Summer is easily the best season to step into the jungle and enjoy nature in its full glory. The weather is extremely favorable except for a little heat. Most hikers fail to appreciate the impact of their feet in the course of hiking. Remember, your feet bear the full weight of your time in the jungle. They have to deal with all the injuries alongside sweating and blisters that are more prevalent in hot months. Therefore, they deserve the best hot weather hiking boots for superior comfort, ankle support, and underfoot protection. With the astonishing plethora of hiking footwear flooding the market today, finding an ideal pair of walking booties for the hot weather can be pretty laborious. This buying guide paints a clear picture of what you need to know about hot weather hiking boots as well as the attributes to scrutinize when making your choice.
Importance of Hiking Boots
Unlike ordinary hiking shoes, booties are known to offer abundant ankle support. Hiking is occasioned by ankle twists and rotations among other unprecedented dangers that avid explorers have to deal with from time to time. Hiking boots might not be injury-proof but they will prevent unnecessary ankle sprains.
Walking booties are uniquely designed to offer solid protection against elements that might cause discomfort. They are synonymous with thick, stiff, and rugged outsoles, engineered to grip different terrains and keep your feet safe from sharp rock that might pose a real danger for ordinary shoes. Mud, water, pebbles, and debris are some of the elements you can forget when safely clad in your waders.
You will probably get less than three months of service from a trail runner in hot months, as much as they are lighter and breathable. Real durability is found in the hot weather boots. Indeed, they are bulkier but guarantee more than eight months of service even in the most punishing conditions.
How to Choose the Hiking Boots
Selecting proper footwear for the hot months is such a rigorous matchmaking process. There are so many factors that you have to contemplate for that exceptional pair. On the bright side, we are committed to ensuring that your hiking experience is a smooth as possible. Check out our exclusive tips below:
a. Give them a test run
Of course, you can never know what certain footwear feels like unless you try it on. It is the only way to confirm if they fit well or if they meet your requirements for a summer hiking boot. It evens makes more sense to test the walking shoes in actual hot conditions to verify if they bear the attributes you are after. Another way to achieve this is to check out reviews by customers who bought the same products and see what they have to say.
b. Try them on to ascertain the size
A boot’s fit and comfort all depends on its sizing. The more congruent they are to your feet’ size, the more appealing they will be. It is often advisable to choose hiking boots that are a size bigger to allow room for toe movement. The truest way to ascertain the size of a prospective pair is to put them on. Female hikers should go for a women-specific cut.
c. Keep the terrain in mind
Terrains come in three categories namely, easy, uneven, and off-trail. It is vital to know the kind of terrain you intend to use the boots over. Essentially, the best pair should be protective and tough on injury-causing hazards but flexible enough to allow your feet to move naturally.
d. Remember the length and pace of your hike
Knowing how long you intend to stay out in the wild will greatly influence the kind of footwear you bring to the trail. If you have a penchant for long hikes, you should opt for heavy-duty boots, equipped with advanced protective features. On the flip side, if you only plan to take a short stroll through the woods, lighter boots would be in order.
e. Take your hiking level into account
Your hiking expertise will dictate the amount of protection you need from a pair of booties. Beginners will need all the ankle support and toe protection they can get. The frequency of your hikes is also another game-changer.
Things to Consider While Choosing The Boots For Hiking
Every hiking boot model is unique in terms of its feature set as well as the ultimate functionality. Great specs will deliver impeccable outdoor performance. Here are the attributes to look for when choosing a pair of hiking boots for the hot weather:
1. Stability and Stiffness
Stability and ankle support are among the key reasons you need a hiking boot in the first place. The two aspects are generated by the shank, a piece of hard plastic found between the outsole and midsole. It provides ample stiffness around the heel area to keep your feet from dropping when ascending technical terrains.Nevertheless, the shank comes with one major drawback that is bulkiness.Be that as it may, you can choose flatter and lighter hiking boots without the shank although you will have to sacrifice ankle support. For optimal support in punishing conditions, heavy-duty boots will okay.
The standard weight for most over-the-ankle boots is about 3 pounds. Yet the perfect correlation between a boot’s performance and its weight is hard to ignore. It just so happens that less bulky walking boots offer less stability, support, and protection in comparison to their heavy parallels. Long-term durability is also different for both cases, with bulkier boots outperforming the lighter ones. All the same, it is always advisable to choose a pair with a flawless balance between weight and performance.
It is vitally important to buy hiking boots with insoles that match your feet' size and shape. This is because the insole determines how well your footwear fits. Thankfully, insoles are easily replaceable and you can do that to enhance fit, improve shock absorption, or better the cushioning.
4. Toe Protection
The risk of bruising your toes on rocks is ever-present when in the jungle. For heightened toe protection, get booties that are fitted with rubber bands or toe caps. Unfortunately, toe protection is not a feature you may enjoy in many lightweight boots. The uppers of hiking footwear alone will do very little to keep your feet secure. In whatever way, a pair whose front is covered with thick rubber will provide adequate protection if you encounter a hazard on the trail.
The outsole and traction are almost the same. With a good outsole, you can worry less about sharp objects or falling on uneven terrains. Well, traction is the greatest reason why hikers ditch their cross-trainers for actual hiking boots. You need hiking boots with aggressive tread patterns and deep lugs for unmatched grip in muddy areas. In the same manner, you will find sticky rubber outsoles valuable on rocky surfaces.
There is a wide spectrum of midsole materials to think about. However, your main concern should be regarding the eventual comfort. Hiking requires you to bring along extra weight that may exert a lot of stress on your feet. This is why your hiking boots need a proper midsole to sufficiently absorb any shock that might be incurred from impact. On top of that, midsoles are tasked with mitigating injury from sharp objects. The best midsoles for challenging terrains ought to be thick and a little stiff. PU and EVA foam are the most preferred materials in this regard.
7. Fastening system
Most hikers fail to notice how crucial the lacing system is to the comfort and fit of a hiking boot. Substandard laces will give you a difficult time, loosening constantly and forcing you to readjust throughout your excursion. Utterly bothersome, right? The best way to avoid such a quagmire is to choose the best lacing system. Make sure it is comfortable, strong, secure, and easily adjustable for a personalized fit. Single pull laces might not be ideal for long hikes. Aggressive designs with locking hooks are recommended for all-trail performance.
8. Upper material
Hiking boots are essentially meant for protection and support. The uppers of any hiking footwear have a huge role to play in that regard. Other than that, the upper material dictates how strong and durable your boot will be. Thus, it makes sense to go for premium materials. You also need to ensure that the material is breathable and water-resistant. We all know leather is more durable except for its underwhelming ventilation that might be a significant setback in hot weather. A lot of boot manufacturers tend to gravitate towards a blend of leather, a little mesh, and synthetic fabrics.
It is impossible to enjoy a hike in hot weather if your boots are not well ventilated. Unfortunately, most heavy-duty leather boots – synonymous with aggressive waterproofing features – offer the poorest breathability in summer months. The manner, in which they keep water from sipping into the boot, is the same way they will prevent sweat from escaping the inside. Poor air circulation means lots of sweating, blisters, and eventually incredible discomfort. You might want to ditch them or get rid of the waterproof lining for a cool hiking experience. Footwear with synthetic materials such as nylon yields decent ventilation.
Although waterproofing may have an inherent effect on breathability, it might be worthwhile if you plan to venture into mountainous, wet, or marshy terrains. A vast majority of high-end hiking boots provide a fine balance between waterproofing and breathability. Outdoor lovers have a soft spot for Gore-Tex waterproof liners trusted for their unmatched effectiveness. Apart from that, you should look out for boots with water repellent coating. Nonetheless, adventurers in predominantly hot regions are advised to avoid waterproofed footwear altogether.
Ideal hiking boots should thrive on terrains where regular footwear would find challenging. On the same note, the top boots for hot weather ought to offer the same amount of comfort, grip, protection, and support when temperatures go through the roof. It is also worth pointing out that most outdoor lovers shift towards lighter and more flexible booties when the hot months arrive. You should also follow suit as it will vehemently cut back on bulk while boosting your pace for a more enriching outdoor experience.