Trekking Sneakers: How to Pick the Right Models

Trekking Sneakers: How to Pick the Right Models

The active hiking season is approaching, although work, studies, and family obligations leave most tourists not much free time, there is always an opportunity to get out for a couple of days in the woods or catch cheap airline tickets to fly out to beautiful places and go trekking. Often in such cases, there is a problem of choosing the right lightweight hiking shoes, not as heavy and cumbersome as the classic trekking boots, but providing the proper level of safety and comfort when moving along uncomplicated routes and marked trails.

It’s about such shoes, namely trekking shoes, about their strengths and weaknesses. Here, in which cases this type of shoes will be the best, what nuances you should pay attention to when trying on. But first let’s define the general concepts.

What Are Trekking Shoes?

This term usually refers to hiking shoes with a low or slightly exaggerated upper, designed for walking, including long, on technically uncomplicated routes, paved trails, with a backpack of small or medium weight – for men, it’s about 10-15 kg, for women, no more than ten. For such conditions, you don’t need high and relatively heavy mountain boots, low and much lighter models are enough. Sometimes as a trekking shoes are used for trail-running.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Trekking Shoes

The main advantage of trekking shoes over classic hiking boots is the low weight. The difference can be up to two times. 

The flexible and soft sneaker soles also help to increase walking speed and overall comfort, which is essential for hiking and other competitive sports you can find at 22Bet Uganda. Besides, sneakers breathe much better. Lower height, lighter upper materials wick moisture away from your feet faster and more efficiently and regulate heat transfer.

Also, low sneakers, especially in the version with a waterproof membrane, can be successfully used as everyday urban shoes in rainy and cool off-season. 

The main disadvantage of such shoes is also obvious because of its low height, sneakers don’t fix the ankle. For experienced hikers, fans of technically demanding running in the mountains and off-road, this is usually not a problem. Their trained legs, small stabilizer muscles and ligaments, are used to such a load. However, for beginner hikers, the added support of the shoe at the ankle joint can be critical.

Trekking shoes are perfect for short one- or two-day weekend hikes, walks in the fresh air, sightseeing, as well as the passage of long and even extra long marked routes such as the Turkish Lycian or American Pacific and Appalachian Trails.

The only factors limiting the scope of such shoes are the degree of your physical and hiking training, the technical complexity of the route, the anticipated weather conditions, and the weight of the backpack.

If you don’t like sports, rarely go to the mountains, or for you, it’s generally the first hike, it is reasonable to pay attention to the high shoes, tightly fixing the ankle. You can choose lightweight models, so it will be much safer and more reliable.

Also, if the route is expected to be complex rocky terrain with a large set and drop heights, possible heavy rainfall, wind and a sharp cold, then you should definitely consider the classic hiking boots.

And finally, even when driving on a simple route, if you’re not a supporter of easy walking, like comfort, can not do without the mass of things during the hike and the weight of your backpack, respectively, is approaching, and even exceeds 20 kilograms, then trekking shoes can also not come up.

Principles of Selection

Among the trekking shoes there are many different models, often quite different in their qualities. First, you should decide on the region where you are going to travel.

If it’s an area with mountainous rocky terrain, you should choose shoes with a tenacious, relatively soft sole that is able to hold perfectly at different angles on difficult surfaces, such as large, wet rocks.

It doesn’t need a “chiseled” tread pattern, as it’s not expected to move in deep mud. Often the top of these sneakers are low, starting from the very toes lacing, so you can fix the shoes on the foot and prevent chattering and toe tearing. The midsole of these models is relatively rigid, multi-component. It has both elements responsible for cushioning and inserts of hard plastic, preventing penetration of the foot with sharp stones, as well as giving stability and good torsional rigidity, that is, preventing twisting sneakers.

To protect the material on the sides of sneakers, as well as to give additional stabilization such models are equipped with a slip-on – rubber or plastic lining around the perimeter of the bottom. Such shoes are also called “approach shoes”, implying that they are good for approaching rock climbing routes and even simple climbing.

For confident movement over relatively simple terrain, trails and rural dirt, as well as passing long marked routes, you need trekking shoes with a softer and more flexible sole, aggressive tread, strong wear-resistant top, able to withstand abrasion on grass, dirt and rocks, as well as a protective overlay in the toe area. For all-rounders, it’s best to choose models with a waterproof membrane.

If your route is absolutely uncomplicated, passes close to civilization with partial traffic on paved roads, you can do it with ordinary trail running shoes. Their high cushioning, pronounced tread, breathability, lightness and comfort will be just right.

The same applies to profile athletes, experienced hikers and cross-country runners – they can also safely use quality trail running shoes, especially when paired with trekking poles that increase stability and safety.

Tips for Choosing Shoes 

First, be sure to choose sneakers at least half a size larger. Most people’s feet swell when walking for a long time, the arch of the foot flattens a little, so you need a reserve. In addition, when going down the mountain in the wrong shoes because of the shift of the foot can severely injure the big and middle toe, which is fraught with more trouble.

Secondly, for long walks you need special trekking socks.

At the expense of its different thickness and special knitting, it softens zones of pressure inside footwear, thanks to modern materials and their skillful combination, it draws out moisture well and dries quickly, because of seamless design and soft padding underneath it gives additional cushioning and protects from blisters and abrasions. 

Thirdly, if you wear orthopedic or anatomical insoles every day in your normal non-tourist life, it makes sense to apply them to your hiking shoes as well. So when you try them on, feel free to take out the insoles that come with them and put your own in.

If you haven’t used such products before, you can always try them, because especially in complicated cases of footwear selection a quality insole can solve the issue of comfort, stability and a tight fit of the foot.

Sarah Del Rosario
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