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Hiking 101: How To Choose Your First Pair Of Hiking Boots

                                               Men's Coburn Hiking/Backpacking Boots 

Since proper fitting boots are arguably the most important item that any hiker needs, it is very important that you invest in a good pair that fit your feet well.

When I started "hiking" , I had no idea how critical a pair of good hiking boots could be, and how they would determine the quality and comfort of my time while out on the trail !

As a matter of fact, my very first time hiking one of our most famous hiking trails, Mt Si, I thought I would get away with wearing just my running shoes... in winter ! Needless to say, I was miserable...

After trying out a few pairs ( from expensive Vasque and North Face to low cost Hi-Tec and extremely cheap Walmart's brands ), I decide to look for some in-depth professional advice on how to choose the best pair of hiking boots for my future outdoor adventures.

Below I will pinpoint a few common tips on how to choose the right hiking/backpacking boots, but keep in mind that all of us have different feet… some are wide, some are narrow, some have high arches, others have low. Therefore, the best thing you can do is figure out what brand works best for you and then stick with it!

When it comes to selecting the shoe for you, forget about looks, numerical sizes, flashy features, or even what your friends recommend (unless their feet are identical to yours). The issues you should consider are: what type of hiker you are, comfort, durability, stability, weight, warmth, and water resistance.

When choosing your first pair of hiking boots, ask yourself these questions:

What Type Of Hiker Are You ?

Will the boots be used mainly on dry summer days in light terrain and low vegetation? Or will they be used on long and difficult ascents up the world’s rocky mountains? Perhaps something in-between?

- Which Material/ Boot Fabric ?

Would it be leather? Synthetic?   A common question among potential hiking boot buyers is whether to get a pair of boots that are made of real leather, or a pair made of synthetic fabric.

- Which Boot-Cut and Weight ?

Typically, hiking boots are categorized according to one of three boot-cut categories : 1- Low-Cut / Lightweight Men’s Hiking Boots; 2- Mid-Cut / Medium Weight ; 3 - High-Cut / Heavy Weight

- What About That Vibram Soles ?

Another important factor when buying a pair of  hiking boots is the sole. Depending on the type of terrain that will be explored, the hiking boots need a good grip. Even gradual slopes can become slippery when it rains. As a rule of thumb, the softer the rubber sole is, the better grip it offers. However, a softer rubber sole also means that it is less durable over time; it simply wears out more quickly as the rubber is repeatedly torn against uneven surfaces.

As a general rule of thumb, it may be worth spending a little extra on quality, considering the unpredictable nature of the outdoors.

The right hiking footwear will carry you far, fast and comfortably. It should be as light and comfortable as possible for the type of hiking you're doing, while also keeping your feet dry, warm, and well-protected.

Not all brands or models are created equal. Recently, Ahnu footwear has been generous enough to provide me with the Men's Coburn hiking/backpacking boots. Specifically designed for hiking/backpacking, wet and dry weather conditions, these mid-height hiking boots are equipped with a breathable eVent® waterproof bootie, wicking away moisture for optimal foot comfort.

I haven't gone hiking for a long time, and can't wait to give these bad boys a fair try !

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