Hiking in the company of trees, mountains, streams, waterfalls, and wildlife gives us an exhilarating thrill, peace of mind, a sense of fulfillment, and a physical health boost. Mother Nature is so selfless that she doesn’t ask you anything in return except for one thing: responsibility. That, too, not for herself but for other hikers to enjoy the same benefits as you! 

So, before you lace up your trail shoes for your next adventure, we ask for five minutes of your time! We’ll cover all the rules for being a responsible hiker, and if you stick to the end, you can also find our best recommendations on trekking shoes for men and women. Let’s roll! 

Rule #1: Pack light, pack responsibly

When you pack essentials to ensure your safety and comfort during the hike, such as grippy trekking shoes, appropriate clothing, high-energy snacks, and a first aid kit, make responsible choices that ensure minimal environmental impact. Confused? Let us help you! 

  • Packing the bare minimum items to minimize waste. 
  • Carry trash bags for collecting litter. 
  • Use reusable bottles and food containers instead of single-use plastic bottles, paper plates, spoons, and cups. 
  • Pack biodegradable soaps and hand sanitizers.
  • Take a trowel with you to dig a cat hole when nature calls. Also, do your business away from all water bodies. 
  • Buy trail shoes, apparel, and other gear from environment-friendly brands.
  • Dress in camouflage clothes and shoes to avoid alarming the wildlife. 

Rule #2: Follow all the don’ts of your hiking area

Every hiking area sets specific rules and regulations to ensure the safety of hikers, flora and fauna, and other elements of the natural environment. These could include “Don’t light fires,” “Don’t make loud noises or play music,” “Don’t wear perfume,” “Don’t smoke,” and more! So, make sure you research the trail beforehand and follow the guidelines provided by your hike leaders.  

Trail tip: Never replace trekking shoes with running shoes, sandals, or flip-flops during hikes!

Rule #3: Whatever happens, stay within the trail 

While it may be tempting to do something offbeat, wander off-trail, and explore the unexplored, refrain from doing so! You may end up trampling flora or entering wildlife zones, potentially disturbing the birds and animals. So, stay within the designated trail routes as far as possible and go off-trail only when necessary. Similarly, if you are camping overnight, set up your tents in established campgrounds.

Trail tip: Traction, stability, cushion, durability, and water resistance are five crucial features in trail running shoes.

Rule #4: Take back home nothing but memories from nature

Mother Nature is undeniably beautiful, and you may want to take back home souvenirs such as wildflowers, plants, leaves, rocks, feathers, nests, eggshells, bones, and insect exoskeletons. Two words for it all: Just don’t! Capture the memories with your eyes—or cameras, if permitted and leave nature untouched. 

Rule #5: Keep a safe distance from wildlife 

Seeing birds and wild animals can be exciting, but don’t approach them. Avoid feeding them human foods, clicking photos up close, or interacting in other ways. There can be two extreme impacts: either they may see you as a threat and attack you, or they may get too comfortable with humans and lose their abilities to survive independently. 

Trail tip: Always invest in trail running shoes that promise all-terrain comfort. 

Rule #6: Maintain harmony with fellow hikers  

Always remember that you’re not the only one out on a hike in nature. Many more amateur and professional hikers are sharing the outdoor space with you. So, greet everyone with a smile, help each other in need, and let fast hikers pass. Also, if you find someone breaking the rules, politely notify them instead of being rude and putting up a fight. 

If you’ve come this far, as promised, here are our top Brooks Running trail shoes recommendations!