Cougar Ridge

Tips for Choosing Hiking Boots for Your Next Cougar Vacation

Jun 16, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

While it might not have the well-known trails that Zion has, like Angels Landing or The Narrows, Capitol Reef National Park is home to more than a dozen incredible hiking trails. They range from easy trails like Cohob Canyon to challenging day hikes like the Frying Pan Trail. Many of the park’s trails are rugged, uneven, and steep, as hikers navigate the unique landscapes created by the Waterpocket Fold.

One thing is for certain; if you’re planning to do any hiking during your stay at Cougar Ridge, you’re going to need a good pair of hiking boots. Flip flops and sandals will leave you slipping and sliding on rocky trails, while tennis shoes lack the support you need for climbing steep hills or covering long distances in the red rock desert.

Ready to start planning your next Cougar vacation? Keep reading to learn a few tips to help you select the right pair of boots.

Understand Your Options

Not all hiking boots are created equal, but every pair does serve a specific purpose. Different boots are designed for different types of trails, lengths of hikes, and conditions. For instance, the pair you’ll want for a winter hike through snow and ice won’t be very comfortable for a warm-weather walk on some of Capitol Reef’s easier trails.

A gripping sole is always a must, regardless of the type of hiking or conditions you’ll be in. But for more rugged trails, look for a pair of boots with ankle support. This will help prevent rolled ankles when hiking uneven trails or climbing over rocks. 

Thinking about day-tripping to Arches during your Cougar vacation? If you’ve checked out our Arches National Park facts, you know that the park is home to more than 2,000 stone arches, many of which you’ll need to scramble over rocks and across uneven stretches to get to. A pair of boots with good support will help you avoid a painful rolled ankle.

If you aren’t into strenuous hiking, a lighter pair of boots might be more comfortable. Look for lightweight options described as “day hikers.” Structured more like running shoes, these offer arch support and a more durable structure than your average gym shoe, but without the weight and bulk of most hiking boots.

Choose the Right Fabric

It’s not just the design of your boot that’s important. You also need to choose the right fabric. Thick, insulated boots are great for staying warm but may be too hot in the summer months. If you plan to wander the goblins at Goblin Valley State Park, for instance, you’ll want to choose a more breathable boot.

Don’t Just Try on Boots

When you’re shopping for a regular pair of shoes, you head to the store, try them on, and maybe walk around a bit. You might even be able to buy a pair online, judging whether they look comfortable from just a picture.

But when it comes to hiking boots, you should do more than just try them on. Most outdoor suppliers provide obstacles for you to try your boots out on. This helps you test the grip of soles and ankle support to make sure you’re getting a sturdy pair. Bring a pair of thick socks like what you would actually wear hiking when you go to try on boots. Then, wear them for a while in the store. The large size and thick material of hiking boots can make them fit more snugly than your other types of shoes, and this can sometimes cause pinching.

Add the Right Pair of Socks 

The right boots are important. But even an expensive pair of durable boots won’t be effective with the wrong socks.

Your regular cotton socks won’t work for hiking. Cotton wicks sweat and water, but unlike synthetic fabrics, it absorbs that moisture like a sponge. The moisture then stays against your skin, and in cooler temps, it will lower your body temperature. Even in warmer weather, your socks will stay wet, which can be incredibly uncomfortable.

Instead of cotton, opt for socks made from synthetic fabrics or wool. These will wick moisture away and allow it to dissipate, keeping you warm and comfortable even in cold temps. Even if you’re wearing moisture-wicking hiking socks, it’s a good idea to bring an extra pair or two. Moisture only wicks away so fast, and having a change of socks will allow you to remove your wet ones and get back to hiking in comfort again fast.

Getting the Right Boots for Your Cougar Vacation

Whether you’re planning to spend your whole trip hitting the trails of Capitol Reef or want to mix in some apple picking or a scenic drive, having a good pair of comfortable, supportive boots along can help you enjoy a safe, fun Cougar vacation.

Ready to see for yourself what makes a stay at Cougar Ridge so special? Now is a great time to do so! There’s still time to take advantage of our Spring in Capitol Reef sale! When you book a stay of three or more nights before June 30, you’ll receive a 25 percent discount on your stay. Book today to take advantage of these savings

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