If you’re at all an outdoor person—and this may be especially true if you live in a place like L.A.)—you’ve gone on your fair share of hikes. But there’s a big difference between going for a casual walk through your local park and climbing over boulders to reach a mountain’s crest boils—not all hikes are made equally, and the same is true of the shoes you pick out for such an activity.
The common idea for hiking is that sneakers work best, and seeing as we wear sneakers for all other forms of exercise, why wouldn’t they be ideal for hiking as well? Actually, according to Stacy Taniguchi, Ph.D., a professor of recreation management at Brigham Young University, wearing sneakers on a hike may be putting you in unnecessary danger. Extreme conditions like dry, dusty trails, or muddy grounds make it that much more likely that you’ll slip and fall, especially along inclines. The fact is sneakers just provide enough traction.
The best shoes you really should be wearing on a hike? Heavy-duty, high-top hiking boots. Some details to look out for when purchasing the correct shoes are thick soles, heavy treads, ample support, and waterproof material, depending on which type of terrain you’ll be exploring.
Go on to shop the hiking boots that are tough enough for any terrain, and keep reading to shop our selection of luxury “hiking-inspired” boots—because we know you’re a fashion girl at heart.