To boot or not to boot? | Hiking footwear blog

Feb 24, 2022

Boots or shoes? It’s the ultimate question every rambler asks themselves when purchasing a new pair of hiking footwear. In our experience, it’s all down to personal preference, but there’s definitely some different factors to consider like: the distance you’ll be hiking, level of flex you’d prefer and how much cushioning you require.

We know there can be a lot to think about when investing in a new pair of hiking footwear, which is why we’ve come up with our top recommendations for each category!

Hill running

Terrain: Rugged landscape, Black Peak, roots and wet rocks

Recommended: Cloudventure from On Running (men’s and women’s)

Techy hill runs? Yeah, the Cloudventure eats them for breakfast. If you need a lot of precision for your hike but don’t want to compromise on speed or agility, this running-come-hiking-shoe is perfect.

The Cloudventure isn’t just lightweight, it’s also made with a breathable and durable upper material which uses 80% recycled materials. On Running use their “Speedboard” technology to provide you with an extra spring in your step to conquer the highest mountains on your hit list.

for their fashionable design, the soles of the Cloudventure are more than just a stylish shoe. On Running’s “Missiongrip” comes with many accolades and is what will keep you on your feet when tackling roots, wet rocks and unmarked trails through the bush.


Trail running

Terrain: soft terrain, Skyline, Outlet Track

Recommended: Agility Peak from Merrell

Protective, soft and durable – it doesn’t sound like one shoe. But it is! The Agility Peak combines everything you could ever want for trail running, it’s almost too good to be true.

Merrell have ensured you have the technology you need for running up and down trails. Vibram “Megagrip” soles will have you running over rock and all of the other obstacles you’d find on trail without incident. The “FloatPro” midsole provides comfort at minimum impact to the weight of the shoe so you can go faster for longer.

The protective toe cap and external rear heal cap will lock your foot in place and protect your toes making the usual toe staving, knee wobbling descents a thing of the past.

Day hiking:

Terrain: Roys Peak, off-trail, Sharks Tooth

Recommended: Renegade from Lowa (men’s and women’s)

If you’re ready to take the plunge and invest in a good all-round hiking boot, we recommend getting the Lowa Renegade. The Renegade has been improved upon year after year making it a best seller for the last 25 years.

Well suited for all terrains and all weather, there isn’t a single hike off limits if you’ve got your trusty Renegades on. Lined with Gore-Tex and padded with a PU Midsole, your fatigue will be reduced and your feet will be kept dry.

The Renegade is a good option for hikers that want more stability underfoot when doing missions. Lowa’s “Monowrap” Frame provides lateral stability across the midsole without compromising on boot flex. Not too stiff, not too flexible, the Renegade is just right for a day hike.

Multi-day:

Terrain: New Zealand Great Walks, Liverpool Hut, unforgiving terrain

Recommended: Quest 4 GTX from Salomon

Top tier in hiking footwear, the Quest 4 GTX is designed for long backpacking expeditions with tough terrain. It’s got everything you’d expect in a day hiking boot, including a Gore-Tex membrane, but has added extra to support you as you travel on foot for an extended period of time.

The Quest will enclose your foot in Salomon’s new “ADV-C 4D Chassis” which protects your heel in order to reduce muscle fatigue on long expeditions. The chassis will also provide ankle support to prevent rolls and joint pain when carrying a heavy pack.

Inspired by the natural flex and movement of our feet, the Quest works with your foot to create a smooth ride for each pace.

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