TheCrossFitShoes is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How Should Hiking Boots Fit – Hiking Shoes – Overlook Boots

How should hiking boots fit? It is definitely a question that demands a perfect answer. 

A good pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes are essential for hiking, but ensuring that they fit properly is crucial to having a good experience.

Boots should be chosen based on the type of trails you will be hiking on, such as park trails and mountain routes.

Apart from this, choosing the right hiking boots depend upon one more factor that is the season. Different season requires a different type of hiking shoes.

In summer the condition of the ground and weather is different from the winter season so you need different types of hiking shoes also.

This article is going to be very helpful for you if you are a hiker or if you are planning to become a hiker soon because in this article we are going to discuss everything related to hiking shoes, how should hiking boots fit, what hiking boots made of and much more.

So without wasting any further time let’s get started with our very first topic that is, 

When Are Hiking Boots Necessary?Hiking Boots Necessary

I m sure you will not like the fact of being uncomfortable while hiking and wearing heavy boots that are ruining your enjoyment.

But if you wear the right kind of footwear during the hiking it will let you feel comfortable and relaxed and you will enjoy your hiking session wonderfully.

If you want to buy a perfect pair of hiking shoes then you need to keep the type of hiking in mind at the time of selecting the shoes.

Written below are three different types of hiking shoes. Every type is designed for the different intensity levels of the hiking track.

Let’s have a look at them.

Light Hiking Shoes:

The light hiking shoes come with a very flexible midsole and low-cut model.

These types of hiking shoes are perfect for running on trails, hiking during day times, and ultra-lightweight backpacking trips.

If your hiking includes trails and landscapes then these types of shoes will be a perfect choice as they work extremely perfect in maintaining stability and flexibility. 

Backpacking Boots:

So these are the boots with high cut and they provide extra support to the ankle. 

You will be protected from rough terrain by stiffer midsoles in these boots.

So these boots are a perfect option for such hikers who carry heavy loads for long distances. 

Mountaineering Boots:

So these boots are more on the heavier side and compared to normal boots they are very durable and stable.

The inner of these boots are made of either plastic or leather. These mountaineer boots are perfect for higher altitudes, glacier crossings, and alpine climbings.

Mostly these boots are specially designed for crampons as they have very hard and stiff soles.

If you are willing to choose mountaineering boots then keep in mind that these shoes are rugged and very durable but for day hiking and trail runnings these boots are not a good option at all as they feel extremely bulky and due to that you can’t run faster.

Similarly, light hiking shoes are not going to let you climb peaks that are fully covered in snow.

This is the reason you will require different types of hiking boots for different situations. 

How Should Hiking Boots Fit?Hiking Boots Necessary

When you are shopping for hiking shoes you need to be very concerned about the fit of your shoes because it is one of the most crucial things ever.

As you know that your entire body weight will be on your feet so you need them to feel comfortable.

During hiking, if your feet are feeling comfortable your overall body will feel comfortable. So start your shopping session by choosing the best quality trail shoes. 

So at the time of try-on sessions when you put your foot inside your shoe, you need to put your entire weight on the front part of the shoe. 

The back of the shoe should fit easily between the heel and your index finger. If your shoes aren’t wide enough to put your foot ideally like this then your toes will be injured because of destruction.

Now you need to examine the width of your shoes. Where the widest part of the shoes is present (mostly it is at the forefoot area) your shoe needs to feel a bit closer but not tighter.

Make sure there is no discomfort at all at the ankle, heel, or any part of the shoes otherwise you will be very uncomfortable throughout your entire hiking journey.

If you want a flawless fit for your hiking shoes then you need to follow the written below tips.

Fit Over Features: 

Always prioritize the fit over features. If you invest in such type of hiking shoes that provide features over fit then it will be the worst investment ever.

Simple shoes with no extra features and a comfortable fit are 10 times better than uncomfortable shoes with lots of added features.

Proper fitting prevents constriction and hot spots on the foot so keep that in mind.

Time of Day:

Yes, you need to be very concerned about the timings when you are purchasing your hiking shoes because it is absolutely true that the feet swell as the day progresses.

When your feet are at their largest, shopping for hiking footwear at the end of the day is the best time.

Shop In-Person:

We all know the wonders of online shopping but still, we will recommend you to shop in person as it lets you lots of trails so you can have a perfect fit too.

You should be able to experience each boot on a rocky incline ramp at a good retailer.

Take Your Time:

There is no need to hurry up when you are shopping for your hiking boots take your time properly.

Do not ever stick to one brand forever try to explore new brands it might be possible that you get a better option. 

Do Your Research:

Online researching before trying in stores will help you alot in saving time. 

Home Try-On:

Before you hit the trails, spend time wearing your new hiking boots indoors. This is an excellent way to confirm your decision before it’s too late.

Add Arch Support:

Even light hikers need more support than the generic insoles that come with their new boots.

But if you add insoles that are perfect for arch support then you will feel very comfortable as your shoes will remain happy and healthy even if you hike for a longer time.

What Are Hiking Boots Made Of?Hiking Boots Necessary

It is one of the most crucial questions that many people are concerned about. There are different materials used for making the perfect pair of hiking shoes.

One factor that is extremely important is breathability. If your shoes are not breathable they will not feel comfortable at all.

Many people think that waterproof material is the perfect option but it is not true. Since sweat cannot escape through the waterproof material, your feet get wetter than when they are exposed to external moisture.

If you are planning to hike in the summer season or in areas that are hotter then you need to invest your money in such materials that allow your sweat to evaporate for example mesh or other upper materials.

If you wear such types of hiking shoes during summer hiking then your feet will dry very quickly. 

To check the outsole of a hiking boot or shoe, flip it upside down once you’ve selected the upper material.

If you intend to tackle the type of terrain you will be tackling, it should have enough tread depth to provide traction. If your terrain is very difficult then you will need more traction.

The weight of the materials used in a boot should also be considered when inspecting them. Less effort is required with lighter footwear.

Hikers no longer wear heavy boots when hiking long distances. The lighter the footwear, the more strength you will need in your feet and legs.

Take a look inside the boot or shoe now that you know the outside. You will be able to see a factory insert that is removable but keep in mind that this insert is not going to help you at all in terms of support.

But if you add the insoles that are specially made for arch support then they are going to he;p you alot in shock absorption and pronation issues corrections. 

Do I Need Insoles For Hiking Boots?Hiking Boots Necessary

If you need extra support and comfort then you will need insoles for your hiking boots.

Whether you are planning for longer hiking or shorter hiking insoles will be a great choice as these insoles support the arch, and stabilizes the heel which results in an extremely comfortable experience.

There are many signs that show you whether you need insoles or not. Hot spots, foot fatigue, and sore feet are some of the most common signs.

As well as helping with those issues, insoles can also help with the following:


Having your ankle rotate inward flattens your arch, making your stride less efficient.

To travel the same distance, you have to exert more effort. Your forefoot can also become blistered when you overpronate.

Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by overpronation. A condition in which your heel is inflamed and your ball of the foot is inflamed. The healing process can take weeks and is extremely painful.

Heel Slippage:

This is usually caused by a boot with too much slack in the heels. Friction, ‘hot spots,’ and blisters can occur as a result of heel slippage.

The problem can be corrected by adding an insole with strong arch support and a deep heel cup.

What Are Good Hiking Insoles?

There is no such thing as a universal over-the-counter insole. It’s important to choose a pair with firm support as you shop for a pair.

You won’t get the support you want with the cushy foam inserts you find at the drugstore.

If you’re shopping, you’ll want to consider these features:

  • In order to prevent your arch from flattening, you should use firm arch support.
  • When compared with heavy hiking boots with flat footbeds, a light hiking boot with firm insoles offers more support.
  • Support should be provided by insoles that match your foot’s arch height. If the arch of your insole is too high, you’ll experience a lot of discomfort.
  • You won’t get the right support if it’s too low.
  • Your feet will be less likely to wear out if you wear insoles with deep heel cups.
  • The impact is absorbed by the extra cushioning.
  • A surface that has low friction is extremely important as it helps in reducing the blisters that are caused because of your foot movement inside the shoes.
  • Insoles that have anti-microbial treatment in them will let your feet stay refreshed for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should Hiking Boots Be a Size Bigger?

No, not at all. Your foot size and the size of the hiking boots should be the exact same.

You might feel tighter if you wear them with thick socks or multiple layers of socks.

If it is necessary to wear thick socks then buy only a half-size bigger than your actual shoe size but it can cause problems for you in summer as you cant wear thick socks in the summer season.

How Do I Know if My Hiking Boots Are Too Big?

The room should be at least an inch wide. There shouldn’t be too much slipping in the heel. Ankle support should always be provided.

How Should Hiking Boots Feel?

Hiking boots need to support your ankle while leaving a small room for the toes.

Final Words!

So we hope that finally, you learn everything related to the perfect fit of hiking boots.

Now, whenever you are going to purchase a new pair of hiking boots keep all these points in mind.

If you still have any queries comment below we will try our very best to provide you with the perfect solution.