No one likes to have heavy feet when hiking up a hill or taking a long hike. The lightweight hiking boots don’t make your feet fill like it’s carrying weights. When hiking you want a shoe that helps you not hinder your experience. I would like to say that I know of one hiking boot that will be the best for everyone, but there is no such boot in existence. Because everyone’s feet, needs and comfort levels are different there are many different hiking boots to choose from.
Your shoes is one of the most important item that affects the enjoyment of hiking. That is why you should choose the best hiking boots for your needs. If you have a pair of hiking shoes that are not comfortable or are designed for the wrong hiking experience, it can ruin your entire trip.
Different Types of Hiking Boots
Another thing to consider is that these boots are to last you for a long while, so don’t just buy a boot because it’s on sale. Get the right set of boots for you. Don’t ever skimp on your boots. Lastly, remember to read the care instructions for the boots that you purchase. It is important to keep your boots in top condition. You don’t want to get caught 5 miles into a hike and have a boot failure because of lack of care.
When Choosing the best hiking boots for you, keep these things in mind:
- Leather: More durable and water resistant. Heavier than synthetic. Normally meant for longer hikes with a full backpack.
- Synthetic: Lighter weight than leather, but shows wear and tear more.
- Waterproof materials: Many boots offer a waterproof membrane that is attached to the inside of the boot. (such as Gore-Tex ®)
- Hiking Type:
- Day Hikes with a couple bottles of water in a fanny pack
- Over Night Hikes with a small pack
- Multiple Day Hikes with a 40 to 50 pound backpack
- Boot Cut:
- Low Cut: Good for more level terrain, shorter hikes. Not a lot of ankle support
- Mid Height: More ankle support, can be used for short multi-day hikes with a lighter pack.
- High Cut: Normally the most durable and sturdy boot. Perfect for long multi-day hikes with a heavy pack.
Let’s look at the best hiking boots for day hikes. These would be used on a day hike with level terrain. You would have a small day pack or a fanny pack with a couple of bottles of water. Also, the trail should not have a lot of gravel, because it could get in between your sock and the boot.
Mid Cut will be good for steeper inclines and they have more ankle support. Most are waterproof and come in synthetic or a synthetic/leather combination. They do a slightly better job of keeping out gravel and pebbles and will give you more stability on muddy surfaces. For carrying a lighter small backpack. Leather or Leather/synthetic combination. An extremely strong boot with a lot of ankle support. Worn with a heavy pack. Can be used with crampons for snow. Designed for the most challenging terrain.
It’s important to have a spare pair of laces on the trail. The laces should be designed for boots and not shoes. I would suggest a round instead of a flat style lace, these tend to last longer. The support that laces provide is paramount to a comfortable hike. You may find the best hiking boots, but what about the socks or inserts? They are important as well. Even if you have a great hiking boot, if you have the wrong pair of socks, it can ruin your hike. These articles that will show you the best hiking socks and insoles to select.