Support and Flexibility: Finding the Best Hiking Boots

There are many considerations to take into account when searching for the best hiking boots, whether it is a kid's hiking boot or an adult's hiking boot. The best hiking boots are those that will provide the hiker with the flexibility that is appropriate for the terrain he is going into, the breathability that is adequate for the climate, and the support that he needs for his ankle.


Many hikers and backpackers have more than one pair of hiking boots and hiking shoes so that they can choose the best hiking boots to meet their needs for that particular trip. If the trip is going to be taken in rainy weather, snow, or across streams or rivers where the boot could be submerged, the best hiking boots are waterproofed, which means the foot will not get wet when the boot is submerged in water.

Snowy or cold conditions also mean that the boot should be insulated so that the foot is kept warmer. There are Gor-Tex socks that can also be worn to promote these insulation properties in waterproof boots that are not insulated. If the boots are unlikely to be submerged in water, or if it is only a light rain or shallow snow, then water resistant boots are probably the best hiking boots because they breathe more yet also provide water protection for the foot, but will let water through if the boot is submerged.

Another consideration for the best hiking boot is whether the trip is for multiple days carrying a pack with an average amount of weight in it, such as twenty to thirty pounds. If this is the case, then a medium weight boot is usually needed to provide a moderate amount of support to the foot and ankle, increasing the length the hiker can go without fatigue to his legs and feet. These boots feel a little awkward to the foot since the soles are thicker than a normal shoe and do not bend with the foot as much when hiking. They also need a longer period of time to break in before a trip so that the hiker does not get blisters.

A hiking boot that is the best for day hiking trips is a lightweight hiking boot or a hiking shoe. Lightweight hiking boots are very flexible so that the boot bends and moves with the foot, providing a comfortable fit. Since it is a boot, it also gives more support to the ankle, which is important when going through rough terrain, even if it is only a day hike without a pack.