At Forclaz, we identify 3 types of terrain:
- Passable paths
- Uneven trails
- Off the beaten track
The main benefits you have to take into account when choosing your boots will depend on the type of terrain:
- The boots' flexibility
- The level of reinforcements and protection
- The level of overall support
1. You are Hiking on Passable Paths
For large paths, which are not too challenging, best to opt for flexible boots. They actually allow natural heel-to-toe transition, and you'll effortlessly cover plenty of miles. To make it heavier, protections are included in the most strategic areas: forefoot and heel.
Lastly, the high-tops on these models provide good heel support without making them too stiff and serve to compensate for small footing misjudgements owing to tiredness, all while not restricting the joint's range of motion.
2. You Are Setting Off on Uneven Trails
For narrow and uneven mountain trails, you have to select stiffer boots that are more supportive, making you feel more at ease on the technical sections: rocky slabs, embankments, muddy ascents or descents, etc. These more technical trails are "harsher" on the boots than passable paths. This is why, in general, there is greater protection and the materials are more durable, providing a compounding effect. The boot collar offers extra support on models made for uneven terrain, making it more comfortable on broken ground or embankments.
3. You Venture Off the Beaten Track
Lastly, for treks that, for the most part, take place off the beaten track, where cairns are sometimes your only point of reference, it is preferable to opt for stiff and higher cut boots, offering maximum protection. Névé crossings, ascending in scree and other passages with rock climbing on offer will subsequently be approached with greater confidence.
4. What about the Soles?
Another very important feature of hiking boots is the sole. By providing grip and adhesion, it actually makes the hiker safer.
To let each of us, depending on our preferences, opt for flexible or stiff boots whatever the type of terrain, we, at Forclaz, have decided to offer the maximum amount of adhesion on all our models, whether made for passable paths or off the beaten track.