Hiking through natural environments can be enjoyable with waterproof hiking shoes keeping your feet dry. The most important piece of equipment for hikers is trail hiking shoes. Hiking shoes should protect the hiker’s feet from water, mud, rocks and other hazards experienced on the hiking trail. The best hiking shoes should support the ankle while not restricting the ankle’s movement.
There are three types of hiking shoes:
1. Mountaineering boots – These waterproof hiking shoes are perhaps the most rugged type of hiking shoe. Mountaineering boots are typically used for mountain climbing activities, including hiking in snow and ice.
2. Trail hikers – These hiking shoes are designed for muddy paths and steeper inclines. Trail hikers are waterproof hiking shoes with a higher cut to provide protection against rocks and protruding limbs.
3. Trail shoes – These are the most popular hiking shoes for dry climates and well established hiking trails. These hiking shoes are ideal for light hiking or day trips.
The big trade-off for hiking shoes is breathable hiking shoes vs. waterproof hiking shoes. Breathable hiking shoes allow the socks to wick away sweat from the feet, keeping the feet cooler and drier. However, breathable hiking shoes are generally not as waterproof as rubber boots. Rubber boots can protect the feet while hiking in wet terrain or through a shallow creek, but are not ideal for dry hikes since the hiker’s feet tend to sweat more. This can lead to blisters or fungal infections on long hikes. The best thing is to carefully consider the terrain before selecting a hiking shoe.
The Superior Hiking Trail is a 275-mile trail in northern Minnesota that travels along a ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior. The trail also goes through forests of aspen, birch, cedar, fir, and pine. Waterproof hiking shoes are a necessity on the Superior Hiking Trail since there is a wide variety of terrain, including mud, creeks, rivers, and other wet environment.