Outdoors Magazine

Anatomy of a Hiking Boot

By Perry Hua

Parts of a Hiking Boot

Parts of a Hiking Boot - Outer - Anatomy of an Athletic Shoe - Athlete Audit Parts of a Hiking Boot - Inside - Anatomy of an Athletic Shoe - Athlete Audit Parts of a Hiking Boot - Outsole - Anatomy of an Athletic Shoe - Athlete Audit
  1. Tongue tab – Helps to lift up the tongue for easy foot insertion
  2. Lacing hook – An open lace hook makes it easier to tighten/loosen boots
  3. Eyelets – Holes near the top of the upper guides laces into place
  4. Lacing – Durable, rounded laces stand up against the abuse of mother nature
  5. Mesh panels – Some hiking boots feature mesh panels that add ventilation
  6. Toe – The end of a hiking boot, oftentimes reinforced for added durability
  7. Toe cap – A rubber toe cap helps to improve durability as well as scrambling on rocks
  8. Welt – A strip of leather or rubber around the perimeter of the outsole, helps attach the outsole to the upper
  9. Upper – Usually made of tough materials such as leather or synthetic leather
  10. Mud guard – Helps to keep mud from plastering the upper
  11. Heel panel – The piece of fabric that covers the heel
  12. Heel loop – Can be used to make slipping on the boot easier or attaching to a carabiner for carrying
  13. Cut length – Hiking boots often refer to mid-tops or high-tops, while hiking shoes are often low-cut for added mobility
  14. Tongue – Heavily padded for increased comfort and protection
  15. Insole – The footbed of the boot, provides comfort and support for the feet
  16. Last – What a boot is built around; affects the shape and width of the boot
  17. Midsole – The cushioning located between the insole and outsole, is thick and firm
  18. Heel counter – The plastic insert behind the heel that provides structure and support for the heel
  19. Collar – A padded collar provides comfort and ankle support
  20. Outsole – A durable rubber outsole can be found on the bottom of a hiking boot
  21. Heel brake – Specific lug pattern helps to provide extra traction when braking with the heel
  22. Shank – Some hiking boots have a shank between the insole and outsole to provide support and structure. Helps to relieve load on hiker’s feet and calves
  23. Lugs – Deep, protruding rubber lugs help to provide traction on a variety of terrain

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