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How to Buy the Best Hiking Boots and Hiking Socks!

Hiking Boots and Socks

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Why Do You Want Quality Hiking Boots and Hiking Socks?

Quality hiking boots and hiking socks are a good investment for several reasons. Generally, you want comfortable feet when you hike. When your feet are comfortable, you have a more enjoyable hike. Also, quality hiking boots and socks last longer.

Boots 

Simply put, quality hiking boots protect your feet and ankles.

Boots protect your feet on a rugged trail.  A good pair of boots are stiff enough so your feet are protected from the trail. The protection keeps your feet from feeling every rock and hole on a trail. Quality boots also help keep trail debris out of your boots.

Boots also help support your ankles and help keep your footing. A good pair of hiking boots keep your feet dry too. Many hikers use mid-weight boots that feel good on most trails.

Be sure to choose hiking boots made especially for men or women.

Your hike is more pleasant when you wear high quality, well-crafted boots!

Parts of a Quality Hiking Boot and Why They Matter:  

Hiking boots have four main parts. The  parts are the:

  • Uppers – This is the part of your boot that covers your foot.
  • Midsoles – This is the part of your boot between the upper and the outsole. The midsole cushions your foot and helps protect your foot from feeling hard or sharp objects.
  • Insole – The Insole is what your foot stands on and needs very good arch support.
  • Outsole – This is the bottom of your boot and helps your feet grip the trail and also helps protect your feet from objects on the trail.

Each part of your hiking boot helps give you a more comfortable hike.

The Uppers

Your boot upper is either:

  • Leather
  • Man-made substance

There are three main kinds of leather. The leather difference depends on the part of the cow skin used to make the leather. Boot uppers have three main kinds of material too.

Leather Types Leather

The three main types of leather include:

  • Full-Grain
  • Nubuck
  • Split Grain

Full-Grain and Nubuck leather are from the outside of the cow’s skin. These leather types are sturdy. Full-Grain leather is the most sturdy leather. The leather was not treated to remove natural marks.

Nubuck leather has a soft finish caused by sanding or buffing. Nubuck is sturdy leather and requires little care.

When making boots, cow skin is split into two pieces to make boots. Split Grain leather is the bottom and less sturdy layer. Sometimes, Split Grain and a man substance are combined to make a lighter boot that breathes better. The combined leather and man-made substance boot do not last as long as Full-Grain or Nubuck leather.

The three main kinds of man-made uppers are:

  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Man-made leather that looks like leather.

These boots are lighter, breathe better, are less expensive but are also less sturdy. These boots need a liner if you want your feet to stay dry.   

Midsoles 

Boots usually have EVA or Polyurethane (PU) Mid-soles. Each is man-made. EVA is lighter, softer, and costs less. EVA gives you less support and does not last as long.

PU gives you more support, and lasts longer, but is heavier, and costs more. Also, you need to wear your PU boots often, or they can fall apart if not used much.

Insole

The Insole keeps your foot stable and supports your foot’s arch. The hiking boot’s insole is not soft and is not supposed to be soft. The boot’s insole helps your foot by keeping your foot stable and giving your foot’s arch support.

Outsole

The Outsole has pieces that jut out. The pieces are lugs. Lugs help you keep your footing on loose, wet, or uneven trails. The Outsole also helps protect your foot from the trail.

Why Do You Need Quality Hiking Socks?

Hiking Boots Hiking Socks

Read more about Hiking Socks.

Hiking Socks are easy to overlook, but they are important! When you choose your hiking socks, you want to think about:

  • How high your socks are
  • What kind of fabric are your socks
  • How much your socks cushion
  • How your socks fit.

Invest in a pair of quality hiking socks so your feet are comfortable with more cushion, and as you hike, your feet stay blister free.

Sock Height

When considering what height hiking sock, consider crew socks. Crew socks are the most common height socks. They are a few inches above your ankle and keep your foot from rubbing your hiking boot. Crew height socks cushion your heel and the ball of your foot. Crew socks are a good choice for warm and cool weather hiking.

Sock Cushion, Fabric, and Fit

A medium cushion sock is a good choice.  Wool is a good fabric choice. Wool socks last a long time, and they dry quickly. Your sock should be snug but not too tight. Socks that fit well help you avoid blisters.

Sock Brands

Two very good hiking sock brands are Smart Wool, Darn Tough Men, and Darn Tough Women. You might think they cost a lot, but a good pair of hiking socks are worth it!

More information about Smart Wool and Darn Tough Socks

Summary

You want sturdy, quality hiking boots and socks for a comfortable and fun hike! Quality boots protect your feet from rugged trails. A good pair of boots keeps you steady on the trail. Also, a good pair of boots keep your feet dry.

In addition, be sure you invest in a quality pair of hiking socks so you have warm, dry, more comfortable feet, and you avoid blisters. You want quality hiking boots and hiking socks!

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Hiking Boots Hiking Socks