How To Choose Hiking Shoes – [3 Things To Consider]

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Exploring the great outdoors is a great way to stay active and see some beautiful sights. Hiking has become even more popular as more people choose to unwind outside instead of staying in. Exploring the world around you through hiking is great for exercise or just for a fun hobby.

One of the most important things you need when hiking is a good pair of shoes. Hiking is not fun if you have blisters and soaking wet socks. Picking a good pair of hiking shoes from a reputable site like so that you can focus on the nature around you instead of your feet is the best way to keep your hike fun and safe.

Finding the right hiking shoe can be a bit harder than you might expect. There are different shoes for each kind of terrain and for different types of hiking. Here are a few things you should consider before buying a pair of hiking shoes.

Fit & Comfort

If you are buying hiking shoes the most important part is how they fit. If you buy ill-fitting hiking shoes then you are in for a very uncomfortable hike and shoes you will probably never wear again. Getting hiking shoes that fit you well is the secret to a great hike.

Your hiking shoe should not rub when you walk around. It should be tight around your ankle so that you have plenty of support. It should also be able to move with you so that you aren’t hauling around a heavy piece of stiff rubber all day.

You should never purchase a pair of shoes without trying them on first. That is doubly important for shoes you intend to hike in. Going to try on the shoes and walk around in them a bit before you buy them is the only way to be sure the shoe fits correctly.

Make sure that you have your foot measured before you buy hiking shoes. You should know the width, length, and your arch measured to make sure you have the best chance at finding shoes that will be comfortable. Knowing what your size is down to the letter will help to make sure your shoes are snug enough to not move around but not too tight so they don’t pinch.

A well-fitted pair of hiking shoes is the difference between a fun hike and a really painful hike. Spending the time to make sure you know your exact size and to try on a few pairs of shoes will help you find the best fit. The right shoe will be comfortable and something you will have no problem wearing for an extended period of time.

considerations for hiking shoes

Type of Shoes

Knowing what type of hiking you plan to do is very important before you buy a shoe. There are some shoes that are solid all-around hiking shoes for whatever you want to do in them. However, most hiking shoes are specialized in a certain type of hiking.

If you plan to run on well-maintained trails then a simple running shoe should be fine. If you want to go on a multiple-day hike then you need lightweight boots that you can wear without being miserable. Even the weather can change what type of hiking shoe would be best.

If you live in a dry environment waterproofing probably isn’t as important as traction and breathability. If you are planning on hiking through streams or in a place with lots of moisture, waterproof shoes might be vital to a good hike. Take stock of what weather and terrain you are likely to encounter before you buy a pair of shoes.

Every great hiking shoe should have good arch support, traction on the bottom, and a solid base so you know it will last. Hiking shoes are expensive so they need to be built well and not fall apart under pressure. You want shoes that will last you a while.

Finding a shoe that was made for the type of hiking you want to do is the perfect place to start. After that finding which one works best for the terrain around you and is built to last will be a quick process. The perfect hiking shoe for you will be made exactly for the hiking you want to do.


What your hiking shoes are made out of can be a very important part of choosing your perfect shoe. There are different materials that work best for climbing mountains, running, trail hiking, and long-distance hikes. Picking the right material for your shoe will help you on your adventures.

If you want a durable boot that will take you wherever you want to go then you should get a boot made of full-grain leather. It is a waterproof material that most heavy hiking boots are made of. It is not ideal for multiple-day hikes because it is such a heavy boot that does not breath well.

Synthetic material is much more lightweight and easy to break-in. They dry quickly but are not as water-proof as full-grain would be. They also might wear down quicker but are great for running and keeping the weight off your legs.

The final choice is usually split-grain leather. It is a mix of full-grain and synthetic materials that give you the best of both products. It is more lightweight than full-grain but more durable than synthetic material. The main drawbacks of a split-grain shoe are that it is not water-proof and it is not as durable as a full leather shoe.

Knowing what type of material will be the best to look for will help you narrow down shoe choices. If you need a lightweight shoe then you should never look at full-grain shoes. If you are looking to hike by a river then synthetic shoes probably are a bad choice.

To Conclude

Hiking is a great hobby with a lot of health benefits. Getting outside and moving is never a bad idea for your body. Making your hike stay fun requires the right pair of shoes.

Blisters and wet socks are the enemies of a fun hike. The best way to prevent either of those circumstances is to do your research before you buy a shoe. Knowing what material is best and what type of hiking you will be doing will help narrow down what shoe you need.

Finally, always try on a shoe before you buy it. You need to know that the shoe you buy is one that will stay comfortable even if you need to wear it over multiple days. Those are just a few of the things you should consider before you buy a hiking shoe.

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Richard Remick

Richard is the founder and the chief editor of Outside Pursuits. Passionate about the great outdoors, Richard spends much of his time in Colorado enjoying skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and camping. When at home in Florida, he is most often found in the water. He loves water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. He is a certified scuba diver. Because of his wealth of knowledge and experience, Richard has been invited to contribute articles to many outdoor-focused websites, such as Florida Rambler, and has been profiled on travel websites such as JohnnyJet.

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