How To Select Hiking Boots?

How To Select Hiking Boots

The best hiking boots are the ones that fit your feet, and this article will help you find the perfect pair. Learn about how to select hiking boots for different purposes, what materials they’re made of, what styles there are out there, and if they have any special features. You’ll also need to know how to care for your new footwear so it lasts as long as possible. Get all the information here!

How To Select Hiking Boots?

Hiking boots are one of the most important pieces of hiking equipment that you need. They protect your feet from things like sharp rocks, sticks, and other things that could hurt them while hiking. Hiking boots also have the potential to make the hike safer for you because they can grip to slippery surfaces better than regular shoes or sneakers.

Keep in mind where you’ll be hiking – if it’s hot, keep in mind how much water your boots might let in while hiking. If it’s cold where you go hiking, choose a boot with insulation for warmth.

What To Look For In A Hiking Boot

Water Resistance

Water resistant boots are great because they don’t absorb water after falling in a creek or stream. Sometimes it’s better to go for waterproof though, if you’ll be hiking in mud or snow. Check your local reviews to see what others say about the water resistance of each boot.


When trying on different hiking boots, wear whatever socks you will be wearing when hiking so that you can get an accurate feel for how comfortable the shoe is. The most common type of comfort found in hiking boots is arch support . This makes sure that your foot isn’t too high above the ground which could cause blisters and discomfort while walking.


If you live where there’s a lot of humidity, choose a boot that is well ventilated on the inside to help prevent blisters from forming. Look for boots with mesh on the inside along with good breathability.


A heavy pair of hiking boots isn’t going to do you any favors when choosing a pair. Most hiking boots come in at about 2 pounds but there are lightweight options available if weight is an issue. You can expect your feet to get tired more quickly when wearing a heavy shoe, after all your carrying some extra weight!


More expensive doesn’t always mean better waterproofing . Before laying down some cash, make sure the boot has decent reviews regarding its water resistance and note where you’ll be using it so you can ensure it’s water proof enough for the conditions you’ll be hiking in.

Types Of Hiking Boots

Day Hiking Boots  

If you’re just going out for a day hike and it won’t be strenuous, then a light weight boot with good tread would serve your needs well. Remember that if there is any chance of snow or ice on the ground, even on a mild day, traction devices should be used . It is easy to slip and twist an ankle when walking across ice or wet leaves. A lightweight waterproof boot would work great because you don’t want to come home from your hike with soaking wet feet.   

Backpacking Boots

Backpacking boots are designed for long hikes over multiple days where they have to support your body weight over long periods of time. They are usually high top, have laces that can be loosened or tightened easily, and most importantly have many features for extra comfort.

Trekking Boots

These boots are lighter than backpacking boots with a lower ankle cut that will give you more stability when crossing rough terrain .

Mountaineering Boots

If you plan on climbing any snow covered peaks in the next year, these are the boots for you! Mountaineering boots are typically made of rubber or leather with thick soles designed to grip ice. Some also come with removable boot spikes attached to the sole of the boot which enable better traction on slippery surfaces.  

Rock Climbing Shoes And Approach Shoes

If you plan on climbing lots of rocks or boulders, a pair of rock climbing shoes will help provide extra grip when ascending. Approach shoes are an excellent choice for multi-day hikes because they’re lightweight and breathable . They don’t have any insulation so if the weather is cold you’ll need to add an extra layer underneath them.

Water Shoes

These are great if you plan on hiking in warm climates or along the beach where there could be sharp rocks that might cut up your feet. Water shoes usually fit like a glove, light weight and flexible with a thin sole which makes it easy to feel around for smooth surfaces while protecting your feet from getting cut at the same time. These aren’t going to do well when used in cold or wet conditions.

How To Select Hiking Boots


What are the best waterproof shoes for hiking?

The most effective type of waterproofing is Gore Tex which can be found in high-end models like the ones made by North Face.  If this brand isn’t within your budget, brands like Merrell and Kamik also make good water resistant shoes that will keep your feet dry in mild rain/snow conditions.

How should I choose my size when buying hiking boots?

There are a few things you can do to help ensure that you get a pair of boots that fit perfectly. Try them on with the socks you will be wearing when hiking so that it provides an accurate picture of how well they’ll fit. A good fitting boot will be snug all the way through with no spaces between your heel and the back of the boot. There should also be a slight amount of wiggle room for your toes so that they don’t feel squeezed when you walk. Some people even put on two pair of socks to help give their feet some added room.

How do I know if I need gaiters?

Gaiters provide extra protection from snow, rain, dirt and twigs that can get into your boots while hiking or mountaineering. They attach to the top of your hiking shoes/boots with clips over the laces and around your lower leg providing an additional layer against whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at you. They can be made out of various materials like nylon, Gore Tex or leather depending on the expected conditions.

What are hiking poles/trekking poles?

Hiking/Trekking poles are an excellent addition to your gear because they help ease pressure off your knees and ankles while walking. They also act as a third leg giving you extra stability if you encounter slippery surfaces which could cause you to fall. Most poles adjust to accommodate different size heights and usually come with wrist straps for added support when going downhill.

Should I get a half size bigger for hiking boots?

It depends on what you plan to use the hiking boots for. If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking in warm weather conditions, going up a half size might help provide your feet with additional room for comfort. In wet or cold conditions however, your feet will get swollen from being outside – so if that’s the case stay true to your regular size.


Hiking boots serve many purposes, and it’s important to find the ones that will work best for your needs. To help you make a decision, we’ve created above list of things to consider when selecting hiking boots. Decide what type of hiker you are before making a purchase so you can get the most enjoyment out of your new pair!

References : 5 Tips for Choosing Hiking Boots

John Oakley

Hi, I am John Oakley- The Guy behind this site. I am an avid hiker and long distance walker. I love to experiment with new gear for hiking and walking and this site is a result of my passion for reviewing and checking the best walking shoes and hiking gear.

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