Hiking: Boots or Shoes?
Article revised on 11 June 2018
Hiking enthusiasts: Do you have the right footwear? You can find the perfect shoe – or boot – for all terrain conditions.
If you want to go for a short hike in town or on a flat trail, a light and comfortable trail shoe will do the job.
For longer hikes on rocky, uneven terrain, you need good foot and ankle support. Then, you do more of the work with your powerful thigh muscles and don’t strain your calves. As well, the support provided by your boot helps stabilize your ankles, reducing the risk of a sprain.
All in all, a good pair of shoes can spare you a lot of pain and discomfort.
Make a wise choice based on your preferences and walking habits. Depending on your needs, good footwear can seem very expensive.
Don’t hesitate to ask an expert at a specialty shop for advice in finding the right footwear for you.
No more blisters!
Here are some simple and effective strategies for preventing blisters, the most common foot problem for hikers:
- Wear well-fitting socks made of wool or synthetic fibres that keep your feet dry.
- Wear very thin liner socks under a regular pair of socks. Any friction takes place between your liner and outer socks, rather than against your shoe.
- Apply talcum powder to keep your feet dry.
- Choose your footwear carefully. Your shoes or boots must fit properly with no chafing or pressure points.
- Lace up your shoes: not too loose, not too tight…just right! Don’t hesitate to change your laces during the hike, if necessary.
- If possible, take advantage of rest breaks to air your feet by removing your socks and shoes.
- Don’t set out on a long hike wearing a pair of new shoes.
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