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Many of us imagine walking into a shoe store and picking a perfect boots for outdoor hiking right off the bat. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. To get the best pair, you will need to pay attention to a number of things. Here’s what you need to know before buying.

You never know if it is going to rain when you are out there hiking. That is why Roots Rated suggests that you choose between waterproof and non-waterproof hiking boots.

Waterproof or non-waterproof?

If you plan to trek in the rain oar cross lots of streams in cool or cold conditions, consider buying waterproof shoes. But, remember that waterproof shoes can feel miserable when it’s warm and humid in Alabama. A waterproof membrane will trap warm air and moisture around your feet, which can cause blisters and break down the skin. Also, in warm, dry areas, a waterproof shoe will make your feet hotter. So, think about the conditions you’ll face for the majority of your hiking.

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At the end of the day, whether you choose waterproof boots or not that’s completely a personal preference. In most cases, though, it would be best to go for waterproof hiking boots.

According to Active, you must never pay for hiking boots without trying them to see if they fit. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make sense to  buy shoes without trying them anyway.

Try Them On For Size

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the bells and whistles of a product and ignore fit all together. As you try on each pair of hiking boots, give them the size test to be sure they’re the best fit for you.

Thanks to natural swelling and the need to stabilize with your toes, you should have plenty of wiggle room in the toe box. The boot should fit snug around the ball of your foot while your heel stays in place. A floating heel is the main cause of blisters, which you want to avoid.

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Knowing the size of your shoes could also help you determine how long it would take to break them in once you start wearing them for hiking.

As mentioned on Rei, knowing the size of your boots isn’t enough. You also need to determine whether you can be comfortable in them.

Spend some time in the boots

Spend some time in the boots. Take a stroll through the store. Walk up and down stairs. Find an inclined surface and walk on it.

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You should ask the people in the store if they are okay you trying the shoes. More often than not, they should not have a problem with this.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the last mistake you want to make is to spend your money on just about any boots. As such, it makes a lot of sense to do your research before spending money on these hiking gears.