Some people like to hike in sandals. I would probably suggest hiking sandals for those walks where you are walking on paved out tracks and they would be perfect for walking along a beach, especially near the water. The Men's Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe could be suited for such conditions. They don't offer much protection for the foot or support. They are more like a glorified thong or flip flops to me. You could only wear them during the warmer months as they have no closed in body that would keep your feet warm in the cooler season.
Your hiking adventure has many things to be mindful of before you begin, and choosing the right type of hiking boots or hiking shoes is very important. When you're coastal hiking you are most likely to come in contact with mud and water, to keep comfort you may want to wear a pair of water resistant hiking boot. Timberland have a great boot, the Timberland Men's Chocorua Trail Gore-tex Mid hiking Boot looks as if it would be ideal for hiking in wet conditions. Thongs or flip flops, just won't do when you're out and about the bush or climbing rocks. There is absolutely no support for your feet, or your ankles and they are difficult to grip when on slopes and uneven surfaces. Shoes that don't provide good support will only lead to a broken shoe or bone, a sprain or twisted ankle, grazes and possibly severe cuts which will ensure a miserable outcome.
Choosing your footwear:
When you are thinking about what type of hiking shoes or hiking boots you are going to need, think about where and how they are going to be used. Coastal hiking includes various landscapes from rocks, dirt, mud, climbing into the bush and at times your feet will be placed into placed that you may not feel comfortable putting them. If you have a pair of hiking shoes that are strong, sturdy and comfortable you'll go anywhere with confidence as your hiking shoes will provide the support and protection that you will need at times on your hiking journey. Keen make a great shoe such as the Keen Women's Targhee EXP Waterproof Hiking Shoe, it's waterproof yet breathable, great quality and good comfort.
It’s imperative that whatever hiking boot or hiking shoe you choose they should fit properly, with enough toe room and be comfortable without being too tight. It's a great idea to ensure that you have broken them in or at least tested your hiking boots or hiking shoes on several shorter hikes before leaving home on a long hike. Avoiding blisters is a must, as blisters will turn any enjoyable hike into a journey of misery and pain. Blisters will extend the hike by slowing you down and not making time schedules as planned. It could basically be down right dangerous especially for those long overnight journeys into isolation. So it might be a good idea to pack a First Aid Kit. A good pair of hiking socks are a must with your hiking boots and hiking shoes. They can make a real difference to the comfort and support of your hiking footwear.
Don’t forget about the seasons and consider the hiking footwear to suit the conditions. Heavy hiking boots in summer can be difficult and unpleasant. Lightweight hiking shoes or joggers that are designed to allow the feet to breathe, could be a bit too cool and wet for winter hikes. Spending a bit of money on your hiking boots or hiking shoes will give you a better quality item that can endure the terrains and conditions.
So, a hiking shoe that is waterproof and has a closed weave and possibly a higher ankle might be a good choice. The Merrell Men's Moab 2 Ventilator Hiking Shoe looks ideal. Some people wear gaiters over their shoes when hiking across sand, mud and snow to prevent anything from going into the shoe or sock. You don't want them too heavy either, you want to be able to be flexible and have a good sole with a good grip.
They should feel good and have no rubbing or hot spots. Ensure there is lots of room for your toes to move about without touching anything. Remember when we are walking down hills and slopes especially steep ones our feet slide forward into our shoes and boots, thats why we want the room.
Another thing to consider with your shoes or boots is waterproofing them, if they aren't already. Waterproofing helps not only with keeping the water out but it also helps with keep the sand and dirt out of your hiking shoes and hiking boots. Now, in saying that we make no promises, as the sand will always find a way of getting into your shoes, your gear, your clothes, your hair and ears anyway! If you only hike in the warmer seasons and don't venture onto beaches or into streams and ponds, then you won't need to waterproof your shoes.
How To Fit a Hiking Boot
If you intend to hike over rough terrain and up mountains for days then hiking boots could be a better option or possible choice compared to a hiking shoe. They provide more support around the foot and ankle and most have soles that are designed for uneven, harsh ground. Another thing to consider is comfort and waterproofing. Hiking boots are great for trips with lighter loads than for the heavier endurance adventure. Different boots suit different people and everyone has a different shaped foot.
Heavy leather boots can be too hot if hiking in the middle of summer. They don't allow the feet to breathe and they can cause blisters.
These could be an option for those trips that are of longer distances and endurance and personal challenges. They are designed to carry heavier loads and support the feet with stiffer mid soles which make them more appropriate for off trail hiking. They protect the ankles and feet and provide a more sturdy and supported feel. Salomon make a great boot the Salomon Men's X Ultra Trek GTK Backpacking Boot, it's lightweight, waterproof and has good traction, which is what you are going to need as you climb up the trails that are rough and wet with a heavier backpack load.
These are fine for easy hikes and walking on tracks that are mapped out or for day trips. Its important to think about the weight of the shoe, if they can breathe and are they comfortable. Most hiking shoes are made stronger than your average jogger shoe. They have thicker toe caps and soles and provide good traction, so they can endure a bit of rough treatment. Hiking shoes are lower around the ankle, so they don't have the ankle support of a hiking boot. When I first started to wear a pair of hiking shoes, I noticed that the tongue was crumpled together and uncomfortable. I was finding it very difficult to correct, so I threw them into the washing machine and stretched them out in the sun, and it worked! But it is something to consider when buying hiking shoes and hiking boots. The Merrell Women's Siren Sport 2 Hiking Shoe is comfortable and light and has a breathable mesh and is water-resistant.
Runners or joggers suit those short trips that are on even ground. If you are more interested in just getting outdoors and enjoying the exercise and fitness of hiking, then by all means put on your joggers and get out there. These short trips could lead to a more adventurous and enduring hike later down the track. Some people like trailrunners with gortex such Salomon Men's Xa Pro 3d Gtx Trail Runners to keep out the water and sand.
- Inner booties
- Inner soles
- Leather protective cream
- Shoe Cleaners
- Gaiters - can be used not only in the snow but on the beach and in the bush to prevent snow, sand, dirt and slugs from going into your socks and shoes.
- Glue Kits
- Blister Kits - can help with blisters and bunions.