When going for a hike, a long backpacking trip, or a run around the park, you need reliable and comfortable footwear. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes can ruin your outdoor experience. Nowadays, the outdoor industry has designed special footwear for every outdoor activity providing maximum functionality and comfort like Stridewise. While retailers offer a range of options for active pursuits, it can be challenging to match the perfect shoes with your activity. Here are ways to find the best footwear for your expedition.
- Choose Footwear According to Activity
Your outdoor footwear should match the activities you enjoy. For instance, you cannot wear the same type of shoes for hiking and surfing. Here are some of the popular outdoor activities and the perfect footwear.
- Hiking: When you are hiking, you need footwear that suits the terrain. For instance, warm weather requires a light hiking outfit and low-cut footwear for the hot weather. While ankle support is still essential, low-cut hiking footwear increases breathability and keeps your feet cool. You also need to wear light shoes to avoid dragging bulky hiking boots under the hot sun. If you are hiking a difficult terrain with slippery rocks and foliage, mid-calf boots will provide sufficient ankle support to avoid tripping. Hiking in winter is fun, but you need waterproof wellies due to the slippery surfaces and excess snow. Muck boots will also provide adequate insulation and grip for rugged terrains. Footwear like men’s neoprene wellies are sturdy and offer excellent traction for hiking in bad weather.
- Walking: When walking, you need appropriate footwear to avoid blisters. If it is a casual walk, you can pick any comfortable shoes, including sandals. However, race walking needs adequate cushioning to protect the soles of your feet and shin. Walking shoes with soft soles and low heels provide sufficient stability and cushioning for marathon walking.
- Camping: While your camping activities may not be rigorous compared to hiking and rock climbing, you still need a comfortable camping outfit for the rough outdoor weather. Camping footwear should let your feet relax and breathe after a long hiking day. That means it should offer adequate insulation for your feet but should be sturdy and puncture-resistant to handle the rough outdoors. If you go camping during winter, you will need muck boots.
- Find Shoes with Good Heel Support
When hiking with a heavy bag on rough terrain, you need adequate ankle support to boost stability. Unfortunately, most boots that offer sufficient support have stiff cuffs that restrict movement and cause blisters. The best idea is to choose outdoor footwear with soft cuffs and low-cut heels that are comfortable. While lightweight shoes may not offer adequate support on rough terrains, you will use less energy since your feet are flexible.
- Check for Proper Fitting
Even if you buy the perfect footwear for your expedition, it will not function well if it is not the right fit. Buying the right size is critical in ensuring stability, shock absorption and retention of shoe shape. Outdoor shoes should not fit firmly like formal footwear since your feet will expand more during the day. Aside from the heel-to-toe length, you should consider the footwear’s arch length, volume, and width when buying outdoor shoes like Nike Air Force 1.
- Look for Sturdy and Breathable Materials
If you are walking or hiking in summer, the lack of proper ventilation makes your feet hot. When moisture doesn’t escape from your hiking footwear, you will develop blisters. Outdoor footwear should provide sufficient ventilation to reduce sweat in the feet. Breathable materials keep your feet dry, and you will be comfortable irrespective of the weather conditions.
Meshed shoes provide adequate ventilation and bend when climbing. You also need sturdy footwear that can withstand different weather elements. For instance, if the terrain has thorns and twigs, you need strong shoes to protect your feet from abrasions and injuries. Sturdiness and durability often depend on the terrain and materials used to make the shoe. Synthetic are prone to abrasion compared to leather hiking boots and can last longer.
Different outdoor environments require unique footwear for walking comfort and functionality. Good outdoor shoes should provide a balance between stability, support, cushioning and breathability. If you keep in mind the weather condition and the intensity of the activities, you can find the perfect footwear.