Making the right shoe choice

“I’ll just find a pair of runners to wear”

The response I hear when someone newasks me to go for a hike, we make a plan, than I ask if they have hiking boots.

My answer. no. I’m sorry. Head to the store, or well have to reschedule.


But the truth is, your feet are the most important gear you can have for a hike!! Fall, hurt your arm; walk back to the car. Run out of water; steal some from your friend – you can technically last 3 days without water. Eat all your food; walk back to the car – you can last a week without food. Forgot a warm jacket; walk faster.

Fall off a cliff due to poor grip – die.

Roll your ankle and break your leg – get air lifted off the side of a mountain (which you better hope you have a satellite phone or you’ll be sitting there until your friend walks down to the car and drives to cell service). Or best case, spend 6 hours limping back using your friend as a human crutch.

Sounds fun right.

Obviously, this doesn’t happen every time. But it does happen. Even the most experience mountaineers with proper gear can have an accident – so why can’t you. Would you join a hockey league and play your first game with only a pair of skating and a stick? No. You would find all the proper equipment- helmet, shoulder pads, shin pads, neck guard, gloves first.

Ok. My rant is over – although this is not really the happy; positive message style I’m used to sharing, it needs to be said. Now I’ll share with you some suggestions to lead you in the right direction!

#1 Your all around basic boot for moderate hikes

Salomon Ultra Light Mid 2/3 GTX

This boot great for a good ankle support while being light weight, waterproofed by Gore-Tex material, and a super comfortable ortholite footbed to give you maximum comfort. Usually sold for $150-$180CAN and worth it if your carrying a day pack and doing mostly moderate hikes in summer/fall conditions. These also have a great grip for a wide range of terrain! I consider this my top choice to recommend friends who are looking for an all around shoe.

#2 Your backpacking boot. Meant for carrying large multi-day packs (50L+)

Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX

Made for tough terrain, off the beaten path, providing a strong support to carry that extra weight.  Shoe laces made to stay tied, Gore-Tex to keep dry, with the benefits of being breathable. This boot has the ortholite footbed for maximum comfort as well as a rubber toe & heel for heavy impact and abrasion. Priced around $230-$250CAN This is a good boot if you’re looking to do more than just hike.

#3 Your winter hiking boot, leather, strong and warm

Keen Revel III

Looking for some winter hiking? or snowshoeing? This is your boot! There outsoles are dual climate rubber to bite into ice and packed snow, 200g synthetic insulation to keep everything warm on the inside. Rated for -15 celsius, as Valhalla Pure would call these the “whatever the weather nubuck leather is all-terrain durable and lined with the KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane”. I totally copy and pasted that. But that pretty much sums it up! The only down side was I didn’t find the gripping as good as my other shoes, but that’s nothing a pair of cramp on can’t fix! These are about $200CAN

#4 Your trail runners

Salomon Speedcross 4

Now do these ever have grip!!! Built for traction in muddy or loose dirt situations. They are designed to snug your foot in tight, so debris will not squeeze in. Easy & tight quicklace system so laces wont come loose. Lightweight with an ortholite footbed, these are great for easy trails or running. Butttttt they break all the rules I said from the beginning. Other than great grip. They are your cheapest choice at about $140-$170 as you can get last seasons on sale! I don’t recommended these as your all around boot, just if your an actual trail runner, or doing a casual walk on a dirt terrain!

As you can tell, my shoes are not clean, there messy and worn. I have tested each pair and along with a few other, but these are my favourites.



Get your specialized, quality gear from the knowledgable staff at

Valhalla Pure Outfitters – Red Deer, AB

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