Consider high-quality, tested brand names. Although more expensive, a reliable pair of hiking boots will prevent injury, provide long-lasting foot, bridge and ankle protection, assist in load-carrying, and remain agreeable over time. Brand names such as Chaco, Zamberlan, Vasque or Merrell withstand meticulous quality testing methods to ensure durability, comfort and reliability. Study consumer reviews online, read magazine evaluations and ask a qualified outdoor sales professional for advice. Look for boots that are made from high-quality materials, such as waterproof Gore-Tex and leather, and that feature long-lasting construction, such as double-stitching. Walk on a manufactured incline (often featured at reputable outdoor enthusiast stores) to experience the boot in strained conditions.