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Hiking boots can adapt to various terrain, making every step safer and more stable. Wearing a pair of walking boots to climb the mountain is absolutely enjoyable. Common brands on the market include: Salomon, Merrell, Teva, Scarpa, etc.
There are many types of mountaineering boots on the market. Each has different functions and characteristics, so it is essential to choose them that meet the purpose. This paragraph will briefly introduce the common types of mountaineering boots and the vital functions of various boots to help you sum up the ideal conditions.
Matching purpose and application selection type
According to the applicable occasions, hiking boots can be divided into “Hiking boots” and “Mountain boots” according to the appropriate circumstances. The differences between the two types will be explained below.
Hiking boots: light and easy to walk, commonly used boots with various designs, which can be integrated into fashion.
Hiking boots can be divided into “hiking sandals” and “suburban hiking boots” according to the form of boots. The main characteristics are soft sole, lightweight, and very comfortable walking. The upper of hiking sandals has many holes, good air permeability, and is not muggy. It is suitable for use on flat roads or well-maintained footpaths. The shape of suburban hiking boots is similar to that of ordinary cloth boots. They can go on the road immediately without an adaptation period. The wear resistance and waterproof effect are better than classic sports boots. They can be applied to gentle slopes at low altitudes or mountain trails with stable road conditions.
Suppose you are a novice who has just come into contact with hiking activities. In that case, hiking boots will be an excellent choice for a simple one-day trip to the countryside. However, the soles of these boots are soft and lack support and cushioning. When facing the road with rugged road conditions and more stones, the feet quickly feel tired and pain, which is not suitable for walking for a long time with a heavy climbing bag.
Mountaineering boots: can adapt to various mountain terrain, have a firm grip, and be stable step by step.
Mountaineering boots are specially designed for the need of carrying heavy objects for long-time walking. The structure of boots is mostly medium and high cylinder design, which can more stably support the ankle or calf and share the strength borne by both feet when going up and down the slope. This type of upper and sole are usually made of hard materials, mostly Gore-Tex or other high waterproof materials. In addition, the seams are almost watertight to wear resistance, allowing users to keep their feet dry while wading through mountains and rivers and focusing on various challenges.
According to the commodity positioning, the commercially available mountaineering boots will be divided into “medium-sized mountaineering boots” and “heavy-duty mountaineering boots.” Medium-sized mountaineering boots are the most widely used boots, suitable for readers who participate in mountaineering teams, climb mountains frequently, and have long climbing paths. In addition to the performance of all mountaineering boots, heavy mountaineering boots usually have a double-layer structure that can isolate internal and external temperatures to help mountaineers adapt to a dangerous environment of more than ten degrees below zero. They are suitable for middle and high latitude mountains with snow all year round or high altitude mountains.
However, because mountaineering boots are generally heavy and particularly cramped, walking on a flat road will only feel clumsy and hefty. Therefore, it usually takes time to get familiar with them after purchase. It is not recommended to use them in daily life. Suppose the climbing frequency is not high, or you do not intend to challenge the rugged trails. In that case, it is recommended to start with suburban mountain hiking boots.
Choose the height of the shoe barrel according to mountaineering experience and physical fitness.
Mountaineering hiking boots can be divided into three types: high tube, medium tube, and low tube, according to the height of the shoe mouth. The tall tube can cover the calf at most, and the middle tube will cover the ankle at least; The lower tube shoe mouth is about flat or lower than the ankle. High tube boots have the most robust ankle protection among the three, reducing the probability of sprain and soft feet and preventing moisture from entering the boots.
Although the waterproof and protective effects of low tube boots are not as sound as high tube boots, they can make the ankle have greater flexibility and can freely deal with various slopes and angles. They are suitable for senior mountaineers who are used to mountain roads. Although the coverage of the middle tube boots is not as good as that of the high tube, it also gives the feet better flexibility. It is more stable than the low tube and lighter than the high tube. It is suitable for people who have just started hiking and are not used to mountain roads.
Lightweight boots need to pay attention to durability
The weight of the shoe body is lighter, so it will be much easier to walk. However, while reducing the weight, it is bound to minimize many structures and materials, and the durability, cushioning, and support force will be affected. Therefore, while paying attention to comfort, don’t forget to consider the activities you want to engage in. Choose comfortable boots that provide sufficient protection and have good durability.
Materials with water resistance and high air permeability are preferred
In climbing mountains, heat and moisture are easy to accumulate in the boots, resulting in foot discomfort. At this point, a pair of waterproof and breathable boots can significantly improve the comfort of the journey.
Although standard chemical fibers are breathable, they are usually not waterproof; Although leather and plastic materials are waterproof, they lack the effect of ventilation. Changing the boots according to different conditions is undoubtedly the best; however, it is difficult for inexperienced beginners to understand the differences between other materials and designs. It is recommended to choose boots with waterproof and breathable properties simultaneously.
Gore-Tex, the most well-known breathable and waterproof material, is one of the preferred materials for hiking boots. This type of cloth has a layer of film with more than 9 billion tiny pores per square inch, which can achieve the functions of waterproof, windproof, and high ventilation; Although the price is often not low, it is precious for people who often climb mountains.
Pay attention to the heat preservation function when hiking in winter or snowy areas.
The temperature difference between high-altitude mountainous areas and low-altitude areas is enormous. You still wear short sleeves at the foot of the mountain, but you may have to wear down clothes to the top of the hill. Especially in the cold wind howling winter, the environment in the mountainous area will be worse, and the feet are one of the most vulnerable parts to losing temperature. Therefore, if you want to climb to the top of mountain or spend the night, you must pay attention to the thermal insulation of your boots.
It is suggested that when climbing high latitude or high altitude mountainous, high tube boots with thermal insulation processing inside should be preferred; If the climbing route has the opportunity to encounter snow or snowy days, you need to pay attention to whether the boots has waterproof and anti-skid measures.
Understand the characteristics of major brands
Each brand has its own unique design and boots. If you don’t know where to choose, you can narrow the scope from the brand first. This paragraph will introduce hiking boots’ common brands and features for your reference.
Columbia: a variety of functional boots. Women have a wide choice of boots.
Columbia is an American enterprise founded in 1938, mainly engaged in selling and developing outdoor products and sports clothes. The most extraordinary charm lies in the fashionable and diversified appearance design, considering the functionality and relatively cost-effective price. Many goods will be subdivided into men’s and women’s, and the choice of shoe size and color matching is quite detailed.
Keen: a practical design for everyday wear
The core concept of keenness is “hybrid life,” which hopes to guide people towards a balanced and harmonious high-quality life, taking into account work and interests through commodities. The modeling design of boots can be compatible with modern cities and nature and simultaneously maintain the function of goods. If you want hiking boots to match your daily wear, this brand will be a good choice.
Merrell: it’s not easy to get tired after wearing it for a long time. It has complete functions and high quality.
Merrell is a brand that started from custom-made boots. It is not easy to feel tired and uncomfortable when walking for a long time. Many boots specialize in heat dissipation, ventilation, waterproofing, and lightweight functions. They can be used not only for hiking but also for daily occasions such as work and class.