hiking boots mountain

Important Concerns When Buying Good Hiking Boots


Hiking shoes can adapt to various terrain, making them safer and more stable every step. Wearing a pair of walking shoes to climb the mountain is absolutely enjoyable. Common brands in the market include Salomon, Merrell, Teva, Columbia, etc., people often don’t know where to start.

This article will introduce the key points of choosing hiking shoes so that novices can judge the advantages and disadvantages of goods by themselves. I hope you can also know how to choose a good pair of hiking shoes and enjoy a pleasant hiking trip!

Hiking boots guides

There are many types of hiking boots on the market. Each has different functions and characteristics, so it is vital to choose them that meet the purpose. This paragraph will briefly introduce the common types of hiking boots and the critical functions of various shoes to help you sum up the ideal conditions.


According to the applicable occasions, hiking shoes can be divided into “hiking shoes” and “hiking boots” according to the appropriate circumstances. The differences between the two types will be explained below.

Hiking shoes: light and easy to walk, commonly used shoes with various designs, which can be integrated into fashion

Hiking shoes can be divided into “hiking sandals” and “suburban hiking shoes” according to the form of shoes. The main characteristics are soft sole, lightweight and very comfortable walking. The upper of hiking sandals has many holes and good air permeability but is not muggy. It is suitable for use on flat roads or well-maintained footpaths; The shape of suburban mountain hiking shoes is similar to that of ordinary cloth shoes. They can go on the road immediately without an adaptation period. The wear resistance and waterproof effect are better than everyday sports shoes. They can be applied to gentle slopes at low altitudes or mountain trails with stable road conditions.

Suppose you are a newbie who has just come into contact with hiking activities. In that case, hiking shoes will be an excellent choice for a simple one-day trip to the countryside. This kind of shoes is not suitable for long-time walking on rough roads, but they are not ideal for long-time walking.

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Hiking boots: can adapt to various mountain terrain, firm grip and stable step by step.

Hiking boots are specially designed for the need to carry heavy objects for long-time walking. The structure of shoes is mostly medium and high cylinder design, which can more stably support the ankle or calf and share the strength borne by both feet when going up and down the slope. This type of upper and sole are usually made of hard materials, mostly Gore-Tex or other high waterproof materials. In addition, the seams are almost watertight to wear resistance, allowing users to keep their feet dry while wading through mountains and rivers and focusing on various challenges.

According to the commodity positioning, the commercially available hiking boots will be divided into “medium-sized hiking boots” and “heavy-duty mountaineering boots.” Medium-sized hiking boots are the most widely used shoes, which are suitable for readers who participate in mountaineering teams, climb mountains frequently and have long climbing paths; In addition to the performance of all hiking boots, heavy mountaineering boots usually have a double-layer structure that can isolate the internal and external temperature to help climbers adapt to the dangerous environment of more than ten degrees below zero. They are suitable for middle and high latitude mountains with snow all year round or high altitude mountains.

However, because hiking boots are generally heavy and particularly cramped, walking on a flat road will only feel clumsy and hefty. Therefore, it usually takes time to get familiar with them after purchase. It is not recommended to use them in daily life. Suppose the climbing frequency is not high, or you do not intend to challenge the rugged trails. In that case, it is recommended to start with suburban mountain hiking shoes.

Choose the height of the shoe barrel according to experience and physical fitness.

Hiking shoes can be divided into three types: high tube, medium tube and low tube, according to the height of the shoe mouth. The tall tube can cover the calf at most, and the middle tube will cover the ankle at least; The lower tube shoe mouth is about flat or lower than the ankle. High tube shoes have the most robust ankle protection among the three, reducing the probability of sprain and soft feet and preventing moisture from entering the boots.

Although the waterproof and protective effects of low tube shoes are not as good as high tube shoes, they can make the ankle have greater flexibility and can freely deal with various slopes and angles. They are suitable for senior mountaineers who are used to mountain roads. Although the coverage of the middle tube boots is not as good as that of the high tube, it also gives the feet better flexibility. It is more stable than the low tube and lighter than the high tube. It is suitable for people who have just started hiking and are not used to mountain roads.

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Lightweight shoes need to pay attention to durability.

The weight of the shoe body is lighter, so it will be much easier to walk. However, while reducing the weight, it is bound to minimize many structures and materials, and the durability, cushioning, and support force will be affected. Therefore, while paying attention to comfort, don’t forget to consider the activities you want to engage in. Choose comfortable shoes that provide sufficient protection and have good durability.

Water resistance and high air permeability

In climbing mountains, heat and moisture are easy to accumulate in the shoes, resulting in foot discomfort. At this point, a pair of waterproof and breathable shoes can significantly improve the comfort of the journey.

Although standard chemical fibers are breathable, they are usually not waterproof; Although leather and plastic materials are waterproof, they lack the effect of ventilation. Changing the shoes according to different conditions is undoubtedly the best; however, it is difficult for inexperienced beginners to understand the differences between other materials and designs. It is recommended to choose shoes with waterproof and breathable properties simultaneously.

Gore-Tex, the most well-known breathable and waterproof material, is one of the preferred materials for hiking shoes. This type of cloth has a layer of film with more than 9 billion tiny pores per square inch, which can achieve the functions of waterproof, windproof and high ventilation; Although the price is often not low, it is precious for people climb mountains.

Heat preservation when hiking in winter or snowy areas.

The temperature difference between high-altitude mountainous areas and low-altitude areas is enormous. You still wear short sleeves at the foot of the mountain, but you may have to wear down clothes to the top of the hill. Especially in the cold wind howling winter, the environment in the mountainous area will be worse, and the feet are one of the most vulnerable parts to losing temperature. Therefore, if you want to attack the top or spend the night in the mountains, you must pay attention to the thermal insulation of your shoes.

It is suggested that when climbing high latitude and high altitude mountainous areas, high tube shoes with thermal insulation processing inside should be preferred; If the climbing route has the opportunity to encounter snow or snowy days, you need to pay attention to whether the sole has waterproof and anti-skid measures.

person stepping on rock

Characteristics of major brands

Each brand has its own unique design and shoes. If you don’t know where to choose, you can narrow the scope from the brand first. This paragraph will introduce hiking shoes’ common brands and features for your reference.

Caravan: it’s easy to wear and walk. Variety of shoes for beginners.

Japan’s classic old brand caravan focuses on “easy to wear and take off, easy to walk,” which even beginners can wear comfortably. However, in an environment with artificial hiking trails such as Mount Fuji and suburban hills, it can also adapt to the undeveloped primitive wilderness like Wujiu island.

Columbia: a variety of functional shoes. Women have a wide choice of shoes.

Columbia is an American enterprise founded in 1938, mainly engaged in selling and developing outdoor products and sports clothes. The most extraordinary charm lies in the fashionable and diversified appearance design, considering the functionality and relatively cost-effective price. Many goods will be subdivided into men’s and women’s, and the choice of shoe size and color matching is quite detailed.

Keen: a practical design for everyday wear

The core concept of keen is “hybrid life,” which hopes to guide people towards a balanced and harmonious high-quality life, taking into account work and interests through commodities. The modeling design of shoes can be compatible with modern cities and nature and simultaneously maintain the function of goods. If you want hiking shoes to match your daily wear, this brand will be a good choice.

Merrell: Not easy to get tired after wearing for a long time. Complete functions and high quality.

Merrell is a brand that started from custom-made shoes. It is not easy to feel tired and uncomfortable when walking for a long time. Many shoes specialize in heat dissipation, ventilation, waterproofing and lightweight. They can be used not only for hiking but also for daily occasions such as work and class.

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Precautions for fitting hiking boots

No matter what type of shoes, you can’t know whether they fit until you try them on. This paragraph will sort out the key points you can pay attention to when trying them on. Don’t forget to confirm these details one by one when selecting them.

After putting it on, make sure you can hold a finger at the foot.

Since thick socks are usually worn when climbing, it is easy to wear and take off and compress muscles if you choose a size that is too just. You’d better choose a style that is 0.5cm ~ 1cm larger than the regular shoe size. It is best to try on thick socks directly, but there will always be times when you forget to bring socks and want to try them on temporarily. After wearing the shoes, put your index finger into the heel to confirm the tightness of the shoes, taking the width of one finger as the standard.

In addition, most people have slight differences in the size of their feet, so don’t forget to put on your shoes and try to walk to confirm whether the boots will wear your feet and the fit of the shoes. Because it is easier to feel foot pain when going down the mountain in mountaineering activities, it is best to try on the feeling of walking down the steps when trying them on, so as not to find that outing will become torture for both feet when climbing.

Confirm the softness and hardness of the sole

Generally speaking, when standing on tiptoe, those who can easily bend and deform by the foot’s shape belong to soft soles; No matter how twisted the foot is, the form will not change much, and the degree belongs to the stiff sole. Climbing shoes with smooth soles are usually light and straightforward in structure. They are suitable for climbing trips that go back and forth on the same day without carrying too much luggage. In contrast, the rigid sole has good cushioning and high stability. It is suitable for challenging activities that spend the night in the mountains and have to carry many tools for long journeys.


After knowing the key points of choosing hiking shoes, do you want to go to the suburbs and enjoy the baptism of nature? Then make arrangements now, bring a pair of thick socks, try them on one by one in the outdoor supplies store, and choose the most suitable hiking shoes!

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