Spending time in nature really has its benefits, but when you include a physical activity like trekking or walking, you are definitely getting the best of it.
If you love exploring and sightseeing in new natural environments and don’t mind a little muscle fatigue, you would probably like trekking activity.
Trekking is actually a form of walking technique that is a little bit more demanding and often includes long walks through rough terrain, sometimes lasting for a few days.
But, does that mean trekking shoes can be used for everyday walking? Yes and No.
Trekking shoes come in different versions. If you opt to use some kinds of trekking shoes for casual walking, consider wearing light hiking shoes, as they are comfortable, lightweight, and resemble running shoes.
When planning some trekking route, before starting your journey, consider equipping yourself with appropriate footwear, and make sure to have some camping gear if you need to rest overnight. It could be useful to know how setting up a tent at night works, so you would not get caught by surprise.
So, today’s topic is going to discuss trekking footwear and answer some questions regarding the usage of trekking shoes for casual walking. If you’re interested in outdoor walking activities, you would likely find this topic very interesting.
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Difference Between Trekking and Hiking Shoes
The main difference between trekking and hiking shoes is that hiking shoes are lighter. That is because hiking is an activity that doesn’t last as long as trekking.
So, hiking shoes can give you a reasonable amount of foot support and will be good if you are not planning to carry too much weight, and won’t go through harsh terrain.
On the other hand, trekking shoes are designed for serious adventures that require strong shoes for various types of terrains. Trekking shoes are also great when you plan to carry different supplies, like tents, food, and water for longer and tougher trips.
Can You Use Trekking Shoes For Walking?
If you’re wondering if you can use your trekking shoes for walking, the answer is yes, and no. Here’s why. It all depends on many factors.
Some people find trekking shoes comfortable for walking, others say they’re too heavy. The truth is, trekking shoes are heavier than normal shoes and sneakers.
Some hiking shoes can be a bit lightweight, but as trekking requires sturdy shoes, trekking footwear is often heavy.
So, if you’re planning on going for a walk that’s not demanding and won’t be on rough terrain, you should double-check whether to go in your trekking shoes.
You could try and test them before the actual walk, somewhere near your home, or you can bring an extra pair of footwear so you can change into them if trekking shoes become too uncomfortable for you.
How Many Types of Trekking are There?
Trekking includes going on a long and often difficult journey on foot. Trekking paths often cross over mountains and off-trail roads. Considering this, there are four types of trekking:
- Easy Trekking – This type of trekking activity is mainly for beginners and it involves the sightseeing of beautiful horizons or sight of nature.
- Moderate Trekking – This version of trekking is more challenging than easy trekking. It is performed on slightly higher altitudes. You should be energetic to perform this type of trekking.
- Strenuous Trekking – You need to be quite physically fit for this type of trekking. It is done on high trekking altitudes and should be done only by experienced trekkers.
- Difficult Trekking – This trekking is done on steep slopes. It’s often done by professional or very experienced trekkers. You will need a high level of precision skills and endurance.
How to Choose Best Trekking Shoes?
When choosing trekking shoes, you need to consider a few things. Make sure that shoes are sturdy but still comfortable. Ideally, they should be waterproof, snug everywhere, and tight nowhere.
You need to have additional space to easily wiggle your toes. It’s best to try them on at the end of the day when your feet could be a bit swollen. Be sure to try them on with some socks you are planning on wearing during trek sessions.
Here you can check five more tips that can help you choose the right trekking footwear.
Opt for the Right Trekking Shoe Style
Like various types of footwear, trekking shoes are also made for different types of trekking activities. The main thing to know before buying your first trekking footwear is whether you are a casual trekker or do you plan to spend more time in deep mountains.
So, take a look at the list below and find out which type of shoes will best suit your needs.
- Light hiking shoes – These are a stronger version of running shoes. They are great for day trekking and hiking, but a lot of long-distance backpackers wear these types of ultra-light fit footwear.
- Mountaineering boots – If you plan on crossing rocky terrain, with frozen or snowy parts, these might be the boots for you. They are made strong, so they can handle a heavy load and can stand up to even the toughest terrain.
- Backpacking boots – These boots can be used both on and off the trail terrains. If you are planning a multi-day trek, then these might be a good choice. They have a stiff sole and their durability will assist you through almost any conditions.
Find the Right Shoe Material
Choosing the right trekking shoe material is very important. The wrong fabric can make your feet very uncomfortable, hot, or cramped. So, make sure to find the right material and avoid all side effects of bad footwear fabrics.
- Synthetics fabrics – This type of material often consists of nylon and polyester. These shoes feel light, dry faster, but are also less water-resistant.
- Split-grain leather – These are often made with half leather half synthetics, and are very breathable. However, this type of material is not water-resistant as full-grain leather, and its durability is also a bit low-end.
- Full-grain leather – Most types of mountaineering boots are made with full-grain leather. This is a very durable fabric that can protect hikers who are traversing over rough terrains. Be aware this material is less breathable and very heavy.
Choose the Right Cut
Trekking footwear can come in a different cut that should be tailored for your type of trekking. If you get the wrong cut, you may end up with rolled ankles or rocks in your shoes. So, choose your shoe cut carefully.
- High-cut – This cut has optimal balance and ankle support, it’s best for more serious hikers who are going on and off the trail, and possibly traversing more dangerous terrain.
- Mid-cut – This style can give you more ankle support and balance, and provide you better protection along the trail.
- Low-cut – These cut types are similar to running shoes. They are great for lightweight and casual trekking, this cut can leave your ankles vulnerable to injuries, and these boots should be worn only on well-maintained trails.
Pay Attention to Footwear Size
When buying new trekking shoes, you should pay attention to their size. This may sound obvious, but it’s not the same when you’re buying everyday sneakers, and footwear for more demanding walking activities.
Be aware your feet are going to swell and you will need plenty of space to move your toes around. Your feet should be comfy and snuggled, while your heel stays in place. The floating heel is one of the main causes of blisters on feet.
Make sure to try on trekking shoes on socks, and consider the feet swelling.
How Do I Know What Size Trekking Shoe to Get?
When it comes to the right trekking shoe size, you should consider:
- Try different styles, wear them on hiking socks, and consider feet swelling.
- You should be able to fit one finger behind your heel when the shoe is undone while your toes can touch the front of the shoe.
- If you fall between two sizes, consider a bigger size. It’s about the feet swelling again. There are options of adding an insole if the shoe is a bit bigger, but a smaller shoe can’t be enlarged. Bear that in mind.
Give the Shoes a Test Run
Make sure you never take your trekking shoes out of the box directly to your trekking session. Wear them around the house a little bit, or run some errands in them.
This way you will get a better feeling if they are the right trekking shoes for you. Just check with the shoe store if they are willing to swap your shoes for another pair if the current one doesn’t do the job.
To Sum It Up
If you are considering using trekking shoes for walking, it might be good to choose some low-cut trekking footwear because they are not heavy and can be comfortable for everyday walks.
Whatever type of shoes you choose in the end, make sure to know your abilities when it comes to trekking. It is best, to begin with, some light walks and gradually pass to more difficult types of walking activities.
Besides that, always consider having the right trekking gear before trying any trekking adventure.