Archive for March 29th, 2012

Gear: Choosing Hiking Boots

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

While it’s tempting to wear flip flops and sandals when visiting state parks and natural areas, if your goal is to hike trails or tread through other wooded or rocky terrains, you’ll need something sturdier and safer on your feet.

Choose the right shoe for the activity. If ambling along a relatively smooth, well maintained trail is your speed, then a light hiking shoe may suffice. They’re a more robust version of a running shoe, with great support and a flexible mid sole for comfort.

Next up is the hiking boot. These can be mid or high cut and take a little time to break in. Both mid cut and high cut boots wrap around the ankle. High cut boots provide greater stability and support. Overall, hiking boots are good to wear on day hikes when carrying light loads. If you commonly carry 40 pounds or more when hiking, a high cut boot will give you the best support.

Backpacking boots are the next boot in the lineup when it comes to support and durability. They generally have a stiff mid sole and may be mid to high cut to help prevent ankle roll when carrying heavier loads.

The sturdiest boot is the mountaineering boot. This is outdoor footwear at its most tough, supportive and durable. They’re heavier boots made to help you carry heavier loads. They’re also able to accommodate crampons should you find yourself scuttling up a glacier.

That’s our show. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.