Hiking Shoes: What to Consider
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Hiking Shoes: What to Consider

Days are getting longer and the sunshine is starting to peak out more and more. You know what that means…. spending more time in the great outdoors! Whether you enjoy hiking new trails or exploring off the beaten path, reliable footwear is integral to the amount of enjoyment you’ll have. We’ve compiled some tips and features to consider when investing in a pair of hiking shoes to make sure your feet can handle the terrain.

Skill Level

Maybe you jog on the treadmill each day or participate in a team sport. While you may feel like you’re a seasoned athlete, we’ve all felt the next-day-pain of partaking in a different sport or activity than our bodies are used to. The same goes for hiking. The only way to build strong leg muscles that will help you endure the terrain, is by spending enough time doing just that. More time spent hiking means stronger muscles, and less opportunity for injuries to occur.

Shoe Weight

Generally speaking, a newer hiker will want to consider hiking shoes that are heavier and offer more support. This will help make sure your joints don’t take the brunt of the impact as they compensate for less muscle mass in the legs. More seasoned hikers can expect to have built stronger leg muscles, making joints like ankles or knees less prone to injury. Once leg muscles have strengthened and grown stronger, a lighter shoe will fare well, helping you to move more quickly, lightly and effortlessly through your hike.

Waterproofing or Resistance

Nobody enjoys a soaker! Not only are wet feet and socks uncomfortable, a wet shoe can breed odor or bacteria, too. Make sure you look for waterproof hiking shoes that not only keep your feet dry, but that also allow your feet to breathe while excess heat escapes. This will encourage airflow, comfortability, and lessen the opportunity for any odors or bacteria to build, no matter damp or hot and dry conditions.

Support

Finding a hiking shoe with good arch and ankle support is helpful to prevent injury. Once again, a newer hiker with less leg muscle should consider a boot with more support in order to remain stable. A shoe with strong support will ensure your foot doesn’t flatten out under pressure, which is known to cause pain. Even an experienced hiker will benefit from a shoe with solid support when it comes to off-the-beaten-path terrain. If you’re hiking on well-maintained trails or have more miles under your belt, then a shoe with less support will fare okay.

Now that you know what to consider when it comes to hiking shoes, here are a few shoes that will ensure you make the most of your hike—no matter where it is:

Merrell’s Women’s MQM Flex and Men’s MQM Flex

This style is inspired by athletes and packs all the technology needed for moving quickly into the mountains, or swiftly through rugged trail, into one fast, protective shoe. 

Merrell MQM Hiking Shoe

Columbia’s Women’s Wayfinder Lo and Men’s Wayfinder Lo

The Wayfinder features high-tech waterproof construction to keep this shoe dry-yet-breathable no matter where you find yourself roaming. Perfect for trails, its high-performance, lightweight midsoles cushion and absorb shock with every step.

Columbia Wayfinder Lo Hiking Shoe

New Balance’s Women’s Summit K.O.M and Men’s Summit K.O.M

The Summit K.O.M’s balance of aggressive traction, light weight, and underfoot comfort makes it perfect for trail running. Its multi-directional Vibram® outsole will help you jog confidently through new territory, while its toe plate and tip offer protection against sharp rocks and debris.

New Balance Summit K.O.M

Please contact your local Becker Shoes store for K.O.M product availability or visit our website.

Shop online or visit one of Becker Shoes’ 14 locations. Remember, if you don’t see the style you’re looking for in your local store, just ask us and we’ll order it in at no charge for you to try on.