Bob Marley once said that some people feel the rain and others just get wet. But in order to enjoy the rain and terrain during your outdoor adventures, you need to have the appropriate gear and equipment and avoid getting wet. This doesn’t mean that you should turn into a prepper every time you go for a hike. But simple things such as wearing the right hiking shoes to keep your feet dry and protected are certainly important.
If great shoes take you to great places, then the best waterproof hiking shoes can help you conquer any trail you set out to. Continue reading to find out why you should consider buying waterproof hiking shoes and how to choose the perfect pair.
Do I Need Waterproof Hiking Shoes?
If you’re a fan of hiking, backpacking or enjoy other adventures in nature, you probably won’t let the wet season keep you away from exploring the great outdoors. Little rain never hurt anybody right? Well, actually, if you don’t have the appropriate gear, rain and moisture can be very dangerous for your health and that doesn’t include the mild colds.
Sometimes, during heavy rainfall, you might find a shelter to avoid getting completely soaked, but eventually, you’re going to start moving again. Jumping in puddles is certainly fun, but it can wreak havoc on your feet if you don’t wear footwear that can stand up to the challenge. However, feet don’t get wet only from external factors, sometimes sweat is to blame for the drenched socks after a long hike.
Wet feet don’t just smell bad, but they can also lead to serious health conditions among which frostbite, immersion foot syndrome, painful blisters and cracks. Moreover, if you’re suffering from diabetes or have other underlying condition, these injuries can progress into serious ulcers that’ll affect your mobility and your overall wellbeing. Wet feet are also an ideal environment for the spread of infections which can be very hard to cure.
Even if you haven’t experienced the conditions mentioned above, you must know that walking in wet shoes is everything but comfortable. Your feet may slide towards the front and contort in unnatural positions that put pressure on the toes. When walking on tough terrains, soaked footwear can make you lose balance or misstep and sprain your ankle. Instead of walking with confidence, you’ll feel awkward and bothered with each step you make, and that’s not what anyone wants from their hike.
Investing in a good pair of waterproof hiking shoes is a smart decision that will make your outdoor activities more enjoyable. You’ll conquer great distances with ease and improve your stamina and endurance.
Can’t I Just Waterproof My Regular Shoes?
If you’re wondering whether you can just waterproof your regular shoes instead of buying waterproof footwear, the answer is yes, you can, but don’t expect that they’ll magically turn into the best hiking shoes. You can use beeswax, silicone-based sprays and other weatherproofing products to make your shoes more water-resistant, but this won’t hold up against repeated wearing during the wet season.
It will certainly offer some protection, but you can’t compare it with the quality, protection and comfort that some of the best waterproof hiking shoes on the market have to offer. Wet weather is not only bad for your feet, but it can also ruin your favourite pair of shoes. This is why waterproof hiking footwear is specially designed to withstand the elements and it won’t fall apart from snow, sleet or rain exposure.
What You Need to Look for in Waterproof Hiking Shoes?
Not all waterproof hiking shoes are created equal. Some don’t offer complete protection besides the fact that they’re labelled as waterproof, others aren’t breathable enough and can cause more harm than good. And of course, there are shoes that are good for one season only because they aren’t durable. Although everyone has different feet and personal preferences, these are some of the general guidelines that’ll help you find the best waterproof hiking shoes that won’t let anything come between you and nature.
When it comes to waterproof materials, the best hiking boots and shoes incorporate Gore-Tex®, eVent® or Dri-Tec® membranes that’ll keep your feet dry and comfortable by not allowing water droplets in. Brands such as Keen, TAS, and Westrooper, just to name a few, use other specially designed membranes that offer superior protection in the wettest environments.
However, some waterproof hiking shoes take their job way too seriously and don’t allow moisture in or out at all. This is a common problem with waterproof footwear since waterproofing can make the shoes less breathable. You should look for shoes that have a moisture-wicking lining on the inside that will allow the sweat to move to the outer surface and dry quickly.
For instance, some of the best shoes for hiking come from Hit-Tec because they incorporate special mesh upper that provides breathability, but they also feature a protective layer that’ll repel water and dirt from your shoes.
Another great example is the Keen Dry technology used by Keen that features a waterproof, breathable membrane that lets vapour out without letting water in. Moreover, the mesh lining will keep your feet cool and dry no matter the weather.
Some of the best hiking shoes also make use of advanced pro-biotic technology such as Cleansport NXT that provides the most natural performing odour control. The Cleansport NXT technology incorporates beneficial microbes which are bonded to the fabric and become activated whenever they come into contact with sweat. The activated microbes work together to break down the organic material which results with reduced odour.
Weather is unpredictable and if you don’t have the right gear it can ruin your outdoor adventure. Be prepared for anything and buy the best hiking footwear that’ll protect you from the elements of nature. Hiking, camping or backpacking in the rain can be an exciting experience and you shouldn’t let wet feet ruin it. Why hide from the rain when you can have fun in the puddles and continue on your adventure.