How to Buy Hiking Boots

https://www.bentgear.comNothing is more important to a hiker than a good pair of boots. Begin by consulting a skilled boot fitter at a reputable outdoor gear store and try on several brands and models before narrowing your selections. Then look for a price you can afford. To get the best of both fit and price, shop in person, online and by using newspaper advertisements before making your purchase.


Difficulty: Easy

Making Selections

Things You’ll Need:
  • Winter and summer hiking socks
Step 1
Consider which type of boot you need for the way you hike. Among boot characteristics are water-resistance, insulation, ventilation, the height of the upper, tread robustness and sole rigidity.
Step 2
Decide how much you will spend. Quality hiking boots retail for a little more than $100.
Step 3
Visit an outdoor gear store and, with the help of a skilled salesperson, try on several different boots until you find two or three models that fit well. Before lacing, tap your toe on the ground, bringing your foot to the front of the boot and checking that, in this position, there remains a finger's width of space between the boot top and the back of your leg.
Step 4
Walk on flat hard and carpeted surfaces, testing traction and the movement of your foot in the boot. Also climb and descend the store's boot-fitting hill.
Step 5
Note size and model of your two or three favorites.

Buying Boots

Step 1
Check out Internet stores, using such search words such as "cheap hike boots" and "sale [insert brand and model name]." Look at a vendor's product lines, shipping and payment policies and reviews by other customers.
Step 2
Don't neglect large sporting good stores, outlet stores, major online gear retailers and military surplus stores.
Step 3
Research other sources by reading online articles from regional hiking clubs and hiking blogs.
Step 4
Read newspaper ads, especially on Sundays, and decide where to buy your boots.
Step 5
Consider buying a second pair when a model you like goes on sale. You will have the advantage of a special price for a good pair of hiking boots.

Tips & Warnings

Shop for boots in afternoon, evening, or right after a hike, when you can more accurately evaluate fit.
If you wear orthotics, bring them along and use them.

Article Written By Lani Johnson

Lani Johnson is a hiking, writing musician. Recent published work includes journalism, poetry and research. See her online writing at or at

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.