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Youth hiking boots

Footwear for first-time explorers

If you’re a parent, you probably can’t wait for the day when your kids are old enough to join in on big hiking trips. The first step to get them ready is to lace them up with the right pair of hiking boots.

The tips for how to choose hiking boots or shoes are similar for adults and kids: comfort and a good fit is key. Kids love to explore, so waterproof-breathable linings (like GORE-TEX®) can help keep feet dry if they stomp through creeks or puddles. Padded and gusseted boot tongues give ankles extra cushioning and also block out random sticks and stones that might sneak in. You can even get kids started on learning how to take proper care of their new outdoor gear with tips on how to clean hiking boots.

Tips for hiking with kids

If it’s their first time hiking, take it slow, keep it short, and focus on fun (while still being safe). Read through our tips on day hiking for beginners, along with how to stay safe when you’re hiking. Make sure everyone involved in your outdoor adventure – big or small – knows the basics of safety so that everyone has a good time in the wild.