The Perfect Fit: A Guide To Choosing the Right Hiking Boot

Tis the season for getting active outdoors, but before you hit the trails it's important to find a shoe that fits. Don't let blisters, foot cramps, and ankle pain keep you from enjoying nature. Here are a few quick tips to take in before you invest in a pair of hiking shoes. 

Dayhikers

These are your basic trailrunners, ideal for walking groomed paths or city tours. Either way, dayhikers generally provide great traction without being too bulky or overly supportive. Construction has a come a long way since trailrunners spiked in popularity, and today many brands feature sleek design and stylish details. 

Our pick for Women

Our pick for Men

The Siren Ventilator from Merrell features women-specific Q-Form® alignment and air cushion midsolesBreathable mesh lining treated with Aegis®
Antimicrobial solution 

    • Ortholite™ anatomical footbed
    • Vibram™ TC5 sole
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    The Moab Ventilator from Merrell is every guy's summer essential. Lattice-like overlay provides exceptional breathability and durability

    • Full bumper protection around toe and heel
    • Air cushion midsole and Vibram™ multisport sole
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    Midweight

    For a little rougher terrain and longer hikes, a midweight might be the way to go. Midweights are generally higher rise, and offer greater support but still maintain that comfortable, lightweight feel. 

    Our pick for Women Our pick for Men

    The Targhee Mid from Keen has always been a fan favourite for midweight hikers.

    • Torsional stability provides excellent support for more technical hikes
    • KeenDry waterproof with breathable membrane
    • Patented toe protection and removable EVA footbed
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    The Keen Bryce mid will have you ready for adventure, wherever that might be. 

    • Lightweight, and non-marking directional lugs provide great traction
    • KeenDry waterproof membrane keeps moisture out
    • TPU stability shank and Removable EVA footbed
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    Backpackers

    For the long distance hikers, backpackers are designed to carry heavier loads for longer distances. With more support features and stiffer midsoles, backpackers will take you the distance.

    Our pick for Women Our pick for Men

    The Glarus backpacker from Keen is built for long days on and off the trails.

    • Durable, waterproof full-grain leather upper featuring KeenDry breathable membrane
    • External TPU heel stabilizer for added support and balance 
    • Metal speedhook and eyelet lacing system for easy on/off wear 
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    The Gypsum from Keen is a great longer distance hiker if you plan on adding a few extra miles to your hikes.

    • All terrain boot featuring a wide 4mm outsole, and removable EVA footbed
    • KeenDry waterproof with breathable membrane
    • Warm enough for Winter hikes and overnight camps
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    A Note on Water Resistance

    As a general rule, most hiking boots will provide some sort of water resistant technology, whether it be KeenDry's waterproof breathable membrane or GoreTex®. It's important to remember that the more waterproof the boot is, the warmer your foot will be. If you're hiking in wet, soggy conditions you'll appreciate the hardcore waterproof material, but if you'll only encounter rain on rare occasions, it's probably best to skip the waterproof in favour of a lighter, more breathable boot. 

    Don't forget the socks!

    You've got the boots, now don't forget the socks. Skip the cotton athletic socks in favour of moisture-wicking merino wool. Smartwool has a great selection of high quality socks designed for hiking. 

    An ill-fitting hiking shoe is the quickest way to ruin a hike. Before you buy, it's important to do a bit of research or talk to a knowledgeable Quarks sales associate. Happy hiking!