"Sole" Searching: Choosing the Right Walking & Hiking Shoes


“Sole” Searching: Choosing the Right Walking & Hiking Shoes


Not all walking and hiking shoes are created equal. Too often, people rely on look and feel at the shoe store instead of the actual elements that will be encountered on trails. Within the category of hiking shoes, there are a variety of designs to consider:

1. Trail running or adventure racing shoes are essentially running shoes made of more durable materials, such as thicker soles and stronger stitching designed to endure rougher conditions.

2. Hiking shoes or approach shoes are heavier than trail running shoes, as they are generally designed with a framed architecture to better support your feet and are cut below the ankle. Lighter fabrics are used, such as nylon or suede.

3. Cross hikers or mid-weight boots (Class B) look like the typical hiking boot and they’re intended for more off-trail terrain. They offer enough support to last through long single day and multiday hikes. The cut reaches above the ankle, so they require more breaking in than hiking shoes.

4. Heavy Boots (Class C) are designed specifically for rough terrain. These boots include additional support such as toecaps, rugged soles, and synthetic linings. They’re designed for maximum support for extended hikes with heavy packs. Other features include shock-absorbing soles, as well as water-resistant and breathable materials. These will require a great degree of breaking in before use on the trail.

5. Mountaineering boots (Class D) are designed for extended, mountaineering-type expeditions, where colder weather conditions are expected. They’re generally constructed of either a hard plastic shell with a pivot point at the ankle, or a combination of leather and synthetic materials for enhanced comfort.

Join us at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center every Wednesday, 12-1pm, for FREE Walking Group exercise classes at the Wellness Mile trailhead! For details, visit CarsonTahoe.com/WellnessMile or call (775) 445-5169.