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6 Questions to Ask When Buying Hiking Boots

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Hiking Boots

Vasque at ShopStyle

If you choose your hiking boots carefully, you can wear the same pair for years. But tracking down the perfect pair is easier said than done. I recently purchased a new pair of hikers, and they seem promising; I'll know after I break them in!

If you're gearing up for some cold-weather hikes, don't forget to bring these questions along when you head into the store.

  • Will you be hiking on wet ground? If so, it's worth investing in a pair of waterproof boots; they are more expensive but essential for preventing moisture-based blisters.
  • Do you need a heavy or light shoe? The heavier the boot, the tougher your hiking will be. For day hikes, a lighter boot is best, but if you're scaling inclines and/or carrying a heavy pack, you need the extra support of a heavier shoe.
  • Do you need ankle support? If you are going to be hiking on steep inclines or uneven terrain, get a boot that covers the ankles, rather than a low shoe such as an approach shoe. This will help prevent injury.

Three more tips, so keep reading.

  • Are you shopping at the right time? To better mimic your feet when hiking, shop late in the day and take a 15-minute walk before you head to the store. Be sure to bring socks like the ones you'll be hiking in.
  • Are the boots snug but not tight? You should feel the boots hugging your feet and ankles as you walk but your toe should not touch the end or the top of the shoe, and you shouldn't feel pressure concentrated on specific areas.
  • Do they feel good going up and down? Stores often have a ramp where you can get a feel for your boots on an incline. Try walking up and down and test the fit beyond flat ground.

Got your own hiking-boot-shopping tips to share? Please leave them below in the comments. Happy hiking!

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Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
middle of shoe* sorry.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
middle of shoe* sorry.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
I'm in the market of getting new hiking boots and have been meaning to go to the store to get some. My old pair, the one I still use, has a giant tear from toe to med shoe. It's still in tact, but stuff does get under the material. Are there certain brands that are better than others price wise?
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