MD Podiatrist Discusses Hiking Shoes

Traction is a huge consideration, and your needs will vary based on where you normally walk. If you’re an avid hiker, for example, you’ll want hiking shoes that provide lots of traction for the various types of terrain you’ll encounter. “The outersole should possess grip or traction appropriate for the intended activity,” says Dan Michaels, DPM.

Dr. Michaels says a supportive shoe is key. “The heel counter should be firm to provide adequate support,” he explains. A good shoe needs arch support, too, and he adds that “the midsole should provide cushioning to add comfort.” He also notes that the shoe should be flexible, but not overly so. If you can fold it in half, it’s probably not great for walking in. Another thing to consider is ankle stability: Higher ankles on shoes help stabilize the ankle a bit more, so this is a common feature in hiking shoes.