Whether you are a veteran or newbie in the exciting and adrenalin-rushing world of hiking, you are on the right page if you are looking for the best hiking boots.
This hiking boots buying guide provides valuable and essential information to give you the most helpful pointers in making a lucrative investment on your hiking equipment.
So have a good browse through the options below and go for the very best boots to suit your budget – your feet will certainly appreciate it.
Our Top 5 Recommended Hiking Boots:
Three Main Types of Hiking Footwear Needs:
The special footwear intended and specially designed for the different demands of this outdoor activity come in various types. Here are three of the main types of hiking footwear based on anticipated usage and skill level.
Lightweight Trails – Day Hiking Boots:
As the name implies, these shoes are basically for less-demanding and easy to tread types of terrains or for day hiking. Some of the most common and general features of the footwear include lightweight construction.
Most of these shoes have basically flexible front which bends and follows the foot in a resilient manner. The construction usually has durable and sturdy finish through double stitched down and Gore-Tex lining waterproof features.
Other important schemes for light hiking footwear include secure lacing system for snug fit, modern and stylish design and slip-resistant bottom support.
Mid-Weight – Mid-Cut Backpacking Boots:
Hiking boots with mid-weight features are perfect for backpacking activities. Without these must-have shoes, you could easily get injured on the trail.
There are high-quality boots which are designed for less friction and better sides to avoid rubbing and friction to the foot. Whether you tread streams or snows, these are great foot protectors and security.
High top boots are better for the rocky trail to provide ankle support. The waterproof and breathable qualities are important for the ultimate comfort no matter how extreme the terrains may be.
High-Cut Mountaineering – Long-Distance Trekking Boots:
High-cut designs for hiking boots are often with leather or suede construction materials. These have superior waterproofing treatment especially made for the most extreme outdoor activities.
It has solid construction with sole support and durable texture. The thick and flexible bottom support makes sure you get to slip and slides without spraining your feet.
High-cut construction system usually has proper lacing technology which tightens the boots to the legs and ankles and prevents heel slippage.
Hiking Boots – Best Brands:
Choosing the best boots for hiking and trekking is quite tricky and challenging. To find the best among the overflowing selections in the market today, it is important to base your decision on the brands.
Trusted manufacturers make durable and premium quality footwear for men and women enthusiasts of the outdoors.
- Merrell: These boots generally have customized fit with inner lining for cushion and feet protection. Most of their boots are made with healthy and eco-friendly construction, with features such as stability, shock absorbency and bottom support with the flexible and durable finish.
- Vasque: Models from this stylish brand for outdoor footwear are constructed with lightweight and waterproof features. You could find the perfect items for men and women with contemporary and new models best for light day hiking to easy and medium trails. The best thing about this brand is that the superior comfortable design guarantees very little or no breaking in period at all.
- Keen: Hiking shoes and footwear for this brand are basically quick dry and perfect to use for all types of season. Some of the highlighted designs of the boots in their selection include mesh lining cushion, in and out waterproof technology with odor treatment for hygiene and health.
- Timberland: This durable brand offers tough construction for extremely demanding terrains. It has double stitch features and anti-abrasion outer construction with shock absorbent technology for maximum foot security.
- Columbia: If you see this name, the first thing that comes to mind would be durability and multi-purpose, flexible features. There are hiking shoes for men and women with smooth roll systems, very protective cushion and simple iconic designs to help you do practically anything in the outdoors.
There are so many other brands to choose from if you want quality, comfort, durability and exceptional foot support for all hiking activities.
Some of the most popular and highly in demand brands include North Face, Hi-Tec, New Balance, Adidas, Asolo, Zamberlan, Scarpa, Salomon, Baffin, Dr. Martens, Ecco, Garmont, La Sportiva, Kayland and Irish Setter.
How to Find the Best Hiking Boots:
Hiking is a great outdoor activity which involves walking in natural environments such as mountainous areas, wooded areas and other types of uneven terrain.
Because of the uneven terrain you really shouldn’t be hiking with just any shoes. You should have the right hiking boots to enjoy the whole hiking experience.
The following qualities should be taken into consideration when looking for the best hiking boots for the job.
This is probably the most important factor to look for in hiking boots. If you pick a pair of hiking boots that aren’t comfortable then every other factor is unimportant.
The best way to find a comfortable pair of hiking footwear is to visit different stores and actually try on various pairs so that you can find the best ones that feel comfortable on your feet.
Make sure that you bring the kind of socks that you are going to use with the boots when you actually go hiking so that you can ensure that they fit properly with the right kind of socks (we prefer thick wool socks).
Make sure you get the correct size, by letting a shoe salesman take the foot measurements. That’s what they are there for, to make sure you get the right fit. Once you put on the boots, make sure you take the time to walk around the store, so that you can tell if the boots are comfortable.
Remember, you will most likely be wearing them for hours and that you are going to be using them on uneven terrain, therefore comfort is a huge factor.
If the hiking boots are not comfortable while trying them in the store, do not buy them assuming that they will get better or break-in the more you use them.
The best boots will feel comfortable from the first moment you put them on.
Depending on the weather conditions and the time of the year when you do your hiking, it can be important to choose water-resistant boots.
Even if you don’t normally go hiking in a rainy or wet season, you still might run in to wet conditions, either accidentally or by design as you splash through a small stream that gets in your way.
Having water-resistant hiking boots will help prevent water from penetrating into the boots which can be uncomfortable and can actually cause other health problems with your feet (always bring an extra pair of dry socks when hiking).
If you can prevent water from getting into the boots in the first place, then you won’t have to worry about people complaining about the odor of your boots when you kick them off in front of the fire.
Water-resistant hiking boots should also be made of a breathable material. This will help ensure that air circulates to the feet which will keep them cool and comfortable when hiking which will allow you to hike for long periods of time in comfortable bliss.
When choosing your next hiking boots, it is important that you consider the weight of the boots. heavy boots will most likely shorten your hiking trips due to fatigue unless you’re a glutton for pain.
Hiking boots generally weigh the same but some are rather heavy. The heavier hiking footwear is generally more durable or tough but that comes at the price of making hiking a test of your thigh strength when hiking should be about enjoying your surroundings and having fun.
The extra weight will put extra strain on the leg muscles while hiking which can cause other types of injuries. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have hiking boots with thick soles, it just means that you should consider the weight of the boots because you will be wearing them and walking in them for extended periods of time while hiking.
This is an important factor that people tend to overlook because they only try them out for a short period of time in the store. But you should definitely consider the weight when looking for the best hiking boots.
Hiking footwear can have low, medium or high tops around the ankle area. When choosing hiking boots, you should generally stick to the taller boots.
Tall hiking boots will give more ankle support and because hiking is generally done on uneven terrain, strong ankle support is a good thing.
A low top hiking boot is mostly fine for hiking in a flat terrain where the rocks are small and few, but in a more rugged terrain, hiking boots with a medium or high top are preferred because they will provide additional protection from sticks on the ground and even from dangerous plants and insects which could injure you while hiking.
Most hiking boots are made from various materials which include; canvas, nylon blends, and leather.
You can find many boots that are good quality from all of these materials, just like you can find crappy hiking boots made from any of those materials.
Your best bet is to read hiking boot reviews and to pay attention to different manufacturers quality of construction. When it comes to hiking boot construction, it is important to take a close look at the sole of the boots.
Make sure that the sole is securely fastened and not glued to the boot. Check the tread pattern of the sole. If the grooves are deep, the treads are likely to last longer.
Also, take a close look at the stitching of the boot material. Make sure that it looks like it is held together well and not going to rip the first time you slip on a rock.
When it comes to finding the right hiking boots there are a lot of factors to consider but pay attention to the five factors we have listed above and you will be well ahead of the game.
“All About Hiking Boots”
Fit and Comfort – Tips for Trying on Boots:
The rule of thumb before purchasing your hiking boots is not just to try it out if it is okay and working longer.
Breaking in your boots is vital and it is more demanding and harder compared to breaking into your basketball shoes since these are usually made from solid leather.
To avoid developing blisters, break in! To ensure fit and comfort for the footwear you intend to buy, here are more tips to remember:
- Take your time in fitting several pairs of boots before you make the final decision and find the perfect footwear to buy.
- Choose quality over fancy tags to ensure better solid construction, sturdiness, and protection especially for rough and demanding terrains.
- Look for boots which could withstand all weather and terrain conditions.
- Determine your boot-fit size for correct and accurate fitting.
- Try boots with thick walking socks you intend to use for your actual hiking adventure.
Buying hiking boots should be considered an investment. The boots that you will buy will probably last quite a while without the need for replacement. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to invest a little more money into a good pair of hiking boots that will last equally as long.
Go for quality, safety, and conformity in your choices of outdoor footwear to ensure comfort and protection.
Enjoy the trail!