Hiking boots are essential accessories for any backpacker. Besides help you move past the rough terrains, they also protect your feet from harsh elements out there. For maximum protection and comfort, it is imperative to choose the best hiking boots. Choosing a hiking boot from the variety at Hikers On Run is a matchmaking process that requires you to look at the design, components, and fit offered by the boot. As such, this article looks at some vital hiking boot components that will transform your hiking experience.
Hiking boot uppers
The material used to construct the upper part of a hiking boot has everything to do with the breathability, comfort, and durability of the boot. For rugged terrains, your boots should be made from full grain leather for strength and resistance to abrasion. Split-grain leather boots are known to be lightweight with excellent breathability. Their only downside is that it is not so durable and offers less resistance to water. Other materials used to create the upper boot include Nubuck leather, synthetics, and waterproof membranes among others.
Hiking boot midsoles
The midsole used in a hiking boot determines the boot’s stiffness. It also provides a cushioning effect, which serves to protect your feet from shock. Stiff boots might not be the best for ordinary use but also mean a lot when it comes to traversing in rugged terrains, and long distance walks. A stiff boot will not allow your foot to wear or get injured. Instead, it will perfectly withstand the pressures subjected by any rock or tree you step on. The most commonly used today include EVA and polyurethane. Of the two, polyurethane is highly preferred for hiking and mountaineering due to its firmness and durability.
Another factor that improves the comfort levels of hiking boots are the internal support features. Shanks and plates are two main supporting features in any boot. Plates are thin semi-flexible material positioned between the midsole and the outsole for extra protection against uneven surfaces. Shanks are also important when it comes to enhancing the load bearing properties of the midsole.
Most hiking boot outsoles are made from rubber. Rubber soles for mountain climbing tend to have added additives like carbon to make the sole stringer. Hiking boot outsoles should have a lug pattern to improve the grip provided by the boot. Another important feature in the outsole is the heel brake, which is meant to reduce the chances of sliding or tripping on steep terrains.