Choosing a Good Hiking Boot

Everyone enjoys hiking to some degree, but buying those state of the art boots, poles and packs is something that can cost the earth, and for those of us who don’t have that to spend, we moved toward middle of the road expedition boots.
Which doesn’t mean we settle for less, or that the gear we’re using doesn’t give us the traction we need or the protection we require to keep our feet warm in the colder weather or the elements.

To hiking into some areas, we’re going to require at least a fairly good pair of boots because they will give us not just protection but also confidence when we are moving into situations where we have to carry a heavier pack and still keep our footing. But they also need to be something we can afford.

For my money, the Merrel GoreTex Mid hiker is a great value at about 129 USD

Know what you’re looking for and take the time to learn a bit about how your boots are put together, so that you can buy the right pair, for the right price, and get a pair thats going to last for a few years.

The outer portion of the cow, whole grain cowhide is going to be stiff, and very close to the most waterproof part of the cow. It is normally turned inside outwards, so that the more smooth parts of the leather is inside.
Buying cowhide boots will be the best purchase for your purposes, regardless of where you plan to hike.

Check for a boot that is very nearly seamless on the upper parts so that the boots aren’t prone to leaking at the seams or joining points.

Another part of the boot, the gusset, is a piece of leather that is flexible, and stitched to the tongue and the upper part of the boots which is used to keep stones and water out of the boot.

The ideal boot will feature a back stay. What you’re looking for is a narrow strip, usually leather, that is stitched over the back seam.
This should be quite narrow, due to the fact that it should not catch on anything.
If the back strip is torn, the boot will quite effectively be destroyed as they are close to impossible to repair or replace.
Stitchery that connects sole to upper boot is known as the welt.
There are various types of welt, however for hiking purposes, a Norwegian welt, which is a double stitching of very thick, very strong materials will be the best that is available.

Many people prefer a high hiker such as this model available from Cabelas

You can very often find wonderful hiking boots on sale in early spring or summer, and while they may be last years model, finding a pair of hiking boots for half what you might expect to pay is going to be a real bonus.
One place to look will be Cabelas Outfitters , while another which will feature some wonderful sales on hikers is LL Bean.

Select a pair that are mid range in price. They will last more than a year or two and will be well worth what you pay if you plan on spending any time hiking, and even if you will only use them once or twice.
I personally prefer the mid hikers, which extend to just above the ankle, although many prefer the high hikers.
Whatever you select make sure that it fits well, has room for at least two pairs of socks and is waterproof.

Hiking even a mile in poorly fitting, poorly built boots can be excruciating and thats not a memory that you want of your hiking trips.

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