What is the Best Material for Hiking Boot Uppers?

One of the basic factors you have to remember when searching for a pair of hiking boots is the material it uses. Many beginners tend to overlook this factor, which is incredibly a big mistake. The material of the shoe can affect its overall quality and functionality. Moreover, some materials might not match with your preferences. Thus, make sure to find out more details about different hiking boots material before making a final buying decision.

Below is a list of the different materials used in hiking boot uppers. Take note that each material characterizes unique features that could impact the boot’s quality.

#1 Full Grain Leather

The most durable hiking shoes usually came from full-grain leather. This type of material excels in strength and durability. It has great abrasion resistance. Therefore, hiking boots constructed with full-grain leather are more resistant to wear and tear. Likewise, they have a longer lifespan compared to other materials.

Full-grain hiking shoes best fit for long-distance backpacking. It is also suitable for hikers carrying heavy loads and trekking on rough terrains.

Since the material is tougher, full-grain leather is not as breathable and light compared to a split-grain. Hence, hikers who are not used to heavy shoes might require time to getting used to this footwear.

#2 Split-Grain Leather

A split-grain is a partial leather and nylon mesh material. The nylon or nylon mesh reduces the weight that accompanies full-grain leather shoes. It is a lighter material with pores that increases the breathability of the footwear.

Today, the market has a wide variety of split-grain leather shoes. Hikers who prefer comfort usually go for this option. Also, it is an excellent choice for buyers who are searching for budget-friendly hiking boots. Unfortunately, split-grain is not entirely waterproof.

#3 Synthetic Leather

Most modern hiking boots are synthetic leather products. The upper surface of the footwear came from synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon. This type of footwear is ideal for short-distance hiking. It is also great to wear when raining or crossing streams since it dries faster than other materials. Likewise, it is the most affordable material in the market.

Since synthetic leather is lighter, the material is not strong enough to withstand abrasions. Because of this, synthetic leather hiking boots have a shorter lifespan.

#4 Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is a buffed full-grain and resembles suede. It shares similar features with a full-grain. Hence, nubuck hiking boots offer great durability and protection.

Though nubuck is more flexible compared to a full-grain, it also requires ample time to prepare for a long-distance hike.

#5 Waterproof Hiking Boots

Today, many manufacturers incorporate waterproof membranes on their hiking boots. One example of this membrane is Gore-Tex. This type of material keeps the feet dry in wet conditions. Hiking boots with this feature is the best choice when going on trails with streams and hiking during the rainy season.

If you want to find out examples of top-seller waterproof hiking footwear, go to Hikers Shop. Also, they reviewed mens hiking boots for wide feet with a complete comparison guide. And, if you have questions about hiking and camping gears, you can find the answers to this source.

Why is it Important to Get the Right Shoe Size?

Some people take for granted the right shoe size for their feet. But did you know that most feet problems are caused by ill-fighting shoes? Most people settle for a pair of shoes that are either quite tight or too big for them just because they look good on their feet. Take note that no matter how good they look, they can cause you several problems like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, hammertoes, corns, or bunions.

You can get the right shoe fit by asking a trained professional to measure your shoe size or by purchasing a pair of shoes that are wide enough for your feet; doing the latter can ensure you that your feet will have enough space and will feel more comfortable.

Here are some tips that you can follow in measuring your shoe size:

  1. Are you wearing orthotics? If yes, it is best to bring them with you when you’re buying new shoes. For sure, you would need a slightly larger size to accommodate the orthotics.
  2. If you’re planning to order shoes online, it is recommended that you try on three sizes: your normal size, a size above, and the size below. Walk it around your home both on hard floor and carpet to know how each size feels, then you can make the decision.
  3. Make sure to try every pair of shoes you’re planning to buy before deciding to pay for them. Different manufacturers can have varying fits. If you have been measured as a size 6, it doesn’t mean that you would be a size 6 on every shoe brand.
  4. Does your heel fit comfortably in your shoes? You should ensure that there will be not much slipping which means that your shoes must not move up and down as you walk or do other activities. It can cause you various problems like lower back pain, sore calves, and ankle and knee problem since your feet don’t get the proper support.
  5. Ensure that the balls of your feet have a snug fit on the wider part of your shoes.
  6. Never purchase shoes that are too tight for your feet. Some people think that they will loosen up once you do a break-in but that’s not true. Get shoes that fit you just enough that it doesn’t hurt when you move. The recommended space between the end of your shoe and your longest toe is 3/8” to 1/2”.
  7. The size of your feet is not the same. It means that one foot will be larger than the other. With that said, it is best that you buy shoes that would perfectly fit your larger foot. You can always adjust the other one by putting insoles to make your smaller foot fit.
  8. Your shoes swell later in the day, so it is best that you purchase your shoes in the afternoon.

By following the tips above, you can definitely get the proper fit. You can also check out this guide to shoe size conversion.