how to buy hiking boots

Remember, hiking boots will never feel like bedroom slippers, but if you are consistently developing blisters and have uncomfortable pressure points, please call our Outdoor Hotline at 800-226-7552, any day between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST.
Today’s top-quality hiking boots, including many of L.L.Bean’s fabric-and-leather boots, are made with a Gore-Tex® lining that keeps water out while allowing perspiration to escape.
Fabric-and-leather boots are lighter and easier to break in, but all-leather boots offer added protection and durability in rigorous terrain, as well as being water resistant and breathable.
Select boots that are designed to provide the support and protection you will need for the most difficult terrain you expect to encounter.
Nothing can end a great outdoor experience quicker than painful blisters, pinched toes or even injuries caused by inappropriate hiking boots.
Before you begin shopping for a pair of hiking boots, think carefully about what kind of hiking you plan to do.
Most hiking boots won’t feel as instantly comfortable as sneakers, but they shouldn’t pinch, cause hot spots or constrict circulation.
If you are going to encounter steeper inclines and muddy paths, or plan to stay out three days to a week, then you will need some sturdier, higher-cut waterproof boots.
As a result, hiking boots are lighter but still offer plenty of support.
Leather boots in particular take a while to break in, so take a couple of two- or three-hour hikes before your big trip or wear them around the house or even while mowing your lawn.
If you plan to climb in the mountains (and might even need to attach crampons for a better grip on glaciers or hard-packed snow), you will want an extremely strong boot with a stiff sole to give your ankles support and protection as you climb on challenging terrain.
When trying on boots, wear the socks you plan to wear on the trail.
Remember that great hiking boots do not have to weigh a great deal.

Maybe you plan to hike in your home state where you are familiar with the terrain, or do you plan to hike cross-continental trails like the Pacific Crest Trail? For the most versatile hiking shoe, comfort is key! But important considerations include the necessity for semi-aggressive to very aggressive tread, water resistance, and tongue designs.
Our thorough review of 13 pairs of womens hiking shoes discusses the similarities and differences of varying material constructions, weight, water resistance, and comfort while highlighting key features such as unique lacing systems and waterproof, breathable mesh outers.
Trail running shoes are only offered in low cut designs and are constructed with soft rubber soles for flexibility while running, thick tread patterns for managing trail terrain, and breathable, lightweight mesh or nylon uppers.
Unless you are choosing a minimalist trail running shoe, many weigh in at around 1.5-2 pounds- similar weight to hiking shoes.
Hiking shoes provide a happy medium between the simplicity and light weight of trail running shoes and the durability and support of hiking boots.
Suede uppers offer more flexibility and breathability on the trail, but not as much support and weather protection as a full-grain leather.
Technical hiking boots are built for experienced hikers trekking on a multi-day hike over a variety of terrains.
These boots are outfitted with maximum support, full-grain uppers and added cushioning.
Explore trail shoes and hiking boots from popular brands, including Merrell®, KEEN® and Columbia®.
Shanks, located in the midsole of your boot, offer added stability and support.
Does the boot feel too narrow on the sides in the area just behind your toes (the "ball" of the foot)? Is it too tight in the middle part of your foot on either side of the arch? If so, look for another boot.
  Finding your "Golden Slipper" – When shopping for new boots, I would recommend that you stay away from boot brands made for hunters (high-top boots) or those sold through shoe stores.
Do they feel good? Does the boot "break" (or crease) across the top of the toes comfortably when you stride forward? If the top of the boot feels like it’s jamming the back of your toes when you stride forward, then look for another pair.
Wide feet wedged into tight boots can eventually cause the boot leather or fabric to relax and stretch, allowing the foot to extend beyond the sole of the boot.
Why doesn’t your friend’s boot work for you? Because all boots are made on different "lasts".
After you have reviewed your choices and "tested" each boot design for sole and ankle rigidity (see the points outlined above), ask the salesman to bring you a pair.
The "bare foot" test will quickly eliminate any boots that are clearly not designed for your foot.
Then, very gently, slide your "foot cut-out" into the boot.
After years of fitting boots all shapes and sizes of boots, veteran REI boot-fitters can sometimes eyeball a customer’s foot type and suggest footwear that he or she has found to be successful with other shoppers with similar feet.
Found on some waterproof/breathable boots, a rand is the wide rubber wrap encircling the boot (or sometimes just the toe area) where the upper meets the midsole.
Also, try squatting while wearing the boots to see if any part of the boot digs into your foot while it is fully flexed.
If you feel each bump on the Brannock, the boot you’re wearing is likely not stiff enough to protect your feet on an extended backpacking trip.
Beefy backpacking boots, for example, are usually not necessary if all you are planning are day hikes—unless a backpacking boot offers you the most comfort.
Shop REI’s selection of men’s light hiking boots and women’s light hiking boots.
Most commonly used in backpacking boots built for extended trips, heavy loads and rugged terrain.
Do your feet slide forward as you walk downhill? (If so, the boot may be too high in volume or the laces too loose.) Do your toes feel crammed as you walk down a decline? (The boot may be too narrow or, again, too high in volume.) You should not be able to feel your toes hitting the end of the toebox.
Synthetic socks dry out quickly on a clothesline; on active feet inside boots, they can sometimes retain moisture a little more persistently.
During extended rest breaks, take your boots off (maybe your socks, too) and air out your feet.
Polyurethane is generally firmer and more durable, so it’s usually found in extended backpacking and mountaineering boots.
Mountaineering boots: These weightier boots with stiff midsoles are designed to a) accommodate heavy loads and b) accept crampons for glacier travel.
A stiff boot won’t allow your foot to wrap around every rock or tree root you step on and consequently wear out your feet.
A: Most modern boots can go from box to trail without any adverse effects, though it’s always best to get familiar with new footwear during short periods of time around the house.
Shop REI’s selection of men’s hiking boots and women’s hiking boots.
The outsoles of hiking boots are typically bonded to the midsole and upper with an adhesive.
REI sales specialists have tried on many of the store’s boots and can give you reliable advice on what boots might fit your feet.
They often flex easily and require little break-in time, but they lack the support and durability of stout backpacking boots.
Old-school methods of breaking in boots, such as soaking boots in water before hiking in them, are now considered obsolete and can potentially damage boots.
We asked, you answered! Here are your 35 favorite outdoor movies, including runaway winner ‘The Way:’ Any other gems that we left off the list? Let us know in the comments.
Choosing your location will enable us to select specific content to your area.
Your device may prompt you to enable location services.
Your browser may prompt you to enable location services.
A too-heavy boot can cause fatigue and blisters; a too-light shoe can lead to twisted ankles.
Choose enable to continue the search.
>> Before trying a single boot on, decide how much support, protection, and weatherproofing you need.
Every manufacturer uses a different last, which can have subtle differences in width, volume, and shape.
Discuss any problems you’ve had with past boots, including heel blisters, bruised toenails, and whether you’ve noticed differences between your feet.
Most stores know that people change their minds, but if you need to exchange the boots, be respectful and don’t try to refund your boots after a 10-mile slog in the mud.
I recently purchased a pair of hiking boots online, only to discover that they make my feet blister and hurt.
When walking downhill, you don’t want your toes to hit the front of the boot.
Rating is available when the video has been rented.
Ratings have been disabled for this video.
Geared toward short and medium hikes (about 1-10 miles) on easy to moderate terrain, light hiking boots offer a little more support than trail shoes without much added weight.
Ideal for extended hikes (10 or more miles) and trekking over rougher terrain, midweight hiking boots provide increased support and cushioning.
Hiking footwear can be divided into four main categories: trail shoes, light hiking boots, midweight hiking boots and heavy-duty mountaineering boots.
Waterproof breathable linings like Gore-Tex® fabric can be built into hiking shoes and boots to prevent moisture from passing through permeable materials and reaching your feet.
Hiking shoes and hiking boots made using a combination of nylon and split-grain leather or suede are lightweight and moderately durable.
There are several support layers in hiking shoes and boots, including the insole, midsole, shank and outsole.
Mid hiking boots are capable of taking on more elevation gain and fairly rugged terrain, although they’re still not ideal for technical alpine ascents or ice climbing.
Light hiking boots are suitable for mild to moderate elevation gain, but not technical ascents or extremely rugged terrain.
Page title Most recent update Last edited by Choosing hiking boots October 6, 2013 4:04 PM Tony C.
Backpacking boots differ from lighter hiking boots; rocky steep terrain requires a different boot than flat or rolling hills.
The Rhode Island Hiking Club " Walks & Rambles "offer’s a variety of hikes from the beginner to the more experienced .We tend to engage in rather challenging hikes often through rough terrain.
Buying a pair of boots may be one of the most critical preparations you make for a backpacking or hiking vacation – if your feet are happy and healthy throughout the trip, chances are much better that you will be too! And if you buy well, you will have this pair of boots for many years.
About the Rhode Island Hiking Club October 21, 2012 9:15 AM Tony C.
1) Go to a reputable retail store where they have a boot department and people who know their boots and how to fit the right boot to the right foot.
Boot Fitting Guide December 1, 2012 9:22 PM Tony C.
Hiking Ten Essentials plus Four December 9, 2012 10:19 PM Tony C.
Target, the Bullseye Design and Bullseye Dog are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc.
© 2014 Target Brands, Inc.
This Hiking guide will teach you how to get started in hiking, what gear beginner hikers should look at, especially hiking boots, socks and backpacks that is available from outdoor stores today, and how to make the right choice that will fit your personal requirements for the hiking trail you want to hike.
All you need to get started in hiking is some good confortable boots, appropriate outdoor clothing and access to an area that allows you to enjoy the experience.
Hiking Sticks or Poles, GPS units and/or a compass, hiker packpacks, containers and an array of other items like bug spray, burn cream, bandages can make life on the trail a lot more pleasant whilst on a hiking trail.
Copyright © 2014 Cheap Shoes Online Store.
Light weight trail shoes, running shoes, or ultralight boots will not sap you of energy nearly as fast as full-blown, clunky hiking boots will.
Most shoe-wearing thru-hikers wear trail runners (or trail shoes), but running shoes are popular amongst ultralight hikers.
If you decide that you need more ankle support than a pair of shoes can give you, you may look into ultralight hiking boots instead of traditional hiking boots.
Shoes are lighter, breathe better, dry faster, are cheaper, tend to cause fewer blisters, and are often more comfortable than hiking boots.
If you choose running shoes, you may also want to wear a pair of lightweight gaiters.
They don’t breathe as well as running shoes, but they have out-soles designed for better traction on the trail.
Water resistant shoes are fine for shorter hikes, and will still do a decent job of keeping your feet dry in mild weather or light rain.
Comfort is the single most important factor to consider when purchasing a new pair of hiking shoes.
The proper hiking shoes are probably the single most important factor in determining whether or not you will enjoy your hike.
Waterproof hiking shoes are available at all price levels, although they do tend to cost a bit more than simply water resistant shoes.
Along these lines, prepare to spend a good deal of time at the store trying out a variety of different styles of shoes.
Leather tends to last longer and if well cared for, leather hiking boots can last for many years.
Leather boots tend to need time to get broken in by wearing them for shorter periods at first.
The most common construction materials for hiking boots are canvas/nylon blends and leather.
The reason for this is that if your feet are carrying the extra weight of heavy boots, they will sap needed energy from your body.
There are two different schools of thought in the hiking world regarding shoe weight.
Hiking boots are all based on something called a "last," which in footwear lingo is the solid plastic mold around which the boot is built.
If you positively must shop online, or if the sales clerk is so boorish that you can’t envision spending your money at that store, memorize the boot brand, model, and serial number and…buy online.
Many boot designs use d-rings or eyelets on the foot and speed hooks on the ankle.
This boot has superior quality compared to other boots that I`ve looked at in the malls and outlet stores.
great for work, casual wear, riding motorcycles, a everything all in one boot.
All in all its a good boot and I plan on buying another pair with steel toes for work.
But when I got them they were heavy like my work boot and the leather was think and hardy, it was clear that this was a quality work boot.
Great looking and high quality leather boot.
Great price for a boot of this quality.
Recently I've bought most of my hiking boots from Sportsman's Guide… they're hit or miss, but they occasionally have very good deals on Merrell and other boots (and other stuff as well).
Only after finding a good outfitter and stacking boxes of boots around you and trying each one on and walking around the store and on the stores incline apparatus can you narrow it down to a pair or two that fit your particular feet.
It's hard to recommend a "best" brand of hiking boot because the best hiking boot is the one that fits your feet.
I've never tried on a Vasque boot that fit… but my hiking buddy (who has wider feet than me) swears by them, and buys nothing else.
I would not call ECCO a true hiking boot, the ECCO boots that I have seen offer not torsional support.
Right now I'm wearing a pair of inexpensive Coleman (yes, the camping gear people) hiking boots.
I've worn Vasque hiking and backpacking boots for about 15 years now.
They should also be able to recommend suitable socks and insoles for you and show you good techniques for lacing your boots, this can affect the fit and prevent excessive movement inside the boot.
Well not really a hiking boot , but if you want a good pair of boot's that are comfortable and last a long time get a pair of "whites" .
There are so many companies that make good quality boots nowadays, but all feet are different and you must have them properly fitted.
I learned this lesson long ago when I paid nearly $300 for a pair of hiking boots that came very highly recommended by numerous people.
They should look at your feet without socks on to assess the shape of your feet and wether you have any problems such as bunions or pronate/supinate excessively, measure your feet, recommend boots suitable for your shape of foot and test the fit of boots you try on an inclined slope.
Wearing winter-specific hiking boots in the summer will leave you with worn out treads in short order (very soft composites for better ice traction) while wearing summer-specific hiking boots in the winter could be treacherously slippery because of how much harder hot weather rubber composites are.
If is also a good idea to buy hiking boots from a store deals primarily in back packing.
I use Vasque, and Merrill's, avoid Nevodas which just look like hiking boots and don't last.
Boots… every boot manufacturer builds their boots on a "last", which is basically a metal replica of a foot that they form the leather around.
I was asked by a friend of mine what is the best brand of hiking boots out there.
If you buy a pair of boots that fits one foot absolutely perfectly that leaves one that needs custom fitted and that's where a good outfitter comes in.
The key to buying a boot os the be willing to spend time trying boots int the style you are interested from several companies.
I think I have a pretty good boot but I am not going to tell you what I have because the odds are against my boots being the best for you.
I have nothing against the material itself, but the boots have a tennis shoe type sole, which is not what I want in a boot.
Male? Female? What's the typical terrain? Are you going up steep inclines or long walks on relatively flat land? Lot of water crossing or very little? All year or just fair weather? Strong ankles or weak ankles? I have boots from at least 4 of the previously mentioned brands and each is for a different kind of terrain and use.
As others have stated, If your feet are a different shape, you might not like the fit of those boots at all.
Myself I find that Vasque boots fit my feet the best.
I personally would like to know how many of us use snake boots as hiking boots and what is the best brand for those as well.
Now my feet are comfortable, my boots work great, and no crap goes in my shoes.
Are our ankle joints and feet muscles so helpless that armoured ankle support and stiff soles have become necessary? Has the thousands of years of evolution let us down with respect to our feet and gait, so much so, that we need a heel raised, padded, stiff soled, nobby treaded, ankle supporting devices to walk safely in the woods? If our feet and ankles need extra support, then would it not be nice to go all the way up to our knees and brace them also? O.K. I’m being silly, but: “Look at the shit we wear on our feet”, as stated by Tom Brown Jr., well known tracker and author of various wilderness guide books, and founder of the popular outdoor wilderness school ( Tom Brown Jr., personal communication 1992).
The Vermont Green Mountain Club has urged people not to hike in the early spring when trails are wet because of the damage done by hiking boots and went on to say “Take off your Vibram soled shoes as soon as you can” and “sneakers, moccasins, or even bare feet, have far less impact on the ground cover” (Watterman 1982).
Are hiking boots nothing more than “something worn by people in urban infrastructures in an attempt to appear more ecologically conscious thereby riding some kind of environmental wave” (Yee, D, personal communication 1995)? “Raised footwear, such as hiking boots, increase your chances of twisting an ankle or injury, flat soled runners are more appropriate for hiking” (Martin, T., RN, personal communication 1995).
Well then, is it appropriate for outdoor recreational users in terms of backpacking or hiking to wear hiking boots? Or are they just an aesthetic feature of the outdoor experience, conjured up by various footwear factions, hoping to convince people to buy something other than what is necessary (like so many other trivial gadgets and gear that are supposed offer enhanced technique but all to often simply replace traditional skill).

No tags for this post.