There’s a time and a place for hiking boots, whether backpacking boots or something more traditional. That location is not comfortable for me in any way. Test out a pair of running shoes if you don’t have any particular issues with your ankles, there isn’t any snow on the ground, and you aren’t carrying more than thirty pounds on your back. You’re going to be ecstatic that you did it.
Boots designed for backpacking or hiking are notorious for being cumbersome, stinky, and unable to dry out. The average pair of hiking boots weigh more than three pounds, while a decent pair of running shoes can weigh as little as one pound. According to research conducted by the Army, one pound on each foot is equivalent to carrying five (or six) pounds on your back. As a result, wearing boots that weigh three pounds causes you to feel more fatigued at the end of the day.
Some backpackers argue that ankle support is necessary, but throughout history, people have managed just fine without wearing boots with rigid ankle support. Think about the fact that people are walking around who weigh sixty pounds more than you do and don’t seem to have any problems, even though you’re carrying thirty extra pounds on your back. There is no problem with insufficient support; the issue is with the ankles. You should try walking on an uneven ground weekly (not in the mall) to solve this issue.
Even though hiking boots may be necessary for some people, you should ensure that the cause of your ankle problems is not simply a lack of exercise before you resign yourself to backpacking in heavy boots. When backpacking, you may require hiking boots if you carry more than thirty pounds. This is a fact. The solution to this problem is to reduce the amount of weight.
If you wear good running shoes instead of hiking boots, your feet will be able to stay more relaxed, resulting in fewer blisters. I used to get blisters, but I stopped getting them years ago when I started wearing running shoes and lightweight socks. I don’t mean that I got fewer blisters. I don’t want any blisters, please. Since I made the switch, I haven’t had a single blister, not even after a hike of 110 miles over seven days in the Rockies, for example.
Since I started wearing socks, the only kind I’ve ever worn are dress socks made of thin nylon. They are not only inexpensive but also weigh significantly less than an ounce per pair. This makes it convenient to carry enough clean socks at all times. They are also simple to clean and dry off quickly after being used. Even though my feet can no longer tolerate hotter socks, I still bring a warmer pair when I go to sleep or when it’s freezing outside.
Because weights are not always included in catalogs, it will be up to you to determine which hiking shoes are more lightweight based on the shoe’s description and the accompanying photo. If you don’t have feet that are a size 13, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding good hiking or running shoes that weigh less than two pounds per pair. Bring a kitchen scale with you to the shoe store if you have to.
The soles of the shoes of higher quality are stitched to the uppers of the shoes. Check this by looking under the insoles of the shoes. Another indicator of quality footwear is an insole that can be removed. Typically, a good pair of running shoes will weigh less than 28 ounces and cost less than $80; however, you may be able to find them on closeout for half the original price.
If you haven’t given it a shot yet, the best way to understand how liberating it is to hike in running shoes rather than hiking boots or a heavy pack is to give it a shot. Travel further while experiencing less discomfort. Just to see what’s on top of that hill, you should run up it. To this day, I have not encountered a single person who has experimented with backpacking while wearing hiking or running shoes and then switched back to wearing backpacking boots.
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