Fashion Magazine

How to Choose Hiking Boots

By Attireclub @attireclub
Euro Rock

The Euro Rock boot from Timberland

Hiking boots are one of the most important outdoor purchases you should make. Shoes should be an important part of your wardrobe, and, if you are a hiker, you definitely need hiking boots. Of course, hiking boots can be worn in other contexts as well; you can simply wear them as casual shoes with casual outfits, especially during the winter time, when a good pair of boots can be just what you are looking for to keep comfortable and warm.

Timberland, for example, is a world-renowned brand that produces fashionable boots. Their boots come in different designs that work well both for hiking through the woods and for wearing in the city. These shoes can be worn when hiking through the forest or making a small hillside expedition, but they can also be worn as casual shoes with a sporty outfit. You can even wear them with a shirt, but make sure that if you wear them with a shirt, your shirt is a casual one. Remember that to establish whether a shirt is casual or not, what you should do is look at its pockets. A shirt that has no pockets is a dress shirt; a shirt that has one pocket is semi-casual, while a shirt that features two pockets is a shirt to wear when hiking through the woods. Timberland even has a collection of exclusive designs, which are available only at the JD Sports website. They look great and are affordable, considering that you will probably wear them for several years.

The main purpose of hiking boots though is to be worn when you are wandering through the woods or climbing a mountain. There are more aspects you need to consider if you want to wear a good pair of hiking boots, which we will break down. Of course, these are not unbreakable rules, but you should follow them if you want to have good hiking experience, as hiking boots do not only influence your feet, they can influence the entire outcome of a trip. A good pair of boots needs to be reliable, as they are supposed to keep you well-grounded even if you are carrying a backpack or if you are hiking in hard conditions (slippery grounds, etc.)

Comfort and size

The first thing you need to look for when you are shopping for hiking boots is the size and the comfort. This might sound obvious, but wearing boots that are too loose or too tight can make you slip, and therefore cause injuries, they can cause blisters, hurt your ankles or make you get tired quite fast. We know that some people like to wear thicker socks when they are wearing boots, so when you are trying on boots, make sure that you try them on with the type of socks you want to wear them.

The rule of thumb is that the heel and the middle of the foot should be quite snug, but you should have enough room in the toe box to move your toes. Your toes don’t need to be loose, but they also don’t need to be kept too tight. Finding that middle place can be hard and it can take some time, but it is definitely one of the most important aspects of buying boots.

As a side note, remember to always give your boots time to break in. This means that you should wear them around the house for a while before you wear them on a trip, so that they adjust to your feet and that you make sure they fit you and your needs just right.

Construction and materials

The fabrics used to make a pair of boots impact the piece’s weight, durability, water resistance and breathability.

Fabric

Timberland boots

A pair of boots made from nubuck leather

Generally, when it comes to fabrics, we recommend natural fabrics as your first choice. Here are the main fabrics from which boots are made, each with its upsides and downsides.

Full-grain leather is the perfect fabric for abrasion resistance, water resistance and durability. It is not the lightest fabric, and it is not as breathable as nylon-split grain leather combos, but it definitely is perfect for extended trips and for rugged terrains.

Nubuck leather is full-grain leather that has been processed to resemble suede. This kind of leather resists water and abrasion very well and it is highly durable. It is quite flexible, but requires some time to break. If you wear boots made from nubuck leather, make sure you wear them around so that they break in before engaging in a long hike.

Split-grain leather is usually paired with nylon or nylon mesh in order to offer the wearer breathable, lightweight comfort. Split-grain leather has low costs, but it is not very resistant to abrasion and water.

Synthetic leather is made from nylon or polyester and is quite often found in modern boots. Boots made from synthetic leather cost less, break in quite quickly and are very light, but their downside is that they wear out quite rapidly.

Waterproof

There is no point in buying a pair of boots if they are not waterproof. Waterproof boots feature uppers made with breathable and waterproof membranes such as Gore-Tex. These work very well and keep your feet dry in wet conditions.

Note that even if you buy waterproof boots, you should still treat them with a waterproofing product. This will keep dirt and dust away from the waterproof linings.

Soles

sole

The soles of a pair of boots are a crucial part of the construction of a boot. You want a flexible sole for casual hiking, but for long hikes, especially on uneven or rocky terrain, you want boots that are stiff. Stiffness ensures better comfort and stability on rougher terrains, as a stiff boot will not let your foot wrap around every tree or rock you step on and therefore, your feet won’t get tired very fast.

Laces and Eyelets

The laces and eyelets of your boots, even though they might not sound very important are highly important parts of a boot.

Timberland boots

These need to be resistant and if you purchase a pair that comes from an untrusted source, they might fall short. Make sure you wear proper boot laces with your boots, as other types will be to loose and you might risk falling or slipping. Laces made from a blend of cotton and polyester should be durable and strong. As for eyelets, never buy boots with eyelets made from plastic or fragile materials.

Additional tips

- When you want to go shopping for boots, we suggest that you go later in the afternoon, as, throughout the day, your feet will expand. Even though the expansion is quite small, it can have an impact on how your boots will fit. 5 or 6 in the afternoon are probably the best times to buy a new pair of boots, as during those hours your feet will be at their largerst.

- After you buy the right pair of boots for you, make sure that you wear them around until you actually use them for hiking. This way, you will break them in and they will mold to your feet, the sole will become more flexible and you will be sure that you have a good hiking experience.

 

Important notice

Please note that hiking boots come in different qualities and serve different types of experiences. Do not attempt to climb a mountain in city boots, if you take on serious mountain climbing; make sure that you wear the appropriate gear!

If you buy a good pair of boots, you can be sure that it will last for a very long time and that it will offer you comfort and style when you wear them in the right context!

Fraquoh and Franchomme

P.S. Do you like to wear hiking boots? What style do you prefer? Share your comments questions or feedback in the space below and don’t remember get that you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or you can follow us on our Facebook page or on Twitter!

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