The guide below will help you to choose a hiking shoe according to your practice and the morphology of your foot.
In the mountains the shoe is the first element of safety. The majority of accidents do not occur in the high mountains, but on medium altitude slopes.
The boot must allow you to control the terrain on which you are moving, the quality of the sole allowing you to control your movements on snow, wet, rocky terrain...
There are different criteria for selecting your boot:
- Waterproofing: Gore Tex or the equivalent membrane developed by the brand will keep your feet dry.
- Protection of the sole: a stone barrier is designed to protect your foot from the natural elements, such as stones, and guarantees the longevity of your shoe over time.
- The quality of the sole: this is what will guarantee that your foot will hold up on sloping ground. Soft rubber provides better grip on rocky ground but wears out more quickly. The harder gums will be more resistant and are designed for trail riding.
- Cushioning: the midsole guarantees the cushioning of your shoe. Its quality depends on its composition and thickness. Its role is to absorb shocks and reduce fatigue.
- The support of your foot: the higher the upper, the more your ankle and therefore your foot is supported. When you start out, a high upper is recommended for mountain climbing. A "mid" or low upper is perfectly adapted to slightly uneven terrain such as hills and plains.
- The breathability of your shoe: when you walk you sweat, your skin becomes soft and vulnerable: it is the best way to catch a blister. A breathable shoe is essential to hike in good conditions, especially when you walk for more than 4 hours.
Also note: a good sock also improves the support of your foot and its breathability. It will bring you comfort during your activities.
- Choosing a shoe adapted to your morphology: every human being is different, it is important to choose a shoe adapted to the shape of your foot: wide, thin, flat foot...
For every hike, there is a type of shoe:
You can hike on different types of terrain. Shoes are designed for different types of activities. Here are some categories to help you choose:
- Hiking : a low or mid shoe.
- Active hiking: a trail shoe or low shoe
- The approach walk: a low shoe with a soft rubber that is very gripping on the rocks.
- Trek or long trek : a mid or high boot
- For mountaineering: a high and cramponable shoe
All of these criteria are not exhaustive but are intended to guide you in your choice and thus choose a shoe adapted to your practice. It is also necessary to choose a product in which you trust and feel good.