If you do as much traveling as I do, it is really important that you take care of your health and body. Since I do a lot of hiking and outdoor photography, I’ve spent many years looking for the hiking boots. So I figured I would share some important things to consider when buying your next pair of boots for those of you who hike and travel as much as me.
With all the footwear technology incorporated in boots, they can be pretty pricey. To make sure your hard-earned money will be well spent, ensure the durability of your purchase. A durable pair should last you at least one year. But, of course, this will largely depend on how you use them and where you wear them. For example, short off-trail hikes are a lot less damaging than a whole weekend of backpacking on rough terrain. Full-grain leather boots generally provide the best durability.
Comfort & Fit
A great fit is paramount to a good pair of boots. Although most new pairs require some time to break in, the fit should feel secure and comfortable during rest and in motion. Your toes should still be able to move and wiggle inside the boots even with a snug fit. Features like mesh linings and padded midsoles add extra comfort and can be quite essential for a pleasing hike. Mesh fabrics provide breathability so your feet will not be trapped during long hikes and paddings like EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and polyurethane give the needed cushioning for each step. Most of the time, boots that require breaking into are more comfortable than pairs that do not. It is recommended that new boots should be broken in for at least two weeks to avoid painful chafing.
Another important factor to consider is traction, especially for hikers with a preference for rough trails. This technology is found on the rubber outsoles of the shoes, where lug patterns and bumps are placed. Those that have deeper and bigger lugs offer better grips to protect you from sliding off a hard or slippery terrain. The most widely used name for rubber outsoles with grippy soles is Vibram. However, expect to shell out a little bit more for pairs that have this kind of technology.