Hiking Boots or Hiking Shoes

Hiking Boots or Hiking Shoes

If you are new to hiking then you are probably wondering whether you should get yourself a pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes.  First, you need to understand the difference between the two and which are better suited to the typical hike that you take.  That being said there is nothing stopping you from getting both, that way you are prepared for any terrain.  Here is a visual look at the difference between the two.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are lighter than hiking boots while still keeping good support for your foot and ankle.  If you typically go hiking on a well groomed trail then these will work just fine, you don’t even have to spend much time breaking them in.  Hiking shoes are more flexible and give you a better range of motion.

Hiking shoes today are made up of lightweight materials but you should check with the manufacturer to determine if they are waterproof or not.  Because they are used interchangeably with everyday walking shoes try and find a pair that is actually made for hiking rather than a fashion piece.  Your best bet is to start looking for hiking shoes at a sporting goods store, the staff can help you find the right pair.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are heavier, more durable and they are generally water resistance.  They give you more support for your ankle on rough trails.  You will have two styles of boots to choose from the mid weight or the heavy both will work on groomed trails or off-trail treks.  Hiking boots will go up above your ankle giving you much better support when you are on rough surfaces.

They won’t give you as much range of motion as a shoe and you’re going to have to break them in, beware of blisters.  The heavier boots are ideal for rough trails, they absorb shock better.  Again you are going to have to break these boots in and be prepared for a blister or two.  When you buy new boots and take them on your first hike always bring extra socks and Band-Aids just in case of blisters.

These are the basic difference between the two types of hiking footwear, which you choose will depend on what you need and where you plan to hike.  If you are just hitting local trails you can probably get away with shoes. However if you want to on long hikes in the wilderness crossing a variety of terrain then you may be better off with a pair of good boots.

5 Reasons to Love Hiking

5 Reasons to Love Hiking

Most hikers try hiking for the first time as children usually with a parent who is an avid hiker themselves.  Going hiking when you are young helps you develop an appreciation early in life.  If you weren’t lucky enough to try hiking as a kid, then there is no time quite like the present.  If you are thinking of giving hiking a try now, then here are 5 reasons to love hiking.

It is Easy

You don’t have to hike the Appalachian Trail your first time out, although there is nothing stopping you from doing so.  You can head to the closest national park and throw on a pair of walking shoes and grab a bottle of water.  You can work your way up to more challenging hikes as you get some experience.

It’s Good for Your Health

Hiking is wonderful exercise, you get to get outside and enjoy nature.  You can get a good cardio workout and you will reap some health benefits from it.  It is relaxing and it is a good way to relieve stress.  Not to mention you can sleep better, lose weight, lower your blood pressure and reduce the reduce of suffering from heart disease.

It’s Cheap

All you need for hiking is a good pair of shoes, no gym memberships, no expensive equipment or anything else.  All you need to do is head to the nearest trails and start walking.  It really couldn’t be easier.

You can Go with Friends

There are plenty of people that like the quiet time that goes with hiking, you can be alone with nature and your thoughts.  There are other who prefer to have company along the route.  You can bring a friend along with you or you can join a hiking club and make new friends.  You might want to check for MeetUp groups in your area to see if there are any local hiking groups.

You can See Something New

Hiking gives you the chance to get out and explore some new scenery, you can take your time and appreciate your surroundings.  Nature is beautiful and giving yourself the chance to explore it will help calm the mind.  It is unbelievably refreshing!

Going hiking for the first time if you’re not used to it can be exhausting, take your time and pace yourself.  Like anything else you will get better with practice and start more challenging hikes.