Choosing a pair of boots to go trekking is very important, and requires you to take into account the type of trails you are going to walk on.
At Forclaz, we have identified 3 types of terrain:
Off the beaten track
The main benefits you have to take into account when choosing your boots will depend on the type of terrain:
The boots' flexibility
The level of reinforcements and protection
The level of overall support
1. You are Setting Off on Passable Paths
For large paths, which are not too challenging, best to opt for flexible boots. They actually allow natural heel-to-toe transition, and you'll effortlessly cover plenty of kilometres. The Way of St. James is an excellent example, perfectly illustrating this type of terrain. To make it heavier, protections are included in the most strategic areas : forefoot and heel.
Lastly, the high-cut upper on these models provide good heel support, without making them too stiff, but serving to compensate for small footing misjudgement owing to tiredness, without restricting the joint's range of motion.
For narrow and uneven mountain trails, you have to select stiffer boots that are more supportive, making you feel more at ease on the technical sections: rocky slabs, embankments, muddy ascent or descent, etc. These more technical trails are "harsher" on the boots than passable paths. This is why, in general, there is greater protection and the materials more durable, providing an overlapping effect. The boot collar offers extra support on models made for uneven terrain, making it more comfortable on broken ground or embankments. A good illustration of this type of trek could be the Tour du Mont-Blanc.
Lastly, for treks that for the most part take place off the beaten track, where cairns are sometimes your only point of reference, it is preferable to opt for stiff and higher cut boots, offering maximum protection. Névé crossings, ascending in scree and other passages with rock climbing on offer will subsequently be approached with greater confidence. The GR20, renowned as one of the hardest treks in Europe, offers the perfect terrain for this type of boot.
4. And the Soles?
Another very important feature of trekking boots is the sole. By providing grip and adhesion, it actually makes the trekker safer.
To let each of us, depending on our preferences, opt for flexible or stiff boots whatever the type of terrain, we, at Forclaz, have decided to offer the maximum amount of adhesion on all our models, whether made for passable paths or off the beaten track. It's our commitment to safety. Are you setting off soon? Find out how to properly choose your trekking poles!