Purchasing Walking Boots & Shoes
What To Look Out For When Buying Walking Boots
Whatever your activity, whether it be walking, hiking, mountaineering, rambling or simply a stroll to the pub, having the correct walking boots is essential.
The reason for this is to support and protect your feet and to help you feel as comfortable at the end of a long day as you did at the start. The wrong choice of footwear could lead to aching and bruised feet and possibly an early return home.
To choose the correct category of walking boot, you must take into consideration: the level of support and protection needed; terrain and conditions; the size and build; foot size and shape of the walking boot / shoe; and the weight carried in your rucksack. Walking boots are generally split up into the following categories, these are Low Level and Approach Hillwalking Trekking and Four Season Mountaineering.
You should match the style of walking boot that you use to the type of walking that you will be doing. If you will only be doing low level and approach style walking you will not require mountaineering style boots. In fact, mountaineering style boots would be too stiff and inflexible for walking comfortably on low level trails. However it is essential that you use a walking boot which is tough enough to cope with the type of walking that you will be doing. Using inadequate footwear can result in sore feet and twisted ankles.
Low Level and Approach Boots
Low level and approach walking footwear, suitable for the Camino de Santiago, are usually low cut walking boots or shoes. These boots are flexible and will only provide adequate support and grip for easier terrain where paths and trails would normally be encountered.
Low level paths may be slightly uneven with some lose stones or gravel and would not be particularly steep. Walking boots designed for Low Level and Approach walking will not provide enough support if you intend to carry a full rucksack containing enough gear for overnight camping.
Hillwalking / Trekking Boots
Hillwalking and trekking boots are designed for year round hill walking except in snow or ice conditions. Generally made from leather or fabric with a waterproof liner. These walking boots will have an aggressive tread pattern, a medium level of support and will at least be waterproof for use in wet conditions.
Hillwalking / Trekking boots will provide adequate ankle support for trails that are much rockier and steeper than Low Level and Approach walking boots, and will provide enough support for carrying full rucksacks.
You can read this article for more helpful advice on walking shoes & boots
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