Are you planning to go on a big hiking trip? Hiking is a great thing to do with friends, family, and loved ones alike. It is a great way to get some exercise, spend quality time with those that matter to you, and you get to explore Mother Nature. However, hiking is not all fun and games, or at least it isn’t when your feet are hurting, hot, sweaty, wet, or anything in between. After all, hiking is all about your feet, and using them to traverse some pretty hard terrain.
Foot comfort is important when it comes to hiking, perhaps the most important aspect of all. If you do not have the right pair of hiking boots, things go south and get uncomfortable real fast. What is even harder is finding a good pair of hiking boots if you happen to have wide feet. The wider the feet, the more limited the options tend to be. This is what we will be discussing — how to find the best hiking boots for wide feet, and we will provide you with examples of some of the best options around.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet
Before you purchase the first pair of hiking boots that hit your line of vision, there are a few different features and factors that you need to keep in. Keeping these following points in mind will allow you to choose the right pair of hiking boots for you.
Ok, since we are here talking about hiking boots for wide feet, the first thing that we want to go over is the size. This might sound obvious, but before making a purchase, be sure to measure your feet and compare this to the width of the hiking boots in question. All too often boots will be labelled as fitting a certain size, but depending on the brand name, they can run either small or large.
Returning stuff online is never fun, so be sure to get the sizing right. Furthermore, something to keep in mind in terms of sizing is if you are going to be wearing thin summer or thick winter socks. If you are wearing thick socks, you will want to go a half size larger so you can comfortably wear the boots with thick socks without crushing your feet.
The next thing to consider is how heavy they are. You might wonder just how heavy a pair of hiking boots can be. Well, let us assure you that there are indeed some ridiculously heavy boots out there. Of course, you will want fairly lightweight boots, and the further you plan on hiking, the more this will come into play.
Simply put, a heavy pair of shoes is going to be hard to deal with and will quickly cause your legs to fatigue, something you don’t want to deal with when hiking long distances. There is also the fact that heavy hiking boots are really not all that safe because it is easier to stumble with them. On the other hand, a heavier pair of boots usually implies that there is more material in the shoe, more support, and more durable materials have been used to make the shoe. There is a bit of a tradeoff that you need to think about.
Perhaps one of the most important considerations is if the boots are waterproof or not. A very important distinction that you have to be familiar with is the difference between water resistant and waterproof. Waterproof means that the boots can handle walking through shallow water and being rained on, and they will still keep your feet dry. However, if your hiking boots are water resistant, it means that they can only hold off so much water before it begins to seep in and wet your feet.
Another tradeoff to think about when it comes to waterproof hiking boots is that waterproof boots are usually less breathable than boots that are not totally waterproof. Whether the boot is made of leather or has been treated with a special coating, those materials or coatings, while great for keeping water out, will also reduce breathability. With that being said, if you need hiking boots that are truly waterproof, a good pair of leather boots is the way to go. Also, a good Gore-Tex liner can help a lot with this as well.
One thing which many people seem to forget when buying hiking boots has to do with ankle support. Ankle support is very important when it comes to hiking boots, especially in terms of safety and preventing injuries. If you are hiking on relatively flat, even, and obstacle-free terrain, you might be fine with low-cut or mid-height hiking boots that don’t cover or only partially cover the ankles. If your ankles are generally in good health and the terrain is easy, this might be fine.
However, for the most part, hiking is going to involve a lot of slipperiness, uneven terrain, and obstacles, and this means that your ankles are at risk of twisting and being injured. A good high-top hiking boot will help provide your ankles with ample amounts of support. You might still slip, but ankle support should go a long way in preventing an injury from occurring, such as a sprain or a break. If you are going long distances over rough terrain, ankle support is a very big deal.
Yet another thing that is important to keep in mind before buying hiking boots is what the outsole is like. As we mentioned before, hiking is not going to be on pavement and it usually won’t be flat. Whether you are descending or ascending a slope, if it is rainy, you are walking on mud, gravel, or sticks, chances are that you are going to need hiking boots that have adequate traction. Usually something like a lug outsole pattern is the best option to go with, because these are specially designed to walk on uneven surfaces with lots of small objects, like rocks and sticks.
Something else to look into here is a good heel brake design. This is a specially designed heel which stops you from slipping down hills. Finally, you want to examine what kind of material the outsole is made of. Something fairly thick and durable with the ability to absorb some shock and impact is what you should be looking for. It’s the first line of defense between your feet and whatever you are about to walk on.
Cushioning, Impact Absorption, and Arch Support
Some people would separate arch support from impact absorption, but this works toward the same end, which is your comfort. The thing here is that cushioning and arch support come with a bit of a tradeoff. Hiking boots with a lot of arch support are a lot stiffer and tend to not have as good impact absorption. This is why we have grouped these 2 factors together here.
So, first off, you want to have a good midsole in your hiking boots. This could be a polyurethane midsole or an EVA midsole; both have their own benefits. EVA tends to be a bit better in terms of cushioning and overall impact absorption, but not the best for arch support. On the other hand, polyurethane midsoles tend to be a bit heavier, harder, and stiffer, and therefore better for arch support, but not as great for cushioning.
Related to this, something else to look for is if your hiking boots feature shanks or plates. Shanks and plates are both designed to provide your feet with support, plus they help to add an extra layer between your feet and the ground so rocks and other objects don’t damage your soles. Keep in mind that midsoles are intended more for cushioning than arch support, and shanks or plates are for the opposite, but they do still both do a little of each. A high-quality midsole combined with either a good foot plate or shank is the way to go.
Best Hiking Boots For Wide Feet: Reviews
Now that we have covered what you need to look for in your next pair of hiking boots for wide feet or otherwise, let’s take a look at 2 fantastic options that might just suit your fancy.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots (MENS)
When it comes to some of the best hiking boots for wider feet, one of the top picks are undoubtedly these Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots. Now, before we start rattling off features and doing a cost-benefit analysis, so to speak, one thing to keep in mind is that these are actually quite affordable. In the grand scheme of things, while they are not the cheapest hiking boots around, based on all of the features which they come with, they are a good investment worth making for anybody that is serious about hiking in some fairly rough terrain.
The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots, for one, feature a real leather upper. When it comes down to it, leather is always one of our very favorite options because it is super tough, durable, and waterproof too. It might take some time to break in, but the quality is undeniable here. Moreover, these hiking boots also feature a Gore-Tex interior liner, which helps to wick sweat and moisture from your feet so you can stay dry and prevent blisters from occurring. These boot liners also help your feet breathe much better, thus helping them stay both dry and cool, ultimately comfortable.
Another great feature of these Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots is that they are specially sculpted to hold your feet securely in place. There should be no lateral movement from top to bottom, which provides you with a solid base to prevent slipping and rolled ankles. Speaking of ankles, these boots come with a high-cut design which keeps the ankles well supported. It’s just another aspect which helps increase comfort and safety, and helps to prevent injuries to the ankles from occurring.
Something else you might like about these Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots is that they have a really advanced chassis and midsole. The chassis is specially designed and padded to provide you with excellent cushioning and softness, especially for the heels, thus absorbing impacts and protecting your feet. At the same time, the EVA injected midsole provides you with an added layer of protection from rocks below, it helps provide cushioning, and it also adds a shock absorption to the mix as well. There are a few other features which help absorb shocks, protect your soles, and keep your feet supported too.
Keep in mind that these Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots feature a dual rubber combination outsole with a special pattern to help provide you with as much traction and outsole durability as humanly possible. Also, there is the fact that these shoes weigh about 1.5 pounds, so they are a lightweight option too.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots (WOMENS)
Whereas the first pair of hiking boots we looked at were men’s hiking boots, these Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots are for women. Now, these hiking boots are a little pricier than the men’s boots above, actually about 40% more expensive, but with that being said, they are some of the highest quality hiking boots that a woman could wear. While they might be more expensive, they are a great investment in our opinion, and when it comes down to it, they are some of the most comfortable, durable, and supportive hiking boots on the market.
Let’s start out with the fact that the uppers of these Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots are made out of Nubuck leather. For one, this is genuine leather, not suede, but it is treated to look like suede, so you really get the best of both worlds. Now, these shoes might not be 100% waterproof from the outside, but unless you wear them to go swimming, they should keep your feet dry from outside elements. They are very durable boots that can handle a lot of punishment.
What you get with the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots is a 100% waterproof interior Gore-Tex liner. This is a great material to have, because it is durable and will keep your feet dry. You can easily step through a shallow stream and be confident that your feet won’t get wet. The interior has a polyester lining which has moisture-wicking properties. Keep in mind that these hiking boots are also quite warm and they will not let wind in either.
Something else worth mentioning is that the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots are extremely comfortable, supportive, and well-padded in pretty much every way imaginable. For one, they come with a full-length nylon shank which helps provide excellent long term support for long hikes. Not only does this provide your feet with arch support, but also protection from rocks and obstacles that can be painful for your feet. Moreover, the polyurethane midsole is both supportive and durable, plus it does a great job at absorbing shock too. Finally, these boots come with a great Vibram EVO outsole, which is meant to be very durable and it helps provide superior traction on slippery surfaces too.
As you can see, when it comes to hiking boots for wide feet, while the options may be limited compared to if your feet were a bit narrower, there are still plenty of good options to go with. Obviously, we would recommend checking out one of the options we have reviewed above.
While both are not the cheapest hiking boots around, they are high-quality items and they come with more or less all of the features you would expect hiking boots to have.
Furthermore, before you buy, be sure to keep all of the purchasing considerations in mind which we went over in our hiking boots buyer’s guide. As long as you keep these factors in mind you should have no problems choosing the right hiking boots to fit your needs.