Walk for kilometres in a great pair of walking boots and shoes
Technical boots are an essential part of your hill walking and trekking equipment. To be able to walk for kilometres and climb to the summit with a lightweight or fully packed walking backpack, then you should definitely equip yourself with a well-fitting pair of walking boots to prevent any blistering or pain.
The right pair of walking boots for women, men & children
Nowadays, there are walking boots and shoes specially designed for women. Since women typically have narrower feet, these walking boots are equipped with a narrower last to ensure adventurous women have unforgettable and pain-free outdoor adventures. As for men, they tend to have wider, longer feet. Therefore, when shopping for a pair of walking boots or shoes, men can rely on wider lasts and larger sizes. Of course, there are also walking boots specially designed for children.
Features of mountain footwear
In order for a pair of walking boots or shoes to meet hiking’s high demands, the outdoor footwear should have a mid-cut shaft. This will prevent you from twisting your ankles and from unpleasant impacts against your ankles.
In addition, they’ve got to be both waterproof and breathable, since they’ll predominantly be used in rough, alpine terrain in windy and rainy conditions. Speaking of rain, a good pair of waterproof shoes should feature a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane on the upper. In addition, having an abrasion-resistant and non-slip Vibram sole with aggressive lugs will provide great traction for wet alpine trails, slippery rocks and mud. If you mainly walk on easy terrain, don’t carry heavy equipment and don’t have heavy hiking clothes (e.g. on a day tour in the low mountain range,) then you can opt for lightweight walking boots.
What to look out for when buying walking boots
Modern trekking boots aren’t the same heavy, bulky boots made of leather from the past. Shoemaking innovations have helped create more durable, stable boots that ensure surefootedness, yet are super lightweight. However, the most important factor is the shoe's fit. No matter how well-made and expensive the walking boots are, if they don't fit right, they won't do the job.
Many outdoor brands, such as Hanwag, Lowa or La Sportiva, have therefore decided to offer different last widths and extra sizes. Another important thing to point out when buying walking boots or shoes is that they should feel a little wide rather than too tight. This guarantees comfort even if the foot swells after a long walk or in warmer climates.
Don’t forget to break in your walking boots and shoes
Before going on your first hike or mountaineering adventure with your new companions, you should make sure to properly break them in. Hiking and trekking boots will feel just right after a good walk, particularly in mixed terrain, to prevent you from getting blisters down the road. Once you’ve found the perfect pair of walking boots and wear them with suitable hiking socks (e.g. made of merino wool), nothing will stand in your way of an unforgettable walk!