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Hiking, like other activities and/or hobbies, can teach you many things. I learned the hard way that hiking boots make a big difference. Let me set the scene for you and tell you about the lesson I stumbled upon.

Take 1

So there is a hiking trail located in the northwest part of Las Vegas near the 215 and some houses. This trail, also known as the Lone Mountain Trail, features hiking trails as well as walking trails that go around the mountain. I honestly had no clue that there was an actual Lone Mountain until my cousin started talking about the trail. It nice to know that it’s not just a street name.

The hiking group I joined just so happened to schedule an event Lone Mountain, so I signed up, interested in seeing the area. Since my previous hiking trip at the Bristlecone trail at Mt. Charleston went well, I figure I would be perfectly fine with wearing the same thing I wore on that trip. My outfit once again consisted of a fitness shirt, a pair of leggings, and my Nike sneakers. I had my handy dandy water bottle and lime green backpack, so I had everything I needed or so I thought.

From the way my cousin described her visits to Lone Mountain, I thought I would be walking on flat ground. It didn’t even occur to me that climbing the mountain would be an option. Heights aren’t a big deal to me, but my clumsiness is a different story. It was going to be a rough climb considering the smooth soles of my Nikes were not made for this. My feet had nothing to grip onto, and Lone Mountain is pretty much made of slippery limestone, so my Nikes were the weak link. Now, I’m not putting all the blame on my sneakers because they do a great job elsewhere, but I was somewhat upset with the shoes once we returned back to our cars.

I did climb up the entire mountain with numerous stops, heavy breathes, and scratches along the way. There were many times in which I fell both up and down the mountain, and I did question why I got myself into this mess, but I didn’t give up. The main thing I learned was that I needed some hiking shoes before I went hiking again. I also needed to keep alcohol wipes and band-aids in my backpack.

And The Search Is On

After hiking at Lone Mountain, I went on a search to find some hiking boots. I didn’t want to spend too much since hiking isn’t something that I consistently do. The boots had to be faux fur-lined, waterproof, and in a neutral color. I still needed them to match with everything so a neutral color was a must. Priorities, I know. I did my little search thing on Amazon and came across a pair of fur-lined outdoor boots sold by Saguaro. The boots had a 4-star rating from 239 reviews so it was doing pretty well so far. They were described as a warm boot made for a variety of outdoor activities. Key features include a non-slip rubber sole and faux fur lining. I decided that this was the shoe for me. They are a cute pair of boots too, so I was pretty much sold.

hiking boots
The boots after the hike

Let’s Try This Again

I was very excited to try hiking, or should I say climbing, again when my hiking boots arrived in the mail. What better place to try them out then at the Lone Mountain Trail where this search all started. I wanted to really see just how much of difference wearing hiking boots would make. Would I be as tired? Would I fall as much? Just how dirty will these things get? I don’t know, but I was about to find out on this take two of climbing up Lone Mountain.

From walking to the trail alone, I could tell that this trip was going to be different. Having shoes that actually grip the ground makes a huge difference in how your hiking will be. I noticed the first time I hiked up the mountain, it felt like I stared at my feet a majority of the time because I felt like I really needed to pay attention to the ground. This time around, I still found myself glancing at my feet, but I didn’t do it as often. I could actually multitask. The fact that I didn’t have to worry about finding some type of grip also helped. I was more comfortable with moving at a quicker pace. It was a lot more enjoyable. The distance I climbed wasn’t as far this time, so that could also have something to do with it.

hiking
Social distancing hiking. Please excuse my mask around my chin, I had to catch my breath!

The hiking boots did what they were supposed to. I did not slip nor fall not one time, so as far as I am concern, they were a success! The only concern I have with the boots is the fit around the ankles. I have very small ankles to the point where keeping strappy sandals on my feet is a struggle because they just slip off, so the fit felt a little too loose compared to the rest of the shoe. However, I don’t think making the area around the ankles tighter would solve the issue because that area is already structured and slightly stiff. It would just make it uncomfortable.

As a new hiker, I now know the importance of having actual hiking boots or at least a shoe with some grip to them. I really needed a pair of shoes solely for outdoor activities. My athletic shoes that do have grip, the ones I wear to the gym, weren’t contenders for that position since I didn’t want to get them dirty. What can I say, each shoe has its purpose.

Let’s hear how you had to switch up your approach to a new actitivty or adventure in the comments below! Sometimes you just need a little lesson to put things into perspective.


Header Image Credit: Unsplash

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