This week’s survival tip is proper footwear. It can make or break you–literally break your bones. I myself struggle with proper footwear: I love my flip flops and boat shoes, but there’s a time and place for them and on the trail isn’t one of them.
One of the best places to find people wearing shoes they shouldn’t be are hikes that involve water. Whether it be Kanarraville Falls, Toquerville Falls, The Narrows or countless other hikes that involve water here in Southern Utah, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll see at least one person hiking in flip flops. It’s understandable that people want to wear flip flops when they’re hiking in the water–I mean it’s wet. Unfortunately the slippery and and unstable conditions that water hikes produce make proper footwear a must.
Proper footwear can mean several things depending on what activity you are partaking in. If you are climbing, climbing shoes would be a good choice: when biking, bike shoes that attach to your pedals: while hiking, a good hiking boot or trail shoe with proper ankle support to avoid twisting and breaking your ankle.
When it comes to water hikes you have several options. If it’s warm out and you don’t mind risking a broken toe, Tevas or Chacos can be a good choice; they provide some arch support, you can get them wet and they allow your feet to dry off relatively quickly. A shoe designed for hiking in the water such as the Hydro_Lace is an excellent choice for colder water. If the water isn’t too deep, your normal waterproof hiking boot will work too.
Regardless of where your adventures take you, using the proper footwear can help you stay safe in the beautiful Utah wilderness.