Are you preparing for a trail hike and wondering about choosing the right shoes? It’s common to assume that hiking boots are the best choice for taking on hikes, but there’s another option. Have a think about these points before you decide which footwear will suit your needs on the trail.
Hiking boots can be inflexible, which can lead to your feet rubbing against the inners. This friction can cause painful blisters – a hiker’s nightmare. If you use trail running shoes, they are far less likely to be rigid. After all, running shoes are designed to be flexible and often, they are made to wick away sweat and moisture, too. Combined with good quality, dry socks, there should be a huge reduction in blisters, and much reduced ‘breaking in’ period to boot.
Ankle support – needed or not?
There’s a couple of points to consider here. The common argument in favour of hiking boots is that ankle support is required to prevent rolling the joint on uneven surfaces.
On the other hand, some argue that trail running shoes are better because they allow any flexing to be done by the ankle joint, rather than being deferred up to the knee which is not designed to flex in the same way. If you have strong feet and ankles and are walking on well-formed trails, trail running shoes will be more than adequate.
Hiking long distances can be made far easier by reducing the weight of your pack and equipment. Many long-distance hikers go to great lengths to reduce their overall pack weight.
Importantly, the weight on your feet may have a far greater impact on fatigue than the weight of your pack. Trail running shoes are almost always going to be lighter than boots. The reduced weight should result in less fatigue, which means fewer missteps and more energy to spare.
If you’re hiking across terrain that includes snow or loose shale, hiking boots may still be your best bet. For so-called ‘three seasons’ hikes (anytime outside of winter), trail running boots may actually be a better option.
About Enertor Advanced Technology Insoles – Enertor insoles are designed to prevent a number of common running and hiking injuries and provide more comfort. Designed by leading podiatrists to reduce your risk of injury, the unique design features support your foot throughout training.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.