Shoes play a pivotal role in making a trekking experience worth remembering for a lifetime. Where a nasty pair may appear to be like thorns stuck to your feet, a good choice of trekking shoes would serve as an extended pair of feet to you. Choosing the right pair of trekking shoes depends on various factors like the weather, trek conditions and the duration of the trek too. Certain points to be kept in mind while selecting the most conducive pair for trekking are – the right fit, the material used for the same and the load you would be carrying along with you.
Types of Trekking Shoes to Choose From
With a wide variety of trekking shoes available and up for grabs just on a single click on your monitor, it becomes quite taxing and highly confusing to pick and choose the right one for your requirement. Here is a list of some topmost variety of shoes one should go for while pursuing one’s passion for trekking.
1. Hiking Shoes
Quite similar to trail running shoes, hiking shoes are popularly known for their lightweight and flexible soles which enable easy movement on every kind of terrain. Although more feasible for shorter treks, like for a day or two or just a weekend, these shoes serve the purpose best when you do not have much load to carry along with you and the weather conditions are warm, with a dry terrain. They come in both low as well as high ankle designs. Some of the well-known brands for best picks in hiking shoes are Arpenaz Flex, Woodland, and Weinbrenner Forclaz Flex. The prices start from as low as Rs. 1,000 and go up to Rs. 15,000.
2. Trek Boots
When you wish to go for weeklong treks, trek boots are the most comfortable and enduring as they have inbuilt extended support for the ankles and feet. Trek boots are just a high-end version of the normal trekking shoes, with stiffer constructions. Leather, suede or synthetics such as Gore-tex (GTX) or Nova Dry are used for the uppers which give it a better support system so as to enable you to carry the heavy load for your long excursions. These shoes serve best for rough terrain by extending excellent assistance to the leg muscles thereby helping in avoiding occasional slips and twisting of ankles. However, due to their heavy weight, it might be uneasy for first timers to adjust with them. The price ranges for these vary depending on the design, built and material used and can be categorized under the bracket of Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 7,000. King camp, Forclaz 500 and Forclaz 600 are some of the famous brands under this category.
3. Expedition Boots
If you love adventurous and challenging treks, you need to prepare your feet accordingly to sustain and surpass tricky passages and crossings, glacial traverses, steep slopes and the rocky terrains. For this, you need to opt for specially-designed robust boots with thicker and more aggressive outsoles. The feet feel cushioned in these expedition boots as they have an inbuilt insole padding which provides better ankle assistance and support. The price range of these boots is therefore on the higher side, beginning at Rs. 8,000. Some of the popular brands are Salomon Quest 4D-GTX, Merrell, La Sportiva, etc.
4. Mountaineering Boots
As the name suggests, mountaineering boots are meant for climbing onto steeper terrain to prevent from falling or losing balance. They are taller, stiffer and insulated where the stiffness is imparted through a full steel plank or carbon fibre. These trekking shoes are mostly opted by crampons thereby enabling easy accessibility to tougher, steeper and more difficult terrains. These boots even have synthetic insulation which provides additional warmth to avoid frostbite in extremely cold climatic conditions. The best makes for these kinds of shoes are La Sportiva, Salomon, and Scarpa. However, the biggest disadvantage of these boots is that they are quite heavy on the pocket.
A good pair of trekking shoes would impart support, stiffness as it ensures more ankle coverage and stiffer midsoles to keep you going even on uneven trails. However, make sure you pick up the right pair for yourself, keeping in mind all the basic features and essentials required for the same. Also, do not forget to trail test them for a week before you set off on your frenzy excursion. Remember, never compromise on your trekking shoes and footwear when it comes to pursuing your passion, or else you would never make it enjoyable so as to yield positive results for you.
Happy and Safe Trekking!