Choosing the right hiking shows or boots is essential for a comfortable and safe hiking experience. Here are some guidelines on how to determine what footwear is best for you and how to get them ready in time for your next hike.

What type of hiking will you be doing? Considering the terrain and the intensity is the first crucial step. Are you trekking through the a rugged mountain terrain or sticking to the flat trails? Is this going to be a longer hike or shorter day trip? The intensity and terrain of your hikes will dicate the level of support and durability you need from your footwear.

What’s your foot type? Understanding your foot shape, arch type, and any specific foot conditions you might have (like pronation or supination). This will help you choose shoes or boots with appropriate support and fit for your feet.

Be sure to try them on. Visit a reputable outdoor retailer and try on different styles and brands of hiking shoes or boots. Make sure to wear the socks you intend to hike in and try them on later in the day when your foot may have expanded slightly. We love Salomon shoes and boots. On most of their footwear we recommend purchasing a half size larger to accommodate for any expansions. For our day hikes we love our Speed Trainers , and normally with this specific type of shoe they do not require too much breaking in.

The fit. Your hiking footwear should fit snugly but not too tight. There should be enough room in the toe box for your toes to wiggle aithout feeling cramped. Also, be sure that your heel is comfortable secured and doesn’t slip when walking around, which brings us to our next point.

Walk around with them! Take a stroll around the store to see how the shoes or boots feel while walking. Pay attention to any pressure points or discomfort. If possible, simulate hiking movements like climbing the stairs or inclines to see how they preform. Remember, if you need added stability while hiking, boots may be the right call for you, but try them out!

Could your feet get wet on the hike? Depending on where you hike and the weather conditions you expect to encounter, you may want to look at waterproof or water -resistant footwear. Please keep in mind that waterproof materials may affact the breathability of you shoe.

Break them in. Once you’ve chosen your hiking footwear, it’s essential to break them in gradually to avoid blisters and discomfort on the trail. We have a few tips for this:

–  Start by wearing your new shoes or boots around the house for short periods to get used to the fit.

– Gradually increase the time and distance you weat them, perhaps on short walks or hikes on easy terrain.

– Pay attention to any discomfort or rubbing and address it before it becomes a bigger issue. There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a hike while your feet are hurting. You take care of them, and they will take care of you!

– After several shorter outings, you can start using them on longer hikes or more challenging terrain once they feel comfortable.

And finally, take care of them. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your hiking shoes or boots. Cean them regularly and apply waterproofing treatments as needed, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Have you ever used hiking/trekking poles? You can find more information about them HERE.

By taking a little extra time to research, try on, and break in, your feet will take you on miles to explore.

Happy hiking,

Keith and Michelle