The chelsea boots you wear to work or the trainers you wear to the gym isn't quite going to cut it when you hit the rocky terrain on your brisk morning walk. The rocky trails are only going to crack your boots exterior and give you sweaty feet and the mesh panels on your everyday trainers will soon wear away when worn in mixed environments and difficult weather conditions, they’re no good! So let us help you out.
HIKING BOOT OR SHOE?
When choosing your hiking footwear, it’s important to know the difference that a shoe or boot can have on staying comfortable and supported during your trek or trail. Every boot or shoe is made with a certain environment in mind.
Hiking up a rocky mountain? Then you’ll need sturdy boots with top ankle support to ensure that your feet are protected and you’re not at risk of rolling your ankle, should a rock catch you out! When hiking up jagged rock or exploring riverside areas, leather walking boots will cope better with the rough terrain, scratches and water repellency.
Walking the dog along the public footpath? Then you’ll only need a lightweight shoe, ankle support isn’t necessary if the terrain is even and fairly flat, and you’re up not against the elements. Making sure to opt for a fabric walking boot or shoe will enable more comfortable movement of your feet.
Are they waterproof?
Most hiking boots and shoes are lined with a waterproof fabric which allows you to walk through puddles, streams or wet fields with no leaky problems, however, you need to make sure that your chosen boot or shoe is breathable. Keeping water out is no problem, but you’ll quickly get soggy feet if your footwear doesn’t allow your sweat vapour to escape!
It’s also worthwhile looking into wellington boots. Wellies often get a bad reputation and can be quite uncomfortable if they don’t fit properly. If you make sure that they fit well with a little room for thick socks, are lightweight and have a gum rubber sole (provides excellent tred and grip), wellies could be the option for you!
How to waterproof your own boots!
Really, there isn’t anything that can make your hiking boots waterproof forever, however there are a few clever methods and products that can make them more water repellant, so we thought we’d pass on the good DIY word!
1. Clean your boots. You can use a bristle brush to remove any dirt and mud, and then wipe them down.
2. Warm up the fabrics a little with a hairdryer as when warm, the fabrics will absorb your sealant.
3. We personally recommend using a wax-based product as a sealant and it has proven to be the longest lasting.
4. Rub a chunk of wax all over the fabric of your boot until you can clearly see the product on it.
5. Take the hairdryer and work the wax into the fabrics. Once dry, this will ensure your boot stays water repellant!
Our Best Walking Boot Brands!
Trespass - Focusing on creating a waterproof and breathable fabric, Trespass are a number one go-to when looking to purchase walking boots!
Berghaus - A favourable brand choice, they focus on using GORE-TEX® fabric to ensure breathability with support shanks to make sure you have no slips or falls!
Karrimor - Using Phylon™ midsoles to give extra cushion and support, Karrimor offer a wide range of walking shoes and boots for you to choose from!
Importance of Socks
There’s nothing worse than your feet feeling sore when you’ve still got miles left to walk. You need a sock that fits perfectly. If it's too tight then it’ll be uncomfortable, too big and you’ll run the risk of swelling and blisters.
When choosing a pair of boot socks, it’s a similar process to choosing your shoe or boot. Lightweight socks are all that’s needed for a walk on easy terrain for a few hours in the sun, but heavyweight is a must for several hours in cold, rocky areas.
Checking the material is make or break when choosing your socks. Socks which are made primarily from wool retain moisture, enabling your feet to rub, leaving sore, sweaty feet. Make sure there’s a high percentage of synthetic fibres in your new socks, this allows your feet to stay warm, keep moisture out and breathe all at the same time as providing cushioned padding for hours!
And there you go, a quick and informative guide on choosing a worthy and suitable pair of walking footwear!
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