Trailblazers’ Guide: Mastering the Art of Selecting the Perfect Hiking Shoes.

On June 12, 2024 , updated on June 12, 2024 — hiking, hiking boots, hiking equipment, outdoor adventures, tips for choosing hiking shoes - 19 minutes to read

Going on an adventure in the great outdoors is an enriching experience that requires careful preparation, especially when it comes to choosing your hiking shoes. Indeed, hiking boots adapted are essential to ensure your comfort, your safety and the success of your outdoor excursions. But how do you choose them from the multitude of models available on the market?

Whether you are an occasional hiker or a seasoned trekking enthusiast, choosing your hiking boots should not be done lightly. It is essential to take into account different criteria such as the type of terrain on which you will be traveling, the duration of your hikes, your body type and your preferences in terms of comfort.

Thanks to this article, you will discover sound advice and recommendations to help you select the hiking boots ideal for your specific needs. Whether you opt for low shoes, mid shoes or hiking boots, we will guide you step by step to make the best choice and thus fully enjoy your escapades in the great outdoors.

Criteria to take into account

The choice of hiking boots is based on several essential criteria. Each element must be taken into account to guarantee comfort and safety during your outdoor outings.

First of all, the stability and the support offered by shoes are crucial. Hikes often involve varied terrain, requiring shoes with good traction and adequate ankle support.

Then, the material must be examined carefully. Leather shoes offer durability and protection from the elements, while those made from synthetic materials can be lighter and more breathable.

THE comfort should not be neglected. A good pair of hiking shoes should be roomy enough to allow your feet to breathe and prevent blisters. Opting for models with good cushioning can also reduce the risk of muscle pain after long walks.

There breathability is a particularly important criterion for long or summer hikes. Materials like mesh allow air to circulate, preventing the accumulation of sweat and the appearance of unpleasant odors.

Finally, the water resistance must be taken into consideration, especially when hiking in wet terrain or in rainy weather. Shoes with a waterproof membrane, such as Gore-Tex, keep feet dry while allowing some breathability.

To recap, key criteria for choosing hiking shoes include:

  • Stability and support
  • Material
  • Comfort
  • Breathability
  • Water resistance

By considering these elements, the right equipment for your outdoor adventures will be easily identifiable.

Level of practice

When choosing the hiking boots, several criteria must be taken into account to guarantee comfort and performance.

Field which you will walk on greatly influences the type of shoes to choose. For easy trails and forest walks, light, flexible shoes are sufficient. On the other hand, more technical terrain requires shoes with good support and a rigid sole.

THE level of practice is also crucial. Beginners will need shoes that are versatile and comfortable, while experienced hikers will look to more technical models that offer better protection and grip.

THE weather situation planned also play a role. In case of rain or river crossings, waterproof shoes will be essential. In hot weather, breathability becomes a priority criterion to avoid the accumulation of heat and humidity inside the shoe.

THE support and stability must be adapted to your body shape and walking habits. A good hiking shoe should offer a cushioning midsole and an upper that provides good ankle support.

  • Easy trails : light and flexible shoes
  • Technical terrain : shoes with good support and rigid sole
  • Rain : waterproof shoes
  • Heat : breathable shoes

Type of hike

The choice of hiking boots is essential to guarantee comfort and safety during your outings in the great outdoors. Several criteria must be taken into account to make the right choice according to your specific needs.

To choose the ideal hiking shoe, several criteria must be evaluated. There stability and the maintenance of the foot are essential, especially on uneven terrain. THE comfort is also crucial, especially to avoid blisters and foot pain after several hours of walking.

THE weight of the shoe is another determining factor. A lightweight shoe minimizes effort while walking. However, a model that is too light can sometimes lack protection. There breathability is also important to prevent sweat buildup, especially when hiking in hot climates.

Depending on the type of hiking you do, the choice of shoes differs. For light hiking, on well-maintained trails, shoes with a good compromise between lightness and support may be sufficient. For some mid-mountain hikes, more robust models with good cushioning are recommended.

  • High mountain hikes : require shoes offering excellent protection, good ankle support, as well as soles suitable for uneven terrain.
  • Forest hikes : shoes with good grip are essential to avoid slipping on roots and stones.

Also think about the longevity of your shoes. More robust materials like leather can offer a longer lifespan, although they often require more maintenance. Synthetic models, on the other hand, are often lighter and require less care, but can wear out more quickly.

By carefully evaluating your needs based on these criteria, it is possible to choose a pair of hiking shoes that will accompany you comfortably and safely during your outdoor adventures.


The choice of hiking boots depends on various essential criteria. It is important to take into account different aspects to guarantee comfort and safety during your outdoor trips. Here are some things to consider to make the right choice.

When you choose hiking boots, several criteria must be evaluated. The first thing to look at is the type of hiking you are doing. For hikes on uneven terrain, opt for shoes with high uppers that provide good ankle support. For trails on marked paths, shoes with low uppers are generally sufficient.

Then think about the sole. A sole with good grip ensures better grip and reduces the risk of slipping. The flexibility of the sole also plays an important role for comfort over long distances.

Another criterion is the breathability and waterproofing. Depending on the climatic conditions and the type of terrain, it may be wise to opt for shoes made of Gore-Tex material or equivalent to guarantee protection against humidity while allowing the foot to breathe.

There season also influences the choice of shoes. For the hiking in summer, choose light and breathable models that avoid excessive perspiration. In winter, opt for more insulating shoes, offering good protection against the cold and a sole suitable for snowy or icy terrain.

  • Summer : lightness and breathability.
  • Winter : insulation and grip on snow and ice.
  • Spring and autumn: versatility to vary terrain and temperatures.

By thinking carefully about these different criteria, you will be able to find the hiking boots ideal for your outdoor adventures. Good choice and happy hiking!

Tips for trying on in store

When trying on hiking shoes, several essential criteria must be taken into account to make the right choice. One of the most important aspects is to always try on both shoes, as feet may have slight differences. Walk for a few minutes to check comfort and fit.

The socks used during fitting also play a crucial role. It is recommended to wear socks specifically intended for hiking, as they directly influence the comfort and feel of the shoe. Avoid thin or unsuitable socks, they can give a false impression of comfort.

Another point to consider is the shoe size. When walking, the feet tend to swell slightly. It is therefore advisable to choose a size slightly larger than your usual dress shoes. Make sure your toes do not touch the tip of the shoe, which could cause discomfort during long walks.

Test the flexibility of the sole is also necessary. A sole that is too stiff may make walking painful, while a sole that is too flexible may not provide the support needed for uneven terrain. Try bending the shoe slightly to assess its flexibility.

Pay attention to lacing system ensures optimal foot support. Test the different lacing options to see which one gives you the best support, without pressure points. A good lacing system prevents friction and reduces the risk of blisters.

Finally, check the weight of the shoes. Shoes that are too heavy can tire quickly and make hiking less enjoyable. Opt for lightweight, sturdy models that strike a good balance between comfort and durability.

Size and fit

In order to guarantee the best comfort and avoid injuries, it is essential to choose your hiking boots. Trying on in store is a crucial step in ensuring that the shoes fit your feet perfectly.

Always check that the shoes offer good adjustment. Correct shoe size means a space of one centimeter between your toes and the tip of the shoes. This helps prevent chafing and blisters while walking.

When trying on, wear the hiking socks that you will use. This will provide a more precise feel for the fit and overall comfort.

Testing the shoes by walking not only on the store floor, but also on an inclined surface, simulates real-world hiking conditions. Pay attention to the feeling in the heel to avoid any slippage that could cause blisters.

Finally, don’t forget to consider the width of your feet. Some brands offer different widths to suit all body types. Make sure the shoes you choose do not squeeze your feet too much laterally.

  • Opt for one adjustment with one centimeter of space between the tips of the toes and the shoe.
  • Wear hiking socks when fitting them on.
  • Test the shoes on an inclined surface.
  • Check the width of the shoes according to your needs.

Comfort and support

When trying on hiking boots in store, certain steps allow you to verify that they meet your needs.

Comfort is essential. Shoes should be neither too big nor too small, but fit perfectly. Your feet should not slip inside, even during sudden movements. Walk for a few minutes to spot any discomfort or pressure points.

Support is also an important criterion. Good ankle and arch support prevents pain and injuries. Try bending the shoes to check their rigidity. Too soft, they will not offer the support necessary for hiking on uneven terrain.

Here are some practical tips for trying on:

  • Try the shoes on at the end of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen.
  • Wear the same socks as those intended for your hikes.
  • Test the shoes on an incline, if possible, to simulate real-world conditions.
  • Make sure your toes have some room to move but don’t hit the front of the shoe.

Taking the time to select appropriate shoes maximizes your comfort and safety during your excursions in the mountains, in the forest or on any other demanding terrain.

Flexibility and breathability

When trying on in store, several essential criteria determine the comfort of the hiking boots. Make sure you wear the same socks you use when going outdoors.

Stand and walk around for a few minutes to assess the overall feeling. The length and width should allow your feet to move without excess or pressure.

There flexibility and the breathability shoes directly influence comfort and performance. A flexible sole makes walking on varied terrain easier while providing good support. Breathability helps keep feet dry, minimizing the risk of blisters and discomfort.

  • Check the flexibility of the sole by bending it slightly.
  • Make sure the shoe material is breathable.
  • Test the sensation going up and down, as these are common movements when hiking.

Remember to consider the season and the type of terrain you will be walking on. Lighter, breathable shoes are better for summer hikes, while more robust models are essential for rocky or snowy terrain.

Maintenance and durability

When choosing hiking boots, several criteria must be taken into account to guarantee comfort and performance. A well-fitting pair protects feet from blisters and injuries while providing good support. Preserving the integrity of these shoes will extend their life and effectiveness. Here are some essential tips for maintaining your hiking shoes and maximizing their durability.

Regular maintenance helps you get the most out of your equipment. After each outing, it is important to clean your shoes. Use a soft brush to remove accumulated mud and dirt. Dry them in the open air, away from direct sunlight and any source of intense heat.

For leather shoes, specific maintenance is required. Apply wax or a leather care product to maintain their suppleness and prevent cracking. For models made of synthetic materials, check the manufacturer’s recommendations to use suitable products.

Storage also plays an important role in sustainability shoes. Store them in a dry, well-ventilated place. Using shapes or shoe trees can help maintain their original shape and absorb moisture.

By following these tips, your hiking shoes will stay in good condition longer and provide optimal performance. Investing a little time in their maintenance is beneficial to fully enjoying your outdoor adventures.

Cleaning and drying

Regular maintenance of hiking boots helps extend their durability and guarantee optimal performance on the trails. Proper cleaning and drying is essential to keep materials in good condition and prevent bad odors.

To begin with, it is necessary to clean the shoes after each hike. Removing the laces and insoles makes it easier to clean thoroughly. Use a soft brush to remove exterior dirt and debris that could damage the materials in the long term.

After brushing the shoes, a damp cloth can be used to clean more stubborn stains. For leather shoes, a specific soap may be recommended. Then rinse carefully with clean water to remove all traces of soap.

Drying is done at room temperature, away from direct heat sources such as a radiator or fire. Inserting newspaper inside helps absorb moisture more quickly and maintains the shape of the shoes. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight, which could harden and crack the materials.

It is also important to regularly apply a waterproofing product. This reinforces the water-repellent properties of the shoes and extends their lifespan. For leather shoes, using a leather polish or cream helps maintain their suppleness and strength.

Furthermore, checking the soles and laces is an essential part of maintenance. Changing worn out insoles improves cushioning and comfort. Replacing damaged laces keeps the shoes safe when hiking.

Adequate storage

Properly maintaining your hiking shoes extends their lifespan and ensures optimal comfort. First, clean shoes regularly after each outing. Use a soft brush to remove dirt and debris, then rinse with lukewarm water if necessary. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage shoe material.

Dry shoes naturally, away from direct sources of heat. Remove the insoles and laces to allow complete drying. Excessive exposure to heat can damage materials and reduce their effectiveness.

To maintain the waterproofness and breathability of the shoes, apply a suitable impregnation product. This treatment reinforces protection against humidity and extends the life of the shoes. Check the condition of the soles and laces regularly, and replace them if necessary. Worn soles or damaged laces can reduce comfort and performance.

Tidy Hiking shoes properly extends their durability. Store them in a dry and ventilated place. Use shoe trees to maintain the shape of shoes and prevent deformation. Never leave them in a plastic bag or in a damp place which could encourage mold and material degradation.

Also remember to alternate your hiking shoes. This allows each pair to dry well and regain its initial properties before the next use.

Repair and replacement

Keep your hiking boots in good condition prolongs their lifespan. Cleaning shoes regularly removes dirt and debris that can damage the material. Use lukewarm water and a soft brush to carry out this cleaning. Avoid harsh chemicals which may alter the properties of the shoe.

Drying is also important. Allow the shoes to air dry, away from any direct heat sources such as radiators. Insert newspaper inside to absorb moisture more quickly.

Regularly treating shoes with waterproofing products and leather creams helps maintain their waterproofing and their flexibility. This prevents materials from drying out and cracking, ensuring better long-term performance.

Pressure points should be monitored. These hard or worn areas require special attention. Using reinforcements or adhesive strips to reduce friction can prevent hot spots from developing.

Replacing the laces and soles gives new life to the shoes. Worn laces increase the risk of falling, while damaged soles reduce grip and comfort.

For small repairs, use repair kits specially designed for hiking boots. These kits typically contain repair patches, specialty adhesives, and sewing tools.

When shoes show obvious signs of fatigue such as cracks or significant tears, consider replacing them. Shoes in poor condition can lead to injury and detract from the hiking experience.

The speed of replacement depends on several factors such as frequency of use and market conditions. In general, a good quality pair of hiking shoes can last for several years if properly maintained.


Choose the right ones hiking boots is essential to guarantee comfort and safety during your escapades in the great outdoors. Several criteria determine the ideal choice.

There sole plays a crucial role. A solid sole provides better stability and protects against rough terrain. Opt for a quality rubber sole for optimal grip.

L’cushioned is also important. Good cushioning absorbs shock, reducing fatigue and the risk of injury. Check that the shoes have an effective midsole.

There breathability is a key criterion. Feet need to breathe to avoid blisters and discomfort related to sweating. Choose materials like Gore-Tex which offer good ventilation while being waterproof.

In terms of maintenance, well-fitting shoes prevent sprains and provide good support for the ankles. High-top models generally offer better support for hikes on uneven terrain.

Do not neglect the weight shoes. Lightweight shoes allow you to walk longer without fatigue. However, make sure they are sturdy enough to withstand hiking conditions.

  • Check the size at the end of the day when the feet are more swollen.
  • Try the shoes on with the same socks you will use hiking.
  • Test the shoes on various surfaces to check their grip and comfort.

Investing in a quality pair of hiking shoes often results in years of worry-free use. Take the time to choose wisely to fully enjoy your outdoor adventures.

Find the right shoe for you

Choose the right ones hiking boots is essential to making the most of your outdoor adventures. Various criteria come into play to find the ideal pair.

The main criterion remains the comfort. A comfortable shoe prevents pain and blisters, ensuring pleasant walking over long distances. It is advisable to try on the shoes at the end of the day when the feet are slightly swollen.

Then, the stability and the maintenance are essential. A hiking shoe must provide good ankle support to avoid sprains, especially on uneven terrain. Opting for high-top shoes in the high mountains makes your ankle safer.

There breathability and theimpermeability are also to be taken into account. Breathable materials help keep feet dry by wicking away perspiration, while waterproofing protects against bad weather. Shoes with specific membranes, such as Gore-Tex, are often recommended.

Sole type plays a key role in traction and grip on various terrains. A sole with deep, well-placed lugs ensures better grip on muddy or rocky terrain.

Here are some tips for finding the right shoe for you:

  • Try several pairs in order to compare comfort and support.
  • Walk around the store with the shoes to test their comfort in a real situation.
  • Don’t just rely on the size; each brand sizes differently.
  • Take into account the thickness of the socks you will wear during your hikes.

A good choice of hiking shoes ensures comfort, safety and pleasure during your excursions.

Ready for adventure

Choose hiking boots adapted is essential to fully enjoy your outings in nature without fear of pain or injury. Several criteria make it possible to optimize this choice.

  • Terrain type : The type of trail influences the choice of shoes. For marked paths, light shoes are sufficient. On the other hand, for uneven terrain, more robust models with a good sole are recommended.
  • Comfort : Try on the shoes at the end of the day, when the feet are slightly swollen, to ensure optimal comfort. The presence of padding and good cushioning also contributes to comfort.
  • Maintenance : Good ankle support limits the risk of sprains. Favor high-rise models for technical and uneven terrain.
  • Breathability : To avoid excessive sweating and keep feet dry, shoes with breathable membranes are essential.
  • Impermeability : Waterproof shoes are essential to cope with wet conditions and keep feet dry.

The materials used also play a crucial role. Leather offers great durability while synthetic materials can offer better lightness and breathability. Everyone must adapt their choice according to their personal needs and preferences.

Fitting shoes is a step that should not be neglected. Make sure you have sufficient space at toe level to avoid annoying rubbing. Adequate lacing ensures good support without compressing the foot.

Explore safely

Choose the right ones hiking boots is an essential step for any outdoor enthusiast. Several criteria must be taken into account to ensure comfort and safety while hiking.

The first thing to consider is the type of hike. For walks on easy paths, light low shoes are sufficient. On the other hand, for more rugged routes or hikes lasting several days, high-top shoes offering good ankle support are recommended.

Next, the terrain you are hiking on plays a key role. Soles with good grip and suitable cramping will guarantee your safety on slippery or rocky ground. Also check the cushioning, especially if you plan to walk for a long time.

The waterproofness of the shoes should also not be neglected. Membranes like Gore-Tex help keep feet dry while wicking away perspiration. A good compromise to avoid blisters and inconveniences linked to humidity.

The breathability of the materials and the lightness of the shoes also influence walking comfort. Opt for technical materials that promote foot ventilation, especially in summer. A good lacing system ensures excellent support and avoids friction

When purchasing, it is essential to try on the shoes with the hiking socks you will use. Favor fittings at the end of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen. Make sure your toes do not touch the front of the shoe when going downhill.

To summarize, choosing a good pair of hiking shoes is based on several criteria such as the type of hiking, the terrain, the waterproofing and breathability of the materials. These combined elements ensure comfort and safety during your excursions.