When I planned a trip last year to Australia I decided to buy a pair of hiking shoes for the activities I wanted to do over there.
Walking through Australia’s Blue Mountains is not your average walk in the park. Many stairs, a lot of walking up and downwards, and rough forest terrain. I guess some years ago I would not have even thought about getting hiking shoes for such a trip, but nowadays I know that it is important to take care of my feet! Some simple sneakers will hurt your feet after an hour of walking and your feet definitely need some extra comfort for an actual hike.
Let alone the leeches that can crawl into your shoes… Well they can still actually, but their chances just got smaller. If you wear good hiking shoes and you would walk through some water or it starts to rain your feet will not get wet. Your feet will be better protected against anything from the outside of your shoe really.
Especially when you hike through a glacier a pair of hiking shoes can be your +1. They keep your feet dry and warm, and it just gets better when you have hiking shoes with the material Gore-tex (or something similar).
Here is my list of reasons for using hiking shoes:
- Rugged soles for better traction. You need something that can prevent you from slipping on a natural trail. Hiking shoes are designed to give a good grip.
- No poke-through. Whenever you are walking on a road with many rocks you need a pair of shoes that will not cause a lot of discomfort. Hiking shoes have a rock-guard that will prevent rocks from poking through your sole.
- Tougher. Hiking shoes will not rip easily when you encounter rocks, roots or sticks that might tear up a simple walking or running shoe.
- Waterproof. When you go hiking you might encounter some streams you have to cross or wet trails. While your friend steps into a puddle of water with his sneakers and gets his feet wet, you on the other hand do the same with your hiking shoes and keep your feet dry and happy. Believe me, you do not want to dry your socks on a campfire in the middle of nowhere.
- Walk like a pro. You will look awesome 😉 There are plenty of nice looking hiking shoes out there. I think my pair looks nice, right?
My current hiking shoes are from the Decathlon’s brand Quechua and are called Forclaz 500 for women. They look nice and I have not gotten the need for anything more fancy so far. I can tell you that these shoes are a bit heavy for my backpack and that they will be quit warm in the tropics, but for now they do just fine.
If you are planning to buy a pair of hiking shoes, go to a store where you can try them on and bring the socks you plan to use. Spend some time walking around in the store to get a good sense. There should not be too much space in the front of the shoes, but a little bit for the toes to be able to wiggle. I would advise you to walk around at home when you buy new hiking shoes, because you do not want to get blisters on your hike.
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