How to Choose Hiking Boots

You are embarking on a hike of dream and course you marked your list basically: hiking boots. Went to the store, you’re puzzled in front of the wall of boots. So many styles, so many awards, so many types. What do I do? A solution is required. Check out my guide on the art of choosing boots and hiking shoes.

1 Reminder

Usefulness of a walking shoe

Resistance: she supports us on the rugged trails and/or with a load on the back.

  • Support: In order to avoid sprains and injuries to the feet.
  • Reduction in effort: more the foot is stable, less the muscles of the feet and calves work…Thighs, stronger, take over the effort.So we save our energy.

The blisters on the feet

The enemy # 1 hiking; their causes:

  • The friction: the boots should be snug at the feet…Good model, good volume, good size, good lacing.
  • The ‘ moisture: it is important to keep the feet dry.Choose a low that manages moisture while providing a cushion and which maintains a perfect temperature.

Do not forget!

The shoes are the most important piece of equipment for your hike. It’s an investment for the comfort and pleasure of walking.


3 Types of media to consider

  • Support in torsion: to support the foot laterally.Will provide support for the ankle.
  • Support in flexion: stiffness variation depending on the terrain.Provides a support for non-serviced land or easier on open trails
  • Enveloppe: keep your foot in place.To do this, she must there be perfectly adjusted.Leather protects rocks, branches or other detritus that can hurt you.

The type of hiking

  • Courte hiking on paths paved, landscaped or damaged with a slight hike, approach shoe or boot short hike.
  • In the mountains, it will encourage a long hike with more support boot or a mountaineering adjusted, more technical boot for precise movements and accommodating crampons.
  • A longer hike means a heavier load to carry and therefore requires more support.

The most frequent use

  • Evitez to choose a rigid boot if you need more comfort and a more natural approach.Conversely a shoe that is too soft will ask more effort if you are responsible or in more technical hiking.
  • It should not need to soften or ‘break’ his boots if they have been chosen for prescribed use.
  • Choisissez according to YOUR most common needs and not for the few times where a more specific hike would arise.

The male VS. the female foot foot

  • In general, the human foot is wider and the Ark is less pronounced.Thus the instep is lowest.The calf is shorter and more rounded.
  • The the woman’s foot is smaller in surface, the arch is more pronounced, the thinner heel and calf goes lower.

Manufacturers take these differences into account when making the moulds for shoes and boots.

3 – The boots on

To try is to compare

  • It must not choose with eyes but well by threading the suggested models.Marriage foot-boot must predominate over aesthetics.

Surmount, we looking for comfort first… Eliminate the uncertain.

  • At each model its mould and so its different adjustment.
  • Determinez if the felt support is sufficient or harmful.
  • For perfect, we can make a few changes: change of the false-soles, heel, change of laces.
  • Consideration important: you must remove the false soles for well install your orthoses or foot supports so that they lie flat in the shoe.

4 – Checks for perfection


Use your inner sole as a guide: in removing it, make sure you have a space the width of a finger in front of the toes. So they don’t hit not the end of the boot during descents.

Special attention should be made if you are prone to pronation. It is recommended to consult a specialist who will offer foot supports or orthotics. Pronation causes the elongation. If it does not support the Arch of the foot, the foot, under the weight of the body, is crushed and stretches. What may cause a rubbing of the toe end of the shoe.Where the importance of having a good arch support.

Width and volume

The length is not the only point in check in choosing a perfect shoe. Between the foot and the boot, there must not be vacuum that will cause friction like a shoe that is too wide.Conversely, a boot that is too narrow will cause pain to the metatarsals. Therefore, it is important that the width is the right one for your foot. The boot volume can be reduced to a minimum by replacing the false sole to a thicker and attention is treated at the lacing.Visually, the eyelets should be parallel, which indicates than the foot well filled the space.Shoelaces must be well adjusted from the front of the boot to the ankle by paying attention to the important hooks of heels.

Precise adjustment to the feet

Walking, we shouldn’t feel friction to the heels, they must remain in place. Any movement of the feet forward downhill. The tab should be comfortable at the instep and the foot should not be hindered by material, which will cause blisters long-term.

The model offers the sought stability? Walking with your favorite model, ask yourself if you feel the necessary support. Did you feel confident and in all comfort with this model? Would you be ready to leave for a day hike?

5 Design

External materials

Increased support, durability, waterproofness, adjustment.
  • Cuir full flower: outside Surface, smooth version (very waterproof) or rough (very resistant to abrasion), this is the best part of leather available.
  • Nubuck: a leather full grain sanded…A little thinner, it is more comfortable on the first try, and its finish is nice.It is easy a waterproof and less vulnerable to abrasion.
  • Suede: inner surface or leather says brushwood.At lower cost, it is flexible and lightweight leather used for short hiking boots and walking shoes.

Lightness, breathability, price reduced.

  • A boot made of nylon or synthetic leather should ideally be doubled Gore-Tex (or equivalent) in order to maximize its impermeability.Otherwise we will choose it for its lightness and its breathability.

Interior materials


The Interior leather will marry more precisely and accurately the foot. More sustainable, he will ask however more maintenance and a choice more attentive so that it takes, from the beginning, the right mold to your foot.


The cambrelle or another synthetic Interior will have the advantage of breathe and dry more quickly after use.

Some myths

Do not think that a shoe with more seams becomes a less good choice. They will ensure that the shoe will be more detailed and thus will make even more body with your foot. In addition, manufacturers often take care to seal the main seams to avoid water infiltration.Shoes with Gore-Tex are waterproofed using the membrane Gore and of course, the seams are sealed to ensure keep you dry!

The bottoms are designed for traction. It is true that Vibram is a manufacturer known for the durability of his soles. However, other companies also have excellent reputations in their soles. You should not look at only the brand of the sole, but the design of the studs.These should be pretty aggressive and pretty clear of each other for easy emptying of debris and mud. The rubber should be flexible enough to stick to wet all rocks being firm enough to avoid premature wear.


50% of the comfort, 10% of the price of the boots! Invest, you don’t the regret not.

  • In controlling moisture, the fiber of the sock is responsible for the climate inside the boot.
  • The cushioning: sock filled your shoe and help to eliminate the risk of friction.
  • The wool: warm in winter, cool in the summer.Merino Wool is three times thinner than traditional raw wool.Comfortable to wear alone, without socks, without fear of irritation.Hiking Merino Socks are often mixed with fiber polyester for durability and moisture management.
  • The synthetic fibres: Polyester, nylon, Coolmax, Olefin, ect… help the evaporation of moisture in hot weather.In winter (although other fibers such as Thermax and Thermolite are somewhat effective) these fibers must be mixed in wool for better evaporation.No wool, our foot does not store enough heat to evaporate the moisture and you will get with a cold and wet foot.
  • A single pair and snug: the new socks don’t require more the traditional socks.Their increased adjustment and the loops woven inside avoid rubbing against the skin that cause blisters.Only or mixed wool, synthetic fibres manage the passage of moisture in a way effective. A single pair of stockings selected will be enough cushion for immediate comfort and avoid wrinkles of tissue caused by two superimposed independent socks.

I hope I knew help you in the choice of your boots. The choice of a hiking boot is sometimes complicated, but it is essential. I am pleased to advise you then feel free to ask me. In addition, below you will find a selection of boots for hiking are among the Favorites at Altitude – and its customers.

-Germain Altitude

Passionate about everything outside, Germain is our resident expert on equipment or rather our beast of equipment. He’s here to share his knowledge and his wisdom. He will also answer your questions about outdoor equipment.And if you ever have questions about other things, such life and love, do not hesitate. An honest answer is guaranteed.

We rule on behalf of the myth of winter boots, we gave you a top 5 for women and for men, but this is not enough you say! “We want more!” we hear you shout. You should know that at Altitude-Our site, we are specialists in active listening. So rejoice, because Altipedia has prepared a nice little guide to help you find the best winter boots.