Utah has it all — mountains, deserts, and widely accessible lands that are a hiking enthusiast’s dream. As you gear up to get outside, we urge you to consider the health of your feet by choosing a hiking shoe that’s up the task, allowing you to fully enjoy your time outdoors.
At Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute, under the direction of Dr. David Glover, we want to support the active lives of our patients here in South Ogden, which is why we offer sports medicine as part of our comprehensive foot and ankle services. And for the hikers among us, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you take care of those small appendages that allow you to explore the world — your feet.
To get started, here are five tips to help you select the right hiking gear for your feet.
Give it a boot?
One of the first things to consider is whether you want a hiking shoe that offers ankle support.
If you go into any outdoor retailer, you’ll find an enormous variety of trail shoes, from heavy duty boots to lighter trail-running shoes.
Your choice in shoe style depends upon the trails you prefer to hike and whether you’re running or walking. If you’re scrambling up and down mountainsides on uneven terrain, a hiking boot may be the better choice to provide you with ankle support. (It’s worth mentioning that 28,000 people sprain their ankles every day in the US, so a little protection can go a long way.) And gone are the days of the 5-pound hiking boots, which have been replaced by lighter materials that allow you to measure boots by ounces, not pounds.
And all-terrain trail running shoes are equally as advanced, with materials that serious lighten your load.
A matter of comfort
After settling on a style of shoe, we urge you to try on as many brands as possible in that style to find one that provides superior comfort for your unique feet. And be sure to take the socks you would normally use for hiking. It’s tough to mimic the terrain you’ll be covering in the shoe store, but as you walk around, try rolling your feet, walking on uneven surfaces if you can find them, and feeling where the pressure points are in the shoe.
You want the hiking shoe to be snug enough to provide stability and support, but not so snug that chafing and blisters wreck your hike.
Get a grip
Once you’ve found a hiking shoe that feels great on your feet, providing the support you need, make sure that the grip is adequate for your normal hiking routes. If you’re walking on wider dirt roads, you may not need a terribly aggressive grip, which can work against you and trip you up.
If, however, you’re climbing single track in the mountains, an aggressive sole is just the ticket — especially for coming back down.
‘Tis the season
Another consideration when choosing a hiking boot is the season in which you’ll likely be hiking. If you want an all-weather boot that can handle mud, rain, and even snow, look for a hiking boot that repels water. You will lose breathability in these types of shoes, but your feet will stay warm and dry.
If you’re more of a fair weather hiker, then go with a hiking shoe that’s more permeable and allows more air to flow through.
Kick it up a notch with custom orthotics
Many of our clients are avid hikers and come to us for custom orthotics to provide them with a little additional support to carry them over the miles. With custom orthotics, we can ensure that your feet have support exactly where they need it, allowing you to log the trail miles in comfort.
If you’d like any additional help in choosing the right hiking boot for your outdoor pursuits, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (801) 614-2996. Or use our easy online scheduling tool to request an appointment.