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How To Find The Best Hiking Boots

Oct 20, 2007
There is nothing more enjoyable to get outdoors and go hiking. I like to hike as often as I can so it is important that I have the right hiking boots on my feet so I can go whereever anytime I want without worrying about my feet getting sore. However, there is more to buying hiking boots than going to the store and buying what looks best on the rack.

Regardless of where or how often you plan to go hiking, having the best hiking boots you can find can make a difference in your safety and comfort. When you go to the sports store in search of boots, you will need to have in mind the type of hiking you plan to be doing.

There are different boots made for walking on smooth trails, for climbing mountain trails, and for climbing steep trails over tough terrain. There are also boots that are made especially for summer and those made to keep you feet warmer in winter. Believe me, you don't want to wear winter hiking boots in the summer and visa versa.

The best hiking boots are built with a sturdy sole, so they won't fall apart when you hike on uneven paths in the wilderness. A solid bottom can also prevent injury to the feet from any stones or thorns you may accidentally step on while hiking.

They should also have decent cushioning on the insole to reduce the possibility of blisters. The sides should offer sufficient support to help protect your ankles from being twisted to one side on uneven terrain.

Once you have determined the type of hiking you will be doing, consider the best hiking boots for that activity. Trail shoes, usually suggested for walking on smooth trails, are recommended for short hikes or day walks. These are less for protecting the feet and ankles from rocky terrain and more for providing protection to the bottom of the foot.

Heavier Trails Require Sturdier Hiking Boots

For those heading out for three or more days on rugged trails, trail hikers are the best hiking boots for that type. They have the tread on the bottom needed for rocky ground and can provide traction in the mud. Usually waterproof, they will be higher cut on the sides and provide protection from twisting the ankles as well as any branches that be encountered in the wild.

For those looking at the sport of mountain climbing, there are boots designed that may also accommodate attaching crampons for crossing glaciers and steep mountains. These are the best hiking boots for ankle protection in steep trails and also have a stiff sole to provide additional support while climbing steep mountains. While cushioned insoles can help prevent blisters, they may also bunch up under the feet, so insure they are cushioned but secured inside the boot.

Even if you buy the best hiking boots you can find, a proper fit is necessary to prevent foot problems while walking. While they need to be waterproof, they also need to be able to breath to allow them to dry out quickly at the end of the hiking day.

I hope I have helped you understand the importance of finding the best hiking boot for you. Whether you are going into the wilderness for an afternoon hike or to live there for three months in a tent, having the right boots is very important to your comfort and to avoid unnecessary injury. I also hope that you now know that when shopping for outdoor gear it is very important to think of where you are going and how often.
About the Author
Madison Greene loves the outdoors. There is nothing more enjoyable to her than grabbing her camera and heading off into the mountains to take some great nature shots. However, the weather in the Adirondacks can get frigid in the winter, making it difficult to shoot. Madison has found the solution by wearing outdoor gear that will keep anyone warm, anywhere. Visit: www.OnlineOutdoorGear.com
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