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Beim Wandern im Herbst und Winter ist auf eine gute Ausrüstung zu achten, Bild: kasakphoto / shutterstock

Hiking in autumn and winter: What equipment is needed?

When the forests change colour and the temperatures drop as well as the leaves, it invites you to take a closer look at nature. A short or even a more dissolute hike is always nice. After all, you always stay active and on the move. Even in winter, when there may even be snow, it is always worthwhile to go out into the fresh air. The crunch of the freshly fallen snow under your hiking boots feels very special. A winter hike is very relaxing if you wear the right shoes on your feet.

The same questions over and over again

Hiking boots in the snow
Image: kasakphoto / shutterstock

At the same time, there are a few questions that arise again and again in this context. Which material is best for winter shoes? And which model is the best for hiking boots? However, the questions cannot be answered unequivocally, as they always depend on the individual hiker or factors such as place and time. After all, when hiking in winter, you move on a completely different surface than in summer. Shoes made of leather or imitation leather are particularly popular here. The answer to the question regarding the best model is also difficult to answer. The factors mentioned above are also important here. For this reason, shops such as Decathlon offer winter shoes ideal for ice and snow in addition to shoes for the summer. The optimal fit in particular is vital when hiking. For this reason, Decathlon also has many local branches in addition to the online shop. This makes it easy to try on and test the different models.

For the winter, the most important thing is that the hiking boots warm the foot and that they are waterproof. After all, it is quite possible that you will encounter the first snow in an alpine area as early as autumn. In general, the subsoil is very humid and deep in many places at this time of year. Good protection against cold and water up to above the ankle is therefore highly recommended in a shoe for winter hikes. Depending on the course of winter and spring, however, it can also happen in high alpine locations that you move over extensive snowfields that cover the actual hiking trails. On such a hike, you are always happy about the extra warmth on your feet.

It’s all about the right size

Leather or imitation leather is therefore the ideal material for winter hiking boots. But how do you find the right size for hiking boots? In any case, the size of a hiking boot is almost never the same as that of an ordinary street shoe. After all, most hikers also wear correspondingly thicker socks. This is especially true in winter, when you try to fight the cold with several layers. In general, a hiking shoe should be half a size to a full size larger than the street shoes you normally wear.

However, the socks are not the only reason why you should choose the shoe size a little larger. When you’re off-road, you also hit the edge of your shoes very quickly. This is not always very pleasant, especially in the front area, on the tips of the toes. A kind of “crumple zone” is therefore highly recommended. Your feet will thank you, especially on a longer descent where the front end of the shoe is heavily stressed. A shoe chosen large enough can withstand the load longer and is even more comfortable to wear.