How to choose the best trekking shoe?

How to choose the best trekking shoe?

Written by Sanjana on 18-Nov-2019

Trekking is a form of walking, to explore and for enjoying the unspoiled wilderness. To fulfill this purpose one has to have the right shoes. While Trekking shoes are of utmost importance, good trekking shoes provide comfort to your feet and make the whole trekking experience a pleasurable one.

Trekking has something divine and alluring about it. It is meant for those who wish for some action and adventure in their life. The entire trekking aspect, being surrounded by fresh flowing rivers, capped mountains, the sweet distant melody of the birds nearby and abundant flora and fauna is mesmerizing.

snow trekking in india

 

There are different trekking shoes for different trekking experiences. You must ensure that you purchase a good pair of trekking shoes according to your requirement that makes your trekking experience a memorable one. A bad pair can make your whole trekking experience a nightmare.

Things to consider while choosing the best trekking Shoes:

  • Climate Or Weather
  • The Trekking Trail
  • The duration of your trek.
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Grip

Climate or weather plays a very crucial role. It is advisable to ensure that if you are trekking in an environment with warm or dry terrain one must choose low ankle hiking shoes. If the climate is cold then boots for trekking are advisable.

You must know the type of trekking trail that you are setting your foot {shoes} on. Ensuring this will make the entire trekking experience a pleasurable one.

Always make sure that the shoes you wear are the right fit. There are several companies known for making good trekking shoes. Woodland, Kingcamp, Adidas, Wildcraft are some of them. You can pick from one of these brands although they may be expensive but are worth the price in making the journey comfortable.

You should ensure that your shoes are durable and comfortable. It is advised to always buy a pair that is one size bigger than your actual shoe size so as to avoid some big ugly blisters or shoe bites.

You must ensure that your shoes have a good grip on ice snow or rock and most importantly it should have a good grip on wet surfaces. It should be waterproof, it should provide a good amount of support to your ankle and last but not the least it should be light because the lighter the better to enjoy a wholesome trekking experience.

There are different types of trekking shoes according to different trekker’s requirement:

  • Hiking shoes:
  • Quechua trekking shoe

     

    Hiking shoes are like trail running shoes. They are lightweight and good for trekking but if you have to undertake long trekking trails it is advised not to use these shoes they are more suitable for short trails. They are generally perceived to be ideal for areas with a warm climate and dry terrain. These shoes are more comfortable than hiking boots but they don’t provide much ankle support and are useful just to camp around, a stroll around town and for basically really short treks.
    They are usually priced between the range of 2,000 to 3,000 rupees

  • Hiking Boots:
  • trekking boots

     

    These shoes are quite good when you want to undertake long trekking trails. They offer a lot of support to the ankle and leg muscles and are useful for carrying heavy loads. Their uppers are usually made of leather suede or synthetics like Gore-Tex(GTX) or Nova Dry.
    Trekking sometimes can cause you to have occasional twisted ankles or splits don’t worry these shoes will save you, unlike the hiking shoes.
    They are a bit more expensive compared to hiking shoes the price ranges from 4,000 to 9,000 rupees.

  • Expedition Boots:
  • trekking expedition shoes

     

    If you’re in for challenging treks, get yourself some expedition boots. They are designed for those trekkers who have to pass through tricky trails to finish their ultimate camping experience. They are robust, protecting your foot from any injury you incur while trekking. Make sure to buy some good ones. These shoes might be a bit difficult to purchase if you stay in India but one can order it online and get great deals at the same time.

Trekking shoes for the rainy season

Slippery terrain on a monsoon trek and one can slip and this causes a lot of strain on the shoe. Shoes that are not robust enough to handle the monsoon may break under heavy stress. Improper shoes can wreck a trek and it can mean a dangerous and sad hobble to the base camp.

Shoes are the most important piece of gear on a slippery monsoon trek. On a monsoon track, one has muddy slush and wet vegetation. The shoes one chooses has to compensate for the lack of grip. It is essential to have shoes that have aggressively lugged outsoles. Perhaps one can use shoes made of waterproof materials like Gore-Tex or can be coated with hydrophobic materials as they resist water ingression better but the drawback, however, is that they take longer to dry when once wet and there is lack of ventilation. One suggestion could be using Salomon’s Speedcrosser 4 which has aggressively lugged outsoles and are perfect for a monsoon trek.

addidas terrex fast R Gore-tex trekking shoe

 

Other brands of shoes could also include Adidas Terrex Fast R Gore-Tex, La Sportiva Men’s Wildcat, Altra Men’s Lone Peak, Oboz Men’s Sawtooth Low Bdry.

Hiking is moderately paced while trekking is more vigorous, done with a purpose to achieve something and reach somewhere and takes place over a varied terrain hence having the right trekking shoes are very important.

It is important to note that both quality and comfort are equally important while buying trekking shoes for the monsoon. They should be lightweight and one size bigger than usual, the lightweight makes the walk comfortable and the bigger size allows the feet to breathe and prevents stress on the feet. The shoes should have a good grip with optimum ankle height.

Trekking shoes for Snow

The weight of the trekking shoes are an important factor, followed by ankle support and proper grooves for grip, shoes should enhance comfort and be waterproof.

Water-resistant, mid-rise ankle trekking boots are made with stiffer construction to provide more support and protection on snowy terrains. The category needed here is available from INR 4000 to INR 7000 from brands like Wildcraft, Himgear, Quechua and Columbia with many additional features.

trekking shoes with crampons

 

Cushioning and Padding are also very important features as one will be walking with weight for around 6-7 hours, so a well-padded shoe is helpful, cushioning protects the heels as a painful heel is a common problem among trekkers another factor is insulation as high altitude zones are snowbound and cold shoes should provide some insulation against the cold. Different brands have different insulation technologies.

Trekking in the snow takes one to remote regions where the weather is very volatile. It can rain or snow at any time. River crossings are another factor to consider as there is a chance of the shoes becoming wet, drying wet shoes over the fire is a waste of resources and may damage shoes so once again waterproofing of shoes is important.

Different brands use different methods for waterproofing, Novadry and Gore-Tex are to mention a few technologies.

Trekking shoes are different from casual and regular shoes.

Trekking shoes are meant to be different, they are slightly above the ankle and also cover the ankle. This helps to limit the movement of the feet in difficult terrains and avoid sprain and other leg injuries. The sole of the trekking shoes are meant to be anti-skid, the outer material water repellent and the shoelaces have to be long enough to fasten it across the feet. Trek shoes are more rugged and have a bit harder sole of course with cushion inside and are just designed for an ankle-length.

Trekking shoes are sturdier than the average running shoes because thicker soles reinforced leather fabrics and at the same time are lighter and more comfortable.

There are comfort and functionality.

Casual shoes are the type of footwear that is rather comfortable and suitable for daily use, casual use. There is a wide variety of casual shoes for example Loafers, Converse, Mocassins, Sneakers, Dessert boots, Boat shoes the list is quite staggering. When it’s time to dress down, casual and regular shoes are the way to go. Casual shoes make one look cool and stay comfortable. One can trek in running shoes. Trail running shoes are the best type of running shoes to trek with and are often recommended by experienced hikers.

Sports shoes as well are meant for good grips over the nominal surface with cushioning effect rendering it soft, but during a trek, one needs a rugged sole with both good ankle and foot grip.

If one is looking at Nike, Adidas, etc, some trekking shoes come cheaper than that and will also last longer, however sports shoes on treks just lose their soles and will be prone to tears during a trek hence sports shoes are not recommended for treks.

On concluding, one must keep in mind a few factors while choosing trekking shoes one should always select the right type of shoe taking into consideration the duration of the trek, the trail conditions and the load being carried. For cold rugged conditions trek boots should be worn for extensive snow trek, boots with crampon ready features are a must. Always look for waterproof and breathable fabric and use anti-slip holes by Vibram this adds to the reliability of the boots. A very important factor again, always checks for the right fit, always one size larger as suggested earlier, helps in avoiding blisters. Always wear your trek shoes for about a week or so to break them in. So then Happy Trekking!

Written by Sanjana on 18-Nov-2019