The weather will soon start to warm up, which means it’s time to start getting out and hitting the trails again. Before you step outside, make sure you have the right gear—especially when it comes to shoes. Don’t go lacing up your worn-out favorites, however comfortable they might be. The shoes you wear hiking make a huge difference in your comfort and performance.
Head to Plaza Shoe Store (2676 S Glenstone Ave, Springfield, 417-881-3310) for a pair of Salomon Mid GTX hiking boots ($150). These boots have a waterproof membrane and high traction grip and offer running shoe lightness but the durability for most trails. Not only that, but they have a sleek, minimalist look.
Bass Pro Exclusives
For tougher trails, a tighter budget and a more traditional hiking-boot look, Bass Pro (1935 S Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-887-7334) offers the exclusive Merrell Reflex 3 Mid Waterproof hiking boots ($129.99). These boots are designed to lock your feet in place with each step to make challenging trails easier, but they are still flexible enough to be comfortable.
Less Hiking, More Running
Trails aren’t just for hiking. Some regular runners swear by the endurance test of off-road or trail running, and the Salomon XA PRO 3D trail running shoes offer shock-absorption and grip for minimizing impact without removing the physical challenge of running outdoors. Pick these up at Ozark Adventures (1111 E. Republic Road, Suite 140, Springfield; 417-889-6633) for $130.