MD Podiatrist Discusses Choosing Hiking Boots

“A lot of the people who thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and do big ultramarathons are doing those events in trail running shoes, and not boots,” says Dan Michaels, DPM.  “My basic recommendations are to find a shoe that has appropriate traction for what you’re aiming to do, but keeps the weight as low as possible.”
Trail running shoes or even sneakers can work well for short, simple hikes, Dr. Michaels agrees, but many people will want something sturdier as the distance or difficulty increases. “I think if someone is going to be doing a longer distance trip or on technical terrain, that’s for sure where I think boots may be more appropriate,” he says. “I don’t think anyone is hiking to Everest base camp in sneakers.”