For some people, the thought of actually travelling more than a few miles on the pavement is a scary one. It conjures up images of long car rides, crowded subways, and sweaty feet. The truth is, when you’re planning to hit the trails in the fall or come springtime with a group of friends, it can be difficult to find places that will allow you to wear shoes that aren’t torture-wear for your feet.
That’s what happens when you live in New York City, where pavements are almost always covered in people. You see, winters here are very snowy and pre-summer heat waves make for sticky pavement conditions. The result? Hiking boots are almost always out of the question for most New Yorkers.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t wear them. It’s all about how much support they give your feet and how much freedom you allow yourself. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about wearing hiking shoes on the pavement:
Can You Wear Hiking Shoes on Pavement?
Hiking shoes can be a great choice for many people. However, wearing them when you’re on the road or in a public place may cause some confusion for others. Can you wear hiking shoes on the pavement?
How about on concrete and other hard surfaces? The short answer is: yes, but it may not be the most comfortable option. You see, not all pavements are created equal. Some of them are more suited to high heels than others.
Do You Have to Wear Hiking Shoes on Pavement?
You’re not the only one who feels that way. Many people have asked this question and the answer is: Yes, absolutely. As we’ve already discussed, you’re not supposed to wear hiking shoes on concrete, but there are plenty of places where you can wear them on the pavement.
Pontoon boats and jetty paths are two common examples. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can use a boat or jetty, great. But if not, there are still places where you can wear them on the ground.
Should You Wear Hiking Shoes on Pavement?
The short answer is: Yes. There are a few situations where it’s almost always better to wear hiking shoes on pavement than on snow or ice. If you’re training for a long-distance race or have training wheels to wear during your first few outings, you may want to wear them on concrete as a support shoe.
Otherwise, when you’re on pavement, you have the option of wearing thicker hiking boots or even trail running shoes. That way, you can really let yourself go and enjoy the journey, instead of worrying about getting your footing wrong and accidentally tumbling down a hill or into a stream.
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How Can I Wear Hiking Shoes on Pavement?
The first thing you need to do to wear hiking shoes on the pavement is decided whether you want them on your forefoot or rearfoot. Forefoot shoes are great for hiking and trekking, as they provide you with better grip and traction.
Rearfoot shoes, on the other hand, are meant for running and are much more comfortable. So, depending on your goal and level of comfort, you can wear hiking shoe forefoot or rearfoot. To choose the right type for your feet, check out our guide on the differences between hiking and mountain biking shoes.
What’s the Difference Between Hiking and Mountain biking Shoes?
When it comes to wearing mountain biking or hiking shoes on pavement, there’s no real difference. Both types of shoes provide good traction and one of the key benefits is that you don’t have to remove your hiking or mountain biking shoes in order to wear them on the ground.
That’s because they fit the same; they’re just one size smaller. As such, if you normally wear a size 9 in hiking or mountain biking shoes, you can comfortably wear a size 8 in hiking or 7.5 in mountain biking shoes.
Can You Wear Hiking Shoes To Walk In?
Everyone knows that you can’t go to the gym without shoes. But did you know that you can also wear your regular shoes to the gym? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have time to change into running shoes when you get to the gym. You probably don’t have time to stop and buy new running shoes when you get home from the gym, either.
Here’s why this makes sense: The act of going to the gym in regular shoes may feel awkward at first, but it will quickly become second nature. Your body will adapt naturally if you walk around with a pair of comfortable walking shoes for a few hours almost every day.
That means that no matter how much time or money you spend on your fitness routine, it’s likely going to be easier for you to stick with it if you ditch your sneakers and start walking around in workout clothing until it feels natural again.
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How to Exercise in Hiking Shoes Without Damage
You might be a hiker and an avid endurance athlete, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up style for success in your next big adventure. Sticking to basic fitness guidelines while out on the trail will go a long way toward keeping your shoes looking as good as new. It might sound obvious, but exercise should never be done in footwear that is made from material that is meant for sports or work.
Even though most hiking shoes are durable enough for the long haul, occasional muddles and falling over tree roots can cause them to fail in more subtle ways. Over time, this can lead to the shoes warping and distorting so that they no longer feel right under your feet. The same goes for the insides of the shoes where sweat can collect and make you feel like you’re going to spill out at any moment.
Fortunately, there are several tips that will allow you to take care of yourself while on the go without sacrificing style or reducing your outdoor adventures to a chore. By being aware of these factors, you’ll be able to stay safe and look great doing it.
I. Wear Smart Shoe Styles
Smart shoes have evolved a lot in the past few decades, and now we have options that can fit almost any foot. These days, most hiking and trekking shoes come with a variety of styles that can accommodate a wide range of feet and types. This is great when you’re hiking in the mountains, but can be problematic when you’re on the move.
If you have wide feet, you may find yourself with big shoe size, but otherwise, these shoes are designed to support your walking and moving without causing any damage. If you’re on the move and don’t have the luxury of a shop where you can try on different sizes and styles of shoes, you’re left with two options: Wear shoes in your normal size. This is the easiest solution because your feet will adapt to the shape of the shoes as they wear in.
This can take a few months or even a year, but luckily, it’s not a problem. Don’t wear shoes. This may sound silly, but it’s true. If you don’t have to wear them, they won’t wear in. This can be a good thing if you want to keep them looking new for as long as possible. It’s not an option, though, when you need to wear them 24/7.
II. Don’t hesitate to Wiggle Your Toes
Although you may not want to hear the news, wiggling your toes can actually damage your shoes. This is because the wiggling can cause the inside of the shoe to expand, which can make your feet look and feel funny.
Eventually, this can lead to blisters, bunions, and other painful injuries. Luckily, this happens very rarely and only to people who are overly sensitive to noise and movement. If you regularly experience blisters or other uncomfortable foot conditions, you should probably consider wearing closed-toe shoes.
These are designed to prevent any damage that may occur from the environment getting into your shoes.
II. Stay Hydrated
You never know when you’ll need to perform strenuous activities in the mountains that call for heavy, continuous hiking. By staying hydrated, you can avoid going thirsty, having a bad time walking, and getting heat stroke or exhaustion.
When you’re hiking in the mountains, it’s not unusual to go for months on end without drinking water. If you’re not hydrated, you’ll end up with a headache, heavy legs, and a depleted mental state.
III. Eat Right
While you don’t have to be a nutritionist to understand that good nutrition is essential to success in any field, you may be surprised at how few people eat well on the road. Most people don’t consume enough calories to support their activity level, and those calories come from unhealthy sources like sugary drinks, snacks, and even desserts while travelling.
If you’re on the move and want to ensure that your energy doesn’t decrease as you go, you should consider eating a healthy balanced diet while travelling. To get the most benefit from your outlay, you should aim for the following:
- 800 calories per day is ideal
- Include healthy fats like avocado, olive, or coconut oil
- Include multiple sources of protein like nuts, seeds, or clean proteins like tuna or fish
- Leave room for dessert because you don’t want to go into ketosis
IV. Don’t Forget the Sun Protection
You’re going to spend the majority of your day outside, and you don’t want to miss out on any of the benefits that come with it. The sun’s UV rays are the most potent inducers of ageing, and spending a little time in the sun without sunscreen is not only dangerous but also counterproductive.
You’re actually more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays when you’re young, so if you’re under 30, you don’t need to worry about it too much. However, once you hit 40 or 50, you should consider investing in good sunscreen.
V. Maintain Your Shoes
Unlike hiking boots, which get repaired regularly due to daily wear and tear, your running shoes rarely get proper clearance. This is because there’s less wear and tear and because there’s less risk of damaging the shoe itself. However, as you start to move into the running shoe realm, it’s important to remember to maintain them.
You don’t have to do extra legwork to ensure that your shoes are in tip-top shape, but here are a few things to keep in mind: Keep the cleats (the bottom portion of the shoes) clean. This is the most important step because dirty shoes will cause you more discomfort and lead to more inflammation. This is one reason you should always wear shoes that are appropriate for the activity you’re engaging in.
VI. Wear Good Socks
You need to be able to keep your shoes on when you’re running, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort in order to do so. Wear supportive shoes. If you’re running on uneven ground or have a history of plantar fasciitis, you should consider getting special shoes.
Use a good shoe cream. This will help protect your shoes from the elements and keep your feet from getting chaffy.
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The best thing you can do is to practice in your new shoes before you hit the trails. It will help you feel more comfortable and prepare your feet for what to expect. In the end, wearing hiking shoes on the pavement is no different than wearing them on snow or ice: It’s about finding a combination that works best for you and for the terrain you plan on visiting.
If you’ve got any questions about how to wear hiking shoes on pavement, leave a comment below. We love hearing from our readers and can help you out with answers to your questions.