Hiking boots play a really important role in your hiking experience and they can more than make the difference between a difficult, but manageable walk and one which results in lots of blisters and you feeling like you’ll never be able to take another step again. There are lots of different things that you should consider when it comes to picking out the right hiking boots for you, from fit and build quality to style and support.
Lucky for you, I’m here to simplify some of that down with some recommendations on the types of boots that you should consider and what they’re best suited for.
For those gentle walks over fairly well-maintained pathways, you’re not likely to need much more than some lightweight boots with moderate support. Since you’re not likely to be encountering many significant barriers or rough ground, you don’t need to worry about your boots being able to handle things like very wet conditions or rough and uneven surfaces.
Your main priority when choosing these types of boots is to find a pair that provides you with the most comfort. Don’t worry too much about the technical size of a boot, you want to find a pair that fits you nice and comfortably and that might mean stepping (pun not intended) out of your usual range of sizes. Before going to try on these boots you should make sure that you’re wearing the same socks that you will be wearing when you are walking, since this can quite drastically affect the fit of the boots.
These boots will be perfect for walking over more difficult terrain and longer distances. They should have better general support and a higher cut so that they can support your ankles properly, which is a must if you are crossing uneven terrain unless you want to experience a twisted ankle or sprain. These boots should have strong soles and construction so that that can deal with more damage and wear without hurting your feet. You might also want to think more carefully about features like waterproofing so that you don’t hurt your feet after walking for miles in damp or wet boots.
As the name might suggest, these boots will usually be a little heavier than the more basic boots, but it is important that you still find a weight that is comfortable to walk with for long periods of time. There is no point in buying heavy duty boots that quickly become uncomfortable and exhausting to wear. For these types of walks, you just need to focus on striking a balance between durability and comfort.
For when you’ll be crossing quite unstable or uneven ground and you’re likely to be doing some scrabbling or steep climbing, you’re going to need some heavyweight, heavy duty boots. These boots should be tough enough to endure the damage that can be caused when crossing hard or sharp surfaces and they should have strong support (particularly in the ankles) so that you don’t hurt yourself if you lose your balance.
These boots might weigh more and be less comfortable when walking normally, but the support is essential, and they are constructed for comfort when crossing difficult terrain – but be sure to wear them in before undertaking anything significant or you’ll be in for some particularly bad blisters. You should also make sure that you pick up a pair that has strong grips to avoid sliding.
There are lots more subtleties and factors to consider when choosing walking boots, but hopefully, this guide has pointed you in the right direction. If you’re looking to save on some hiking boots, you find lots of deals for outdoors equipment and gear online.