There are different types of hiking shoes available online and they are intended to be used for different types of hiking. Generally, you will have seven options to consider here.
- Technical scrambling
- Trail running
- Trail walking
- Water shoes
- Winter shoes
You should know which of these hiking shoes are intended for what use and choose accordingly. You should know that not all hiking shoes are meant for all types of hiking and if you plan to hike in different conditions, you should buy your shoes accordingly.
Choose hiking shoes as per your experience
If you are new to hiking, hiking boots make more sense. Not only are these boots more robust, but they ensure that all the parts of your legs are well protected – calves, ankles, Achilles tendons and feet and so on. As you become more experienced in hiking, you can then opt for hiking shoes that are designed for more experienced hikers.
Pay attention to the uppers, outsoles and midsoles of hiking shoes
The upper portions of hiking shoes help manage weight, breathing, water resistance and durability and there are plenty of materials that you can consider for hiking shoes uppers. If you are looking at leather, you can opt between full-grain leather, split-grain leather and nubuck leather. If you are looking at synthetic materials, consider uppers made of nylon or polyester. There are specialized materials like Gore-Tex and eVent that make your hiking shoes waterproof. You can also opt for extra insulation in the uppers, especially when you intend to hike in extremely cold conditions. Even vegan uppers are available these days.
For outsoles, consider between lug pattern and heel brake. Deep and widely space lugs not only offer better traction, but they can also shed mud easily. For steep descents, you should use hiking shoes with heel brakes. These brakes are placed in the heel region and prevent sliding when you are descending.
For the midsoles, consider between polyurethane and EVA. The former is more durable and is ideal for mountaineering and extended backpacking. Shoes with EVA midsoles are slightly less expensive and can be added to the shoes wherever extra support is required. EVA midsoles are available in different degrees of density.
For the area between the midsoles and outsoles, there are separate support components available. Plates are thin inserts that prevent your feet from bruises due to uneven rocks and shanks are thicker inserts that help in lead bearing.
Get the right sized hiking shoes
While there are plenty of fancy hiking shoes available, nothing matters more than the right size. As mentioned above, your hiking shoes should fit your feet so well that you can afford to forget about them. For this, you can either measure the size of your feet or visit a shoe store and try out different hiking shoes there. Once you know what size fits your feet, you can shop online and save money.
Don’t buy cheap hiking shoes
Never opt for cheaper options in hiking shoes because your safety depends on how good your shoes are. Check out the best shoes for hiking available online and compare them. Consider the features, the type (depending on what type of hiking you intend to do), the design and the cost. You should have a budget in mind but be prepared to keep it flexible because the shoes you need may be more expensive.
Which hiking shoes for which use ?
As mentioned above, only opt for the bestselling hiking shoes. Some of the top models for you to consider are Merrell Siren Sport Women's Hiking Shoes, Men's Timberland Rugged 6 Inch Waterproof Boots, Lowa 320945 Women's Renegade GTX Mid, Salomon RockClimber Mid CSWP Women's Multi-Sport Shoes and The North Face CQ24 Men's Storm Winter WP.
If leather is your preference, then some of the top hiking shoes for you to consider are Merrell J86595W Men's Moab Ventilator Wide, Men's Timberland Rugged 6 Inch Waterproof Boots, Salomon 371051 Unisex Quest Origins GTX, Ecco 833614 Men's Whistler Gabbro GTX and Lowa 220698 Women's Vantage GTX Mid.
Since the safety quotient is more important than the fashion quotient in hiking shoes, you can always opt for unisex hiking shoes. Some of the top unisex shoes in Canadian online stores are Salomon 371051 Unisex Quest Origins GTX, MBT Sport Black 7.5, Blundstone Crepe Sole Black 10.5 UK, MBT Sport Black 5.5 and MBT Sport Grey 7.