You’ve made it through winter and are anxious to get outside and hike. But what kind of footwear should you wear?
It’s important to choose the right shoes or boots for the occasion.
In this blog post, I’ll look at summer hiking boots – what they are, when to wear them, and how to select the right pair for your needs.
Different types of hiking boots and what they are best for
Outdoor enthusiasts know that the right hiking boots can make a difference when enjoying a trekking expedition.
However, in summer, when the weather is hot and humid, what type of boot should you wear?
There are several different hiking boots designed specifically for warm weather, and each has its own set of benefits.
Knowing which one is best for you will help ensure an enjoyable hike.
Types of hiking boots for the summer:
- Lightweight hiking boots: There are lightweight hiking boots made from materials such as mesh and nylon. They’re perfect for hot weather because they allow your feet to breathe, keeping them cool and dry. Additionally, they’re very comfortable and easy to wear, making them a good option if you’ll be doing a lot of walking. However, they may not be as durable or protective as other boots, so you’ll need to make sure they’re right for your activity.
- Waterproof hiking boots: Ready for a hike that includes crossing through water? Then waterproof hiking boots are the choice for you. These shoes are made with breathable materials but have a GORE-TEX fabric in high-wear areas to keep your feet dry when hiking through puddles or crossing shallow streams. They’re typically lightweight, comfortable, and durable enough to tackle any activity. Plus, they typically provide better stability than other boots, thanks to their stiff soles and high-traction treads.
- Trail shoes: If you choose trail shoes instead of boots, you’ll likely get the best of both worlds – comfort and breathability, just like a lightweight boot, but with support and stability similar to a waterproof hiking shoe. Trail shoes are also great for people who don’t like wearing heavy footwear while out on the trail. They come in low (for mild activities) and high (for more rigorous hikes) top options, and some even have a waterproof coating.
- Amphibious shoes: Amphibious shoes fit somewhere between boots and trail shoes in terms of their durability and weight. They typically feature a mesh upper and a sticky rubber sole with lugged or cleated patterns for traction. Also known as river shoes, they’re perfect for frequent hikers who enjoy getting off the beaten path and hiking through big puddles – just to keep things interesting!
- Hiking sandals: Last but not least, you can always opt for hiking sandals. These lightweight shoes are great for hot weather because they’re breathable and dry quickly. Thanks to their open design, your feet will stay cool throughout the day. On top of that, they also offer excellent stability and comfort.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s sure to be a perfect boot for you.
Tip: Read also my other blog article, in which I explain how you should dress properly for a hike in the summer. Click on the link.
The benefits of using hiking boots in the summer
As the weather starts to heat up, more and more people are hitting the trails in their running shoes or sandals.
However, if you’re looking to take your trekking to the next level, consider using hiking boots instead.
Here are four reasons why you should switch over to hiking boots for summer hikes:
1. Your feet will stay dry throughout the day. As we mentioned above, hiking boots are typically made with materials like mesh and nylon, which allow your foot to breathe. This is especially important in the summertime because perspiration can lead to blisters or even infections if your feet aren’t kept cool and dry at all times.
2. You’ll likely have better traction on the trail. Whether hiking over rocks or wet logs, having stable footing is extremely important for preventing injuries caused by slipping. Boots typically provide much better traction than other types of footwear, making them an excellent option if you know the path ahead will be full of obstacles.
3. Your feet will be safer. You’re walking through the woods and come across an area with poison ivy or oak leaves. If you’re wearing shoes, it may be easy for your feet to slip across wet rocks or absorb the oils from the plants. However, suppose you have hiking boots on. In that case, they’ll protect against getting too close to those hazardous elements as you’re walking along.
4. Your lower body will be stronger and more stable. Boots are typically heavier than other types of footwear, which means that they provide a workout for your legs as you walk. You might even build some muscle by wearing them!
How to choose the right hiking boots for you
As the weather heats up, many hikers start to think about what new gear they need to get ready for their summer adventures.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of hiking boots, choosing the right pair for your needs is important.
This guide will help you figure out which boots are right for you and how to select the perfect pair for your next trek.
Which type of terrain do you plan to hike on?
The first thing you’ll need to decide is if you want boots with high or low tops.
Those with low tops offer more breathability, but they don’t provide as much ankle support as high-tops.
By contrast, high-tops are usually made with thicker material designed to protect your ankles.
They have less breathability, but are often better for rugged trails that require more stability.
Do you tend to get cold feet?
If so, it’s best to choose boots that are insulated.
This will help prevent heat from being lost through the bottom of the shoe. However, be aware that there is a tradeoff between warmth and breathability.
How much mobility do you need?
Boots with a lower profile are more mobile than those with a high top.
These shoes give you a closer, more natural range of movement when compared to boots that have a bounce component in the back.
What kind of hiking do you plan on doing?
Suppose your trails include long climbs up steep hills. In that case, you’ll likely want boots with plenty of cushioning and stability for carrying heavy loads over uneven terrain.
Alternatively, if your day will be spent trekking through an area where snakes may be hiding under leaves or rocks, finding boots that offer protection from bites is your number one priority.
You should also consider investing in leather or synthetic uppers instead of mesh if there’s any chance you might come across poison ivy or oak.
Tip: In my other blog article, you will find an overview with the appropriate hiking boots for the winter. Just follow the link.
How to take care of your hiking boots
How to take care of your hiking boots Finally, if you want your boots to serve you for many years, it’s important to know how to properly clean them after every hike.
For one thing, always use lukewarm water when rinsing off the shoe’s exterior.
It should also be sprayed with a waterproofing agent before being left out in the sun to dry completely.
If there are any areas where water is seeping through the bottom of the boot, sprinkle some baking soda onto a cotton ball and apply it directly onto the wet area.
Dab some mud on top of this mixture and allow it to dry overnight.
Once everything has dried up, brush away the mud before reapplying the water-repelling product to the bottom of the boot.
You should also always rotate your boots before wearing them each time you go hiking.
This is because it’ll help reduce any stress put on your feet, which will make sure that your shoes last a long time.
Once you get home from a hike, you should always air out your boots to be ready to go the next time you need them.
Make sure to leave a gap between your socks and the shoe’s interior so that it’ll have plenty of room to dry out.
Consider using felt-lined insoles for extra comfort if your hiking shoes don’t already have them.
They’re designed to reduce any pressure applied to your feet by absorbing excess moisture and heat.
If you follow these tips, you can keep your boots in good condition, but your feet will also be happy as ever the next time you go for a hike.
Now that you’re familiar with each type of boot, which one will you wear on your next hike?
There are so many different options available to people who enjoy hiking.
I hope that this blog post has inspired you to try out some new styles and enjoy the outdoors!
Feel free to check out our website for more information about hiking boots, sandals, and other footwear.