Which shoe type?
From casual shoes to classic mountain boots
Mountain and hiking boots are divided into different categories. The individual models differ in terms of hold, support and protection against moisture. Good casual shoes or light hiking boots are sufficient for leisurely hikes. However, if you are on uneven ground or challenging hiking trails, it is worth getting yourself and classic hiking or trekking boot.
The Meindl category system: The perfect shoe for the right tour
A, B or C? The clear Meindl system from the Bavarian shoe manufacturer divides hiking boots into six categories.
- Category A: Leisure and hiking shoes as well as speed hiking and approach shoes (due to the low ankle)
- Category A/B: Hiking boots
- Category B: Trekking boots
- Category B/C: Heavy trekking boots
- Category C: Mountain boots
- Category D: Mountain boots/expedition boots
As a guide: For newcomers to the mountains, it is advisable to choose a shoe from the higher categories. The boot will offer more security for the ankle because of the support provided.
What general requirements should the shoe meet?
The most important thing, no questions about it, is the security a shoe must give you. First and foremost, this means that the shoe fits perfectly and provides necessary support, regardless of whether you are on flat or steeper terrain. This way you can avoid twisting your ankle. This is possible by ensuring the right size, ideal fit and of course, the right material. A stable, robust material made of leather or Gore-tex not only provides support from the inside, but also protects the foot from external elements such as pieces of rock, stones or branches, for example.
The correct lacing also ensures stability. We have researched which method is best for you!
The ideal hiking shoe should have eyelets or loops at the bottom and open hooks at the ankle. You should make sure you are able to tuck the laces into the shoe so that you don’t trip over them while hiking. The shoe should be laced tight, but not too tight, to avoid blisters, cuts or abrasions.
Additionally, the sole absolutely must be non-slip, as you will be exposed to different, sometimes challenging, ground conditions when hiking. A high-quality rubber sole ensures slip resistance, which protects you while being durable.
How to: Know your shoes are in good condition
In addition to the perfect fit of hiking boot, it is also good to know when it is time for a new pair. It’s not only the classic signs of wear and tear that are an indicator it’s time for new shoes. The profile of the sole should also be taken into account.
If the underside of the hiking boots are very worn, the boots will no longer adhere to gravel, so the risk of falling is higher.
What to consider when buying hiking boots?
It is important to pay attention to quality. This may mean a higher investment, but you are investing in your foot and leg health and making sure you can look forward to a wonderful hiking tour. Another purchase decision is of course your choice of routes. Do you prefer to hike on flat or steep terrain? Or maybe both? If you are out and about on different terrain, we recommend more solid footwear.
Don’t worry, you’re guaranteed to find the right shoe. If you seek advice from a specialist shop and take time to choose, nothing can go wrong. You are also welcome to take your boots with you and have them checked by experts. Some shoes will have had their day and no longer provide support. But perhaps the shoe that looks a little worn is still completely suitable and does not have to be replaced at all.
Everything you need to know about mountain boots
A mountain shoe only fits like a glove if you have the right size, shape and width for your foot. As with most shoes, you shouldn’t wear your new boots for the first time on a long tour. First of all, the boots need to be broken in. Special hiking socks usually sit higher than normal socks and are reinforced at important points. When made from merino wool or a blended fabric the sock allows the foot to breathe and reduces perspiration in the shoe. And where there is little moisture, blisters don’t stand a chance!
In principle, you should always make sure that you have the right hiking equipment. Read here which pieces of equipment you should definitely include on your next trip.