. In addition, these added properties will give stabilize you ankles and feet..

If you’re only planning to go on short trips and easy terrain, you can probably do with lightweight boots constructed of nylon or other synthetic materials.

Making sure you get a good fit.

Try these suggestions for a start:

• Go shopping later in the afternoon, or after you’ve walked a fair distance. Your feet are most likely to be swollen at that time – the way they’ll be after a few hours on the track

• Wear similar socks while trying on hiking shoes or boots that you intend to have while hiking.

• Don’t trust the numerical sizes to much. These differ from one manufacturer to another and even from one style to another within the same company. It’s not unusual for shoes to run a good size larger than fashion shoes, you’ll find.

What’s in a brandname?

When trying on hiking shoes, comfort is the order of the day. Also, make sure that they have all the qualities you want. For instance, if track is in a place where there’s persistent rain. You’re obviously going to get your feet wet from time to time. This is what causes foot blisters if you’re not wary. So be careful to look for shoes that keep the water out and dry quickly.

If you’re going to tramp up a lot of slidey or rocky trails, go for a boot with a stiff, firm sole and deep Vibram treading. These will help firm up your grip on slippery surfaces.

In most circumstances you’re going to get the quality and durability that you pay for. So the more you pay out for them, the better prepared these shoes are likely to be for rugged tracks and outback trails. But, there is a far more important thing than brand or price, and that is finding the shoes that fits properly. Take your time, try on as many pairs as necessary until you find the ones that are just right – your feet will thank you over and over again.

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