A guide to proper hiking footwear

Whether someone is new to hiking or they are a grizzled vet that has hiked hundreds of trails, they both face the same question: What hiking boots do I need? Choosing the right footwear can be the difference between a routine hike being pleasurable hike or becoming arduous. Hiking boots are vital to injury prevention, but some people argue sneakers work just as well.

Deciding on the proper hiking boot is a process. There are several styles for every occasion with several characteristics to choose from, but these three make all the difference: type, material, and fit.



Low cut hiking boots: Similar to sneakers, they are designed to be light and flexible. These hiking boots are ideal for day and long distance hikes.

Mid to high cut hiking boots: Designed for short and medium range hikes.They can be used in a variety of terrains and remain comfortable on multi day hikes.

High top hiking boots: Also known as mountaineering boots. They are more than ideal for tougher terrains and offer superior ankle support and durability.



Split grain leather: As the name suggests it’s a combination of leather and synthetics. It creates a lightweight boot that’s breathable at a lower cost. But the boot is less water resistant and durable than its full leather counterpart.

Full grain leather: The material makes it extremely durable and water resistant, but it lacks breath-ability. This boot is ideal for mountaineering and rugged terrains.

Synthetics: Nylon and polyester are often used in making this boot, which allows it to be lightweight. It also dries fast, but is not as resistant to water as the other materials.

Nubuck leather: Has the same velvet texture of suede. This leather boot is both durable and water resistant.

And inducing Vegan: As the name suggests these boots are made without using any products – or by products – made from animals.



Size: Ensure the correct size. The heel should be snug and there should be room around the toes.

Socks: Whether someone is going on a light day hike or a mountaineering trip the same socks that are going to be worn that day need to be worn in the process of finding the correct hiking boot to gauge comfortable.

Breaking them in: Not all boots are a perfect fit right out of the box. So people need to wear their boots for a while before taking them on a hike.


Finding the perfect hiking boot is a necessary process for anyone going on a hike, but it doesn’t need to be a difficult one.