If you’re gearing up for a hike, the most important piece of gear you can buy is a good pair of hiking boots. On Peruvian trails, you’ll likely tackle uneven terrain strewn with rocks and roots and it can be for long periods. So you need sturdy but comfortable footwear to protect your feet and provide plenty of support and traction.
However, choosing hiking boots isn’t always easy. From size to style, there is a lot to choose from. Here we give you four tips to help you choose the right hiking boots. This way you make sure your feet stay safe and happy.
1. Get only quality footwear
Gear can be expensive, but it’s critical to invest in high-quality shoes or boots. If you go with something cheap, it’s more likely that seams or fabrics will leak, rip, or tear, and the outsole might wear down quickly. Your best bet is to buy the type of top-notch footwear found at specialty outdoor stores and footwear stores. Also, shop well in advance of a trip so you’ll have time to break them in. This will help prevent blisters on the trail. To break in the boots, begin with brief hikes and work up to wearing them for long periods of time.
2. Waterproof or non-waterproof?
Choosing waterproof or not will depend on where and how you plan to use the footwear. If you plan to trek in the rain or cross lots of streams in cool or cold conditions, consider buying waterproof shoes. In contrast, waterproof shoes can feel very annoying when it’s warm and humid. Also, in warm, dry areas, a waterproof shoe will make your feet hotter. So, think about the conditions you’ll face for the majority of your trails.
3. Try and test the hiking boots
It might seem obvious, but give yourself plenty of time to try some different styles and multiple sizes. As you try on each pair of hiking boots, give them the size test to be sure they’re the best fit for you. Take time to walk around for several minutes to get a feel for any potential trouble areas, like any uncomfortable pressure points or tightness. Due to natural swelling and the need to stabilize with your toes, you should have some wiggle room in the toe box.
4. Choose the right cut
Hiking boots come in different cuts, and this should especially be tailored to your type of trekking. The wrong cut could cause a rolled ankle or rocks in your shoes.
If you carry a daypack or a load of 30 pounds or less, you can usually wear a low-cut shoe for hiking. If you prefer more ankle support, you can also try a mid-cut shoe that rises a bit above the ankle. But, most backpackers carrying more than 30 pounds need a full boot, because it will offer the rigidity and midsole structure needed to bear a heavy load.