Hiking Footwear: 5 Questions to Ask When Selecting Your New Hiking Shoes or Hiking Boots

Hiking Tips for Your New Hiking Footwear
This blog is published in partnership with Oboz Footwear


We heard you might be looking for a new pair of hiking boots or shoes. Good news: we partnered with Oboz Footwear to answer your questions about selecting the right hiking footwear for you.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or you’re brand new to our favorite pastime, this blog will help you understand which shoes and boots will work best for your specific hiking needs.

Get ready to learn how to select the most supportive and comfortable hiking footwear for you.

5 Questions to Consider When Shopping for New Hiking Shoes or Boots at Your Local Footwear Retailer

One of the most effective ways to find the best hiking footwear for you is by visiting a local outdoor retailer. The associates there can point you in the right direction depending on your needs.

Before you head there, it’s helpful for you to know the answers to the following questions. Once you do, you will be well-prepared to find your perfect pair of hiking footwear.

Let’s get started!

1. What type of activities will you be using the footwear for?

Oboz Footwear Hiking Shoes

This is an important question to consider because the intended end-use of the footwear is paired with your personal preferences of how you like your footwear to fit and feel.

Are you primarily using the shoes/boots for…

  • Hiking: What type of terrain are usually trekking? For example, do you find yourself hiking in dirt, mud, rock, snow or something else?
  • Backpacking: How much weight do you plan to carry in your pack?
  • Trail Running: Do you want your gear to be ultralight and breathable? Is waterproof important to you?
  • Dog Walking: Do you walk your dog on dirt trails or on your neighborhood sidewalk?

When you are specific about terrain, activity type, trail length and more, you will give your retailer a great starting point for pairing you with the perfect shoes or boots. By sharing how you intend to use the shoes, the retailer can narrow down some options for you to begin the try-on process. 

Now that you know why it’s important to share how you’ll be using your hiking footwear, let’s take a closer look at which shoes and boots have previously worked for you.

2. What type of footwear has worked for you in the past?

Hiking Shoes For Your 52 Hike Challenge

Take a look at your old footwear stashed in the back of your closet. Any shoes or boots that worked well for you in the past will help your retailer assist you in shopping for your next pair of footwear. The retailer will be able to identify similar styles and get a better understanding of how you like your footwear to feel.

Don't be afraid to bring older pairs of footwear with you to the shop for reference, even if they might be a little muddy or stinky. A true footwear retailer will recognize them as a well-loved pair of boots or shoes!

Next up, let’s get specific about orthotics and medical insoles so your retailer can be precise about the best boots or shoes for you.

3. Do you have an orthotic or medical insole that you replace the current insole with?

Hiking In Oboz Footwear

If you typically replace the insole that comes in a pair of footwear with your own orthotic, this is important to bring up during a shoe fitting.

Although all insoles that come in Oboz Footwear can be easily removed to accommodate an alternative footbed, adding your own custom orthotic can change the fit and amount of space that you have in the footwear. Be sure to bring the orthotic that you intend to use with you to try on shoes. It will be a great tool during the process.

Okay, we’ve covered insoles, but what about injuries? Let’s discuss why this is important to share with your hiking footwear retailer.

4. Do you have any current injuries?

Hiking Tips For Happy Feet

While this is never a fun question to face, it is important to address any current injuries, aches, or pains. Footwear attributes like cushion, stability, and support can help alleviate some of these pain points and problem areas. Different styles of shoes and boots have a variety of development and design techniques, some of which can directly apply to any injuries in which you are experiencing.

If you’re currently navigating a foot, ankle, knee,hip or even back injury, it’s a good idea to share this information with your retailer. That way, you’ll gain the most functional support from your footwear.

We saved the best for last – do you know the true size of your foot? You’re about to find out how to measure your foot for the best fitting footwear, and why you should do this regularly throughout your lifetime.

5. When was the last time you had your feet measured with a brannock device?

Hiking Footwear Tips

The fact of the matter is our feet are growing and changing all the time. Oboz Footwear suggests getting your feet measured regularly at your local Oboz retailer. This can help ensure you’re wearing the proper size of hiking shoes or boots for lots of comfy miles on the trail. This will also guide the retail team to select applicable options for you to try on.  

When you have your feet measured with a brannock device, you will determine your foot width, length, and arch length measurements, all of which can impact the fit and feel of your footwear.

Now you’re ready to visit your local hiking footwear retailer!

When in doubt, ask your local footwear retailer.

The Best Hiking Shoes - Oboz Footwear

If you have any questions about finding the right hiking boots or shoes for you, you can rest assured your local footwear retailer will have all the answers. Go prepared with answers to the questions above, and don’t forget to bring helpful items like old shoes and insoles.

It won’t be long before you’re lacing up your new boots or shoes and wearing them on all 52 of your hikes.

Seek the Trails in Oboz Footwear

Seek the Trails in Oboz Footwear

At 52 Hike Challenge, we exclusively wear Oboz Footwear for all of our hiking adventures. Whether we’re trekking a dusty trail in the desert, climbing a rocky mountain of the west or traipsing through the lush jungles of Costa Rica, our Oboz shoes and boots never let us down.

If you’re looking for an ultralight trail runner or a sturdy boot with ankle support, Oboz has you covered. With innovative designs that offer breathability, durability, comfort and support, Oboz Footwear is true to the trail.

Find a local Oboz Footwear Dealer near you.

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