These are my new Vibram five finger trek ascents’ waiting to be unleashed
Are Barefoot Shoes Good For Hiking?
The decision to wear barefoot shoes as we go about our daily activities has become more commonplace in recent years. Most people are more aware of the benefits of barefoot walking and running to sustain a healthy lifestyle than ever before. You may have decided to go on a hike into the mountains with your friends. However, the question is at the back of your mind.
Are barefoot shoes good for hiking? Barefoot shoes are good for hiking. You will need the correct pair for the terrain you will be hiking on. Choosing the right type of barefoot shoe to deal with the terrain is key. Barefoot sandals, five-fingers or minimalist shoes will work. Preparation is everything just like with normal hiking.
Now we will go into the details you will need to get you ready. There are a few things you will need to make sure you bear in mind beforehand. Just like hiking in normal hiking shoes, preparation is everything.
Getting Ready For Barefoot Hiking
A lot of thought needs to be given as I just said to all the things you need to bear in mind. Here is a list of the key things we will go into each in detail, so you have all the information you need.
- What’s the Hike Duration?
- Where is the Hike location?
- What is the Weather where you are Hiking?
- What’s the Hike Terrain?
- How long have you been Barefoot walking or hiking?
- Barefoot Hike shoes and accessories considerations
Things To Check
What’s the Hike Duration?
So before you get started, you will need to understand how long the hike is for. Is it a short daytime amble up the hill or as a day trip? If so lightweight medium grip barefoot shoes will be good to do the job.
Or is it a full-blown backpacking experience that will take several days and you have to carry everything with you. If that is the case, then one of the factors in choosing your barefoot shoe will be lightness toughness of the sole and flexibility of the shoe. The flexibility of the shoe is so that it can be easily packed or stuffed into a backpack and its easier on your feet. Modern-day Barefoot shoes need to be and are in most cases light and easily foldable.
The final thing is to take more than one pair on a multi-day hike you will be glad you did.
Where Is The Hike Location?
Location, Location, Location is a well know saying. None more so in the case of choosing the right barefoot shoe for your hike. Several considerations come into play here are you hiking in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere? This is important because of humidity and temperature most and terrain most especially.
Are you going to be in the Arctic or the tropics? If for example, you were going Hiking into the mountains in North America in the summer (we will get to the weather next) then you will have to deal with the small sharp rocks. Hiking trail debris, vegetation, temperatureThisand humidity. Your feet will get hot and sweaty. This means that Thicker shoe soles and better grip underfoot is vital.
What Is The Weather Where You Are Hiking?
Another very important consideration is the weather. The time of Year of the hike. It could be in the Autumn with the raining to deal with. Your choice of a barefoot shoe will have to include considerations for Grip and slip resistance and the thickness of the sole. There are limits to the level of water resistance and waterproofing you can expect from a barefoot shoe so bear this in mind.
What’s The Hike Terrain?
What the terrain is is a simple one. This will guide the choice of whether the shoes you choose have ankle protection or not. If you are hiking is The Desert of Arizona then open toe Huaraches may be a good idea. There are other things like:
- Wet Roots and Rocks
- Slippery Logs
How Long Have You Been Barefoot Walking Or Hiking?
The amount of time you have been walking or running barefoot will have a big impact on your ability to hike and more importantly your choice of barefoot shoe.
One of the biggest things you will have to overcome especially hiking in barefoot shoes is tiredness and foot fatigue.
These two things alone bring the previous points together. They are very similar in many ways to the prep you would do for all the other part of your hike.
If you are not used to it and have been barefoot walking for a short period of time don’t do it as a first choice build up to it. Wait till your feet are stronger and you are used to it.
Bear this in mind that if you are not accustomed to walking barefoot, it is going to be difficult on you and your feet.
This is a common avenue for getting all kind of injuries when you are barefoot hiking.
Barefoot Hiking Shoes And Accessories
Here is a selection of barefoot shoe you can consider the best all-rounder for me is on the recommendation page check it out here.
- Vibram Five Fingers Trek Ascent insulated: For colder wetter weather – these are my go-to Barefoot shoe, and they are perfect for hiking. The ankle coverage makes them excellent if you are going to be covering wooded terrain as they help to deal with the bushes and brambles you may encounter they are also excellent for keeping stuff away from your feet. Especially good if it is sandy or dusty.
- Vibram Five fingers Trek Ascent: For Dryer weather – The standard Trek Ascents the sister shoe to the insulated version of the Trek Ascents. They don’t have the ankle coverage but are excellent for the tougher hiking terrain too I recommend these for the warmer situation. They have excellent non-slip soles too and a very handy Lace system that is very handy.
- Injinji Toesocks: For all weather – If you are like some of the people that I know and can not bear the thought of wearing shoes without socks then this is the one to get. Try them on for size and feel first then size your barefoot shoe accordingly. These are also excellent for wearing with the luna OSO (see below).
- Injinji New Wool Toe Socks: For cooler and wetter weather – If you want to barefoot hike in the cold and the snow especially with your barefoot sandals then this is the one for you. By all accounts, you can rock them in the winter trudging through snow and do just as well in the summer. Because they are made from Pure new merino wool, you get the top of foot protection and the breathability to boot. They are a bit thicker so bear this in mind when you are Vibram five finger shoe sizing if this is your preference. Hiking in footwear for long wet periods will cause skin irritation. Using wool will help to prevent this. They are fast drying, and it’s easy to clean.
- Vivo Barefoot Trails: Lightweight Dryer weather – Rugged lightweight flexible and good in the summer. Not much more to say it a good one to choose. It has the excellent wide toe box for your feet to work with comfortably.
- Luna OSO: Barefoot sandals that can be worn with toes socks too. – These have Vibram rugged sole which is tried and tested. If you like you Barefoot sandals, this is the one for you. The Luna Oso Sandals are perfect for hiking and running. They are also a great running sandal.
- Vivo footwear Tracker off-road range: Traditional hiking Bootlike -It a good choice if you want to get a cross between the barefoot mechanics and traditional hiking book look. It has a grippy, minimalist sole that gives you a good ground feel. Along with the conventional walking boots look it is made of high-quality, tough leather to keep the worst conditions at bay and provide protection from rocks, stones and thorns.
You made it to the end of the article don’t be overwhelmed with all the choices you have for a barefoot shoe.head over to my recommended gear page and have a look all the stuff there I use myself so I am confident it will be helpful to guide you on your journey check it out here
So, you can go Barefoot hiking for sure with all the information you have now. Get the socks to go with the sandal for the five fingers, or just get the shoes. Whichever combination works for you is fine. Don’t forget to pack more than one pair of shoes if its a more extended trip and off you go.
Have fun on the journey and leave a comment or let me know if you have any questions.