After having walked many kilometers in the Prague countryside, and the city, I realized that you might be interested in knowing what hiking shoes we wear on our hikes. Good hiking shoes make a big difference whether you enjoy a walk or not, so it’s an important topic. Therefore, I wrote a few tips, including specific examples, on how we choose hiking shoes with a focus on easy to moderate hikes.
I have to say in advance that my favorite shoe brand is Salomon because I have been using it for several years already and I am still a happy customer. To be specific my favorite model is Salomon Sense Ride (see on Top4Running, see on Amazon), and I will describe why later below.
Let me start with a confession…
When buying hiking shoes, I DON’T usually choose hiking shoes.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Read on, I’ll explain right away.
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We will do our best to give you honest tips for hiking products. However, each person has different needs, therefore, please take our recommendations just as an inspiration.
Hiking shoes for easy trails – Based on which features we choose?
I have found that 80 % of my hikes and easy walks in nature do not actually need shoes specialized for hiking because these types are unnecessarily robust, often heavy and it is quite hot in them on Summer days.
With more and more kilometers on my feet, I came to the conclusion that the perfect shoes for hiking in easy, and even moderate terrain are trail running shoes. Imagine walks in the forests, on gravel, occasionally rocks, or in slightly muddy terrain – these are the types of terrain that these shoes can handle with a glance.
The mentioned types of terrains are by the way exactly those ones that you will experience if you hike our hiking trails from Prague HIKING MAP or easy city walks listed in our Prague WALKING MAP. That’s why I wrote this article.
Of course, there are situations such as challenging mountain treks and peaks, where proper hiking boots come in handy.
And yes, we have such in our wardrobe too.
So what are my TOP features according to which I choose hiking shoes for easy, or even moderate terrain?
1 – Stable Sole
I choose a specific type of soles because I know that a stable sole is the best option for muddy or stony terrain that you can often experience.
2 – Comfort
Of course, I want the shoe to fit me well and at the same time to be comfortable walking. It must not bother and abrade anywhere. This is quite specific from person to person and not every shoe shape can fit everyone. You have to try.
3 – Feather Weight
Every gram of shoe weight down is good, but at the same time, the price of the shoe often increases just because of that. It is reasonable to choose a gold center. Thus, I recommend searching for running shoes designed for trail terrain. Such shoes are great for easy to moderate terrains and at the same time they are light and solid. That is exactly the combination I always look for.
4 – Fast Tying
It may seem like a tiny detail, but there are unconventional types of shoelaces that simply make it easier to put on so much that you just don’t want to change it. This happened to me in the case of Salomon shoes and one of the reasons why I didn’t exchange this brand for shoes for a long time is their great way of tying.
5 – Great look, and functional design
And finally the design. Honestly, who would buy ugly shoes, right? However, this is quite a subjective matter! A part of the design that I will like and that will keep me motivated, is I want my shoes to be functional and solid. At the same time durable on the sides which helps me to pass all stony terrains without noticing any pain from stones. That is very important to me.
And what about waterproofness? Personally, I don’t deal with waterproofness in easy to moderate terrain that much. It is not the main parameter for me and shoes that do not have a waterproof material are better breathable (read: the foot sweats less inside), lighter, and more comfortable in warm weather. But if I know that I am going on a demanding multi-day hike, where rainy and cold weather awaits me, then I immediately take my robust hiking boots, which I already have from waterproof material.
What shoes for hiking do I wear? – Salomon Sense Ride
My number one choice for hiking shoes for easy and moderate hikes is Salomon. Specifically, I like a lot the model Salomon Sense Ride (see on Top4Running, see on Amazon) which is a great shoe designed for trail running. This shoe meets all the listed features that I personally prefer and I believe that it will be a great choice for anyone else.
What I expect from my shoes:
- The sole must be stable and have excellent grip when walking on stony or muddy surfaces. In the case of my Salomon shoes (see on Top4Running, see on Amazon) that is aided by the serrated shape, which you can see in the photo. For me, it is a must for hiking shoes of this type.
- The thickness of the sole and its shape are also important to me. You really don’t want to feel every sharp stone on rocky terrain. I also like the fact that my heel is higher than on normal shoes (that is called Heel-to-Toe Drop), which suits me much better for walking than flat soles.
- And last but not least, I definitely demand long durability from my shoes, both when walking on various terrains and or on asphalt.
What I expect from my shoes:
- One of the details that I like about Salomon shoes (see on Top4Running, see on Amazon) and thanks to which I stayed with them is the way the laces are tied. Their patented system is called the Salomon Quicklace system and it is something you get used to it very quickly.
- I have one trick that I can share with you – There is a special pocket for the laces on the tongue of the shoe, into which the laces can be placed. Very savvy and convenient! (have a look at the photo)
- Not to mention just superlatives, I have to complain that even though I’m happy with my shoes, from time to time my laces crack when tightening them. So you have to accept the fact that here and there you will have to change your shoelaces for new ones, which can be bought in Salomon stores.
What I expect from my shoes:
- From a design perspective, first of all, I like a lot that the edges of the shoes are reinforced, which is so so great, especially in rocky terrain. Whenever you run into a stone, it will not hurt nor limit you with this gadget. It’s very well done on Salomon shoes (see on Top4Running, see on Amazon).
- Another important aspect of the overall design and workmanship is the weight of the shoe. The lighter the shoe, the better, of course (provided that other parameters such as durability are maintained). My shoes weigh around 290 g (10.2 oz), which is some center of what can be bought on the market with similar types of shoes.
- And finally, I want my shoes to look good and of course comfortable.
On the links below you can check out different color variants, or even different Salomon shoe models:
As I said at the beginning, the choice of shoes can be based on the different needs of each one of you. I cannot guarantee that what I choose for myself will be good for everyone. Please, take my tips as an inspiration.
In this article, I described that we choose shoes according to:
Furthermore, I have mentioned that waterproofness may seem to be important, but I personally do not take it as an important feature in hiking shoes for easy and moderate terrains.
If you have other aspects that would be important to mention, write them in the comments!
Likewise, if you have a favorite shoe model whose name you want to write to us because it serves you well for a long time, do not hesitate to write it in the comments, too.
The photos for this article were taken in the beautiful Šumava National Park. Specifically, it was during our hike from the village of Modrava through the moss Cikánská slať to the chalet Březník and back to the village along the Modrava brook.
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