Hiking Boots

Boots Basics

unique to other footwear. Understanding the terms and how they pertain to you are important to finding the perfect boot. * '''Boot Weight:''' The lighter the boot, the easier it will be to walk. Basically, one pound extra in a boot is like five pounds added to your pack. For this reason, manufacturers continue to research new construction and materials that will allow for the same support you need with less weight. * '''Water Resistance:''' Moisture in your boots can cause unwanted blisters. Look for breathable, watertight materials that allow moisture to leave the inner parts of your boot, but don't allow water to get enter. * '''Lateral Rigidity:''' Boots need to keep your feet and ankles from twisting on uneven surfaces. High boots with stiff ankle support will help keep your feet and ankles in place. * '''Longitudinal Rigidity:''' Boots need to support your feet from over-bending when placing too much weight on the toe or heel side of your foot. It also needs to have enough longitudinal flexibility to maintain your arches' natural spring action. * '''Arch Support:''' Boots should not allow for your feet to flatten out under heavy pressure. A curved shank is often inserted between the midsole and insole to provide arch support.

Understanding the Parts

There are many parts and features that go into making a good hiking boot. Some are self explanatory and others are more complex. Each of the elements of the boot works with the others to ensure optimal performance on your trek. Understanding these terms also allows you get the best fit for your needs. * '''Upper: '''This refers to the entire top part of the boot that protects with a snug fit and and give it support and absorb shocks. The upper should be waterproof, while being able to breathe, in order to prevent blisters and other discomfort. * '''Soles:''' As most know, this is the bottom part of the boot that should give theflat laces, as they are more prone to break. * '''Tongues:''' Hiking boots tends to have gussetsconnecting the tongues to the uppers to ensure you don’t get dirt, water or other debris in your shoe. When the laces are tied, the gussets and the tongue should fold together, conforming to your shin and ankle without causing pressure. * ''' Lining and Padding:''' The padding and lining (inner most layer) in boots protect and provide comfort for your feet during long hikes. replaced leather liners since they are more durable and better at redirecting moisture. * ''' Insoles/Footbed:''' Insoles are the bottom part of the inner boot and should be shaped perfectly for your feet to provide the best support and balance. Most soles are removable from the hiking boot, so you can match them to the shape of your feet. * '''Scree Collars:''' On boots that sit higher on your leg, you need to protect your Achilles tendon and ankle from chaffing, which is what the scree collar does. A lower cut is made at the back of the outers and foam padded leather rolls are added to protect your leg. * '''Crapon Connections:''' All mountaineering and some Class C boots have connection points for crampons. In many cases the boots have enforced edges at the toe and heel side of the boot above sole to allow crampons a solid fit on the boot.

Popular Picks



Finding the Right Fit

Finding a perfect fit is the most important thing to consider when purchasing a boot. Whichever brand fits your friend or is hot at the moment, may not work for your feet. Getting a boot that doesn’t fit properly will cause much pain in your feet and ankles. Generally a boot that fits well will not slip in the heel area, and provides your toes with plenty of room in the front when you are trekking downhill with a fully loaded pack. Below are some tips to getting the right fit. * '''Socks:''' Make sure you bring the exact sock or socks that you will be wearing when you are hiking. This allows you to accurately gage how the boot will feel on your hike. * '''Warm Up Your Feet:''' Since your feet are smaller in the morning when you just wake up, it is recommended that you get fitted for your boots in the afternoon. You may also want to take a fifteen-minute stroll before getting to the store to make sure your feet are ready to go. * '''Check the Sole:''' remove the inner sole of the boot and place it against your feet. Generally, the boot will be too snug where your foot overlaps the sole and too wide where the sole is larger than your step. * '''Finger Test:''' Place your foot into the open boot, with the laces unfastened and stand up straight, pushing your foot forward into the boot. You should be able to slip your index finger between your heel and the boot on both feet. * '''Walk Test:''' Lace up the boots and walk around the store in the boots. Make sure your toes are not touching the front of the boot. If they do, you need a larger size. Also check that your heel and the heel of the boot are moving together. The heel of your foot should not slip out of boot. If this occurs, you either need a smaller size or a different shaped boot. * '''Slant Board Test:''' Ask the store salesperson if they have a slant board for you to test the fit. Walk down the incline. If you foot hits into the front of the boot and your toes get pinched, look for another pair. If your toes touch the end of the boot, you probably need a half size larger. * '''Break in Your Boot:''' After you’ve found the perfect pair, your work is not done. It is very important to break in your boot before going on a long hike. This helps your feet adjust to the boot and makes for a better fit. * '''Waterproofing:''' Even though most boots are already constructed of waterproof materials, you should treat your boot with extra sealant to extend the life of your purchase.

Major Manufacturers

Hiking Boots

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! FR: Camping et Randonnées