How to Choose the Right Hiking Shoes or Boots for Your Needs


Hiking requires sturdy footwear that provides ample support to the feet, otherwise soreness will arise and create an unpleasant outdoor experience. Selecting an unsuitable shoe or boot could result in painful feet and ultimately ruining the outdoor adventure experience. For the best selection of hiking shoes and boots, visit Walking on a Cloud shoe shop.

Try on boots and shoes in the afternoon when your feet have had time to expand a little more, leaving a thumb width gap between your heel and the front of the shoe.


Finding footwear suitable for thru-hiking, such as Merrell shoes and hiking boots, is of utmost importance. While lightweight trail runners might tempt you with their lightweight design or heavy leather boots that reach all the way down your legs may be touted by lightweight thru-hikers, there’s likely going to be a perfect balance somewhere in between – there may even be an ideal shoe fit!

Once you’ve tested out your footwear in store, taking them on a hike or using an incline board at home to fully experience them is key, says Trimble. Many experienced hikers even replace their standard insoles with Superfeet inserts in order to optimize fit and help avoid blistering.

Be mindful of how well the heel fits against your ankle. If the heel feels skin-tight against your ankle, this could result in chaffing and blisters; to check this, loosen the laces and move your foot to the front of the shoe where there should be an approximately thumb-width gap.


Fit is of the utmost importance when selecting hiking boots or shoes; if your toes hit the ends of the shoes during long hikes, this could become unbearable and cause further discomfort. Also be wary if your heels slip backward on the back of the boot; any attempts at lacing or re-lacing won’t help; an uncomfortable hike awaits you otherwise!

Another key element of a good fit footwear is how snug it fits when tied tightly. Loose footwear can cause chaffing and blisters on your feet; if purchasing winter hiking boots, ensure they can accommodate a thick winter sock comfortably.

Make sure your boot or shoe tread matches the terrain on which you will typically hike. Boots with deeper lugs may be appropriate for more difficult trails while lighter multi-purpose treads might work better for day hikes over easier surfaces.


For longer hikes on rougher terrain or longer distances, a shoe with greater stability than a trail runner may help reduce foot fatigue and ankle injuries, and allow your feet to better bear heavier backpacks than with traditional lightweight hiking boots.

Comfort is key when selecting a hiking shoe or boot, with features like a sturdy frame and shank, stiff midsole, thick cushioning and non-marking outsoles being key factors in overall

design. Different manufacturers provide various traction solutions; Salomon creates their own rubber compounds (Contagrip), while others trust Vibram or similar for outsourced rubber compounds.

An all-leather hiking boot may not be ideal for most hikers. They require significant break-in time before becoming flexible enough to adapt to your foot shape, as well as regular care to stay waterproof and in good condition; cleaning and drying them regularly can extend their lifespan and performance.


Hiking boots are designed to protect and support your feet when hiking trails or traversing any terrain, providing cushioned impact protection, grip in all terrain types and a protective barrier from rocks and debris lingering along hiking routes. However, their heavier weight often makes them impractical.

The ideal hiking shoes are constructed of lightweight yet comfortable and long-wearing materials such as synthetic or leather and polyurethane, with or without mesh panels for increased breathability.

Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof hiking shoe is an extremely comfortable shoe that requires little break-in time and provides exceptional support on steep trails. Its sturdy sole can protect from impacts of carrying backpacks while its lug pattern fits any type of trail perfectly. When trying on hiking boots or shoes online, always walk around on non-carpeted surfaces in order to assess how well grip they have; this step is particularly important.

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