How To Pick The Best Hiking Boots

May 25, 2016

Avid hikers quickly learn (sometimes the hard way), that picking the right hiking boots is essential for making the most out of their outdoor adventures. But like most products these days, there seems to be an endless list of choices. has developed Gear Finder, a forum for camping and hiking gear advice. Here you can find a ton of great information such as picking the best footwear for your particular needs.

Unlike most shoes, details such as looks, numerical sizes, and recommendations from your friends play little importance in your decision-making since everyone has different feet and different goals out there on the trails. Instead, Gear Finder recommends focusing on comfort, durability, stability, weight, warmth, and water resistance. You want a nice fitting shoe with a snug fit at the heel and a bit of wiggle room for your toes.

There are five types of hiking boots: trail, rough-trail, off-trail, mountaineering, and technical-scrambling.

Trail boots are designed for light packs and well-kept trails while rough-trail boots are designed for light backpacking and aggressive day hiking. The main differences between the two are the ankle and sole support that each provides.

Off-trail footwear is designed for those exploring trails of their own design and those who go on long backpacking trips with heavy loads.

Mountaineering boots are more rigid in their design and will help you ascend steep inclines and reach your desired peak.

Technical-scrambling shoes are equipped with sticky rubber soles, ideal for scrambling up inclines rather than heavy duty hiking.

Besides outlining the types of footwear developed for hiking, Gear Finder goes on to explain how to ensure you have shoes that fit properly, the importance of the right shape and padding for your needs, how to preserve your boots and get the most mileage out of them, and how to address various problems that occur from wearing boots like the dreaded blister!

For more information, visit

See you on the trails and at one of our Highway West Vacations locations!

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