There are tons of activities you can do outdoors, and they’re all really fun. After all, that’s why you chose them, right? But you also need the best footwear to get the job done, and since there are so many types of shoes to consider, let’s see if we can help out a bit.
With so many different hiking trips you can set off to, it’s no wonder that each needs a particular type of shoe. If you’re interested in day hiking in warm, dry weather it’s best to choose low-cut footwear, though ankle support should still be your top priority. Light, breathable materials like mesh and synthetics are great for this purpose.
If you’re going on a trip that has a more difficult terrain, maybe with some slippery rocks or some treacherous foliage on the forest ground, you need great ankle support. So that’s why you want ankle-high or mid-calf boots, that are resistant enough for the terrain. In this case, leather is the best material to choose, may it be full-grain, split grain, or Nubuck.
The same goes if you’re hiking during winter, but the massive amounts of snow and ice-slippery floors might require you to get waterproof boots too. At this point, you’ll want insulation as well as grip, so make sure the outsoles are very sturdy, puncture-resistant and offer great traction. For difficult terrain and long hours on the trail, with narrow descents and ascents, you’ll want reinforced toes and heels too.
You’ll also need the best hiking shoes for kids, which offer the perfect fit for your little ones. So don’t discard this as unnecessary if you’re planning a hike with them. These are very light, supportive shoes, and they also look cool.
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Walking is a great form of exercise, and most of us can only find time for this with all our packed schedules. But there are different types of walking too, so you should get comfortable, appropriate footwear.
Let’s say you’re into casual walking, meaning you’re not planning to walk more than five miles total. In that case, you need comfortable shoes, but you can pick almost anything you think looks good on you, including sandals. Make sure you get something light and without too much cushioning that can get you a lot of shin pain. You should also choose breathable materials and check the fit so you don’t get blisters.
On the other hand, racewalking demands different footwear because it uses an increased number of muscles, putting more pressure on your shins and on the soles of your feet. That means flexibility should be your main concern, so check that the soles are soft, and with a low heel.
Stepping it up a notch, marathon walking needs very light shoes that offer increased stability as well. Cushioning is also important here, particularly because you don’t want bone problems.
Since most of you might love running outdoors, picking the right footwear is essential. The first thing you need is to get the right fit since there will be a lot of pressure and jumps, so you might otherwise get blisters and black toenails.
You also need very good stability, so make sure the shoes you get offer ankle support so you avoid sprain ankles. In terms of cushioning, you’ll want a very comfortable inner sole that absorbs the impact of you constantly hitting the ground forcefully. Same goes for toe reinforcement because your toes will otherwise feel a lot of pressure.
The outer sole needs to provide good traction, so a rubber or Vibram outsole is great, but at the same time, you need to look for flexibility. So don’t get running shoes with rigid outsoles, or your feet won’t be able to do that rolling motion from the heel to the toes.
Apart from that, the laces should offer a very secure fit, so they shouldn’t come undone when you least expect them too. In terms of materials, weather and terrain are the decisive factors here, but you should look for breathable, light, moisture-wicking materials that don’t let your feet get excessively warm and sweaty. Synthetic fabrics are possibly your best choice.
Basketball, football, and tennis
For these sports, you’ll want very good lateral stability because your feet aren’t moving front to back like for running, but side to side. Other than that, you’ll also need some soft cushioning because you’ll be jumping up and down quite a lot.
A firm heel is always great, but particularly so in these sports. You should also look for great ankle support and an outsole that’s somewhat more rigid. That’s because you want more stability here, you won’t be running in front too much, so the rolling of your feet from heel to toe isn’t that important.
A pair of lightweight shoes are better, and make sure the outsole offers increased traction. Football and tennis are regularly played on grass, and you don’t want to slip and fall too often.
There are three types of rock climbing shoes for three particular situations. The neutral shoes are better for longer hours, they’re more comfortable since your toes will stay flat and they’re better for multi-pitch climbs. Since these have stiff midsoles and a flat profile, they’re not as sensitive for overhanging routes.
The moderate shoes have a downturned profile which is great for technical climbing like multi-pitch, slab, and crack. Your feet will be placed in a stronger position, and their rubber soles offer a great grip. However, these soles can get damaged faster as opposed to those of neutral shoes.
The aggressive shoes, with their downturned shape and very tight fit which places a ton of tension on the heels, are great for single-pitch climbs, overhanging routes, and boulders. These shouldn’t be worn for endless hours, though they’re great in terms of grip.
With that in mind, which outdoor footwear will you get? What sports do you love? What other info did you want to find out? The comment section awaits below!