There is a very good reason why military gear and clothes are popular and worn well outside of the military circles. Since soldiers and other personnel require sturdy, durable, and tough pieces of clothing that are also light and easy to maintain, it is understandable that regular people who have never even thought about joining the army want similar quality items. With that being said, perhaps the most often reason non-military individuals reach for military-grade stuff is with demanding outdoor activities.
Spending time in the great outdoors and doing things like hiking, backpacking, trekking, and camping requires proper and durable footwear, which is why combat or army boots are the preferred choices for many people. But should you really use this type of boot during your long-distance hikes? In this article, we will answer this question as well as help you solve other issues surrounding this topic. If you want to learn more about this, make sure to check out abbigliamentomimetico.it.
About Military Boots
To answer the question right off the bat, we must say that yes, these boots are well-suited for long-distance hikes. They are comfortable enough for long walks, with a lot of ankle support and durability. Made for rough conditions like all sorts of rocky, sandy, and muddy terrain, there is no place they will not be useful in. The manufacturers create them to easily survive extreme weather conditions and heavy-duty use and they have no trouble if you mean to punish them during your extreme off-the-beaten-path hikes.
Having said all of this, however, there is simply too much info on the table to just confirm that they are good for hikes and walk away. In the next section, we will talk about the differences between regular and military boots as well as the different types and what you need to look for when buying your first pair.
Traditional Hiking Boots
When an average person thinks about proper hiking footwear, they usually imagine a rugged boot that looks strong and like something one should wear to camping, fishing, hunting, or hiking trip. They are usually black, cream, gray, or green with variations like different types of sole complications and lace systems, as well as other elements like reinforced stitching and waterproof materials. Such boots are also stable, with enough grip and balance for your feet no matter the uneven terrain underneath you. Ankles are more protected with thicker soles, the traction is greater than with regular shoes, and all materials are weather resistant. The feet should be and are protected from water, snow, rocks, mud, and cold.
Military Combat Boots
Now, take everything that was said about the regular hiking footwear in the previous paragraph but mix it with more mobility, freedom of movement, and make them lightweight. Footwear typically associated with army personnel can also be visualized based on what you have seen, but chances are you have no idea how they fit or how are they different from your traditional hiking boots. First of all, they are widely available and anyone can get them no matter their profession. Despite being durable, versatile, and flexible enough for boots-on-the-ground soldiers on their missions and training, any type of active person who enjoys the outdoors will benefit from them. The biggest difference between them and the usual boot type is the fact that they have everything the same but better and with more comfort. Moreover, there are numerous types based on what you need them for.
For example, if you are doing construction you can get military boots with a harder exterior. For hiking though, you should definitely pick something more flexible with enough ankle support, grip, and strength.
Remember, the materials and quality of military-grade equipment are overall better and tougher than on regular footwear, and despite them looking less capable at times, they are the real deal. In any case, things that serve a purpose do not need to look a certain way. If they had any use of the extra features regular hiking boots tend to come with, they would have had them.
What to Look for and Examine
Again, not all hikes are the same. Based on where you are going, how long you are staying, and what you will be doing there exactly should dictate the type of military hiking boot you get. That being said, consider the following five components.
- The upper materials of the boots should be breathable, resistant to water, and durable. This area dictates how durable the footwear actually is. Materials here include full-grain leather, split-grain leather, nubuck leather, or synthetics.
- The midsole directly influences the softness and the stiffness of the cushioning, and therefore the comfort of every step. The more rugged the terrain you will be navigating, the more softness and thickness you will need here. Just remember not to sacrifice too much flexibility in exchange for comfort and sturdiness.
- Internal support between the outsole and the midsole comes with shanks, 3 mm or 5 mm thick inserts that are semi-flexible and that increase the overall balance, comfort, and flexibility. Pick the thickness based on the surface and length of your journey.
- The outsole should always be made of high-quality rubber. This is the part that will give you clearance from the ground and that will absorb all the uneven terrain, rocks, mud, water, and snow. The stronger and softer the rubber the less you will feel all the rough surfaces. Lug and heel patterns are also different based on the use and surface the model is made for. Different manufacturers use different materials and additives with their outsole rubber for more or less hardness, grip, and comfort.
- Last but not least, the crampons should be checked whenever you are purchasing military-grade footwear for a long-distance hike. Crampons are especially important if your hike will also include mountaineering, backpacking in the winter conditions, and some rock climbing here and there. The extra support you will get by sticking the pointy ends into the ground can be life-saving.