I’ve been debating what to do about hiking shoes for a while. I hate shoes in general, especially in the summer, when I’d much rather live in sandals. When my feet are hot, all of me is hot. They say you lose most of your body heat through your head, but I think I lose most of it through my feet! Obviously, I can’t hike in sandals, so I’m forced to stuff my feet into tennis shoes and put up with sore feet later on. Cheap hiking shoes are no better than tennis shoes, and good hiking shoes are so expensive! So I wear my tennis shoes for now.
I thought some good socks might help (and would be less expensive). I didn’t figure Walmart would carry anything helpful, and other than the usual “fashion socks”, all I saw were “Diabetic and Circulatory” socks. I almost kept going.
Then I saw that they’re exactly what I need…. they’re extra soft, they keep your feet drier, and they have virtually no toe seams. I bought 2 pair for $7 (I know, I’m sure that’s inexpensive for “hiking socks”). They were worth every penny! I discovered that half of my hiking problems were really from crummy socks. My feet didn’t feel so hot (and sweaty-yuck), my toes weren’t being annoyingly irritated by those miserable toe seams that hit in just the wrong spot, and my feet had none of the usual “hot spots” from where something was rubbing.
Of course, sturdier shoes would help prevent slipping and would provide more protection against sharp rocks, so good shoes are important too. But until you can get that good pair of hiking shoes… make sure you have some good socks! Your feet will thank you.