There are different types of hiking shoes for women. Thus, choosing a pair for the first time can be a bit daunting. If you want to know how to choose the women’s hiking shoes, read this simple guide with the most important things to discover.
Hiking shoes should be waterproof or water-resistant
It does not matter where you intend to do your hiking, but your pair of hiking shoes should be waterproof. You may intend to hike on the paved town trails only, but you never know when a shower could catch you outdoors. While water-resistant shoes will absorb some water, they will dry quickly.
Please note: Water resistance for shoes means that you can walk in them through a puddle without getting your feet wet. However, a drench will get them wet.
It should be suitable for the trails you intend to hike
Hiking trails have difficulty rating. It starts from easy, moderately difficult, difficult and extremely difficult. The easy trails include paved paths in the state parks, in towns and villages.They have minimal to zero elevation gain and at the same time, they have no rocks and roots popping out. Thus, you can hike such with just about any pair of hiking shoes.
If you intend to hike trails with high elevation gain, you need to buy shoes with more traction, more ankle support and more protection for your toes. You can buy hiking shoes made for all types of trails if you like.
It should be true to size for fit
True-to-size means that if the seller says the shoes size is 15, then it is 15 and not 14½. That way, you can buy with confidence knowing that you have the right fit. If hiking shoes are too small, it is going to give you blisters, making your feet look like grilled lobster.
If it is too big, your feet will keep slipping inside, making it hard to hold a grip on a steep patch of the trail. When you buy online, find out about the return policy. That way, if it does not fit, you can return it for exchange.
Tip: When you buy a new pair of hiking shoes, you should “break” them before the actual day of the hike. This means you should never wear a pair of hiking shoes right out of the box.
Ankle support is very important especially if you will be hiking the elevated trails. You will need ankle support if you carry a heavy hiking backpack. For this, shoes come in low cut or high shaft design. The low cut design offers minimal ankle support, but it is better than no support at all. The high shaft shoes extend above the ankle. They are made this way to keep the ankles well supported when you are hiking.
High shaft hiking shoes have other benefits. For example, they do not let debris in if you lace them up. They also keep water out when you are crossing a brook. Basically, over the ankle shaft shoes are better than low cut shoes when you hike off the beaten trails often.
The tread is very important
Check the tread carefully. Deep and rugged is best for hiking the muddy trails. It is also good for the rugged terrains. Treads will determine the kind of grip that you get. They can help keep you stable. Hand in hand with the tread, look for hiking shoes with thick soles. These provide extra protection for you in such a way that you cannot even feel the rocks or the roots on the trail. A rubber sole is preferable because it can take a lot of beating without wearing out, but there are also a few high quality synthetic soles, made with ethylene vinyl acetate.
The weight of the hiking shoes
Hiking shoes can be hefty on your feet, but there are many lightweight options. If you only intend to use the shoes for hiking the off-road trails, you can buy heavier shoes. However, if you intend to use the shoes for daily casual wear around the home and in your town travel, light or medium weight is better.
Decades ago, it was hard to get breathable shoes that were waterproof at the same time. However, thanks to innovation and technology, with materials such as Gore Tex, you can have a pair of hiking shoes that is both breathable and waterproof. Breathability means your feet will not smell like garbage after hours of hiking in the sun. Check whether the manufacturer has used the right material for the upper part of the shoes.