How to choose shoes for hiking? Part 1

Image: © Dmytro Titov / Fotolia

To begin with you should know when you will use the shoes. They could be divided of summer and winter, which are the two climatic extremes. Therefore they are suitable only for the summer or for the winter. We have an option to stop at something that will work just fine both during the spring, summer and autumn – three-seasonal shoes.


Hiking boots are usually made ​​of leather or fabric, often a combination of both. It is good to be lined with a membrane (Gore-Tex, SympaTex, eVent etc.). It allows the shoe to breathe, and ensures its good water resistance.

Advantages and disadvantages of the different materials

The fabric is used primarily in the production of summer and three-seasonal shoes. A major plus for it is its lower weight and its best breathability. As a minus may be stated the fact that it is maintained more difficult than the leather. The fabric is used in making winter shoes, but much less often – mostly for models designed for mountaineering and ice climbing where the weight is an important factor. The most common textiles are Cordura and Kevlar. They are lightweight, have exceptional strength and abrasion resistance. They have the ability to impregnate well and to ensure a higher water resistance.

In the leather shoes is often used the so called oiled nubuck. It goes through various treatment processes in order to ensure durability and water resistance. Nubuck is much more wear resistant than the so called facial leather. This is one of the main reasons to be preferred as material. It is used mainly in the production of winter and three-seasonal shoes. The leather is more unpretentious from the side of maintenance and has better thermo insulation.

Hardness of the outsole

In addition to the material from which the shoes are made, important is and the hardness of the outsole. In the summer shoes, it is soft and flexible, in the three-seasonal is semi-hard, and in the winter – from semi to completely hard.

The proper size of the shoes

When choosing hiking boots, a fundamental link is the right number in order to be maximally comfortable. Essential is trying them on and using them with the appropriate sock. For shoes with a membrane are preferably used socks of synthetic fabrics made in the technology COOLMAX or TERMOLITE.

Winter boots shall be taken larger – with about 1 to 1.5 cm advance while the summer must be with less. In any case, hiking boots should never be purchased entirely accurate, because in descending the foot slides forward and there is danger of undercutting of the fingers. And we all know that after a few hours of walking the feet swell and we could become a victim of excessive discomfort.


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