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Footwear - What is the best hiking boot?

The choice of footwear when we go hiking should be made based on a number of factors. I will cover the various types, why you would choose them, their intended uses, and what types should be avoided and why.

  1. What type of terrain are you going to be hiking?

  • Sharp rocks

  • Stream crossings

  • Compact trails

  • Snow or ice

  • Flat or very steep

  1. What season will you be hiking?

  • Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter

After you have considered what type of footwear you should review the options. Perhaps you will need more than one type of hiking footwear. There are also types that should be avoided. Some types may be prone to injury and should not be used under any circumstances.

Let’s review some of the more popular types and their intended purpose.

Medium weight general purpose hiking boot

These can be either all leather or a combination of leather and nylon. Typically have firm soles, with aggressive traction and grip. They are normally just above ankle height, provide adequate protection from rain, snow and mud. When treated they will keep your feet dry and comfortable. When traveling across rocks and uneven terrain they will provide the necessary support to protect your arches from undo strain keeping foot fatigue to a minimum. They can be used to kick steps in snow and ice gripers can be attached with added traction on steep snow slopes in fall and spring.