Every lover of sports and outdoor activities knows that the feet are one of the most important parts of the body, so you need a shoe specifically designed for each discipline and that provides support and comfort.
How to choose outdoor footwear?
It is important to consider the duration, type of terrain and climate to determine the type of footwear we need.
The mountaineering boots are characterized by being high cane, to face more steep terrain and ensure proper support. The terrain conditions the boot, so that the steeper it is, the higher the cane must be and the firmness of the sole will have more importance, which will include hardness ranging from the most flexible to total rigidity. Depending on the slope, the engraving of the sole will be of one drawing or another and, finally, depending on how rocky the terrain is, the boot will include reinforcement on the tip and rubber bands on the sides and heel.
As the duration of the activity increases, the design of the mountaineering boot will have to be modified in a series of points, and the boots should be more robust, since there is greater exposure to wear.
In the case of trekking shoes, lightness and comfort are quite important, especially if we are going to spend a lot of time using it. Usually they are boots of high cane, but with smaller rigidity that those of mountaineering.
In the case of hiking we find boots (high, medium or low) that tend to have greater flexibility and a less rigid and robust sole than trekking or mountaineering. If we compare them with the trail running shoes, we find less bridge and less breathability, since it is a less aerobic activity, with less sweating.
Depending on the weather , we can also choose between different types of boots. For dry and warm climates, membranes will be dispensed with and porous fabrics will be sought to facilitate transpiration. A good option in summer can be the mountain sandals . In humid and cold terrains, waterproof fabrics accompanied by breathable membranes will be sought. High quality membranes such as Gore-Tex , besides protecting from the effects of water, wind and cold, also offer a good breathability, which allows to avoid condensation inside.
The inner part of the footwear should avoid materials too plastic and without ventilation, since they accumulate too much heat. The exception is the shoes designed for winters with temperatures below zero, which usually use more synthetic components.
In addition, these other factors must be taken into account:
Skin The skin continues to be one of the best materials thanks to its impermeability, durability and comfort, while the mesh or open fabric increases the breathability of the footwear, making it much more comfortable for the hottest months. There are three types of skin that can be chosen depending on personal taste: nubuck, has a velvety look and feel; flower skin, whose appearance is a bit more lustrous and smooth, and finally, the split, with a harder appearance.
Lacing system The ideal mountain footwear will have a solid, durable and lightweight lacing system. It can be made of stainless or thermoplastic metal, but in any case it must allow adjustments throughout our trip. The feet tend to swell and increase in size at the end of the day, so with some easy-fitting laces we can customize the fit.
Fit and comfort It is advisable to tie the shoes well and go with an appropriate sock so that the adjustment is more realistic. The products with removable insoles allow a better fit, while the materials of coating in the interior absorb the humidity of the feet.
Cambrillón or enfranque The cambrillón or enfranque of the boot plays the supporting role for the foot. Most are made of metal, although some boots are made of thermo-plastic. They last the same, but they are much lighter.
Sole The sole is the element that makes contact with the surface and, as far as possible, it should be flexible and have a strong grip aspect and that does not slip easily. Some boots are hard soles and walking with them can be uncomfortable. Vibram is a sole technology specially designed to improve traction and anti-slip strength. In addition, it offers high resistance to abrasion and wear.
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