Hiking and walking shoes have evolved over the years. In fact, with technology improving by the day, these shoes have become smaller and more versatile than ever before. In the past, hiking boots were large, clunky, and heavy shoes that wouldn't let you take a single step without feeling like you're bound to fall. For this reason, the first models were limited to a few styles: flat, high heeled, ankle-length, or water-resistant, etc. But today's selections for these shoes are downright amazing.
Most varieties of boots are designed to offer protection for your feet from harsh surfaces and injuries. For this reason, they can be worn in virtually any condition, even when you're just going for a leisurely stroll in your neighborhood park. Some boots even feature added features such as waterproofing and extra support for ankles and heels, adjustable laces or gait-leading springs, etc. It's important, though, to choose a pair that fits you well, especially if you plan to walk long distances.
As mentioned earlier, some of the best hiking and trail shoes are designed specifically with the needs of active people in mind. There are several varieties of these, which offer varying degrees of ankle support as well as protection from different weather conditions. One type of boot, for example, is built to cater to walkers who don't need the extra ankle support provided by high-heeled boots. These shoes are built with a thick sole and a sturdy upper. They are mostly designed for walking on rough terrain, often under rugged terrains such as on mountain trails. If you do a lot of hiking on tough surfaces, consider a boot with a steel toe.
Another style of shoe is lightweight and flexible enough to be worn for both summer and winter. These are usually worn by hikers who go camping and trek trails or simply spend long periods of time outdoors. Lightweight shoes don't have any upper protection, instead of relying on the natural cushioning of your feet and ankles for added protection. To keep your feet comfortable, choose a pair that has roomy, well-cushioned soles.
For those people who like to take their footwear a little further, there are also trail shoes. These shoes have extra protection for ankles and heels, and they usually have a non-slip tread pattern. Some of these shoes also have insulated insoles to keep your feet warm on a cold night. Trail shoes are great for both avid hikers and weekend warriors who enjoy taking their footwear a little further.
For the more adventurous, there are hiking boots with thicker soles and extra traction on the outside of the shoe. This helps to keep your feet more secure and prevents blisters from forming. They're much like work boots, with laces going up the sides of the footwear and adjustable straps across the ankle. These are also great choices for those who hike long distances or carry their walking gear on long hikes.
When it comes to keeping your feet comfortable on long hikes, don't forget your socks! Socks can be an important part of the kind of footwear you wear. They come in many different styles, colors, and designs. The kinds of socks you buy can depend on what activities you're going to do, but some options to consider include wool, neoprene, and cotton. Wool socks keep your feet nice and toasty, while neoprene socks are great if you plan on doing a lot of swimming or going in wet areas.
Hiking and walking shoes are all about being comfortable. If you have trouble finding the right size, there are a few things you can do to get the best fit. Keep in mind that when you're trying on shoes, your size may change slightly based upon which style is most comfortable to you. Most often, your choice will be dependent upon which type of terrain you'll be on most often. For most trails and other types of walking, you should have no problem finding the right shoes for you.