Boots and shoes for hiking

Boots or shoes? How to choose

Comfort starts from the ground up, whether you’re on a weekend nature walk or thru-hiking the PCT. For hiking, there are two main routes: boots or shoes.

Higher-cut hiking boots give good ankle support on technical terrain. Stiff soles also provide support when you’re carrying a heavy pack, but offer less flex. They tend to be heavier and less breathable than hiking shoes.

Hiking shoes are usually flexible and lightweight, but they don’t have the same ankle support as hiking boots. Compared to beefy boots, there’s little to no break-in time needed. They’re a great pick for groomed trails or simple day hikes.

Get more tips and learn about features to look for in our article on how to choose hiking boots and shoes.

Refresh your soles

Logged a few too many kilometers on your old favourites? Check out top picks from trusted hiking brands like Scarpa, Salomon, Zamberlan and Merrell. Don’t forget hiking socks to keep your feet warm and dry.

If you’re shopping for hiking boots online, check out our tips on how to measure shoe size at home.