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Getting the Right Hiking Boots

If you are a walker, or if you are contemplating taking up walking for a hobby, then getting the right footwear is critical. So what do you need and how do you set about getting it.

The type of shoe or boot

Firstly you need to decide on the kind of walking that intend to do. Are you looking at short walks of up to 5 miles (2 hours), medium walks of up to about 12 miles (4 to 5 hours), or more extended walks that take a day or even longer.

Secondly, what kind of terrain do you intend to walk on? Will you be hiking on good quality paths and fairly level ground, or do you intend to take on the challenge of rough terrain and steep slopes where the footing is uneven and the path is rough.

If your walking will be of a short to medium duration and you only intend to walk on good quality paths, then you may be OK with what is sometimes referred to as a "day hiker".
This is more of a shoe than a boot and, although it has a stiffer sole, a more contoured tread and enhanced support, it looks something like a sneaker (trainer). This kind of shoe is comfortable and fine for general walking.
If you intend to take on longer walks and walks where the ground will throw up an uneven surface, loose rocks or inclines and declines, then you need a hiking boot.
A hiking boot has a very stiff sole, an "upper" that extends to (and sometimes beyond) the ankle and a structural shank (the part of the shoe that runs up above the heel). This kind of footwear offers a high level of support to the feet and makes walking of a longer duration, or walking on uneven ground, much more comfortable.


Not too long ago leather was the only option for serious walking shoes and hiking boots, but today there are a range of different synthetic fabrics that offer waterproof protection plus high levels of breathe-ability.
The benefits of a waterproof shoe are pretty obvious, but having shoes that not only keep water out, but which also let water vapour (sweat) escape can enhance foot comfort considerably. These shoes use special fabrics and, when combined with thick breathable walking socks, they ensure that the feet are kept fresh and dry which in turn prevents blisters and soreness.

Shoe size

Buying walking boots or hikers that are the right size is important and here you should be guided by how they feel rather than how they look or your "regular" shoe size (measurement).

Always try on hiking boots whilst wearing thick socks and ensure that your feet do not slip in them.
If you want a more detailed list of features to look for in walking shoes along with information about ascertaining your "perfect walking shoe fit", go to 
If you want to find out how to determine your exact shoe size (in international size fittings) you will find a step by step guide and links to size tables for both men and women at 

Finally, if you are just starting walking With Boots Shoes, start off with short level walks and gradually build up your stamina. You do not need to climb a mountain on your first outing.


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