How To Find The Perfect Hiking Boot

The most important item in your outdoor wardrobe, hiking boots grant you the ability to traverse challenging terrain, work to keep your entire body comfortable and supported while carrying heavy loads and help regulate temperature and dryness. They’re also a difficult purchase to get right, particularly if you’re buying online. Here’s how to do that.

What type of boots are right for you? First, ask yourself how you plan to use them. In an ideal world, you’d have a different pair of footwear for every different condition, backpack weight and length of hike. But, that’s not economically feasible for most of us, particularly given the high cost of quality boots — the only kind you should be buying. So, you’ll need a compromise.

Leather or Textile? The great debate. Textile boots are lighter and more affordable. Leather boots are heavier and more expensive, they’ll also last much longer, often a decade or more of constant wear, and can be resoled thanks to using stitches rather than glue in that area.

Fit: Develop some understanding of your foot size and shape and when and where it feels best. When trying on a boot, you want your toes to be able to freely wiggle and shouldn’t feel any pinching in that area. Your foot should lay flat inside the boot, again without feeling bunched up or constricted.

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