When choosing a boot, you’ll need to better understand your terrain, the length of time you’ll be on your feet, and the general weather conditions.
If you like getting out occasionally for a few hours to explore your local trails, you might opt in a for a lightweight hiking boot. But if you're in the backcountry of New Zealand every weekend, or taking on a multi-day adventure, like the Overland Track in Tasmania, your needs will be entirely different.
What kind of terrain will you be on?
Will you be travelling across road, rocks or mud? It's crucial to consider what your hiking shoes (and, consequently, your feet) will be exposed to. Not only does terrain have an impact on wear and tear, it will dictate what type of features you might need.
For instance, concrete and asphalt surfaces can make the sole of a hiking boot wear out more quickly, so if you're walking a long distance on the road, you might be better off with a trail running shoe.
On the other hand, your typical hiking trail will be full of mud, grass and stone. Fine grit on this kind of terrain can wear into a hiking shoe’s seam and rip the material.
To counter this, you'll need a hiking boot with as few seams as possible. A seamless design also stops water seeping in and can help stop friction that leads to blisters. Our hiking boots and shoes are also made with specialised soles and toe caps for enhanced durability, plus a gusseted tongue to keep debris out.
Choosing hiking boots made from full-grain and nubuck leather offers you water resistance, abrasion resistance and durability. Split grain leather is a little lighter in terms of durability and water resistance, but requires much less time to break-in.
Tip: If you will be hiking in rough terrain, you may want to pair your hiking boots with gaiters to protect your legs and stop debris coming in from the top.