No two feet are alike, but shoe manufacturers seem to think otherwise. Which means you have to go to the store and try on half-dozen models and sizes to see what feels best on your feet.

Do you need big heavy hiking boots? Not unless you a) have weak ankles; and b) are going backpacking.

Running shoes will do fine for most day hikes. If you’re into longer distances, consider going with running shoes designed for trails — they have more padding around the ankles and better traction.

The main thing is: they have to be a good match with your feet. Everything else is secondary.

Though I never hike in boots anymore, I have to admit there’s a certain appeal to having good ol’ leather clod-hoppers you have to break in over several hikes, tend to with tender loving care and resole every few years. We live in a time of terrible over-consumption so from a green standpoint it’d be better to buy this kind of footwear and use it till it can’t be used anymore.

It’s worth considering.