Whether you have been trekking and hiking for years or just thinking about getting into it, one thing is certain, you need a great pair of hiking boots or shoes. Because wearing the wrong footwear can be utterly dangerous, especially when hiking or trekking on NZ’s uneven terrains.
However, not all hiking shoes and boots can enhance your hiking experience. They can provide support to some extent like on flat terrains, but not on uneven, mountainous, and sloppy terrains that are most likely to hurt your feet.
That said, always ensure to find the right hiking boots before heading out for a long and strenuous hiking trip. Wearing the right pair of shoes or boots will ease your hiking trail, especially while climbing mountains, tackling tough terrains, and going for long-distance hikes.
But, how to choose a good pair of hiking shoes or boots? There’s a lot that goes into choosing the perfect hiking shoe or boot. Read on to find out what are they.
Factors to Consider When Buying Hiking Boots
Ideally, there are four factors to consider when looking to buy the right pair of hiking boots, and they are:
- Tread: Different treads offer different levels of traction, depending on the kind of terrain. So, it’s always advisable to match your boot’s tread to the type of terrain you are about to hike on. While affordable and lightweight treads are appt for hiking on easy and even terrain, boots with deeper lugs and moderate treads work well for moderate hiking.
- Material: Generally, hiking shoes and boots are made from synthetic or leather materials. While leather boots feature charm and stylish appearance, synthetic boots feature affordability and light-weightedness. If you want a breathable, durable, and waterproof hiking boot, go for leather boots. On the contrary, if you want an affordable and lightweight boot for your next trail travel, go for synthetic boots.
- Fit: One of the most important aspects of choosing the right hiking boots is picking an ideal fit. Although the fit of hiking boots or shoes varies from brand to brand, a few useful tips and tricks can help you find the right hiking boots with a perfect fit. First, avoid buying tight-fitting boots. Second, make sure to tap the front of the hiking boot on the ground and check its impact on your toe before billing. If you select the wrong fit, you are most likely to feel some contact between your toe and the front of the boot.
- Cut: There are mainly three hiking boot styles available across the whole of NZ - low cut, mid cut, and high cut. While low-cut hiking boots are best for pleasant hikes on well-maintained terrains, mid-cut hiking boots are perfect for rockier & uneven trails, and high-cut boots are best for adventurous & intense hikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to choose hiking boots in NZ?
While it’s pretty easy to assume that all hiking shoes can offer the same comfort and support, choosing the right pair of hiking shoes or boots can make a real difference. The first thing to think about when choosing a pair of hiking shoes is the terrain you would be hiking on. The next four most important things to look for in a new hiking boot are cut, fit, material, and tread. If you choose a hiking boot featuring the right fit, appropriate cut, and good quality material, you are more likely to experience a comfortable hiking trail.
Do I need hiking boots in New Zealand?
If you are heading out for a short and mellow day hike, you may avoid wearing a well-equipped hiking shoe. However, if you are going out into the woods for long and strenuous trail travel, particularly on the uneven terrains of New Zealand, a comfortable and durable hiking boot is a must-have essential to carry. Wearing the right hiking boot can protect your feet from bruising and abrasion while trailing through rocky terrains.
Is it better for hiking boots to be bigger or smaller?
It's always better to buy an ideal-fit hiking shoe or boot since properly-fitted boots can provide comfort and support to the feet for mile after mile, during on or off-trail journeys. Ideally-fitted hiking boots do not create any pressure points on the feet and hence, they are the best bet for hikers heading out for hiking trails in NZ. Still, if you want, you can buy half a size larger boot than your usual size. Sometimes, feet tend to swell during long hikes. In such events, wearing a larger hiking shoe or boot can let you have a comfortable hiking experience.