Hiking 101: "If I'm going to invest in just one thing, it should be..."
Written by Monica Ng
In my opinion, if you buy nothing else (specifically for your hiking adventures), invest in a good pair of hiking boots for the ankle support and mud/water resistance.
I hiked the trail at McRae Lake Conservation Reserve wearing my hiking boots. It was super muddy. I had no issues at all walking through the mud, on and around exposed tree roots, climbing up rocks and making my way across tree trunks (aka bridges) – but the moment I put on my runners and tried to go check out the water one last time, my ankles were twisting. It's easy to sprain your ankle wearing improper footwear.
Trail conditions aren’t predictable. Your trail could be rocky, "rooty", or flat, etc. Also, a sunny day doesn’t mean dry trails. Runners can get soaked by wet and muddy terrain. Never mind the fun you'll have washing your muddy runners! Having wet feet sucks too.
Comfort = happy hiker. Case Closed.