There are many types of footwear on the market today depending on what activities you enjoy and what suits your needs as an individual. From posh parties to the beach to a casual shopping trip, what you wear on your feet distinguishes who you are. A day hiking the trails can be a disaster with the wrong footwear.
If you are the type of individual that enjoys a number of outdoor activities but none serious enough to warrant specific footwear for each sport, then a multi-sport shoe is for you. This type of footwear is ideal for that walk in the park, a light day hike through a well traveled trail, a fun game in the field, and is a definite life-saver on vacations. It allows you to multi task your activities and gives you enough support and versatility to not limit your enjoyment.
If you are more of an enthusiast and have an adrenalin-like craving then Approach Shoes are the ticket. They are great for those mountain visits with their excellent rock scrambling traction and climbing potential, yet stylish enough to cruise the mall. The soles of these shoes are made out of a sticky rubber and more closely resemble a climbing shoe than a hiking shoe. Approach shoes where intended to give a climber or mountaineer a comfortable yet solid footing for those short or long traverses to your climbing area. These shoes are not to be confused with climbing shoes. Though many climbers prefer them on easy multi terrain climbs, they are no substitute on difficult climbs.
Then there are your beach activities. Whether you are playing volley ball or just swimming, sport sandals are a good choice. There are many makes and models to choose from. These types of sandals are also referred to as “Mandals”, because they are primarily worn by men (or in New Zealand slang “Jandals”). They are constructed with many types of materials. Synthetic fabric and leather is widely used along with a rubber treaded sole. These sandals sometimes have a removable rear heel harness to minimize foot slippage and are ideal for beach sports. They enable the user the mobility to maneuver over rough terrain and not have his or her sandal come off.
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If you are just cruising the beach and do not need the support and versatility that a sport sandal offers, then a “Flip Flop” is perfect for you. It consists of a rubber (usually) sole held on to the foot by two pieces of material ranging from plastic to leather called thongs. These thongs extend from the inner and outer side of the foot to the gap between the big toe. There is no strap to the heel and the sandal moves up and down, creating a “flip-flop” sound.
Flip-Flops (thongs) are very prominent in the surfer culture. They are becoming everyday footwear in the cities as well. Flip-Flops have stood the test of time and are growing more and more as some of the most popular footwear for the summer.
When choosing footwear for outdoor activities, ensure you consider the climate and the requirements of the activity. Does the activity call for extra traction, more ventilation, more insulation or more support? Above all, pick a shoe that will keep your feet comfortable. Choose the right shoes now and enjoy your outdoor activities even more.