How to Select and Buy the Best Pair of Hiking Boots?

Firstly, let us make one thing clear. Both men and women have the same parameters to choose when buying hiking boots. The features to look for do not differ. Therefore, this post holds good for both the genders.

Hiking boots  are different from walking shoes. They are sturdier and you do not use them for your walking exercise. This is because when you are on your walking exercise, you walk on even surfaces.

When you go hiking, you encounter all sorts of unexplored terrain, which can be uneven and where you come across pits and have to wade through pools of water.

The characteristics will, therefore, differ in both the type of walking gears.

Hiking boots are also referred to as hill boots. People who go mountaineering call them as mountaineering boots. These are all synonyms and refer to the same type of boots.

Boots used when climbing, hiking, hill climbing or rock climbing or walking on very uneven ground, rocky terrain, and possibly unexplored surfaces need some extra features as compared to the walking shoes.

You may be stepping on pebbles, stones, in small ditches and uphill surfaces. Hiking boots are made to help you do that with more comfort and ease.

Hiking footwear extends more upwards and covers the entire ankle. They are firm and support the ankle so that the ankles do not twist or strain because of the uneven movements of the ankles on the uneven surfaces.

Hiking boots are mainly used for climbing, mountaineering, hiking, and during hunting. They hold the foot and leg straight without hindering their movements. Their particular design gives the best possible fit and makes your hiking experience more pleasurable and comfortable.

You could go backpacking carrying your gear on your back. These excursions could extend beyond one day and involve long hikes. All the more reason you should take extra care when you go to buy your  hiking footwear.

The tips given below serve as a guide for both men and women when buying your hiking footwear. Look for the following features. You don’t want a footsore after a hike instead of blister free feet.

How to select good hiking boots? 12 Features to look for

 

1)  Where do you go to buy your hiking boots?

The best place you could go to buy your hiking boots is a store that has multiple brands and a wide variety of footwear. This will help you look for hiking boots that will have all the features described below.

2) Choosing the size

Try on the hiking boots, which correspond to your normal shoe size with your hiking socks on. Walk around, flex and extend your toes several times. Do your feet feel comfortable? If not, try a bigger or smaller size. Walk around in the store for at least 10 minutes. Your feet must feel absolutely free and comfortable.

3) Foot support

Your hiking boot must be rigid to support your ankle and your foot from all sides to prevent your foot from being damaged due to twisting while walking on uneven surfaces.

4)  Weight

They must be light to reduce the strain on your foot and leg muscles.

5)  Arch support

The boot must support the arch of your foot firmly and not allow the arch to flatten under pressure. Make sure you can insert your own custom insole, which you can try and be able to choose the most comfortable fitting one.

A cushioned insole of foam will help here. You should feel your arch of the foot being supported well. You must insert the insoles when and before you purchase your boots.

Insoles wear out over time. You must replace them as soon as this happens.

6)  Toe space

There should be a comfortable distance, say about half an inch, between the toes and the inner front portion of the shoe. This prevents your toes from being crammed and allows for comfortable movement of the toes when you hike.

7)  Material

Your hiking boots must be made of water-resistant material and not allow the moisture due to exposure from a wet hiking surface to seep inside the boot. Moisture can cause blisters on your feet.

To attain this, your shoes must be made of a waterproof/breathable membrane or treated with an exterior chemical treatment. It could be Gore-Tex or a similar lining such as eVent that offers waterproof qualities and breathability.

8)  Outer sole

The outer soles of the boots must be made to grip the walking surface. Hard rubber with deep lugs is best. These will help you to walk comfortably on rocky terrain, which can be slippery.

9) Laces

You should use laces made of nylon-braided cords. This will ensure a comfortable firm fit. Tie your laces tight without hurting your feet.  You can check how to tie your laces at mountainwarehouse.com

10) Collars

Your hiking boots should have padded scree collars, which will protect your Achilles tendon from injury due to chafing. Scree collars are found at the top rear end of your hiking boot.

11)  Type of leather

Ideally, your boots should be made of breathable leather. This allows the sweat and the moisture to evaporate through the material of the boots and keep your feet dry.

12)  Hiking socks

Lastly, wear your specially chosen hiking socks before you try out your boots.

 

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