Summer visits to the beach aren’t for everyone. Many people enjoy nature hikes and having the right footwear is important. One of the most important parts of hiking footwear is the importance of wide toe box footwear. In a close second would be stretching and foot exercises to maintain that natural toe splay for foot comfort and injury prevention.
The combination of foot alignment stretches and men's or women's appropriate toe box footwear is extremely helpful in preventing the foot and knee problems that plague so many trekkers. This is especially true on long hikes and descents. It can save you from considerable agony during that 8-hour hike in the mountains or woods as well as save you a trip to the doctor for any foot pain you might experience.
Conventional hiking boots, typically possess tapering toe boxes (along with other problematic design features), which force your toes into a wedge position. This leads to the repetitive jamming of your toes into the end of your boot's toe box. Which means sore feet and toes as well as excessive strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments acting on or supporting your knees. We don't want to forget to mention toe deformities and other common foot pain that can result over time.
Once you switch to proper footwear and reposition your toes with foot alignment socks in the way that nature intended, you will start to alleviate your pain or discomfort while hiking or running. There are also some great foot stretches and exercises to use after a long day of hiking. Our team put together a list of our Top 10 Foot Exercise in a recent blog.
Important Factors for Selecting the Right Hiking Boot
Size Options – Do they offer wide options to give your foot the room it needs in the toe box?
- Materials – What are they made of…Split Grain, Full Grain, Waterproof, canvas and others.
- Ankle Cut – Do they offer high, mid or low cut options?
- Support – Do they contain plates and shanks that provide the right support?
- Weight – Are they heavy or light…the duration, frequency and terrain will help determine the right option.
Foot Care Benefits of a Wide Toe Box in Hiking Boots
- Improved Comfort: Your feet and toes will feel significantly more comfortable in wide toe box footwear during a long day of hiking. Now we aren’t saying your feet won't feel tired at the end of the day. But it's unlikely that you'll experience discomfort during your hike. You can boost your foot comfort even further by using other helpful natural foot stretching gear, such as My Happy Feet foot alignment socks. This is an excellent combination of products for experiencing maximum foot comfort for your hiking.
- Improved Toe Alignment: Having wide toe box shoes allow your toes to splay. When you wear wide toe box shoes and participate in weight-bearing activities, such as hiking, you're encouraging a realignment of your toes to the position that nature intended. That natural position is toes in line with their corresponding metatarsal bones. Wearing wide toe box shoes while hiking is an active way to restore your toes to their true natural shape and alignment.
- Reduced Likelihood of Injuries: Many hikers have experienced at least one foot or lower body problem during the course of a hike. Many hikers believe that the problem lies in their conditioning, or that the pain they're experiencing is the result of a past, unresolved problem. While this may be true in some cases, it could also be that your conventional hiking boots are the source of your foot pain. Wearing wide toe box footwear while hiking will help you reduce lower leg problems such as knee pain, foot pain, and neuromas.
- Enhanced Balance: If you wear hiking footwear with a wide toe box, it's likely that you'll experience an improved sense of balance. The wider support platform is associated with the splayed toe position instead of having them crammed into tight-fitting conventional hiking boots. Conventional hiking boots force your toes together into a wedge configuration, which reduces the area of the foot contacting the ground with each step you take. Combine this with other features of conventional hiking boots that destabilize your arch such as heel elevation. This can have a direct effect on the frequency of severe ankle injuries, especially ankle sprains.
Best Hiking Boots for You
Hiking is a fun and exciting way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. But if you don’t have the right type of footwear, your fun trip can quickly take a turn for the worse. Wearing the best hiking boots for wide feet will ensure you don’t end up with swollen, sore, and blistered feet at the end of the day.
Hiking boots are designed specifically for hikers and with wider feet, you’ll need to have plenty of wiggle room. If you have ever shopped for hiking boots you probably already know, finding wide or the right hiking boots isn’t as easy as you would think.
The Camping Geek put together a great buyer’s guide to choosing the right hiking boots. They included all of the important features you need to look for to find a pair of boots that are built tough and designed to last. They’ve tested out many of the leading models on the market. Their list of the best hiking boots has what it takes to provide all-day comfort, with a design that’s cushioned, supportive, and durable.
Now you know why it is important to choose the right fitting hiking boots. You know the factors that go into selecting the right hiking boot. as well as the benefits of a wide toe box for those hiking boots. So it is time to focus on the daily foot care and stretching exercises you should add to your pre and post-hike routine.Hiking elevates the chances of a variety of foot ailments such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammertoes and more. Adding a pair of foot alignment socks to your daily routine can help stretch the toes and provide proper foot alignment all with the comfort of a pair of socks. Learn more about the benefits of our foot alignment socks and order a pair today to keep those happy feet ready to tackle the trails.