I didn’t know I needed hiking boots until I did. Athletic shoes (which I typically refer to as “tennies”) are fine for hiking, I would insist. But time off sidewalks on uneven trails or up rocks and boulders convinced me that I needed some additional support to feel comfortable, so a decade or so ago I bought my first and only pair of hiking boots.
Last week, we headed off to the Pacific Northwest to spend some time exploring Olympic National Park. And while we didn’t think we would need hiking boots for the entire trip, we wanted to have them with us. But packing hiking boots would take a lot of luggage space–and they’re on the heavy side. So we made the decision to wear our boots on the plane and to pack our tennies in our luggage.
Typically, my hiking boots get several hours worth of wear here and there. I put them on as I head off on a hike and often change back to my tennies once I get back to the car. They are comfortable for hiking–but they’re also heavy and hold my ankles pretty firmly. But last week they got nearly non-stop wear!
Day 1: on at daybreak for an early flight, off after dinner once we made our way to our hotel.
Day 2: on before breakfast anticipating a day on the snow. They work perfectly with snowshoes AND keep my feet warm. I did take them off before dinner and wore tennies to the restaurant.
Day 3: on again before breakfast as we planned a full day of rainy day hiking, off after dinner once we returned to the hotel.
Day 4: change of plans–we had thought we would wear tennies for comfort in town and on our feet all day, but predicted low 30’s weather made us decide to wear hiking boots as we explored the city of Victoria, BC. Rain was predicted (no rain), but it was cold. We were doubly thankful for the boots when we returned to snow and snowy roads as we left the ferry. Another full day of hiking boots.
Day 5: into the city, and still in our hiking boots. Cold weather + hiking boots=warm, comfy feet. By now the tennies are feeling neglected and I’m wondering why I even packed them!
Day 6: heading back to the airport. No room in luggage for hiking boots so the decision is made. It’s a hiking boots day! (And the longest day of all…finally returning home the next day at 1am!)
Six days in hiking boots. My feet stayed warm and comfortable. I had the grip I needed to deal with rain and snow and muddy trails, and no one once asked why are you wearing hiking boots?