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Home > Gear Guides > What are some components of hiking shoes?

What are some components of hiking shoes?

When buying hiking boots, remember that what’s on the inside is as important as what’s on the outside. Today’s hiking shoes feature high-tech support and cushioning to keep you comfortable on the trail. Most hiking shoes and hiking boots have midsoles cushioned with polyurethane or ethylene vinyl acetate for shock absorption. If weight is a factor when you select hiking shoes, consider that EVA weighs less, but polyurethane lasts longer.

Look for these other support features that help keep your hiking shoes stable:

  • Thermoplastic urethane: Also known as TPU, it is both flexible and stabilizing.
  • Protective plates: A flexible layer of protective inserts in the midsole of hiking shoes protects your feet from bruising and provides additional forefoot stability.
  • Shanks: Shanks are what give the midsoles of hiking shoes their stiffness. Shanks are made of nylon, plastic, or steel. Most mountaineering boots and backpacking hiking boots have steel shanks for maximum load-bearing support.

For expert advice about getting the right support in your hiking shoes, visit your local Sun & Ski Sports shop.

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