In winter, we need shoes, which above all will provide us with proper insulation against the cold, moisture and snow. We suggest what you should pay attention to before buying them
Hiking in the mountains requires proper preparation and equipment, especially in winter. It is necessary, among other things, to carefully plan the route and study the map in order to get acquainted with possible dangers, check the weather, the level of avalanche danger, and to take a first-aid kit, emergency numbers or a thermos with hot tea and food rich in carbohydrates, fats and proteins
Equally important is specialist equipment and clothing (onion) and footwear. While in summer the conditions are rather favourable, in winter the boots have to meet additional requirements. It’s all about effectively protecting your feet from low temperatures and prolonged contact with snow. Winter hiking boots are completely different from summer ones, but they always have to be comfortable – it would be hard to cover kilometers when something is pinching or rubbing.
Remember to choose the right size. You have to measure your trekking shoes with the sock you will be wearing on the trail – usually a thick, woolen one. Only then you will be able to decide whether the boots fit you properly or whether you need a bigger size.
Icy paths make it difficult to move efficiently. You have to be very careful to keep your balance and coordination. And you’ll often have to trudge through snowdrifts.
When choosing winter hiking boots, make sure they have soles made of special, non-slip rubber with a large enough tread to ensure grip. Such a sole is usually quite stiff, which works well if we have to fasten crampons to it.
Another aspect is the upper. Low upper is a great choice when it comes to spring-summer hiking on the mountain trails, however, in winter you should mainly buy boots with high upper. This type of footwear perfectly protects us from snow falling inside.
Boots with high upper are also perfect with stomp boots and other protectors – then neither snow nor water are afraid of us.
There is still the question of membrane. The vast majority of specialists believe that they are obligatory in winter mountain hiking boots. They allow to maintain high thermal comfort, protecting also our feet against moisture. The membrane is waterproof and breathable at the same time, so you can freely walk the trails in the snow.
It is also worth choosing models which have as few seams as possible, through which moisture could possibly get in.
We have to remember about one more thing. Every boot – with or without membrane – needs to be regularly impregnated. It will provide additional protection against moisture and will preserve the material.
We should also pay attention to the filling of shoes – whether there is thermal insulation inside and how thick it is. The model you choose also depends on what kind of socks you prefer. Thick, woolen socks are very warm and allow the skin to breathe. Then, no additional warming is required. What is important, as we have already mentioned – if we choose thick socks, we also choose a bigger shoe size
However, it is worth remembering that the situation in the mountains in winter can change quickly. It is good to be prepared for any occasion. When it comes to footwear selection it should be a priority – your feet should always be warm and comfortable, without risking any frostbite. Mountain hiking is supposed to be fun and a great form of entertainment and physical activity.
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Main photo: yuriyzhuravov/ adobestock.com