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Guide to Finding Perfect Hiking Shoes

Posted by Catherine V. on

Have you ever bought a pair of hiking shoes, or any shoes, thinking that they'd be exactly what you wanted? Then you wear them for the first time and realize they're everything you DON'T want but it's too late to return them since you've already worn them and dumped the tags?

Keep reading to find out how to find your perfect pair of hiking shoes!

Sizes don't matter!

Different brands may vary with their sizing sometimes. A size 8 with brand A may feel smaller than a size 8 with brand B. It's okay if the size that feels most comfortable is different from the size that you're used to wearing! Always try them on first if you're at a physical store. Don't forget to bring a pair of socks that you plan on wearing with your hiking boots. If you're shopping online, read their sizing charts carefully and find your best fit. Your best bet is to shop from a site that provides free returns so you know you're covered if the shoes don't fit. 

Comfort before fashion

You're buying hiking shoes! You know you'll be wearing them for an extended amount of time. Pick something because it's comfortable, not because it will look good on your Instagram photo or with outfit. If your feet hurt or get blisters after a long hike, swap your current pair for something that comes with extra cushioning, like a memory foam footbed. Your feet will be grateful after that 10 mile hike you just finished.

Functions and Features

Shoes are meant to protect your feet while you're walking/hiking, so getting a bruised toe after a hike is a definite no-no. Neither is getting your feet wet or an iron nail stuck to the bottom of your feet! Depending on your needs and where you hike, you might want to find a pair of shoes that are waterproof or water resistant and might be well insulated. If you often hike in areas with uneven ground or have may have sharp twigs all over the ground, consider getting a pair that provides extra protection with a steel shank or plate. That way, you wouldn't have to worry about using that first aid kit you didn't want to bring in the first place!

Quality

Shoes are an important component of your hike so spending that extra cash might just be worth it, but also keep in mind that the most expensive ones are not always the best ones. Invest in a pair high quality shoes that doesn't break the bank. Shoes that are durable will most definitely pay for themselves over time. Your wallet will thank you for not buying a new pair every year!