Barefoot walking seems to be all the rage lately. When hiking in Mpumalanga, you can so easily be tempted to kick off your shoes and sink your toes into the lush green grass that our escapement is famous for. But when hitting those tougher hiking trails, the right footwear is a must, and sadly, those authentic barefoot walking trends simply won’t suffice.
If you are considering buying a new pair of hiking shoes you’ve probably seen that while there is a range of comfortable hiking boots for sale in the shops, there is also an increasing number of sandals made to make hiking comfortable by giving your feet, legs and overall posture the support that it needs.
What are the reasons for wearing hiking sandals?
There are many experienced hikers who will be quite confident when they tell you to ditch your boots, and this is why:
- The weight on your feet has an effect
Most hiking boots are rather heavy. And this really does zap your energy when you are out on the trail. This extra weight can eventually be felt on your back and you can imagine how your body will be feeling once you are a few kilometres along. The light weight of the sandals will basically allow you to cover more ground than you would have if you wore heavy hiking boots.
- Who needs blisters?
Even if you have your boots worn in, if you’ve invested in an uncomfortable pair of hiking boots (and yes, this can happen even if you’ve tried them on before buying), you can end up with blisters in uncomfortable places. Boots will also leave your feet sweaty and tired. You won’t have any of these problems when you are hiking with a pair of comfortable sandals.
- Do boots really give you the ankle support?
I believed in ankle support until I twisted my ankle when I accidently stepped skew. Ankle support is what is used to sell the boot but it doesn’t necessarily sell what it states. The only real way that you can prevent an injury is by stretching your ankles and building up a certain amount of strength in your ankles. Novice hikers are more prone to ankle injuries, although the risk of injury is lessened even more when you are fit and healthy.
- It really doesn’t matter if your feet get wet
When hiking in Mpumalanga, chances are good that you might step in a puddle and end up with wet feet. If you are wearing hiking boots, this becomes a real issue, because the water really soaks in there and the boot might take ages to dry. Not to mention a wet boot can be seriously uncomfortable. With hiking sandals, a little water won’t cause discomfort and they will dry off very quickly.
Ultimately, the choice is yours when you are planning on taking on a hiking trail in Mpumalanga. The more you hike, the easier it will be to discover your footwear preferences.