How to choose the best hiking boots

How to choose the best hiking boots?

When it comes to choosing the best hiking boots, it can be a bit of a minefield, especially with so many options for both boots and shoes available on the market. However, whether you choose shoes or boots, it’s important that your decision is made with comfort in mind.

In this article, we’ll look at a number of factors to consider when choosing the best hiking boots.


How do I choose hiking boots?

Hiking boots should fit snugly without feeling tight around any area of your foot, whilst offering plenty of wiggle room for your toes. Trying on hiking boots is essential and we recommend that you do this at the end of the day when your feet feel a little more swollen.

Choosing your perfect pair of hiking boots doesn’t just come down to fit, there are other factors to consider including the type of boot and the different components that make up your boots.



Your type of boot will depend on where and how you intend to wear them. If you’re heading out on multiple day trips with a heavy load, you’ll need durability and optimal support so high-cut hiking boots would be the best option. If you’re planning a short backpacking trip, low-cut day-hiking boots would be a suitable choice.



Hiking boots are made up of several components which all have an impact on your choice of shoe. You’ll need to consider the upper material, midsole, internal support, and outsole to ensure you make a choice that suits you.



Keeping comfort in mind when trying on boots for hiking is important, ensuring they feel snug but not too tight. Trying hiking footwear on later in the day is a great way to ensure your boots won’t feel too tight when hiking.


Which hiking boots are best?

Hiking boots are arguably one of the most important pieces of gear you will buy for a hike so making sure you get the best pair for your trip is essential. Here are our top picks of the best hiking boots available at Timberland:


Men’s Chocorua Trail 2.0 Waterproof Hiking Boots

Our Chocorua Waterproof Hiking Boots have been designed for adventure, infused with anti-fatigue technology and Gore-Tex membranes to keep your feet dry on the trails. Shop the Chocorua Hiking Boots here.


Men’s Euro Hiker Boots

With comfort built into every step, the Men’s Euro Hiker Boots are crafted with premium leather to protect the foot from the elements and the EVA midsole cushions offer superior shock absorption. Shop the Euro Hiker Boots here


What are the best women’s hiking boots?

As with men’s hiking boots, there are a number of options available on the market for hiking boots for women. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight pair for short hiking trips or a heavy-duty pair of boots for multiple-day hikes, here are our favorite women’s hiking boots from Timberland:


Women’s Norwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Ideal for conquering wet weather on a hike or keeping your feet dry on a walk to the dog park, the Women’s Norwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots are a great choice. Crafted with premium leather and a waterproof membrane, they offer ultimate durability. Shop the Norwood Hiking Boots here


Women’s Mixed-Media Waterproof Euro Hiker Boots

The Women’s Mixed-Media Waterproof Euro Hiker Boots are ideal for when you need something more hard-wearing. Crafted with TimberDry™ waterproof membranes, premium leather, and Ortholite footbeds, these boots will keep you comfortable and dry all day. Shop the Mixed-Media Euro Hiker Boots here.


What are the best lightweight walking boots?

Your choice of walking boots will depend on your activity, with heavy boots typically more suited to winter hiking where durability and waterproofing are essential. However, lightweight walking boots are a great option for the rest of the year where you simply need a combination of comfort, durability and performance.

When looking for your perfect pair of lightweight boots, you should consider the weight of the boot, the stability and flexibility of the sole, the upper material and support, and the build quality of your boots. A couple of our favorite Timberland lightweight boots are listed here:


Men’s Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

The Men’s Mt. Maddsen Hiking Boots are a great choice when you’re looking for something lightweight, with each size 9 boot weighing just 1Ib, 1oz. These lightweight boots keep you comfortable without compromising on quality, offering anti-fatigue technology and premium leather uppers. Shop the Mt. Maddsen Hiking Boots here


Men’s Flume Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Another lightweight choice are the Men’s Flume Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots, again weighing in at just 1Ib, 1oz. Made for adventure, these boots comprise premium full-grain waterproof leather uppers and waterproof seam-sealed construction to keep your feet dry all day long. Shop the Flume Hiking Boots here


What are the best waterproof hiking boots?

Many hiking boots are now made with waterproof and water-resistant synthetic materials, but with so many choices it’s hard to know which pair is best for you. A good pair of waterproof hiking boots will state whether they are fully waterproof and which elements of the boots are applicable to this definition.


Can you wear waterproof hiking boots in the snow?

Once you’ve found your perfect pair of hiking boots, you might be wondering if you can wear them in all weather conditions, including snow. Simply put, yes, most waterproof hiking boots can be worn in the snow but you’ll need to consider the amount of snow and your activity. Also check the tread to ensure they will grip ice.


How do you break in leather hiking boots?

When it comes to breaking in leather hiking boots, the sturdy material may take slightly longer to soften up than more lightweight boots. Therefore, it’s a good idea to ensure you have plenty of time to break them in before your hike by following a few simple steps:

Wear your boots around the house

You’ll want to break your boots in gradually to avoid damaging your boots or hurt your feet, so wearing them around the house is a great first step. We recommend you wear the socks and insoles you intend to wear on your hike, making sure they’re tied snugly but not too tight before you start.


Take a walk around the block

Once you’ve taken a few walks around the house, it’s time to hit the streets. Make sure your leather hiking boots feel comfortable and start off small with a quick trip around the block. You can then gradually build up your distance each time you head out.


Head out on a short day trail 

Your boots should be feeling good by now, but off-pavement walking is really going to break in your boots to the optimum level for hiking. Grab a backpack and head out on a few day-long hikes, gradually building your distance and weight every time.


Should you buy hiking boots a size bigger?

When shopping for hiking boots, a ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t work as there are several factors to consider when buying your perfect pair. Some people will find that buying their hiking boots in a size bigger provides a better fit, but for others, it could mean more discomfort. 

Finding the right size hiking boots is all in the trying on. Make sure you wear the socks you intend to wear on your hike when you try them on and always walk around inside to get a true feel for them before you head out to the trails.

Just because your chosen pair of boots feel a little snug when trying them on doesn’t mean you need a bigger size - you might just need a different style of boot with a larger toe box to accommodate your foot.


What shoes are best for hiking?

If hiking or mountaineering boots aren’t your thing, hiking shoes could be the next best option for your adventure. Hiking shoes allow you to strike a balance between weight, comfort, protection and durability. Timberland offers a collection of hiking shoes suitable for any trail and we’ve listed some of our top picks here:


Men’s Keele Ridge Waterproof Hiking Shoes

The Men’s Keele Ridge Waterproof Hiking Shoes are designed for shorter and less-technical hikes, offering the trail-conquering performance of taller hiking boots whilst providing a lightweight and nimble shoe to keep you comfortable. Shop the Keele Ridge Hiking Shoes here


Men’s Sadler Pass Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Perfect for gripping trails and rocks, the Men’s Sadler Pass Waterproof Hiking Shoes are the ideal alternative to hiking boots. With Gore-Tex bootie construction for waterproof protection and OrthoLite footbeds, these versatile shoes will ensure comfort that lasts the length of your hike. Shop the Sadler Pass Hiking Shoes here


Are Timberland boots suitable for hiking?

Timberland has been making top-reviewed men’s hiking boots for decades,  whether you are a day-hiker or an outdoor adventurer heading out on a multiple-day hike.

Visit our website to view our range of men’s and women’s hiking boots. Once your hike is over, check out how to clean and protect your Timberlands.