Finding the best pair of hiking boots for you goes way past liking the colour and the price. If every pair of boots suited everyone then there would only be one pair on the market instead of hundreds. There are many things that need to be considered before you hand over that hard earned cash, so without further ado here are our top 7 tips for choosing yourself a great pair of hiking boots.
A boot needs to be light enough for you to walk long distances comfortably without making your legs muscles ache more than is expected. Don’t buy a boot just because it is light however as this may mean it has cut corners in other areas so ensure all the tips below are also in place.
In general, the higher the cut the heavier a boot will be. If you want a low boot that sits around the ankle bone make sure there is plenty of cushioning to protect against chafing and blisters.
The ultimate no brainer when it comes to any kind of footwear that will be worn for long periods of time and actually vital for a pair of boots that will be worn over undulating terrain. Look for flexibility in the sole, good arch support and plenty of support around the ankle joint which is getting punished every you put your foot down. Support is essential to protect all joints from impact as hips and knees also take a battering.
Don’t make the mistake of buying a bigger size because you think you need them due to wearing thick socks. The provision to allow for these has already been made so stick to your usual side. Boots that are too big can be as harmful as a pair that are too small, so be sensible. Wearing several pairs of socks to make your boots fit will cause excessive sweating which in turn can lead to very sore toes and blisters; the scourge of the hiker.
Material – using a reputable company such as Cotswold Outdoors will ensure you get the right pair of boots for you.
You can say you get what you pay for with hiking boots but by shopping around you can hit on some pretty good bargain. Older models that are going out of production can often be picked up at a reduced price and as this isn’t a fashion show who cares if they were last years, or even the year befores, model.
Leather, synthetic, waterproof, not waterproof, the choice is vast and varied and is very much a matter of both personal choice and weather conditions you intend to be hiking in. Leather used to rule okay in this area but with the new breathable fabrics on the market they are no longer the obvious choice. It makes sense if hiking in the UK to choose a waterproof pair as you never know when that wet stuff is going to start descending.
Online review sites are great for giving an overview of hiking boots from those who have worn them for the purpose intended. If you are unsure as to what type of boot you are after these are worth checking out.