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Well-designed, comfortable hiking boots are the most important components of any hikers gear. There are many brands and styles of hiking footwear, all high quality boots share certain features. Those new to hiking should consider these factors when looking to buy a pair of hiking boots.

Avid hiking enthusiasts enjoy more than simply reaching a remote destination. They also relish the physical and mental challenges that accompany the journey on a rugged mountain trail, such as fording waterways, scrambling over automobile-sized boulders, and relentless uphill grinds. Most experienced hikers will also admit they learned some lessons the hard way. Topping the list of hard lessons is recognizing the need for appropriate footwear on the trail.

Many beginning hikers have laced up their Nikes, set off on a rugged trail and lived to regret every step. Their aching feet and swollen ankles are evidence that the three most important pieces of hiking gear are:

1. Quality hiking boots
2. Quality hiking boots
3. Quality hiking boots

That’s it in a nutshell. If you think hiking may be an activity you will enjoy, your first step should be an investment in a pair of good-quality hiking boots. Your feet will thank you.

Features of High-Quality Hiking Boots

All high-quality hiking boots share certain features. Here are five important things to look for when buying your first pair of hiking boots:

Ankle Support: Hiking trails can be treacherous and even the best boots are not a guarantee against injury on the trail, but a mid rise boot provides significant protection against rolling an ankle on rocks, roots, holes, or other hazards.

Aside from injury protection, the support provided by mid-rise boots reduces wear and tear on your ankles while walking on uneven terrain, resulting in little or no soreness at the end of a strenuous day.

Bonus Tip: Be certain to tighten the laces of your boots from the bottom up. Failure to tighten the bottom laces negates the support given by the mid-rise boot.

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