A Limited Choice: Kids Hiking Boots

Kids hiking boots are often difficult to come by since the demand for these boots is not as high as for men's and women's hiking boots. There are different outdoor supply stores that carry children's lines of outdoor clothing and equipment such as kids hiking boots. Since children are more likely to step into streams and puddles for the fun of it, waterproof hiking boots are usually a great idea to prevent wet feet on a trip from being an issue.

What to Look For

When looking for kids hiking boots or other hiking material for toddlers and elementary students there are very few stores that carry quality equipment. REI is one store that offers many different choices in children's outdoor wear and equipment. Patagonia also carries many different children's hiking equipment, but both of these places are rather expensive unless sales and off season sales are found.

Kids hiking boots mainly need to offer the young child traction, comfort and support for their ankles. Since young children will not usually be carrying a pack, a really stiff boot is not needed, so a lightweight one should suffice. It is a good idea to get young kids hiking boots in waterproof material so that if they accidentally step in a puddle or stream their feet still remain warm and dry. If the climate is cooler, for hiking in the fall or winter, insulated kids hiking boots will keep their feet warm without needing to have extra socks that can be bulky and uncomfortable, sliding down into the boots at times.

Older children, such as teenagers, can fit into women's or men's hiking boots rather than having to stay with the limited choices in kids' hiking boots. Teenagers are also able to carry heavier packs which mean they have different needs in their hiking boots. If they are only doing day hikes with small or no backpacks, then they can choose a lightweight hiking boot or hiking shoe which provides more traction than tennis shoes but still maintains the flexibility of a tennis shoe. Lightweight hiking boots are also flexible but also provide some ankle support which is important in rockier terrain.

If the teen is carrying a heavier backpack, such as for an overnight or week long camping trip, then he will need a mid-weight hiking boot which is stiffer and provides more support to the foot so that the additional weight and time on his feet will be more comfortable and cause less fatigue.