One thing I commonly see when I go camping is people trudging around the muddy campsite in inappropriate shoes… trainers, plimsolls, even pumps!
Most people will do a fair amount of walking when on camp and perhaps even long hikes, so having the correct footwear is vital if you don’t want to end up with soggy socks and feet or, worse, blisters.
It’s Just A Boot???
There are literally hundreds of different makes and brands of hiking boots and shoes.
Below is a look at the main types of camping boots and which ones are appropriate for different types of activities.
Types Of Footwear
There are 3 main types of footwear that can be used for camping/hiking.
These are fine for walking on flat surfaces or around the campsite, but offer no ankle support and, therefore, should not be used for hiking over rough terrain.
Day Hiking Boots
These range from mid to high cut models and offer ankle support, that hiking shoes don’t.
They are typically lighter and a bit more flexible than backpacking boots and, therefore, are quicker to break into and more comfortable. They don’t, however, offer the same level of support that backpacking boots do – so are fine for hikes with light loads, but not for carrying heavy loads over difficult terrain.
My favourite hiking boots are the LOWA Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots (as pictured above), I’ve had a pair for several years now and they have never let me down.
You can read my review of them here.
These are the heavy hitters of the boot world. They are designed to provide rock solid ankle support, while carrying heavy loads over rough terrain. They are normally heavier than day hiking boots and take longer to break in as they are more robust and stiffer.
Which Type Should I Choose
This really depends on what you are going to be doing.
Essentially hiking boots are the best option for a campsite when it’s wet and muddy (hiking shoes would be fine when it’s dry).
I have a pair of hiking shoes and day hiking boots and these are sufficient for the majority of camping and hiking situations that I find myself in.
However, if you will be hiking with heavy loads (50lbs or more) over difficult terrain, then you should probably invest in a pair of backpacking boots to make sure that you are properly supported.
Most people will be fine with a pair of day hiking boots, as these are more versatile, comfortable and can handle a variety of situations.
But, as stated above, if you will be climbing mountains – you are going to need something more robust and this is where the backpacking boot comes in.
A good tip is to wear 2 pairs of socks (could be a pair of hiking socks and a thin, inner sock) as this will help to prevent blisters when hiking.
I hope you have found this article useful.
Below are my favourite hiking shoes/boots
- The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack Goretex.
Day Hiking Boots
- LOWA Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots – read my review of them here.
- I don’t really have a favourite, but these ones are very good: SALOMON Quest 4d 3 GTX High Rise Hiking Boots.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.