Effective Tips For Buying Great Hiking Shoes

Going through the process of finding the perfect hiking boots for your needs doesn't have to be overwhelming. Whether you're a casual or serious hiker you need the right pair of boots to get you through your hiking trips.

Here are a number of tips to follow when you're deciding on your next pair of shoes for hiking:

1. Do you have a clear idea for how you'll be using these boots? This is an important question to ask yourself. There are boots that serve all types of purposes. You have to keep in mind the weather and the ruggedness and length of the trails you plan to travel. Also, the weight of the gear you'll be carrying is an important factor to consider.

There are four types of footwear from which to choose:

The casual boot. There are casual shoes that include sandals, running or cross trainers. If you're considering sandals, keep in mind that these are good for softer terrains where the weather is dry. A trail runner or cross trainer is very similar to a good pair of running sneakers but with the support a hiker needs for comfort and safety.

Cross hikers or mid-weight hiking boots. These are the classic hiking boots. They are made for trails that are less smooth and for some lighter off trail terrain. They have increased support.

Need heavy duty support? If so, consider off-trail boots. These are made with heavy wear and tear in mind. Their soles are cemented and they offer extra toe cap support.

Mountaineering boots: Mountaineering boots are made for mountain climbing.

2. Consider your skills. There are boots to accommodate all levels of skill. If you're a new hiker, there is a boot that offers strong support for your foot. This is great because it helps keep your feet more stable on the ground. As you gain experience you can shift to a lighter book.

3. Quality is just more important than price in this matter. If you're a serious hiker, you'll need to think about investing in a good quality boot. There are popular brands used throughout the hiking field, but brand is not all that matters either. Check out the stitching of the boot, as well as material connections. Check out the overall sturdiness of the material used throughout the boot as well.

4. Consider which boot will offer the best performance for your skill and needs. The characteristics of a boot will help you determine its performance. What does this mean? Well, for one it means that the weight of the boot matters. Overall, the lighter the boot, the easier it is to hike. Is the boot water resistant? Can it provide the support you need for your feet and ankles? These are all very important questions to ask when you're considering a new pair of hiking boots.

5. A good fit is essential to finding an effective boot. Here are a few pointers on making sure you've got the perfect fit:

Go later in the day to try on hiking boots and be sure you have been walking for at least 15 minutes beforehand.

Make sure to wear the socks you'll be wearing when you're actually hiking.

Avoid pressure points, and make sure you've got a snug fit that surrounds your foot and ankle.

Try on both boots of the pair, lace them up completely, and walk around in them.

Serious hikers know just how important it is to have hiking shoes be the best product and fit for their particular needs. When you have the right pair of boots on your feet, your experience on and off the trail becomes all the more exciting and enjoyable.

Robert Mann is an avid adventurer who has trekked on multiple continents, from the summit of Kilimanjaro to the windy peaks of Patagonia to the Everest Base Camp. He is creator of ecco ecco shoes, which is devoted to the world's best walking shoes.

The Many Benefits of Hiking

Not only is hiking a fun way to pass your time, it also has numerous benefits. Hiking is a cheap, fun, and natural way to, at the very least, improve your physical, mental, and emotional states.

Hiking is a fantastic workout. It consistently keeps your heart rate up and gives you an aerobic workout that will prevent the your chance of developing of heart disease, decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, slow your aging process, increase your bone density, prevent you from catching a cold or flu, combat the threat of arthritis, relieve possible back pain, and provide you with a longer, better life, among other things. Regular hour-long hikes also increase your stamina, better equipping you to handle whatever situations you might encounter in your everyday life. Also, if you want to be more attractive to members of the opposite sex, hiking a trail on an incline is a great way to build up your leg and butt muscles.

Hiking also provides great mental benefits. Enjoying the abundant nature of the outdoors and clearing your mind of everything for the short time you are enjoying the physical exertion of a nice hike can provide important benefits to your psychological health. Hiking is also a relaxing way to get away from everyone and spend some time with yourself. A break from the emails and phone calls of the day can do you a great deal of good. Direct sunlight and fresh air has been shown to have an affect on the psychological states of human beings. After your hike, you are sure to have gained a new perspective and feel refreshed and ready to take on the world.

Do yourself a favor and take a hike!

Scott Amundson is an expert in hiking and biology who consistently writes compelling articles for Outdoor-Hiking.com. Scott's new book HIKE TO HEALTH offers readers a way to get more out of their lives with minimal effort. This plan is more effective at helping people to get healthy and feel better than any extreme diet of the moment, and the people who choose to use it can still eat everything and do everything that they want while having more energy and more focus!

Find more information about how HIKE TO HEALTH can improve your life at http://www.hiketohealth.com.

Trekking for Beginners - How to Get Into Hiking

The wonderful world of hiking lies waiting for you. Jump into hiking this year and experience natural wonders that can't be seen or experienced any other way. Hiking provides for a lifetime of memories, experience, increased fitness level and is something that can be enjoyed by the whole family. There is a social connection associated with hiking and stronger family bonds are created through this great sport.

Before you hit the trails assess your own fitness level. Then consult your local outdoor store for advice on local areas best geared for your first hiking experience. If you live in an area where hiking opportunities abound then your choices will be large. Pick a day hike depending on your ability anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day to get you started.

Also plan to go out in good weather. Don't make your first hike a wet, cold and windy experience, you may never do it again.

Some simple tips to get you started oncd you've chosen your first path to head out on.

Hike with a friend, family member or group.

Do a little light stretching before heading out.

Have a good breakfast in you and make sure you are well hydrated before you leave.

Pack along some good quality snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate, granola.

Make sure you bring along enough water or a water filtration pump if you know there is water along the way that you can access and pump from.

Trekking poles are fantastic if you've got them.

Bring along some layers of clothing in case of changing weather (never underestimate Mother Nature) including head gear, rain gear and warmth.

If you are using newer hiking boots break them in first before heading out and protect areas that might blister by covering them up before heading out with some soft padding. (Spongy cosmetic pads work great for this).

Do bring along a simple small first aid kit that contains the basics for treating minor injuries.

Depending on where you are heading out a compass or map would also be a great idea to bring along.

Bring along a camera to document your trek and the sights you will experience.

Most of all take it easy and hike at a leisurely pace. Listen to your body and take as many breaks along the way as you need to enjoy your day. Hiking is about the experience, the journey.

Happy Hiking!

Leanne Arnott invites you to read more articles about taking your family camping or going on a family hiking trip at http://www.family-camping-and-hiking.com.
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Best Lady Hiking Boots

For lovers of outdoor activities like climbing, outdoor fitness, short day hikes or adventure travel. When you are an outdoor fan, one of the most important gadgets you must have is a pair of best and right hiking boots that meet your personal preferences and requirements. The pair of shoes shall be comfortable to your feet, light, durable, supportive and provide great traction on rocks, roots and slippery surfaces. They must have plenty of rooms for your toes so that your feet will not feel tired even after a long day of wearing.

Before we decide to buy a pair of best lady hiking shoes for our needs, do check out what is out there in the market like what are the available brands that provide good bargain and quality. Good bargain for the price we are willing to pay and good quality of what we get. In the aspect of quality, they shall be made from carefully selected materials to provide maximize comfort, waterproof and maintain high levels of breathability during intense activities. Other than that, they provide good ankle support, arch support, comfortable, durable, flexible, great traction, keep your feet warm and waterproof. The boots shall also be best use under cold or extreme weather, day hikes, harsh terrain, heavy loads, light loads and wet conditions.

The materials that reputable brands use to make a pair of good hiking shoes are usually full rubber, leather, suede with Gore-Tax synthetic membrane to provide breathability and water resist and to keep your feet dry. The soles are also designed to ensure underfoot support, stability and traction on rough and slippery surfaces. The weight of the boots shall be light in general and at the height which your feet feel comfortable with good support. Some of the good brands in the market are Zamberlan, Vasque and Raichle.

Some hiking boots brand like Zamberlan does provide boots care accessories like 'Aftercare Kit', water based cream or spray, foot beds and laces. The 'Aftercare Kit' will include leather conditioner to keep the leather of the boots supple and extend their life span, one pair of round boot laces, and one premium, medium bristled brush for cleaning the leather upper. All these may come packaged in a lightweight nylon/mesh carrying bag for travelling conveniences. The boot care water based cream and spray are formulated to maintain and enhance the water-shedding properties of the hiking shoes to prevent split and rough-out leathers. With these readily available accessories and regular maintenance, the hiking boots will be in good condition for long period of time.

If you are an active outdoor person or even just for all time walking purposes, having a pair of best lady hiking boots is important to safe guard your feet and provide great support for a strong and healthy physical condition till your old age!

Cangeline is a hiking boots fan and sharing information about best lady hiking boots to help you to make good decision before you buy a pair of best and right hiking boots of your choice. Please visit the website for more information about best lady hiking boots like Zamberlan hiking boots and Vasque Hiking Boots .

Amateur Hiking Trails in The Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains get their name from the ubiquitous fog that rises over the heavily forested peaks. The Smoky Mountains are in Tennessee and North Carolina. These mountains are a backcountry paradise, with opportunities for a variety of sports and activities. Hiking is a great way of getting into the mountains to explore and watch wildlife, birds and the great mountain scenery. If you are just starting out as a hiker and consider yourself an "amateur", there are many amazing trails that help get you safely into the hills while you build your skills.

Waterfall Trails

If watching the beauty of cascading water is what you want, look no further than the Toms Branch Fall trails. This is a modestly challenging trail, gaining slightly less than 50 feet of elevation over 6/10s of a mile. The trailhead is out of Bryson City, North Carolina. From the parking lot, follow the wide trail that parallels the river, going upstream. If you see a spot you want to sit and enjoy, take a load off on one of the many park service provided benches along the trail. The trail is an "out and back", meaning you retrace your steps once you get to the end of the line.

Another great waterfall trail for amateur hikers in the Smoky Mountains is the Indian Creek Falls. This trail is slightly longer and has a bit more elevation gain, but is still a great trail for amateur hikers. Use the same trailhead as the Toms Branch Trail, but when you get to the end, follow the signs towards Indian Creek. Total distance roundtrip is just under two miles, with around 200 feet of elevation gain. There are wildflowers a-plenty along this trail, with crested dwarf iris, beard tongue, cinquefoil, Jack-in-the-pulpit and wild geranium being among them.

High Country

If you want to get up to some of the peaks of the Smoky Mountains, yet still hike on moderate terrain, head to the Chimney Peaks Trail. This trail is four miles long, and has an elevation gain of 1350 feet, so there are some steep sections, but the trail is well maintained and you can take as many rests as needed. Get to the trailhead from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, as the trailhead is 6 miles south, via the road from the SVC.

This is among the more popular of trails along the Newfound Gap Road. Because of the two mile out, two mile in, it is easy and quick to get up to the high country and enjoy views of the Smoky Mountains. Wildflowers, forests and lakes are seen as you meander up and through the trail. Bring extra water and food, and expect the hike to take between three to five hours for amateur hikers. The Cherokee call this area "Duniskwalgunyi", which translates to "forked antler", a reference to the shape of the valleys and views of the peaks.

The Andrews Bald trail is found along the Newfound Gap Road and is another that gets you up and into the high country of the Smoky Mountains. Pick up the trailhead at the Clingmans Dome Road and head out onto the 3.5 mile trail. Gain 900 feet of elevation as you wind through the dense coniferous forests, lakes and peaks. Once at the top of the trail, enjoy views of the Smoky High Country. The trail is an out and back, taking approximately five to seven hours. Be sure to bring extra food and water, and a good camera as the photo opportunities are outstanding.

There are many more trails suitable for beginner and amateur hikers in the Smoky Mountains. Once you get a few under your belt, head out for slightly longer or more difficult trails and grow those backcountry skills in the heart of The Great Smoky Mountains.

With over 850 miles of trails to hike, there's no doubt the Smokies offer a tremendous amount of hiking opportunities. Sevierville Tennessee hotels offer a variety of outdoor activities too such as jogging, horseback riding or even fishing out of the Little Pigeon River. Knowing what Smoky Mountain lodging is all about are the hotels in Sevierville.

Hiking and Biking in Utah: Arches and Capitol Reef National Parks

The red rock country of Utah has been on my list for a long time now, since my visit to Sedona, AZ, a couple of years ago. We visited it over the Thanksgiving weekend (November end) and the weather was a bit chilly at night but we had perfect 40's during the day; had we timed our trip a little earlier, it might have been too hot for outdoor activities. Utah's sister state, Colorado, has icy roads by this time of year. Utah encourages RV vacations; just rent out a motor home, and live and cook in the National parks for a real 'nomad' experience. But for us poor graduate students, we had to be content with coming back to boring hotel rooms every night.

We wanted to explore a couple of National parks in Utah - Capitol Reef and Arches. Both of them have many scenic vistas to splurge your retinas with. The sun-drenched red rocks made for some spectacular photos, here, during sunrise and sunset. In Capitol Reef, we aimed to hike the cottonwood wash; we started on foot only to realize that we were not on the correct one. In retrospect, the starting points of the various trails were not too clear driving from highway 24. Many of the hiking trails here are along the slot canyons - narrow paths with towering red cliffs on either side - and you are "thermostated" naturally, just walking through them.

Mountain biking in Arches National Park is fun for everyone on downhill runs; the rest of the trail was a lot of puffing and panting for a few of us. Certainly not a sport for the faint-hearted! Nevertheless, the trails take you to the heart of the canyon backcountry where it could easily qualify for Martian terrain. The easy loop (Lazy - EZ) has some dirt allowing for grip but once on the rock (Bar-B) learn to trust your bike. We were out of the park at sundown and biked our way on paved roads back to the city. Shuttle services are available for transporting men and bikes but we opted to take it only to enter the park in the morning. It was a good decision, on hindsight, because the way back was simply cruising downhill on the old 191 highway back to Moab. Though refreshing, the sight of Poison Spider (our bike rental shop) was a huge relief at the end of strenuous day. And I love their free water bottles! Pile up on sunscreen and plenty of fluids and invest in a pair of padded shorts (Ouch!) before entering the park.

Apart from adventure activities, spending half a day along the park road can be worthwhile too. Many viewpoints including and of the windows section, turret arch and balanced rock are a short stretch away from the main road.

Torrey is a nice small town to stay in, if you want to explore Capitol Reef National Park. We landed on Thanksgiving Day and everything was closed except for one Rim Rock Restaurant run by a solitary guy who was scrambling between waiting the tables and cooking. Pizzas were a safe bet on the menu and they turned out well. Moab, close to Arches and Canyon Lands, is an awesome city to hang out and stay in. If I had had more time in Moab, I would have loved to rent a Hummer and drive inside the park.

In my opinion, the four landlocked states - Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico - offer more genuine American experiences than the coastal cities of New York and Los Angeles. Long stretches of verdant countryside, crumpled snow-clad rocky mountains, boiling sulphur springs, a rich variety of wildlife, grand canyons and gorges, the snaky swift Colorado river... the list is long. Yet, rarely have I seen them on the itinerary of a standard tourist. Truly sad!

Swetha Sivaswamy is pursuing her doctoral degree in Atlanta, GA. When she is not in the lab, she likes to cook and travel. She has traveled extensively within the United States and India, although she finds that her list of places to go to never seems to shorten.

For more travel blogs by Swetha Sivaswamy, including great tourist destinations in the USA, click http://travel.sportingattitude.com.

Hiking Tents - Bringing Comfort Outside Your Home

Without a doubt, there are more and more people that are being hooked with the happiness brought about by hiking. Hiking is a fulfilling activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. This is a cheap way of spending vacations as well as long weekends. Moreover, this activity can lead towards a healthy lifestyle since hiking is a great form of exercise. To complete the fun, you can also get to see remote areas and discover the inner beauties of nature.

When you plan to go for a hike, it is necessary to arm yourself with all the important items that you might need during the hike. If you intend to go for an overnight trip, then bringing a tent is really vital. Hiking tents will serve as your protection for some factors that can transform your supposedly fun hike into a disaster. A decent tent can keep you comfortable and protected, and at times dry when a heavy rain comes in.

In choosing a tent, you should first determine what hiking style you embody. If you have experienced hiking for a longer period, then you should know that a lightweight tent can save you a couple of pounds in the overall weight of your things.

The fabric of the tent as well as the materials used can also add up to the weight of the item. A lot of tents today are double-walled, with a waterproof outer layer and breathable inner layer. This type of hiking tent can protect you from strong winds and heavy rains. However, these tents are much heavier compared to the single-walled ones. If you come in groups, then you can separate the pieces and split them among yourselves in order to lighten the load.

Tents with bright colors can also be helpful as they increase the visibility and lessen the heat emitted by the sun. You also want to be protected from insects and hiking tents can provide you with this. Also, you want to have good ventilation while inside the tent. Another consideration is the setting up of the tent, each one differs from the process, and therefore it is important to have a basic knowledge about this. During rough conditions, it is even more difficult to assemble one, so you have to be prepared always.

You also have to take note the internal space given by the tent. You have to create room for your sleeping bag and your personal things. If you want to store all your gears and stuffs inside the tent then you might need a tent good for two people. If you are hiking with a friend, then you should probably purchase a tent that is good for three to four people.

Make it a point that your tent is always dry. If in case it gets wet, then spread it out and let it dry. In the event that it is still wet when you got home then hang it up for drying. Keeping a wet tent will surely create mold.

Therefore, it is vital to choose the perfect one among the various hiking tents available in order to maximize the fun and enjoyment of your hiking adventure.

Find out more info about Best Hiking Tents with my top recommended Camping Tents in Australia and learn more from the Hiking Tents authority site here as well with www.besthikingtents.com.au.