by Diane Spicer
You are wise to search for hiking boots reviews in your quest for safe and enjoyable trail time.
Too many hikers jump into the first pair of boots that come along, and regret it later:
Do I really need to add more painful examples to convince you that you need the best womens hiking boots you can buy on your feet?
This page gives you a strategy for using boot reviews to find eligible pairs, and then tips on how to go shopping for hiking boots.
If you're committed to putting the absolute best fitting pair of hiking boots (a category which can include hiking shoes and hiking sandals as well) on your feet, read on!
There are lots of places to make mistakes with womens hiking boots, and you want to avoid them to quickly locate the best pair for your feet, your terrain, and your ambitions as a hiker.
And gear reviews are going to help you do that.
Here's the thing about hiking boots reviews:
You and I both agree that we want the very best hiking boots on your feet.
But we need to be realistic.
When making a major hiking gear purchase such as hiking boots, there might be constraints around your decision, such as:
So I'd like to pass along an approach I use when it's time for new boots (and the way I hike, that's almost every year or two).
This strategy guarantees that I don't miss anything, and maximizes my chances of getting the perfect fit, when I read hiking boots reviews.
I'm confident that it will work for you, too.
I'm assuming you're looking for the best lightweight hiking boots, with minimal break in time, you can find.
Let's get started!
It's going to take four steps to find your perfect hiking boots.
But it's so worth it!
Before you start to read hiking boot reviews,
get to know your feet.
As champion shoppers, women tend to know the foibles of their feet.
Using myself as an example, I have wickedly wide feet with a high arch. This anatomical "gift" from my father's side of the family severely limits my boot options.
What are your feet like?
Here's how to find out:
Because hiking boots are constructed differently than regular everyday footwear, I recommend that you do at least these 3 things before going on to Step Two:
Now you have a realistic view of what you're putting into a hiking boot.
Know that certain boot manufacturers specialize, or not, in your exact type of foot.
It is safe to proceed to the...
Assess the type of hiking you're going to be doing.
You don't want an "overbuilt" boot that you're going to pay a lot for you - unless you plan on rocky trails that require great grip and arch protection.
Pay attention to the features that matter most to you, and put those at the top of your list when you start to look at hiking boots with a serious commitment to finding the perfect pair for your feet.
Other questions to ask yourself about your hiking plans:
Use this list of boot features when it's finally time to take the next step.
Which it is!
Your mission: Leave no stone unturned.
By that I mean it's time to harness the power of electrons (a.k.a. The Internet) to read what other hikers are saying in hiking boots reviews.
Outdoor Gear Lab is the place to start.
Just for the record, I have no affiliation with Outdoor Gear Lab. I'm just grateful for the (Hiking Pun Alert) leg work they do on my behalf.
There are 2 reasons why I tend to trust their hiking boots reviews over other sources:
I recommend taking notes, or creating a shopping "cheat sheet" of brands and boot names as you read so your eyes don't glaze over.
Don't bypass their "price versus value" comparison charts.
These will give you a feel for how much money you're willing to spend to achieve your hiking boots goals from Step Two.
Many folks ask me about the hiking boots reviews that are done in hiking magazines.
Here's what I tell them to do:
Personally I avoid looking at those glossy ads because I seriously doubt whether the person creating them has ever worn a pair of hiking boots for any length of time, let alone selected the best hiking boots for his/her feet.
However, it does give you a glimpse of the newest, and best selling, hiking boots. So it can be a useful place to start your research.
Unfortunately, reading reviews can only take you so far on your search for the best hiking boots to accompany you on your hiking adventures.
And so we cross the bridge to another step in hiking boots reviews... getting real boots.
Now that your head is swimming (or brimming, if you're a glass half full kinda woman) with hiking boots data, apply that information to a field trip into your nearest "real" gear store.
You want to bring your favorite high performance socks with you, too.
Don't have a favorite sock brand yet? Read this.
Be patient with yourself during this step of your boot quest. Here's where it's getting really real.
Keep an open mind and try on lots of different brands of hiking boots. Only you can tell when you've identified a winner for your feet.
If you're impatient, do this:
Ask the salesperson which brands run small, cater to wide or narrow feet, are great for day hikes versus carrying loads while backpacking ... all the stuff you worked hard to identify in the previous steps.
It's finally time to select a pair of hiking boots.
It's a big commitment, I know.
You're going to be spending a lot of time with these boots, hiking through thick and thin, and you have high hopes (sort of like selecting a mate).
Keep a few things in mind:
You need a personal gear chat with me!
Finding the perfect pair of womens hiking boots is a lot more fun when you have a buddy.
Hiking Boots Reviews