Best Footwear For Hiking – Pt II

In a recent article, newcomers to the hiking craze were advised on what to look out for when choosing their footwear.

Given the nature of the activity, the shoes are the most important element of all the required gear. So for the moment, forget about the cute fanny pack or the macho-looking military-style water tumbler and give full attention to choosing the right footwear.

The HikingGuy website categorised the types of hiking footwear into the following categories:

Trail runners

Looking for comfort and don’t mind changing shoes every 800 km? Then the trail runners are up your alley. They are lighter and more “springy” than hiking shoes.

Trail runners have more breathable uppers too but offer less protection. If you’re bushwacking off-trail, trail runners are probably not your best bet.

But the lightness and comfort make hiking feel like you are walking down the street in sneakers. Some trail runners have durability issues and will last less than 800 km.

Hiking Shoes

Combine the best elements of the hiking boots and trail runners, and the result is the hiking shoes.

They are lighter and more comfortable than the hiking boots, but generally offer the same level of protection (minus the cuff around your ankle).

Hiking shoes are designed to last longer than a trail runner but are usually heavier because of the extra protection.

They’re also a bit stiffer than a trail runner. Overall the durability, lighter weight, and protection offer the best balance for hikers.

Hiking boots

If you just want to maximise protection and a shoe that will last (potentially) for thousands of kilometres, go with a hiking boot. These are tough as nails.

Overall they are heavier and require more energy to hike with. However, if you are going off-trail or want something beefy for every condition, including wet weather, a hiking boot is a good choice.

If hiking is your thing, imagine living in a location that has one of the best hiking trails right at your doorstep. To find out more, check out: