When you’re exploring a beautiful new location, the last thing you want to think about is your feet. That’s why NOW is the time to check out the many different footwear options available to you, choose the shoes that work best for you, and put a few miles on them before your big trip.
Here are a few things to think about when deciding which shoes to pack for your Austin Lehman Adventure. If you need help, call any of our retail stores and ask to speak with one of our specially trained Foot Gurus who can answer all your questions and guide you to the perfect pair of shoes.
All about insoles
Whether you’re looking to get more comfortable miles out of your current shoes or you want to maximize your new shoe investment, Superfeet premium insoles can make a huge difference in your overall comfort and performance. There are Superfeet for all kinds of situations and the impact can be life changing in terms of improved ankle support, relief from knee pain, and freedom from blisters.
The reason for this is when it comes to footwear, the majority of your investment goes to the quality of the sole and midsole, not the insole which can be flimsy at best. In fact, many footwear manufacturers add little more than sock liners into their shoes because they recognize the importance of custom insoles like Superfeet.
Hiking Boots vs Hiking Shoes
Gone are the days when a hiker’s options were limited to burly leather boots that were either heavy weight or medium weight. Support is not exclusively defined by a six inch upper that locks your ankle in place. Advances in outsole technology and midsole materials deliver exceptional support with minimal weight in a package that’s as comfortable as your favorite pair of sneakers.
PHOTO: Merrell Women’s Moab – consistently one of our top customer-rated hiking shoes
A good pair of hiking shoes may be all you need for your Austin Lehman Adventure but it really depends on how aggressive your hiking will be, what the terrain is like, how much weight your carrying and what your personal preferences are. If you’re pushing hard on steep terrain, a more traditional pair of hiking boots like the Asolo TPS 520 GVs may be in order.
For the record, these are the only boots I’ve hiked in for the past 12 years. I use them for everything because I like the feel, security and do-anything versatility. I never have to worry about debris getting in my boots which can happen with hiking shoes.
Cycling to Hiking
Looking to go from your bike to the trail without changing shoes? Helen from our Peterborough, NH store recommends the Teva Forge Pro Event Hiking Shoes.
They’re for standard pedals only but they’re the perfect hybrid for adventure on two wheels and two feet.
If you’re not wiling to compromise the power and efficiency of your SPD pedals, but you still want to be able to do some off-bike rambling, the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek shoes do it all.
They clip into your SPDs and when it’s time to hit the trail, the carbon rubber lugged outsole grips the trail and cushions your heel.
There are lots of options available in this category. Sandals with a rubberized toe are by far the most comfortable but when hopping in and out of a raft, bracing yourself in whitewater and exploring dry land, you might want something with a little more protection. In addition to the full coverage of synthetic leather, the Merrell Waterpro Manistees have a perforated foodbed as well a mesh upper for exceptional water drainage.
One final piece of footwear advice before you start packing for your trip–DON’T SKIMP ON SOCKS. You can drop $300 and up on a pair of top-quality hiking boots but if you wear a $5.99 pair of cotton socks you WILL end up blistered and miserable. Plan on bringing two pairs of merino wool socks for every day on the trail and a few extra pairs to be safe. Nothing makes your feet happier than pulling on a clean pair of socks after a big day outdoors. And like I said, great adventures begin with happy feet. Have fun out there!