No hiking experience may be successful if you don’t have the right gear, the right clothing, the right boots. You can’t enjoy the challenging paths if your feet are cold, wet or hot and sweaty. Choosing the right hiking boots is as important as having the right backpack or the right tent, for instance.
In order to get the right hiking boots, you need to try it with the socks you’re going to wear when hiking…like hiking socks. The socks add more cushioning and temperature control, they may be wicking moisture and all these features mean they add thickness and this may affect the sizing on your hiking boots.
The right hiking boots need to be snug to the foot so that is doesn’t move around when you walk and you are able to wiggle your toes without touching the front of the boot. And, if you push your toes to the front of the boot you need to be able to slide two fingers on each side of the Achilles.
As not all feet are the same, you might need some customized insoles in order to get the right fit. The insoles are a good solution for the low or collapsed arches also, or if one foot is longer than the other.
When we talk about the materials used on your hiking boots, it’s good to know that full-grain and Nubuck leather give you water resistance, abrasion resistance and a longer life span. Hiking boots made of split grain leather are not that durable, but they don’t need much time to break in.
For the rough terrain, you should go with hiking boots with gaiter, whereas a longer hike needs hiking boots with good support as you are heavily backpacked.
As you can see, different types of hikes require special features on your hiking boots and you need to know the general conditions of your typical hikes before making the final choice.