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Selecting a Hiking Boot

July 29, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Whether you are hiking a mountain or simply sitting by a campfire, hiking boots are certainly essential. Despite the fact that many people assume you can wear any shoe, this is not true. Think for a second – would you really go hiking in unsupported shoes? Hiking is an activity that requires a customized shoe – one that will keep your feet comfortable, even when the trails are challenging.

When selecting a hiking boot, you should consider the type of terrain and comfort level. Depending upon how rigorous your activities will be, you may need an extra support and comfort. Flexibility and durability are a must, as you want to make sure that they will last. If you are planning on an extended trip, you should purchase a hiking boot that will support your foot and have insulation.

Once you assess the terrain, you will want to consider size. The last thing you want to do is purchase a boot that is too small or too loose. This will not make for a comfortable experience, especially if you are on a lengthy trail. Not sure where to start? Most recommend that you start with your shoe size. Do you take a size 7 in other shoes? This is the perfect way to try a few pairs on and figure out similarities. It is not surprising to find a hiking boot that is in a completely different size.

No matter what size shoe you are, you need to keep comfort at the top of the list. The materials differ by manufacturer, thus you should make sure that your feet will not be too hot or too cold. Generally made of nylon, mesh or leather, these boots will allow your feet to breathe. They not only are very light weight, but they are very easy to break in. On the other hand, they are not known to be water resistant. Nonetheless, you will want to buy something appropriate for the season.

If you are not into nylon material, full grain leather is an option. Though they are more durable and water resistant, they are much heavier to walk in. However, if you are planning on hiking in rough areas, these boots will certainly lend a helping hand. Are the shoes well made? Normally hiking boots are relatively expensive, thus you want to make sure that the quality is top notch. You will need to make sure that everything is tightly seamed, as water can easily get into the miniscule holes. The soles are an additional area that should be fully inspected.

We know how frustrating it can be to go shoe shopping. While it is a stressful and daunting task, it will ultimately improve your outdoor experiences. In order to be safe and comfortable, you need to select a boot that will cater to your every need. Far too often, consumers do not consider factors such as water resistance, durability, and breathability. If you’re going hiking in the summer, you probably do not want to purchase a heavy leather shoe. By educating yourself and staying informed, you should have no problem finding the best fit.

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