Your trekking shoes or hiking shoes are the protagonists of the trip. They are an extension of your feet and have to do all the hard walking. The trekking shoes you choose for your trip can make your trek a beautiful or a blister-full experience. Choosing the best trekking shoes is as critical as buying the right backpack or rucksack for your trip.
Here is the ultimate guide on how to choose the best trekking shoes in India:
Understand the difference between Trekking Shoes and Hiking Shoes
Hiking shoes are less expensive and ideal for short hikes. They are good for well-paved hiking trails. These shoes are perfect for summer as they are made of breathable material. Hiking shoes are not waterproof. Hence, they are only suitable for a day hike or treks with small backpacks. Hiking shoes are made of flexible soles and have no ankle support. So, they are compatible for treks, where you are carrying a lightweight rucksack bag.
Trekking shoes are best for uneven and rocky trails. These shoes offer sturdy support to the ankle and feet, making the trek or hike seem easy. Trekking shoes are made of a stiffer material and are waterproof. This makes them perfect for all types of treks and in all weather conditions – rain, summer, winter, etc.
Moreover, trekking shoes are for multiple-day hikes or treks as they do not burden your ankle or feet. You can also carry a heavyweight backpack or rucksack bag if you are wearing the best trekking shoes.
They are an upgraded version of trekking shoes and are fit for high-altitude treks. Expedition shoes come with safety guards and hardiness that protects your feet even in extreme weather conditions, below 0 degrees Celsius. These shoes make legs less fatigued and offer the utmost comfort.
Factors to Assess When Choosing the Best Trekking Shoes
Check the Grip of the Shoes:
When you are trekking or hiking, you are walking on an uneven trail. Hence, you should find trekking shoes that have the perfect grip. For this, check the grooves of the trekking shoes and assess if they are deep. The best trekking shoes will have deep grooves and a good grip over mud, slush, dirt, etc. If the shoe sole is not good, the shoe grip will not be up to the mark.
Assess the Softness and Flexibility of the Trekking Shoes:
Treks are usually meant for a long duration, averagely 3-4 days. Hence, when you go trekking, the trekking shoes you wear must be comfortable, soft and flexible. For comfort, make sure you take the right size of your trekking shoes. Some trekking shoes have cushions, while others come without the cushion. You can choose any as per your preference. Alternatively, to assess the softness and flexibility of the trekking shoes, use a hard, metallic object and tap on the shoe sole. If the sound is dull, the sole is soft and is fit for your trek. However, if the sound is hard or sharp, the sole is too hard, and thus, unsuitable for your trip.
Opt for Trekking Shoes with Ankle Support:
Buying the best trekking shoes protect you from getting hurt or injuring your ankle when trekking on rough mountain terrains. So, when selecting the right shoe for your trip, make sure to check the ankle support. The best trekking shoes will fully cover your ankles and heel, giving your feet good support and grip. Trekking shoes with mid-cut or high-cut provide the best ankle support and can protect your ankle from twisting when you climb up and down the rough trail.
Judge the Fit of the Shoes:
The secret to buying the best trekking shoes is checking if they fit you well. Ideally, the trekking shoes should have a snug fit. Some trekkers suggest buying trekking shoes one size larger than your ordinary shoes. The extra space allows your feet to breathe when you are constantly moving and also prevents shoe bites. Moreover, you also get more room for wearing socks, especially winter socks, when you go for those chilly winter treks.
Take Water-Resistant Trekking Shoes:
One of the most vital points you should remember when buying the best trekking shoes is that they should be water-resistant. When you are on a trek, you pass several water bodies, and there are chances you might experience rain, storm, snow, etc. All this can cause your feet to become wet and make the trek harder for you. However, with water-resistant trekking shoes, your feet will remain dry and protected from any shoe bite or calluses. Also, be sure to select water-resistant and not merely waterproof shoes.
Trekking and Hiking Shoes from the House of Wildcraft
Wildcraft offers a range of water-resistant trekking and hiking shoes, specifically crafted to suit the unique needs of those with an adventurous soul. The shoes are lightweight and provide superior comfort and support during both long and short treks. Made of rubber outsole and deep lugs, hiking and trekking shoes by Wildcraft offer the perfect traction even in agile terrains. The shoes have anti-slip laces, high-ankle, and plush collar support. The trekking shoes from Wildcraft are made to fit you snugly and comfortably.
Make sure that you check the fit, fabric, hardiness, support, and grip of the trekking shoes before buying. Happy trekking!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which type of shoes are good for trekking?
Trekking in the rugged terrains of the mountains requires shoes that are different from your regular sports shoes.
They must have:
i) Good grip and traction to prevent slipping
ii) Durable material for long-term usage
iii) Waterproofing to sustain different kinds of weather
iv) Cushioning and breathability for long duration treks
What to look for when buying trekking shoes?
i) Check for the grip - The best way to recognize shoe with perfect grip is to see if they have deep grooves.
ii) Check the flexibility – Your trekking shoes should be able to adapt to the varying terrains. Take a metallic object and tap on the sole, see if it makes a dull sound. This means it has a soft sole that can assure you comfort and easy movement.
iii) Check for ankle support – Climbing uphill and back down increases chances of twisting your ankle, especially if there are rocks along the way. To prevent this, you will need trekking shoes that offer sufficient ankle support.
What is the difference between hiking shoes and trekking shoes?
Hiking shoes are less expensive and ideal for short hikes on well-paved paths. They are generally made of breathable, light materials and aren’t weather-proof. Trekking shoes are ideal for uneven trails too, with good ankle support and waterproof material.
Which sole material is best for trekking shoes?
The outer sole - The lug patterns at the bottom of your shoes impact the grip. If the sole is soft and the grooves are deep and thick, it ensures more traction.
Can I trek with running shoes?
You can go on short hikes with running shoes, but it recommended not to trek with running shoes, since the terrains are uneven and rocky.