Spending time in the wilderness is one of the best ways that you can bring yourself closer to nature. Being surrounded by the Earth as our ancestors were able to experience it brings out a certain form of inner peace in many people, but you should still be prepared for danger before heading out.
The right gear and provisions are essential when you’re preparing to head into the wild, regardless of whether you’re going camping, hiking, hunting, or anything else. Out of all of the gear that you can bring with you, your footwear will arguably have the most pronounced effect on your experience.
Being out in the wild means that you’ll be standing and dealing with uneven terrain relatively often, and having the right pair of boots can save you a lot of trouble. We’ll be looking at various types of boots that are meant to be used in the outdoors over the course of this guide, and by the end of it, you should be an expert.
Types of Boots
Here is a quick overview of the boots that will be explained in this post:
The first kind of boot that we’ll look at in today’s guide is the humble hiking boot, as it is the most common option for most lovers of the outdoors. Hiking boots have the advantage of being versatile when compared to the other options on this list, but as a result of that, they lack specialization.
If you need a boot that can be worn in a variety of situations, look no further than a good pair of hiking boots. There are a few recognizable characteristics in hiking boots, starting with their relatively low soles, as they are not primarily designed to prevent water and snow infiltration.
Hiking boots often have a tread that is designed for a variety of conditions, though most of them will prioritize grip in dirt and soil. Some hiking boots will feature knobs to provide stability on angled ground and inclines, though not all of them will feature this addition to the periphery of the tread.
Many hiking boots are waterproof, but this is not always the case, as some of them may be designed for use on dry terrain. Overall, a hiking boot is the best option if you aren’t entirely sure what features you need in your boots for the outdoors.
Snake boots are a lot more specialized than the hiking boots that we just went over, as they are meant to do a single thing: protect you from snake bites. Since snakes are naturally low to the ground due to how their bodies are shaped, most snake bites are to the legs or the feet, especially when a snake is stepped on.
As you can imagine, one of the main features in snake boots is that they have a higher shaft than other boots, meant to protect a larger surface area of your legs. Many of these boots are around 16” tall, making them (on average) the largest boot type on this list.
Being long isn’t what stops a snake’s teeth from making their way through these boots, however. Most snake boots are made out of resilient synthetics coupled with tough leather to ensure that they remain comfortable while keeping your legs out of danger.
While snake boots may be a little more ungainly than some of the other options, they can end up saving your life, so they may be necessary. If you live in an area like Arizona, where you will come across venomous snakes relatively often, then you’ll need a pair of these boots.
Much like hiking boots, hunting boots are meant to be a little more versatile than some of the other choices. While these boots are primarily made for hunting, you’ll find that they share a lot of aspects with hiking boots, though there are some areas where hunting boots are further specialized.
For example, when compared to hiking boots, hunting boots will often feature a camouflaged design, to make you less visible to any potential prey. Hunting boots are also more durable than other kinds of boots due to the harsh terrain that you may have to deal with when leaving the trail.
Hunters often have to go into challenging terrain to confirm their kills and set up traps, so hunting boots also offer a surprising amount of grip, with a deep tread pattern and plenty of lugs. These boots are also usually waterproof or water-resistant, at the very least to keep your feet dry over the course of a long hunt.
Some hunting boots are even designed to make you stealthier, featuring a more flexible sole. As you can imagine, all of these extra features make hunting boots a little more expensive than hiking boots, but if you need that improved performance, then they’re worth it.
Last but not least, we’ll also be looking at winter boots, which are quite different from the other choices on this list. If you live in a cold environment or an area where snow and ice are common, then it is likely that you have been acquainted with boots like these since you were a kid.
Winter boots feature additional insulation to keep your feet warm in low temperatures, and this is usually provided by a removable lining which can be taken out and washed. Of course, there are many different kinds of winter boots, and some of them are closer to hiking boots with a thicker skin. They both prevent and in some cases expel moisture whilst keeping your toes well protected. Paired with quality socks, they are the best defenders against frostbite.
As you would imagine, winter boots aren’t particularly versatile as they are only made for a single set of conditions, but they can also be worn during springtime when the snow starts to melt. If you have to deal with harsh winters, then a pair of winter boots will help make things a bit simpler.
As you can see, there are many different kinds of boots that you can use when you head into the wilderness. We hope that this guide has given you all of the info that you were searching for, and perhaps we even helped you choose the right boots.