Practical information about Hiking Shoes
A good pair of walking shoes is indispensable for those who regularly walk or want to take a walking tour. Read all the practical information you need to know about the walking shoe here.
There are several things to keep in mind when purchasing, using and maintaining your hiking boots
To make it even more difficult, one hiking shoe is not the other and there are many shapes and sizes: from mountain shoes to sports sandals. Read our tips and useful, practical information below. We will tell you which varieties are available and which is most suitable for you. Which shoe you buy depends on how you want to use it.
The different types of hiking boots
You don’t need much for walking, but a good pair of walking shoes is indispensable. Only, what kind of shoes do you choose from that huge selection?
Most manufacturers and stores divide hiking boots into four categories: A through D, with A being the lightest models and D being the heaviest. For walking in the Netherlands, a light walking shoe is usually sufficient. If you go into the mountains, a heavier model is better. A description per category:
Types of hiking boots
What should you pay attention to when determining the right walking shoe?
Determining the right type of walking shoe requires a bit more than buying normal shoes. Check out the tips you can look for when deciding which walking shoe you need.
Which hiking boots do I need? – Tips for buying hiking boots
Before entering a shoe store, you should first ask yourself what you want to use the walking shoes for. If you only take shorter day hikes in the Netherlands, the choice will be made quickly. It becomes more difficult if you want to use the same walking shoes for longer walks in, for example, the United States or Spain.
It is also possible that you consciously choose a walking shoe in a lighter or heavier category, pay attention to the different types of walking shoes. One reason may be that you are heavier or lighter than the average walker. Or that you have weak ankles or often walk with heavy luggage.
Practical information about hiking boots
Guidelines for purchasing hiking boots
Whatever category you choose, the most important thing is that a shoe fits well. Extensive fitting in the store is therefore absolutely necessary.
Take into account the following guidelines:
Start with a size larger than your daily shoe. Remember that your feet swell slightly during the day. Therefore, it is recommended to try walking shoes a little later in the day and not early in the morning. Match the shoe with the (walking) socks that you will also be wearing. In some shops they have special socks on hand you can use when you try to fit your boots.
Firmly secure the foot to the heel of the shoe, and then lace the shoe shut. Check if you can move the toes freely. Even when descending, the toes should barely touch the front. Try that on the sloping slope that many outdoor sports shops have built for this.
The foot should slide as little as possible while walking. Also pay attention to the heel: it must not go up and down, otherwise blisters will form.
Check if the last of the shoe matches the shape of your foot. This is especially important with deviating feet.
Also report this to the seller, because he knows which manufacturers have narrow or wide shoes in the range. Note the bending point of the sole. It must coincide with the inflection point of the foot. Have you found a suitable shoe? Then try another size or another brand. Regret afterwards is a shame. Once you are walking, you cannot go back.
Check your walking shoes
Anyone who thinks their beloved walking shoes have eternal life will be disappointed. Even the best shoes are worn out at some point. Sometimes that is easy to see and feel, but there is also invisible wear. In this article we explain when shoes need to be replaced. As a walker you know your walking shoes from oats to barley. You clean them, polish them and in the case of leather you grease them. When cleaning you can quickly see if your shoes are worn. Check out the tips you can look out for:
Check Hiking Boots
The tread sole of hiking boots
This is most subject to wear. Check if the profile depth is still OK. Check for cracks and broken pieces of profile. If the sole is worn irregularly, you probably don’t walk well or you have the wrong shoes. Show your shoes at a good shoe store or a podiatrist. You may need other shoes or a special insole. If your sole is evenly worn and the rest of the shoe is still in order, replace the sole if possible.
A good walking shoe has a bumper. If it is torn or loose, it is due for replacement. A shoemaker can often work with this. But …. this edge also protects the rear cushioning material of the shoe. If the edge is broken and the cushioning material is damp, this is often the end of your shoes.
Leather hiking boots
Many walking shoes are still made of leather. If properly maintained, leather will last a long time. But dried-out leather will crack and tear and you’re too late: new shoes.
Plastic outer work
More and more shoes are made of high-quality plastics (for example Cordura, a very strong nylon type), often in combination with leather. These plastics are strong, but cuts can also occur here. Repairing is often expensive.
The interior wears especially at the heel and at the nose. You can see a tear or abrasion in the lining by opening the shoes far. Repairing the heel can temporarily extend the life, but usually you are ready for a new pair.
Inside a shoe is cushioning material to absorb shocks when walking. This can wear out, but you don’t see that. Many shoes are also sold with a breathable and waterproof membrane. This membrane can leak due to wear, but it can also become clogged.
Breathable waterproof: leak
Should your shoes be waterproof and leak like a basket? Then your breathable and waterproof membrane is probably broken. Repairing outside the warranty period is expensive and so you are ready for new shoes.
Breathable waterproof: sweaty feet
Is it waterproof but increasingly suffering from sweaty feet? Then you can! The pores in the breathable membrane become dirty through use. Rinsing with water can help. Does not help: time for new shoes.