Your shoe preferences have changed. After years of buying the most popular, but least comfortable, footwear, you have now made a major switch. While you once wasted your money on high heels in a variety of styles and colors, you now invest in more practical styles that focus on comfort and function. From waterproof hiking boots to comfortable adventure shoes, you still like a shoe that looks great but you will not buy it if it does not fit great.
Looking back, the transition probably started the summer after your first year in college. After growing up in the midwest, hiking was not really a thing. You rode your bikes places before you were too young drive, but once you turned 16 you rarely went anywhere if you were not driving. Hiking in Nebraska? Not really something many people did. That first summer, however, you got yourself hired as a camp counselor at a spectacular location in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
As soon as you unpacked your suitcase you could tell that things were a little different here than back home. although your selection of flatlander shoes were pretty cute and came in some great colors, they looked a little silly compared to the light weight hiking shoes that the staff members from Colorado had. They had waterproof hiking boots, hiking sandals, and some very comfortable walking boots. By the end of staff orientation you knew that the basic sneakers you brought with from Nebraska were not going to cut it.
That first summer you only invested in one pair of waterproof hiking boots, but they were a real necessity after you came home from the first two mile hike in sneakers with too many blisters to count. As the next two summers of camp counseling progressed, you learned the secrets of buying the best waterproof hiking boots, as well as the sensibility of lightweight hiking shoes. The Colorado staff members who had grown up hiking on mountain trails knew all of the secrets, but you at least started to catch on that fashion needed to take a backseat to function when it came to footwear.
Buying the Right Hiking Shoes Can be the Difference Between a Long, Miserable Hike and a Great, Enjoyable Hike
If you have not grown up hiking, you likely do not understand the importance of wearing the best shoes. Starting with the weight of your shoes, the choices you make in a hiking boot, shoe, or sandal purchase can make a big difference. For instance, the weight of your shoes can take a noticeable drain on both your energy and stamina. In fact, your old, clunky shoes might be a bigger drag than you think. The clever saying that compares a pound on your feet to five pounds on your back, in fact, is actually quite true.
The main reason you are not going to want a carry a lot of weight on your feet if you are hiking a great distance is that the weight on your feet takes a significant amount of energy. In fact, carrying an amount of weight on the feet requires somewhere between 4.7 and 6.4 times as much energy as carrying that same weight on your back.
Folks who have grown up in Colorado, Montana, Utah, and other locations knows for the hiking trails know, for instance, that an investment in a quality hiking shoe is an investment that can mean an enjoyable hike with friends and family and a miserable time that ends in blisters and hot spots.
Varying in a price range that is pretty extensive, the average retail price of walking shoes in 2014 was $50.71. For serious hikers this investment makes complete sense. For many Americans who want to add more miles to their daily walking goals, an investment in a good pair of shoes can make sense as well. Given that walking is the most popular aerobic physical activity, it would seem that many more people would continue to understand the value of a good pair of shoes. For the 60% of adults who reported walking for at least 10 minutes previous week, a good pair of hiking shoes could mean that the 10 minutes of walking will increase to even more.