Salomon adventurer Squash Falconer's challenges have taken her all over the world, including up and down Everest. We thought she was the perfect person to talk us through picking the perfect hiking boots.
What to look for
The perfect fit! It’s so important. A great tip is to wear your walking socks when you try a hiking boot on and spend a good few minutes wearing them in the shop. Squat right down and stand up straight, walk around, if possible find an incline ramp you can walk up or down.
You must make sure your toes have some room.You don’t want your heel lifting on the way up and you don’t want your toes to be at all squashed hitting the ends when you walk downhill. Read reviews and go for brands with a good reputation and that have been around for a while.
Also look for a boot you like. You’ll be more likely to want to wear them and go for a hike if you love them!
Why choose GORE-TEX®?
GORE-TEX® is great because it’s waterproof and breathable. It’s so important to have waterproof hiking boots because wet feet mean a miserable hike, not to mention the state it can leave your feet in. In extreme cases in can lead to frostbite and in less severe cases blisters. The issues with waterproof boots is that they will often not be breathable and that’s almost as bad as them not being waterproof! Your feet will sweat and become clammy and damp. That’s why Gortex is so good. It’s one of the leading breathable technologies.
Choosing the right boot for the job
Beyond what the boot looks like, the style is important because it will reflect the function. There are many different types of hiking. What kind of climate will you mostly be hiking in and what kind of terrain. This will all impact the style you go for. Will you go for a bigger, stiffer boot? Will you be doing a lot of wet winter hiking or more dry summer hikes? Are you someone who prefers flat well-trodden paths, or do you like rough rocks with lots of ascent and decent. Think carefully about where and how you will use the boot, think about the function you need and from that the style that fits!
Ankle/no ankle support
This is important to consider as ankle support makes the world of difference depending on the type of hiking you’ll be doing. If you’re going to be doing more flat hiking on well used footpaths and trails ankle support won’t be necessary. However as soon as you move to trickier terrain, with lots of up and down ankle support becomes important and will make a huge difference. Decide what kind of hiking you want to do, then you’ll be able to easily decide if you need support or not. If you aren’t sure what kind of hiking you’ll be doing go for ankle support then have all types covered.