How to choose your hiking shoes

Bottes de randonnée

Hiking in the summer is good, but hiking in the fall is even BETTER! The fresh air, the magic of multi-layering, the breathtaking landscapes. Quebec is full of trails of all kinds, both for outdoor walking enthusiasts and thrill seekers. Winding or rather soft, the various hiking trails require that we think about our feet. And to do that, choosing the right hiking shoe or boot is key. POP Shoes therefore takes over to guide you in choosing the right model to wear for your hikes this year. 

Characteristics of the walking terrain

You should know that each trail has its right shoe, espadrille or hiking boot. Thus, we will prefer certain models for easy trails, others for mountain hikes, then the same thing when we feel ready to face a hike on trails or very rough or steep terrain, especially during long outings. duration. And trails, there is something for everyone; it is therefore important to identify them correctly. 

Easy trail

The easy trail offers a light to moderate slope and its surfaces are stable and regular. We are therefore talking here about a flat ground that everyone, alone, with family or friends can take. 

Mountainous and rugged trail

The mountainous or rugged trail (or both!) is suitable for well-shod walkers and offers steep slopes in addition to being strewn with stones and roots. The ground is sometimes dry, sometimes muddy, which can make it slippery and more or less stable. 

Difficult terrain

Like the rugged terrain, the “difficult” category hiking trail is ideal for adventurous walkers and hikers. It presents many natural obstacles, rivers to cross, stumps to circumvent and areas to climb! 


Characteristics of hiking shoes

Now that you have identified your trail style, it is time to know the components and characteristics of your hiking shoe or boot. We find the sole, thin or more rigid, the bracelet, higher if we speak of hiking boots, the weight as well as the impermeability. 

Sole Texture

The flexible sole provides good freedom of movement and promotes foot rolling, but will not protect against rocks or roots. In doing so, if you prefer urban hikes or on easy trails, your sole will be absorbent, flexible and light, which will also make it more airy!

Although they sometimes require a short period of flexibility (made possible by wearing your shoe or boot before a long hike), rigid soles are specific to more arid terrain that requires your ankle to be very stable. As rougher trails present many obstacles, the stiff sole limits foot fatigue and is also more durable. Nevertheless, the choice of a rigid sole can be suitable for all types of walkers: it is only important to know that a rigid sole provides durability and stability and that in return it will be heavier and less inclined to "breathe".

shoe height

Here, a single piece of advice to remember: the higher the shoe, the more the ankles are protected! Beyond that advice, the precise height depends on overall comfort when trying on your hiking shoe or boot. 

shoe weight

It is also important to consider the weight of the shoe and to find a good compromise between lightness and stability. We've covered the weight of the sole, but the overall weight of your shoe is also intimately tied to the duration of your excursion as well as your fitness and ability to lift your shoe with each stride. 


As for waterproofing, here again, the right balance is required. The more waterproof the shoe, the less it breathes, and vice versa. Is your feeling muddy, do you tend to sweat a lot on your feet? Do you plan to walk for a long time or a few hours in the heat of a balmy morning? Water resistance is a determining factor in the overall comfort of your hiking shoe or boot!


Shoes, sneakers or hiking boots?

Now that you know the duration of your hike, the condition of its trails and whether or not you need to carry heavy loads, it's time to select the model that will best suit your hiking needs!

Lightweight hiking shoes are ideal for short hikes, as are trail running sneakers. Hiking boots, short or long, are intended for more rugged trails and provide the support needed when carrying heavier loads. 

Lightweight hiking boots are useful when the trails are well-maintained, i.e. without large rocks or bumps. Hiking shoes are also ideal when carrying a light backpack or on hikes that do not require any equipment. Since hiking sneakers are more flexible and lightweight, they allow you to move around with greater agility. They are ideal for those who do not need ankle support or stabilization. 

Hiking boots, on the other hand, are your best allies in terms of stability. Whether they support the ankle at mid-height or full-height, they will become your best friends against bad weather, natural obstacles, long hikes and high loading!


Are running shoes suitable for hiking?

As mentioned, it is important to know in advance what type of trail suits your hiking objectives and activities. While it's possible to wear your running sneakers while hiking, it's best to pamper your feet with a trail running shoe, especially if you plan to enjoy and repeat this type of outdoor recreation. Trail running shoes have sturdier soles and therefore provide better traction and grip. They better protect your feet from obstacles and are more durable! 


The best brands of shoes for hiking

Sports chief

Sportchief Hiking shoes offer an ideal mix between absorption and traction! They are comfortable and allow moisture to escape while protecting against the elements.

Here is the Trail Pro model:

Chaussures de randonnée Sportchief Trail Pro

Trail pro couleur taupe

See all Sportchief models


Columbia brand hiking shoes combine comfort and style! Indeed, their look is often classic and inspired by mountaineering boots. They absorb shocks well and several models are suitable for long hikes. 

See all Columbia models



Keen offers accessible and often hybrid hiking shoe models; thus they are suitable for several types of hikers. Their often bright colors make them clothing items of choice!



Merrell hiking shoes protect the feet well while being lightweight and breathable. Versatile, they will accompany your hikes in all durability. 

View All Merrell Models


There are still many beautiful fall days to enjoy the hiking trails and mountains in your area. With the right hiking shoe, a good snack and a water bottle, you will be perfectly equipped!

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