Day-hiking boots can be purchased for as low as $40.00 up to $150.00. The most expensive range starts to cross over into backpacking boots. Anything below that price range is either a very good deal or a fake hiking boot that will disappoint.
Let’s now talk about where to buy hiking boots, what features to look out for, how to avoid pitfalls, and how to ensure you get the perfect fit.
Where to Buy Hiking Boots
You will need to get your first hiking boot experience if you’ve never been serious about hiking. This is my normal behavior. It is in my best interest to convince you to purchase your hiking boots from my website, but I will not do so if it isn’t appropriate for you. It would not be a good business decision to have many unhappy customers sharing their negative experiences with their friends, even if it was ethical. No, I’m being truthful. I won’t take your money or leave you dissatisfied. You can try on your first pair of hiking boots in a brick-and mortar store. Once you’re confident enough to choose the right pair of hiking boots for you (or your third), or …),, you can then take advantage of the lower prices on the Web.
If you are looking for hiking boots, shop at an outdoor equipment store instead of a shoe store. A general shoe shop’s sales staff won’t be able to tell the difference between genuine hiking boots and imitations. While you might spend more at an outdoor equipment shop, you’ll save money on the trail.
Ask about the information you have read. Look for another salesperson or a different store if the sales clerk does not know what a scree neck is or why soft soles are better than hard.
You can get the best of both the web and a high-volume store to purchase your hiking boots. While you can shop at a large-volume retailer that offers the lowest prices, it is worth seeking out advice, recommendations and reviews from other sites that are experts in hiking equipment.
No matter where you decide to purchase your hiking boots, ensure that there is someone who is reliable and knowledgeable. You should not buy your boots from a salesperson or web site that is too interested in making a sale, but only in comparing the features.
Pay attention to the brands, especially when shopping on the Web. You should not overlook the quality reputation of certain brands. Some brands’ reputations are more about fashion than quality. Talking to people who are familiar with the product and reading reviews from those who have used them in the field is the best way to learn the difference.
What to Look for in Day-Hiking Boots
Here are the things you should be looking for:
* Deep tread on a soft sole for traction.
* Height just above the ankle
* A soft, thick, scree collar (the padding at the top that holds pebbles out and doesn’t chafe your Achilles tendon).
* Fiberglass shank. Fiberglass shank is lighter than steel. If you plan to do moderate hiking, a full-length boot is best. However, shorter shanks are acceptable.
* Tongue should extend at least to the top of your foot. If you intend on crossing streams often, it should be higher.
* Crampon attachments are good, but not necessary if you hike in icy conditions.
* Hooks to attach the laces at the top of your foot.
* It is up to you to choose eyelets, D rings, or webbing as the lower lace attachment points. My experience doesn’t indicate that any one is better than another for day-hiking boots.
* Excellent insulation and padding, firm at the bottom with a tough, but soft lining.
* All visible seams are double-stitched.
* Less fabric is better than more leather. Split leather is fine, but you won’t find full-grain leather on a day-hiking boot.
* Less seams are better
These features are almost all obvious, but there are some techniques to evaluate specific features.
* The tread should not exceed two-fifths of the total sole thickness.
By pressing your thumb into the tread surface, you can measure the softness. In a matter of seconds, you should be able make a visible indentation.
Take the heel and toe of your foot and measure the stiffness by twisting the sole. It should not be possible to twist the sole.
Avoiding Common Mistakes in Hiking Boots
Shopping for day-hiking boots will present you with the biggest problem: cheap “imitation” hiking boots. Although they look like hiking boots, they are not made to withstand the harsh conditions of trail walking. They won’t last very long and will not provide the water resistance and traction you require.
These characteristics can help you distinguish a “imitation” hiking shoe from the real deal.
* Light tread, less than two-fifths of the sole’s thickness
* A hard tread surface you can barely indent using your fingernail.
* Non-attached tongue.
* You can twist your sole by hand.
* No scree collar. It may have patches of leather or another color of fabric that look similar to a scree collar. However, if the boot doesn’t have thick, cushioning around its top, it isn’t a hiking boot. It will not keep the pebbles out and may chafe or restrict your Achilles tendon.
Fitting your Hiking Boots
Your hiking boots must be sized correctly for any ortho inserts, off the shelf insoles, or hiking socks. It is a good rule to begin with one size larger than your normal street shoes.
Once you have all your inserts and insoles installed, your hiking socks are on. However, there are no laces. Now, slide your foot forward so that your toes touch against the front. There should be enough space behind the heel for your finger to slip in.
Next, put the boot on and start walking. Although the boots won’t be broken in, they will feel stiff and uncomfortable. However, they shouldn’t allow your foot to slip or rub.
Standing on a steep slope, point your toes down. While sitting, place your feet on the appropriate horse. You can stand on the shoe. Your toes should be able wiggled and not touch the boot’s front.
This fit-test should be done if you purchased boots online. Boots from different manufacturers may fit differently, even if you believe you know your size. If they aren’t right, return them to get a new size.
You should shop in an outdoor equipment store if you want to buy your first pair of hiking boots. There you will be able to touch the boots and speak with knowledgeable staff. You should only shop for day-hiking boots if you are familiar with them.