You should first purchase some accessories before you shop for hiking boots. This article will help you to choose the best hiking socks and hiking boots liners. You might also want to consider other accessories before making your decision.
We will be focusing on accessories, but it is important to remember that many accessories can influence your decision about hiking boots. This is especially important when choosing the right size. You need to ensure that your hiking boots fit properly.
Let’s now talk about hiking socks and insoles, laces and crampons and how they affect the choice of hiking boots.
There are two types of hiking socks that you should use if you plan to do serious hiking.
1. Socks with insulation and cushioning.
2. Liner socks.
On shorter hikes (including day-hikes), you may not need to wear liners. For multi-day backpacking trips, I only wear liners.
No matter what socks you choose, make sure you wear them before you shop for hiking boots. With socks on, your hiking boots should fit properly. In colder temperatures, you may need two pairs insulation and cushioning socks. Make sure your boots are able to accommodate these socks.
Both types must be made from a wicking fabric that draws moisture away from the skin. Wool is the best natural wicking material and it wears well. Silk can be used for lining socks but doesn’t last very long. Cotton absorbs moisture and retains it without wicking away. For those allergic to wool, some compositions of nylon and polypropylene can act as effective wicking material.
Liner socks are placed next to your skin. You should make sure they are very smooth. If you’re willing to change the socks every hike, you can use sheer nylon or silk. You can also use a fine-knit wool socks. Even though they look very fine and smooth, polypropylene socks are often too rough to use as hiking liners.
Even for moderate hiking, you will need insulation socks and cushioning socks. They must be thick enough so your feet are comfortable and can withstand the shock of heavy walking. They don’t need to be too soft unless you do not use the liner socks. Wool is the best option, unless you are allergic. In that case, you can use nylon socks or polypropylene, or a combination of both.
No matter what type of hiking you do, you should first test your socks on something easier. You can test them out on a shorter hike or during your daily walking to check for hot spots. After a few miles of walking, your socks can cause blisters. This is something you want to do close to home and not in the middle of nowhere. Even if your hiking skills are good, you should try a new type socks on short walks before you decide to take it on a longer hike.
Orthopedic Inserts and Insoles
You can make a huge difference to your hiking comfort with cushioned insoles. Although hiking boots come with built-in cushioning it is best to have removable insoles you can change regularly. You can replace your hiking boots if they wear out.
There are a wide variety of removable insoles on the market. As this is mostly personal preference, I won’t recommend any one type. Two things will be recommended by me:
1. You can use them in everyday walking or on short hikes before you embark on a longer hike. You can always try another type if you don’t like them.
2. When you shop for hiking boots, bring them along. The boots should fit correctly with the insoles on. Choose a size that suits your feet, socks, as well as insoles.
Bring any orthotic inserts that you have in your shoes with you to the store when shopping for hiking boots. Your hiking boots should fit all the items you plan to use them for.
Lace for Hiking Boots
You can consider laces as an accessory to your hiking boots. Your boots come with laces, which is probably fine. On a long hike you might want to bring an extra pair of laces in case one breaks. If you have any reason to not like the boots that came with them, you may want to replace them before they break.
Boot laces are generally made of braided nylon and similar synthetics. Rawhide boots laces are also available, but they can be problematic. They may be more durable than braided nylon but you might have to live with them for longer. There are several problems with rawhide boot laces:
They can stretch due to changes in humidity or the passage of time. This needs to be adjusted frequently.
* Rawhide can be sharp and can cause injury if you are trying to adjust them or tie them. This is not true for rawhide braided or covered in a braided nylonshell.
Round laces are preferred. Flat laces look great on boots but can break much more easily than round laces.
For traction on snow and ice, you can attach rampons to your hiking boots. These are typically made of metal spikes and sometimes plastic. They fit under your hiking boots using adjustable straps or clamps.
Heavy-duty crampons are available for ice climbing. These crampons are not covered in this article. Be aware of them and move on to a more aggressive pair.
Even if you don’t have any crampon attachment points, light crampons will attach to your hiking boot. Make sure that your hiking boots have a lip at the top so the crampons can attach.
Although traction accessories are available for walking on icy streets, they are not suitable for hiking. They are not able to withstand the strain of walking up steep hills and can also not withstand excessive wear. You should choose crampons specifically made for hiking.
Conventional crampons can extend your hiking boots to the maximum length. There are also crampons that only fit into the instep, and don’t extend beyond the toe or heel. These crampons work much better than I expected. It is important to not walk on your toes if you are crossing icy patches. However, I found this to be a natural instinct. The natural response to an icy slope is for you to walk sideways and then dig in with your boots. This is where the half-length crampons will be found. It works wonderfully.