Which hiking boots do I need?

WITH the winter months still with us, we need to consider hiking boots that are built not only to deal with the rough terrain but are waterproof and keep your feet warm. You will want to get across swampy areas safely without getting your feet wet.

Get good ankle protection

If your boots are ankle high, that will protect them from spraining or twisting when walking on ground that is uneven. Having a tall top will mean that after a long walk your legs and knees will not suffer so much.

Soles are all-important

However, what you will find is that hiking boots that keep out the wet are usually less breathable. What you also have to bear in mind is that the type of outer sole on your boot will affect your feet in different ways. Mid-soles, for example, which are made from a rubber polymer will be soft and lightweight, while those from polyurethane will be more durable but less cushioning. Once the summer months are upon us, you will want hiking boots that will be more breathable, will support your feet and have better traction. Breathable will mean that if air can get in, so can water.

Waterproof but breathable

But there are boots that have mesh panel and waterproof soles, so you can get your boots but not your feet wet. These types will come with moisture-liners should help keep your feet cool.

You want to keep them cool

If you are in fear of your feet overheating, then something as simple as the color of your hiking boots can provide the answer. Darker colors have been found to absorb heat more readily.

Lugs are what matters

Another factor to consider is the type of walking you are doing. For mountaineering, it’s best to consider boots with thicker lugs to give more traction, while wider lugs are good for casual hiking and easier to clean. For going out in the snow, high ankle, waterproof and good gripper hiking boots are ideal.

>>See my review of the Hillwalker boots<<

When buying hiking boots, it’s good to consider the following:


  • Are they lightweight and comfortable
  • Do they have adequate cushioning
  • How good is the traction
  • Is the design to your liking
  • Level of  breath-ability
  • Can they deal with ankle pain
  • Will they be work for trail walking and running
  • Are they warm and waterproof
  • Do they require a long break-in period
  • High price, but totally worth it
  • Is the hiking boot smaller than advertised for, so should you get a bigger size

Photo by Kamaji Ogino

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