When it comes to hiking shoes there are some many options, it can often be difficult to choose. Here are some key things to look out for:
- FIT – Does the shoe fit around the foot comfortably? Is there any areas of pressure/tightness around the foot (especially the toes)? Is there a little bit of room in front of the toes when standing up (pull the innersole out and stand on it to check this). A helpful store shoe fitter can significantly help in guiding you through a fitting.
- CUSHION – When walking/standing in the shoe, does there feel like there I enough cushioning under the foot for you? Is the ankle padded or are there areas around the ankle where the laces dig in?
- STABILITY – Do you feel stable in these shoes? While cushioning is important, in some cases, too much cushioning can make you feel unstable, which is not what you want out on the trail!
- LOW-CUT / HIGH CUT – a common misconception is that low-cut hiking boots are not supportive or less supportive than high-cut hiking boots. However, the stability of a boot often comes from the structure of the shoe sole, rather than the ankle fitting. Try on both of these options to determine whether you prefer the freedom and light weight feel of a low-cut OR the firm hold of a high-cut boot.
As you can see there is many things to consider when selecting the right hiking shoe. If you are unsure or have existing medical conditions that may affect your hiking, consider speaking to your podiatrist for advice.