How to choose the best hiking shoes in 2021
Today we are going to teach you how to choose the best hiking shoes possible! Practicing physical activities is essential and has many benefits, but to enjoy it completely and without hassles, you need to have the right equipment!
There is no point in trying to practice walking with regular shoes: You will soon feel discomfort and may even give up the activity. We will explain in this article what to pay attention to when choosing your hiking model and what features it should always have. Stay with us to learn how to make the ideal choice!
First, the most important
- Walking is a low-impact and extremely democratic physical activity. It has benefits for both physical and mental health.
- The best walking shoes are those that keep your feet comfortable and have good systems for shock absorption and perspiration.
- It is also possible to make your choice according to your own characteristics, such as your type of step and the intensity of your walks.
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If you’ve made it to this article, you want to understand how to choose walking shoes. That’s exactly why there is a buying guide!
We will now answer several of the most common questions about this equipment that will give you a lot of comfort when practicing physical activities!
What are the health benefits of walking?
Walking is a low-impact physical activity that does not require much effort. It is recommended for all ages, all types of people and is still accessible, as it only requires quality shoes to be carried out in comfort.
Walking regularly helps you both physically and mentally. It is possible to control cholesterol, gain a little muscle development and prevent cardiovascular disease. Another benefit is the aid for those who want to lose weight.
For the mental side, walking is an important ally in fighting depression. Serotonin production not only brings a great feeling of well-being, it also improves mood and sleep quality. Even the energy for everyday activities becomes more abundant!
Regardless of your age, the practice of walking will bring multiple benefits and is recommended by professionals from various fields.
See the table below for the main advantages and disadvantages of walking:
- It is a democratic physical activity and recommended for everyone
- You just need a good shoe as equipment
- Helps fight cholesterol and cardiovascular disease
- Helps fight depression, improves sleep and a sense of well-being
- Can assist in weight loss
- It can be uncomfortable without the ideal sneaker
Why does walking require specific shoes?
Despite being a low impact physical activity and physical effort, walking still requires a little bit of the body. Joints and tendons can suffer if they are not well protected, and accumulated excess sweat also has the potential to cause problems.
A common sneaker, more designed for use at night or in social situations, is designed with more focus on its beauty than on its comfort. Thus, it can be quite uncomfortable for long walks or even cause some injury.
At the same time, walking is not as heavy an activity as running. Features such as evolved shock absorbers and technological shock absorption systems are less necessary in models for the former than for the latter.
The main characteristic of a hiking shoe is the comfort for continuous use.
Did you know that walking and running are not the same thing? The first does not ask for high speeds or long distances, while the second can even be competitive. Walking is indicated for light and punctual benefits in quality of life.
What features are indispensable in hiking shoes?
If comfort is the most important, what leads to it? What cannot be absent in good hiking shoes at all?
- Flexibility: The structure of a hiking shoe needs to be flexible and malleable. Thus, the foot will always be comfortable, since it will make a constant movement. Harder models are not recommended.
- Cushioning: Walking is a low impact activity, but low impact still means impact. For all joints and tendons to be preserved, good cushioning is a good idea.
- Breathability: During walking, considerable sweating is normal. In order for your foot not to get soaked, a good perspiration system in tennis is necessary. Otherwise, problems may arise.
- Good durability: To show results, the walk needs to be done frequently. You need to buy a shoe from a trusted brand and with a robust and durable composition.
What types of hiking shoes?
Not all hiking shoes are the same. There are a few different styles that may appeal to different people with the technologies or ideas employed.
Cushioned sneakers are the most common and most used for walking. As we mentioned, this is an important feature that helps with impact absorption. You can choose one of them if it makes you more comfortable.
However, minimalist tennis has grown in the market. This is a style that has only a thin layer on the sole, with no cushioning, just for the basic purpose of protection. The idea is that the sensation is similar to walking barefoot.
Those who walk through more rugged terrain can opt for a trail shoe. It is a style with a thinner sole, but in strong material, and with special reinforcements on the sides. It has the greatest durability.
So that you can choose the best hiking shoes, we have prepared a table comparing the three types!
When to change my hiking shoes?
Even if it comes from a good source, a walking shoe does not have an infinite duration. At some point, it will become considerably worn, with holes and imperfections, and will need to be replaced.
The life span of a tennis shoe is between 500 and 800 hours of walking.
It should be noted that the shoes are already shipped from the factory with a predefined useful life. On average, they take between 500 and 800 hours of walking. As much as you don’t have to worry about the exact timing, making an estimate helps you know when the time for switching is near.
Keeping walking with old, bad shoes can impair your comfort and even cause problems. Therefore, do not delay to acquire a new model if you notice that the old one is already at the end of its useful life.
How much does it cost and where to buy hiking shoes?
The brand and the special technologies involved are the factors that most vary the prices of hiking shoes. You can find great models very cheap, around R $ 50, but also very developed ones close to R $ 250.
Shops specializing in sporting goods or footwear in general may have good models of hiking shoes, as well as stores from the most famous brands. You can also make your purchase over the internet: Amazon offers an excellent range of models, as well as Amazon international.
Purchase criteria: Factors for choosing a hiking shoe
Buying the best hiking shoes is not an easy task: To do it perfectly, you also need to master some technical criteria. We selected four to discuss:
- Step type
- Type of walk
Below, you will find more details about each one!
It is recommended that walking shoes are not too tight. The foot should have space to move around comfortably during activity. Of course, at the same time, it cannot be too wide, nor can it come out easily.
The ideal is, if you still do not know the manufacture, look for a model that is a number above what you usually use. Thus, there will be no risk of choosing a sneaker that is tight and that hurts your foot while walking.
As it is normal to have small differences between one clothing and another, you can make the purchase with more peace of mind if you already know the brand.
One thing that few take into account when choosing hiking shoes is the type of step. Know that it is quite important.
There are three different types of steps:
- Pronated . The foot rests more on the inside and tensions slightly inward;
- Neutral. The foot goes straight;
- Supinated. The foot meets the floor with the outer side of the heel and tenses outward.
If you have a type of footprint highlighted or it causes you a problem, it is ideal to look for a walking shoe made especially for her!
Type of walk
What kind of hikes do you usually do? Slower and calmer, similar to ordinary day-to-day steps, or at a slightly faster pace, perhaps even approaching what can be considered a race?
This is also an issue that should influence your choice. The stronger the pace and the more intense the walk, the greater the need for tennis to have better cushioning and more resources for comfort. After all, the impact also tends to grow a lot!
Sneakers are not only used to protect feet, but also as fashion items. It is natural that we want them to be beautiful, elegant and reflect our personality.
Fortunately, there is a huge range of designs on hiking shoes. You can find them quite simple, with almost nothing that catches the eye, or with complex details and prints. They are also available in a huge range of colors.
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