There are several things that might catch your eye when you shop for a pair of hiking shoes, including the brand, the color, and the shape. It's important, however, to not let these details distract you as you evaluate the smaller details that can be critical if you plan to wear the shoes extensively. One feature that you may find with certain styles of hiking shoes is a gusseted tongue — a tongue that has fabric that connects each side of it to the shoe. A gusseted tongue is a highly desirable feature in hiking footwear because of its ability to keep these unwanted things out of your shoes.
During a long hike, you'll walk over a variety of loose products on the ground that can sometimes get into your shoes. Small pebbles, twigs, and other debris all have the ability to slip between the tongue of your shoe and the outer edge, where they'll eventually work their way under your sole and cause discomfort. Such an issue will lead to a delay in your progress, as you'll need to remove the shoe and shake out the debris. A gusseted tongue can do a good job of preventing such debris from making its way into your shoe.
Hiking footwear is often waterproof, which can be ideal if it's raining or if you're walking in wet grass or underbrush. While the fabric may have a coating that resists moisture, your feet can still get wet when water seeps into the shoe. One of the places that water can enter your hiking shoes is through the gap between the tongue and the outer edge of the shoe. This gap may be tiny, but even a tiny gap can allow water through. With a gusseted tongue, there's a better chance that your feet will remain dry.
Hiking can expose you to all sorts of creatures. While you might be on the lookout for large predators when you're in a remote area, you shouldn't discount the smaller pests that can be an irritation. For example, if you were to walk through an area around an ant colony, you might end up with ants on your shoes. It would be easy for a small pest of this nature to slip between the tongue and the outer edge of the shoe, but a gusseted tongue could be effective for keeping these pests at bay.
For more information, contact a supplier of women's hiking shoes.