Hikers need to know how to choose Hiking Boots, and Hiking Boots, like everything else, come in all shapes and sizes, and Hikers, no matter what their shape and size, have to tackle all sorts of different types of terrain. So the humble Hiking Boot has to be a Jack of all trades, and has to be able to cover every Hiker’s needs.
There are all sorts of hikers and hikes, from those who love a quiet countryside stroll, to those who thrive on the adrenaline rush of taking on near impossible routes. No matter which of these categories you fit into, we all share a love of the outdoors. And, we probably all have suitable hiking boots.
Are Hiking Boots a necessity?
Modern hiking boots can be expensive and the best ones can look and feel great but cost an extortionate amount of money. So, if they are so expensive, are they really necessary when we’re newbies and just getting into Hiking? Unfortunately for your wallet, the answer is yes.
Good Hiking Boots are almost certainly your most important priority when choosing hiking equipment. Hiking is all about walking, climbing, slipping, sliding, splashing in puddles and speeding down hills that are ridiculously steep. There is no denying it, hiking gives your feet a real workout, and the more you learn about choosing hiking boots, the better chance you give yourself of choosing the right boots for you.
So what are we looking for in Hiking Boots?
How to Choose Hiking Boots – Solid foundations
A solid foundation is always a good place to start. The boots should have a good solid feeling to the bottom of them. We’re not talking Military Drill boots here, just something to stop sharp stones and rocks from impacting the soles of your feet and bruising you.
If you can twist the sole between your two hands, then they are probably not going to be a good boot for taking on rocky trails. If your soles aren’t tough enough under your feet, the impacts from stepping on countless rocks and stones are soon going to be unbearable through the bottom of your feet.
How to Choose Hiking Boots – Side Protection
You are not only looking for protection from the bottom, but also from anything that might impact you from the sides. Good hiking boots have extra padding to protect your feet from protruding rocks, stones, branches and edges that could stab into the side of your feet from the trail. Make sure any Hiking Boots you are considering offer these features, or believe me, you will regret it later.
How to Choose Hiking Boots – Plenty of Ankle Support
When choosing hiking boots, it’s important to be sure they are going to provide you with the support that your ankles need to last many hours of pounding the trails. To check out how much ankle support a boot is going to provide, grab the top of the boot and try to twist it and bend it over to the sides. If the boot bends very easily, it’s probably not going to provide the level of support you need. The top of the boot has to be stiff enough to hold your ankle upright and sure it up.
How to Choose Hiking Boots – Something to keep your Feet Dry
Wet feet are going to start to feel uncomfortable pretty quickly, and they are going to cause your socks to start moving around inside your boot and cause blisters. Once you get blisters, you are out of the game, very few normal people have the willpower to carry on with painful blisters on their feet.
With this in mind, it makes sense to mitigate the risk of wet feet by choosing waterproof Hiking Boots. Goretex Boots, or similar brand breathable fabric boots have become more affordable for the mass market in the last couple of years. It makes sense to choose wisely and plan for the worst, even if you live in a predominantly dry environment like me here in Spain.
There you have it. You are fore-warned and fore-armed with the information you need to pick your first Hiking Boots. Go for it, and hit some trails.
How to Choose Hiking Boots – Top Tips
If you visit a few Outdoors shops and try on a few pairs of hiking boots that fit the bill, it is often worth while to check back on Amazon or Ebay to see if there are any deals going on where you can generally pick the same model up for a bit cheaper.
However, the golden rule is not to scrimp on quality for the sake of a cheap deal. Buying good quality hiking boots is a great investment, and your feet will thank you for it in the long run.