Hiking Boots Starter Guide: How to Choose the Boots That Fit You

a pair of brown hiking boots

Preparing the right gear and equipment before a hike is important. Firstly, these gears are essential for safety. Hiking poses different challenges and threats, and while a great hiking experience makes for an awesome adventure, negligence can easily lead to accidents and injuries that could’ve been prevented.

The most common items you need to prepare before a hike are backpacks and protective gear. These items will help you navigate through the area during the hike with fewer worries about safety issues. However, there’s another reason hikers should prepare the necessary gear and that is to remain comfortable during the hike.

As much as possible, you want to be agile and dexterous when hiking. If you feel uncomfortable, your dexterity will significantly be affected. For that reason, you must wear the right hiking boots since you will be on foot for the most part of the hike.

Below are some things to keep in mind when choosing the hiking footwear that fits you.

Different types of hiking footwear

There are different types of hiking boots, and depending on the trail of your hike, you should pick the type that will give you the most comfort to remain quick and agile.

1. Hiking shoes

Hiking shoes are flexible footwear that has a low cut. Some hiking shoes have features that can help you last longer during day-hike sessions. These shoes are perfect for ultra-light hiking since they’re the most lightweight and does not provide discomfort after a long day of hiking. The reason is because of the cut below the ankle and the stride-alignment technology.

2. Hiking boots

Hiking boots are the most common type of hiking footwear. These boots range from mid-cuts to high-cuts and are great for weekend hiking trips. Hiking boots are also flexible and quite comfortable, but they can provide some discomfort after a long time, which is why you need to rest a bit more than you would with hiking shoes.

If you’re wearing hiking boots, ensure that you take a few minutes of rest after long hours of hiking. Fortunately, this hiking footwear doesn’t hurt the ankles too much, allowing you to rest quickly. Additionally, hiking boots offer more protection because they cover more area than hiking shoes.

3. Backpacking boots

Backpacking boots offer more protection, making them perfect for extended trips when you need to carry heavy loads. These boots are great options for backpackers—hence the name—and they keep the wearer protected during extended sessions because of their sturdy and durable build. However, these boots can hurt after a long while because they are thicker and comes in contact with the ankles more than the previous footwear.

If you need boots that will protect you from falls and injuries, backpacking boots may be right for you.

4. Mountaineering boots

These boots are the most durable of all hiking footwear, and they are meant to be used for extreme travel, such as climbing mountains, especially snowy ones. These boots are extremely durable and will protect your foot from most injuries. However, since they are thick and stiff, they can easily provide discomfort to the wearer and are a bit heavier on the foot.


Now that you know the different types of hiking footwear, you’ll have a better idea of which to use during your next hiking trip. Depending on the action that your adventure calls for, choose among the above options accordingly to keep you safe and comfortable, allowing you to have a more enjoyable and memorable experience.

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