A question often asked is what shoes to wear on a hiking day trip. The right hiking shoes or boots are of great importance. Many trips have been spoiled by blisters or scrunched toes. You don’t want that for yourself, your friends or kids. It’s a pretty personal choice though what you prefer to wear. I love hiking in running shoes, not regular road running shoes, but trail runners, and in this blog post you can read why. You will also read about why it is important to wear good socks for hiking.
Note: The affiliate links to the Moosejaw products (hiking shoes and hiking socks) in this blog post can only be accessed outside the European Union.
Hiking is becoming every year more popular. People are looking to spend more time outdoors to escape the daily routine inside buildings and to get in touch with nature again.
In Greece, especially in spring and summer you will find people of all ages, enjoying nature, fresh air and each others company on a hiking day trip in the Greek mountains.
If you are planning on hiking in Greece, take a look at these blog posts:
- Hiking Mt Olympus Greece – Enipeas Gorge
- Hiking the Menalon Trail in the Peloponnese
- Hiking the Dimosaris Gorge in Euboea
Now, let’s get to the hiking shoes (or boots) and socks!
Hiking in Running Shoes
Many mountain hikers nowadays swear by trail runners on their trips during spring, summer and fall.
The reason is that they are very comfortable and light, dry quickly when wet, have an excellent traction and don’t give you blisters.
Another good thing about trail runners is that they don’t require a break in period as many hiking boots do.
Below we selected some of the best reviewed trail runners at Moosejaw. If you are looking for more colors, sizes, models and marks click on one of the shoes and you will be guided to Moosejaw, who have a extensive collection of trail runners.
Hiking Shoes vs. Boots
Hiking in running shoes may suit most of us, but one of the reasons not to go for hiking shoes (trail runners) came clear when we went shopping for the best shoes for hiking for my son. It turned out none of the hiking shoes he tried on were comfortable, they all hurt at the front of his feet. Until he tried on hiking boots and he was fine.
The explanation they gave us at the store is that trail runners in general are more narrow than other hiking shoes and boots. In my son’s case none of the extensive selection of hiking shoes suited him, so he tried on hiking boots and those are fine.
So, hiking shoes may not be for everyone, just as hiking boots are not for everyone.
Like with selecting the wrong hiking shoes for your hiking trip, choosing the wrong socks can spoil all the fun. You have to choose the right material, height, cushioning and fit for your hiking socks.
The right fit is important to prevent abrasion with your shoes, while cushioning is a matter of comfort. Which material to choose for your socks is maybe more difficult.
Merino Wool for Hiking Socks
A very popular material for hiking socks because of its qualities, are socks made of Merino wool combined with synthetic materials.
This wool is a naturally sweat wicking fabric and, very important, it is itch-free. Socks made of Merino wool are suitable for all kinds of weather.
The synthetic materials are added so the socks dry more quick, are lighter and more durable.
The general rule is to stay away from cotton, but this is not completely true for hikes in hot weather. A low amount of cotton doesn’t harm. On the contrary, it makes the sock lighter and that’s more comfortable on hot summer days. Never, though, go hiking with cotton socks in winter!
Synthetic Hiking Socks
Another option are hiking socks composed entirely of synthetic materials like Polyester and Polypropylene. The benefits of these materials compared to Merino wool is that they dry quicker, are more durable, less expensive, and lighter. Though they are not as warm as Merino wool.
Hiking Socks Categories
When shopping for hiking socks you will notice that they are divided into four categories: ultra-lightweight, lightweight, mid-weight and heavyweight.
Hiking socks in the heavyweight category are only useful if you are planning to hike in the Greek mountains during winter with very low temperatures and snow.
For most hikes in Greece the first three categories will do. Ultra-lightweight and lightweight socks are suitable for warm and hot weather. Just be careful your feet will not be sliding in your shoes!
The hiking socks in the mid-weight category are the most versatile ones. These are all-round socks that can be worn in warm and cold weather.
Many hikers use the same thick socks all year around, just because they fit so well in their hiking shoes. This isn’t a problem as long as they are high quality, special hiking socks that regulate temperature well to keep your feet from getting sweaty.
Use Best Hiking Shoes or Boots
Using quality hiking shoes or boots and hiking socks will improve your hiking experience dramatically! No blisters, no cramps, no sweaty feet, and because the shoes have a good grip you can prevent accidents.
Have a good hike!