For many people it is obvious that you need boots if you are going hiking. Back in the days I also had only this opinion about hiking footwear. Until 6 years ago…
I joined the group of hikers in Canada for a 4-day hike in the mountains. When we met at the agreed place, the first thing I have noticed that all seven of them were wearing running shoes. And I was wearing heavy hiking boots.
I asked them immediately what it was all about and they were not less surprised than I was. They always wore running shoes for hiking trips.
Since then I switched to running shoes and very seldom I choose to wear my old hiking shoes.
Let me explain what is going on…
The Excess Weight
Did you know that weight on your feet equals 4-6 times the weight on your back? This is proven by scientists.
This only means one – if you switch from 3-pound hiking boots to 1-pound running shoes, the amount of saved energy will be vast.
Say Goodbye to Blisters
The boots are hot inside. They make your skin sweaty and soft. Therefore, it becomes more vulnerable and, chances are, blisters will develop.
You probably already know how blisters can spoil the day, and the next day, and the next…
Running shoes let your feet breathe, therefore, blisters have almost no chances to develop on your feet.
Waterproof is Not Waterproof
If you think that your waterproof boots are waterproof, think again.
Yes, they technically are waterproof, but in reality things are a bit different. First, your feet will get sweaty and sweat is moisture. So you will get your feet wet without even stepping into the water.
Even though most hiking boots are waterproof, they are such in for a relatively short period of time. If the rain gets really heavy, the water will get inside the boots anyway.
Boots are not eternal. Through the time, they will develop micro holes which will let the water inside.
What Ankle Support?
Even though we were taught that boots support our ankles, this isn’t quite true. What actually prevents our ankles from injury is actually strengthening them and stretching.
There is more to that. The boots actually make your legs tire quicker because they restrain the movement and you use different muscles for walking, which are not used on a daily basis.
Boots are Expensive and Require Maintenance
Instead of buying one pair of hiking boots, you could buy 2 or three pairs or good running shoes. Just think about it.
You also have to maintain them well in order to keep them in shape.
I don’t want to be misunderstood. Hiking boots are OK, but I only use them in winter when it is too cold to wear running shoes.
During other times I always choose my running shoes.
I recommend you trying out hiking in running shoes. Simply try to go hiking on a several-mile nearby trail and you’ll see the difference.