How To Choose Hiking Boots

In the market for new hiking boots?

If so, you’ll want to know everything there is to know when choosing this product.

That’s what this guide is for – you’l learn everything you need to know so you can buy the best pair of hiking boots possible.


This Video Sums Everything Up Quickly

Here’s a good video that explains things:

Pretty simple, right?

Hiking Boot Types

Hiking boots come in different categories. There are hiking shoes, day hiking boots, and backpacking boots. Those are the main hiking boot or hiking shoe categories that most people will find.

Different boot and shoe brands will have different characteristics overall. It’s important for people to compare brands when it comes to selecting the best possible hiking boots and shoes for their purposes.

Hiking shoes and boots do tend to differ in important ways. People should know in advance whether or not they’re interested in hiking shoes or hiking boots. They should be able to narrow down the vast selection of hiking boots and hiking shoes from there.

Hiking Shoes And Hiking Boots

All of these hiking boots will vary in terms of weight. Hiking boots will typically be heavier than hiking shoes. People who plan on running across trails might be better off with hiking shoes. Hiking shoes are probably also good choices for the people who are interested in less challenging trails during the warmer months.

Hiking boots will offer more protection than hiking shoes in almost all cases. Boots provide more coverage than shoes almost by definition. It’s also true that hiking boots tend to be made of relatively thick materials. People who are interested in taking on challenging hiking trails under difficult weather conditions should consider purchasing hiking boots.

Day Hiking Boots And Backpacking Boots

The differences between day hiking boots and backpacking boots are often subtle. It’s often true that backpacking boots are tougher than day hiking boots. A day hike is typically milder than a backpacking trip.

Some people will go on backpacking trips for days at a time. They will obviously need boots that are tough enough to provide adequate protection from the elements during that time period.

It’s possible for people to avoid challenging trails during a day hike. During a long enough backpacking trip, people will inevitably run into some genuinely tough trails.


Hiking boots need to be comfortable enough. They should not be too loose or too tight. Overly tight hiking boots can cause blisters and other issues. Hiking boots that are too loose will often fail to give people the arch support that they need. People also might slide around in their own boots when they choose hiking boots that are too loose.

People who are planning on very long hikes should be especially careful to get hiking shoes or boots that will fit them well enough. It’s possible to wear the same running shoes for years without really noticing a problem with the fit. However, people typically only run for thirty minutes or so. Even a relatively brief day hike will usually last longer than that.

Hikes will put more pressure on a person’s feet and ankles than runs throughout the neighborhood as well. The nature of the fit will be particularly important as a result.

It’s important to try on hiking boots before buying them. Ordering clothing of all kinds online today is so popular that some people will skip this step. However, it’s still ideal to try on hiking boots before buying them. People might have to purchase their hiking boots in stores.


Heavy hiking boots will be absolutely essential for the people who plan on hiking during cold weather. Those exact same hiking boots could be problematic for the people who are planning on hiking when it’s warm outside.

Excessive sweating during a hike can be a real problem. When people sweat too much during a hike, it can lead to terrible skin issues. These issues can ultimately make it painful to complete a hike.

Lighter hiking shoes or boots will be better for the people who are trying to find a way to hike with less sweat on hot days. Heavier hiking boots will always be better for warmth.

Heavier hiking boots will also be better for hiking under harsh conditions in general. Hikes that involve cold weather are often harsh for a wide range of different reasons. People won’t have to choose boots just because they’re warm enough. Those boots will probably be ideal for other reasons as well.


There will be plenty of variation when it comes to the soles of all hiking boots and shoes. The soles of some hiking boots and shoes will have more traction than others. Almost all hiking boots and shoes will have soles that have some traction.

People who plan on hiking through very tough trails will need hiking boots that will help them balance. These concerns will be particularly important when those trails are icy or when those trails might be icy. People who plan on hiking when it gets cold should assume that it might be icy at some point. They should prepare for those weather conditions by wearing the right shoes.

Some hiking boots were specifically designed to help people prepare for icy hiking trails. These hiking boots should work well for the people who are trying challenging trails of all kinds.

People who are planning on running through gentler trails can be more flexible when it comes to the soles of their hiking shoes. They might not want boots with soles that were made to withstand harsh conditions and ice. Those sorts of boots will only slow them down during a run across a trail.


Many hiking boots and shoes will use similar materials. It’s still possible to choose certain hiking boots and shoes just based on their specific materials.

People who are planning on hiking during warm days should think about getting hiking boots that are made with mesh panels. The mesh panels will add comfort and help prevent extreme sweating.

Lots of modern hiking boots and shoes are made with nylon. Hiking boots and shoes that use more nylon are typically lighter than the hiking boots and shoes that use other materials.

Full-grain leather is a popular material for hiking boots. People who plan on hiking in snowy or wet areas might benefit from hiking boots that are made with full-grain leather. Hiking boots or shoes are never truly waterproof. Full-grain leather still has a degree of water resistance.

Hiking boots that are made with full-grain leather tend to last for a comparatively long period of time. People who really enjoy hiking might really be in need of hiking boots that will last. Boots made with full-grain leather will give people plenty of protection when they’re hiking.

Split-grain leather also has a lot of advantages in its own right. Hiking shoes made with split-grain leather will be light and tough at the same time. They will also be wonderfully comfortable for most people.


The style of hiking boots and shoes will still be important. Almost all people care about the style of their clothing to a certain extent. Even highly practical shoes like hiking shoes should make people feel confident while they’re wearing them.

Lots of hiking shoes and boots have a tendency to be designed with practicality in mind and nothing else. People still vary in terms of their preferences. Most people should be able to find hiking shoes and hiking boots that will look nice according to their specific standards.

It’s That Easy!

Choosing hiking boots isn’t the hardest thing on earth and it mainly comes down to your own needs – someone that hikes casually will want something than different than someone more serious.

If you want to check out my top picks for hiking boots, click below:

My Favorite Hiking Boots

If you have a wider than average foot check out this article:

My Favorite Wide Hiking Boots

If you have any questions you can comment below and I’ll make sure to respond as quickly as possible. If you want to look at more tips and gear reviews hiking, click the outdoors section up top.

Think you can buy a pair of hiking boots now?