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Here’s How To Choose The Right Trekking Shoes

Trek: Annapurna Base Camp

Whether your trekking experience turns out to be blissful or blister-full depends on your choice of trekking shoes. When it comes to planning your trip, the first thing to consider should always be a trekking shoe. Buying the right pair of trekking shoes can be an overwhelming task as there are so many different brands available and also different types of trek require different types of shoes. To make your search for an Ideal Trekking Shoe easier, our trek Leader Joslyn has tried to explain every detail of a trekking shoe, its importance, and which brand offers the best. You can watch the video guide here:

Here are some tips to help you choose the right trekking shoe for yourself.

Your trekking shoes should provide a good grip, preferably select high ankle shoes. They prevent ankle injuries. They provide stability while walking on rocks or while descending. Take a look at the grooves while selecting the shoes, the grooves need to be deep for best stability.

To select the ideal pair of trekking shoes for yourself you need to understand the structure of a trekking shoe. This will help you choose the right pair of shoes for yourself. Here are some components that determine the durability and comfort of the shoe.

The outer part of the shoe decides the durability and the water-resistance capacity of the shoe. Earlier leather membranes were used in trekking shoes and are still used even today. Go for shoes with synthetic (polyester nylon) outer as they are light and dry fast. The outer layer of your shoe needs to be waterproof or at the very least water-resistant. Check the type of waterproof membrane, when selecting the shoe. The most popular brand is Gore-Tex.

– Midsole/Insole

Midsole determines the stability and comfort of your shoes. There are various types of midsoles available. Choose one that is abrasion-resistant for the prevention of blisters. Midsoles usually come with high ankle shoes, the raised heel reduces the chances of slipping or skidding during the trek. Insoles provide comfort and cushioning to the feet and ease your walk through the trail. While purchasing trekking shoes, do not fall prey to cheap insoles. You can choose soles of Ortholite for the best comfort.

This is the most important part of the shoe and provides traction and grip while on your trek. The outer sole keeps your feet in proper contact with the ground. Vibram is the most recognized company for soles. When selecting trekking shoes, ensure that the sole is flexible and not hard like snow boots. Now, based on the shape of your foot, choose the shoes accordingly. For example, for broader feet do not buy narrow sole shoes or else your feet may slide while walking. Also, check if your shoes are compatible with crampons. While most shoes are made crampon-compatible, you should still ensure the same. Be aware of shops that sell the first copy of many branded shoes.

Usually, a combination of Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, Aptonia/Ortholite insoles, and Vibram soles are considered the best. But these are expensive too. If you are a frequent trekker and feel the worth of investing in these then shoes you must. There are other shoes in the lower price range for less frequent trekkers as well.

When selecting the trekking shoes, make sure that there is enough room for your feet to breathe. Too tight a fit can cause blisters in your fit. Always buy a shoe +1 of your foot size. When you wear your shoes, your toes should not touch the front when properly laced up. Also, after walking for long hours feet tend to swell and it needs extra space. Also, 1-2 layers of woolen socks on cold days will need some space inside the shoes, so buying shoes a size bigger is recommended. If possible, get used to your shoes before bringing them on the trek.

This is another thing that you need to consider when selecting your trekking shoes. The backpack weight is going to influence the choice of your shoes. If you are not carrying a backpack or carrying a lightweight backpack for a short hike, you can opt for a lightweight shoe, depending on the terrain. However, if you are going to carry a heavy backpack for multiple days of trekking then you should choose trekking shoes, preferably with high ankles for additional support.

The weather plays a big role in the choice of shoes. If the weather on treks is mostly dry with a little amount of dew, you do not need waterproof shoes, a water repellent shoe will do the job here. If you are trekking during rainy or snowy weather, you will need a waterproof trekking shoe with proper insulation to keep your feet warm. Lastly, if you hike mostly in the summer, when the weather is pretty hot, go for breathable trekking shoes.

Choosing hiking boots is not always easy and there are a lot of factors that come into play. The above tips will help you choose the right trekking shoes for your mountain expeditions.