One of the most beautiful things about life is the ability to move through it how we choose, exploring as we go. Our ancestors were nomadic. Early humans went everywhere on foot, spreading across the globe, often with only their feet to carry them. It is in our genes to get out into nature and put our soles to the soil again, feeling and feeding that forward motion. And one of the most important elements for the success of this continued movement is the health of our feet. The right pair of casual hiking boots, or trekking sandals, or running or adventure shoes will make all the difference in the kind of experience you have from setting out to crossing the finish line or climbing down from a mountain.
Finding the perfect pair of casual hiking boots to adorn those feet
When your feet are your main mode of transportation during your adventure, whether you are taking off for a hike from your secluded campsite, or you are grabbing some fresh air on your quick break from work, they need to be properly fitted for the task ahead. It is likely that you will find that setting out on a trail can not only provide the refreshing excitement and adventure you need, but it is generally better for your body as well. Setting out on a natural dirt trail is much better for your feet and joints than the repeated harsh impact of long walks on pavement or concrete. But nature has its own obstacles that you need to prepare for, and you can most effectively do so by donning durable and supportive trail walking shoes.
What to look for in the right casual hiking boots
Your search for comfortable walking boots should take into account a few different factors. If you are simply heading out to enjoy what nature has to offer, with no plans of grabbing your anti-shock canes or ice axe for taking on towering peaks, casual hiking boots should do just fine.
- Comfort and fit
Like with any new shoe, when you try on a pair, first take note of how they feel on your feet when you are sitting, standing, and moving around. You will want to be sure that there is about half an inch of space, or approximately the width of your pointer finger, between the end of your longest toe and the tip of the shoe.
- Weight and durability
You are going to want to consider the weight of the new shoe. Some boots seem ideal because of how heavy duty they are, implying that they will do a great job protecting and supporting your feet, but if you are planning on walking quite a bit, that weight is going to become noticeable quite quickly. Think of it this way: the energy that it takes to carry a certain amount of weight on your feet is anywhere between 4.7 and 6.4 times the amount that of energy that is required to carry that same amount on your back. Some hikers even refer to this familiar phenomenon as “a pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back.” Heavy shoes are a surefire way to drain your stamina and energy very quickly.
Connecting with our past and building healthier futures
Movement is important. Not only does hiking reconnect us with the land and elements that our species was once so connected to, but that movement keeps us healthy. Our societies have developed in such ways that movement and exercise have become less and less necessary, which has impacted the overall health of the general population. The average adult needs two and a half hours every week, at the bare minimum, of physical aerobic activity. That activity should be at a level of moderate exertion, which could be in the form of a fast-paced walk or a good hike, for at least ten minutes at a time.
Find the perfect pair of shoes that will enable you and empower you to get out the door, into nature, and feeling more refreshed than ever as you commit to a healthier lifestyle.