Low, Mid, or High: Choosing the Right Foot Gear

Boots on sandHaving the right foot gear matters. But there are so many different kinds of boots and shoes, how do you know what’s right for you? Everyone has different different needs and hobbies; what’s right for one won’t be right for everyone.

To figure out which type of foot gear is right for you, you need to know the benefits and disadvantages for each type of footwear. Knowing your own needs, and knowing what different types of footwear provide will help you in choosing the right foot gear.

The cut of your footwear plays a very important role in the comfort and performance. You have three basic choices: low top, mid top, or high top.

Low top

  • Low top hiking shoes are typically going to be much lighter than higher cut boots. Since there is less material, they feel more natural and will breathe better than bulky boots. Low top footwear is ideal for quick and easy hiking, and is a very popular choice for trail running. However they provide less protection than mid top or high top options. There is practically no ankle support with a low cut, and it allows for water, rocks, and dirt to get in your shoes.

Mid top

  • The mid cut is the perfect balance of protection and freedom. You get more ankle support than with a low top, yet they are more comfortable than a high top. Mid top boots and shoes will do a good job of keeping out water and debris, except for in high pools and particularly challenging approaches. They’re well suited for longer endurance hikes as well as for day trips. If you’re looking for foot gear that can do it all, go for a mid top cut.

High top

  • High top boots are the tanks of the footwear world. They provide unrivaled ankle support and protection. Nothing will get in these boots unless you find yourself buried up to your knees. However since they provide so much coverage, they can get warm and sweaty, making them less comfortable than a mid or low top. High top boots are designed for difficult and technical terrain, rather than easy day hikes.

When it comes to choosing your footwear you have to consider two main things. How will you be using your foot gear (i.e. long hikes through mountains or moderate day hikes), and whether you place higher value in protection or comfort. Once you have answered those two questions, the decision is simple. If you’re looking for a good pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes, stop by Uncle Sam’s and check out our selection. We carry everything from low to high top boots, and our knowledgeable staff will help you find the perfect fit.

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