Written by gear Editor, Briana Valorosi, this article outlines the most important factors to consider before making a purchasing decision. Valorosi wrote a full review comparing thirteen products head-to-head. Using this hand-on research, she then compiled a detailed buying article to lead consumers down the right path when choosing the most appropriate footwear for their adventures.Valorosi begins her article by describing the several different types of appropriate hiking footwear available. Trail running shoes, hiking shoes, hiking boots, mountaineering boots and approach shoes are all included in the breakdown and each category of footwear is described in elaborate detail including how they differ from all of the other categories and the best uses for each.

After setting this foundation, Valorosi delves into the heart of the matter by bringing up the main things to consider when choosing hiking footwear. She begins by advising that one must consider their goals and destinations. She likens the analogy to considering shocks and tread on car suspensions and tires when preparing for driving off road. When shopping for hiking footwear, one must consider how difficult the terrain will be and the distance being traveled when choosing the amount of protection, tread, support, level of water resistance and tongue design before making a purchasing decision. She educates readers further on tongue designs, waterproofing and lacing systems.

Valorosi next discusses the topic of acquiring the right fit. She offers tips regarding using different types and thicknesses of socks to help establish the best fit. She advises readers that the arches should be firm to provide the best support and one should not be able to bend the sole in the middle. Some other good tips include considering the fit around the ankle and making sure that it does not slip out and making sure that your toes have wiggle room but not enough room to slide forward while hiking downhill. One last tip that Valorosi reminds readers is that when considering the correct fit, one must keep in mind that feet swell when active and hiking footwear should be sized larger than casual footwear. Smart shoppers should consider a whole or half size larger and should wait until the afternoon when trying on and sizing potential footwear as feet tend to get warmer as the day goes on. Finally Valorosi advises shoppers to consider the overall weight of a product as adding weight to your feet adds to the overall weight you are carrying when out on the trail.

In conclusion Valorosi discusses the different components that make up this type of footwear including the uppers, linings, insoles, midsoles, outsoles and toe protection and the types of materials they can be constructed from and the ways in which each component and the different materials can work for or against you. She offers advice on which materials to seek out and why, and important factors to take into consideration about each part of the anatomy of hiking footwear.

OutdoorGearLab gear editors across the country test outdoor equipment side-by-side and publish the results in comparative reviews. Products receive scores across a range of weighted categories, competitors are ranked, and awards are given to top-performing products. See more at OutdoorGearLab.com.

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