desert walkingDo you think all footwear is created alike? Think again! Hiking boots are a completely different beast than your average walking shoes.

I have learned the importance of good footwear many years ago, when I gave myself plantar fasciitis by walking around on worn down budget boots for too long. I’ve gone through weeks of pure agony with every second I was standing up straight (which was most of the day). But I was quick to learn my lesson. I have since owned many different kinds of boots, such as KEEN, Ahnu, Merrell, Columbia and New Balance.

Too many people aren’t using their heads when it comes to buying the right kind of footwear for themselves. Maybe you’ve ever heard the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? Because it’s the first meal of the day. Your day has to start well from the bottom up, or the rest of the day will be a waste. So is it too with the shoes. They are the most important clothing item that you will ever posess. Yes, even more important than a good pair of underpants.

He who invests in a solid pair of comfortable boots for walking, will do himself a great favor. It is perhaps the best investment you can make. When you are experiencing discomfort or sometimes even flat out pain whenever you are taking a walk, your shoes will be to blame 9 out of 10 times. Make sure you’ve got a solid set of boots on your tootsies, and your pain problems will melt like snow in the sun. Boots were made for walking and you need to ensure you’ve got a couple of well fitting, correctly sized, high end, high quality boots on your feet to make sure your day goes as well as it can.

No matter how sturdy the boots you are wearing are, eventually… wear and tear will definitely set in. You have to evaluate your boots every once in a while. Like, every 6 months or so. This is especially important for boots that you are wearing all day, every day.

And just because you’re a certain size at age 20, that doesn’t mean you’re always going to be that size for the rest of your life. Few people are aware of the fact that our feet ‘grow’ an extra size or two once we hit our fourties. I’m putting ‘grow’ between apostrophes here because they don’t actually grow… it’s just that they get bigger because our feet start flattening out under the weight of our very own bodies.

A few decades of having to experience gravity will do that to a person. And it’s inescapable too. Sooner or later, it will happen to everybody. Not only does the foot grow in length, but it also grows in width.

In other words… there are plenty of reasons why you should evaluate your boots once every few months. It’s in your own best interest. If you want to evaluate your footwear, ask yourself the following questions.

Are My Boots Worn Out?

waterNow matter how well made your black/brown rubber/leather boots are, eventually they will wear out. Once a boot starts showing its first signs of wear and tear, you can extend its lifespan by having it properly patched and/or repaired. Be sure to be in time with this, because once wear and tear starts setting in too heavily, there is nothing you can do to save that shoe anymore.

Worn shoes are about the worst thing you can do to yourself. They will not provide you with proper support and you’ll get tired sooner because of this. It’s very bad for you, especially if you are a young person and your body is still developing.

Are My Boots The Right Kind For My Activities Of Choice?

What’s your daily activity? Are you just a guy that goes to work everyday? What kind of job do you have anyway? Are you an office worker or a factory worker? Does your job involve sitting a lot, or does it involve standing up and walking a lot? Or do you not have a job at all and are you living in a cabin in the woods?

The more outdoor activities you undertake, the more you will have to spend on a decent set of safety trail boots. You don’t want to go trekking through the jungle or the mountain with a pair of sneakers. You’ll be sorry when you get to your first mud puddle, or the first protruding rock you didn’t see while trekking on a rough terrain. I cannot stress enough the importance of a good pair of trekking boots for hikers!

Do My Boots Have The Proper Width For My Feet?

If your boots do not have the proper width, you’re gonna have a bad time. If they are too wide, you will not have enough support. If they are too small, then you will not have enough comfort. Both are bad. Just make sure that boot has the right width for your personal feet.

Do My Boots Have The Proper Length For My Feet?

When your boots aren’t long enough, you’re not going to have enough room to wiggle your toes. You always need to be able to wiggle those toes when you are wearing a shoe. You don’t want those toes to be wrapped up like pigs in a blanket. They need some breathing room. Your toes are important when it comes to walking. They keep you balanced.

But even when boots have the right width and length… this does not automatically mean those toes will be comfortable. Every shoe has a different inner shape. You always need to test your toe space, too. So ask yourself…

low cutDo My Boots Accomodate My Toes Well Enough?

The best hiking boots will make sure that there is plenty of room for your toes in there. The worst thing about a pair of boots with a bad fit is if they are hurting those toes. Don’t you just hate it when your toes are all curled up and the inner wall of the shoe is rubbing up against your toe? That can lead to some ugly chafing damage. Don’t bother trying to fix this by wearing thick socks. They will only take up more space and cause you even more discomfort, pain and wounding in the long run.

Do My Boots Give Me The Support I Need?

Everybody’s feet are different. Some people have flat feet. Others have high arc feet. If you’re in between, you’ve hit the feet jackpot, because you’re dead onto the golden mean. But still… everybody’s stance is different. Most shoe salesmen will have a device that you can stand on and it will measure where your feet are exerting the most pressure onto the ground.

Based on your personal, unique foot profile, a good shoe salesmen will be able to recommend you the best pair of combat boots for you personally. And even when he doesn’t have any shoes available that will provide you the support you require all on their own, then he will likely suggest a pair of insoles for you.

Never underestimate the importance of a good set of insolves in your trekking boots. Spend that little extra bit of money on insolves if the situation asks for it. You’ll be glad you did!

How To Buy The Right Boots For Your Personal Situation

If you are in the process of buying a new pair of boots, you would want to see to it that the one you do end up with is the best that you can find. You know that wearing the right footwear matters. So, you want to make sure that before you head out to a store to make your orders. You need to see to it first that you have a good idea of the things that you need to consider to ensure that at the end of the day, you do choose appropriately. Here are tips for you to consider.

Take the time to find out what are the pairs that you need to secure before you decide to pay for such a service. This is a good time for you to take a closer look at your needs. You will find that making a choice is going to be a lot easier for you to do when you have a good idea of the things that you want out of the pair that you are hoping to take advantage of. This is the best way for you to ensure that when you finally make a choice, it is going to be most appropriate for what it is that you need.

Consider your budget. You need to know exactly what amount you can afford to spend this time. You would definitely want to ensure that you will only spend the right amount this time around. Stick to numbers that are going to be within your paying capacity. Find out as many details as you can about these pairs as well. Do remember that the best quality ones that you can find are expected to be charged at a commensurate rate. If you are intent on finding the right pair, then make sure that you send enough too.

The kind of environment that you are going to use these boots for will need to be considered as well. You need to remember that the setting where you expect to use these boots for will play a crucial role in how you are going to utilize them. This is why you should always take the necessary steps to ensure that at the end of the day, you are able to get a pair that is exactly what you are in need of.

The quality of the pair that you will be getting should be considered as well. Always remember that there are a number of things that you need to consider if you are really hoping to take advantage of the best rate that you can find. This is good time for you to take a good look at the specific setting that you will be using the footwear for so at the end of the day, you are confident that you are getting one that is most useful for your needs.

Take a closer look at the way the pair is made. You need boots that are of the best quality possible. You need assurance that these are pairs that are expected to really last for a long time. The materials that they are made of and how they are made should be taken into account so you are sure that they are truly going to be most useful for you.

Boot Bomb’s Most Popular Pages

  1. Shoes For Overweight Women
  2. Shoes For Overweight Men
  3. Hiking Boots For Wide, Narrow, Flat Feet
  4. New Balance Plantar Fasciitis Shoes
  5. Plantar Fasciitis Work Boots

In Closing

There are many informative pages on the Boot Bomb. It started out as a site purely about hiking. But as the years went by, a passion for footwear grew into an obsession for it. I have many pages up on my site that I’d like you to have a look at. For hikers, I recommend that you have a look at my review of all the hiking boots that I’ve been able to research. Those are really good for when you want to take a long walk on a big mountain. If military style is more your thing, then please check out my combat boots web page. Thank you for coming to the Boot Bomb and let me know how I’m doing by sending me a message. I can never get enough of fan mail!

Author Biography

This page was authored by , who represents the Boot Bomb. Brian is backed up by an expert team, made up of experienced family and friends, all of which are knowledgeable in the ways of footwear and/or hiking. His ancestors used to own a shoe store for almost a century. He has lived and breathed footwear for as long as he can remember.

This page was last updated on .

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Stan

    ok I need to cut through the chase to find me a good boot, I walk 90% working on cement floors at a Tractor supply co. walking, lifting, to forklift operator with a lot of up and downs. I get a real pain in my heel and mid foot area. What can you recommend for a starting spot for a good boot. If I am not working i am in my shop working on cars. and big in the outdoors.

  2. Vic Culpepper

    Hi Brian:

    I am 58, have arthritis, wide feet, and a bad left ankle that needs to be stabilized, hence I typically wear boots daily. So I need a wide pair that’s stable, light, waterproof (I do a lot if hunting/fishing) yet not really insulated since most of my time is in southern Louisiana (yes, it’s hot as hell). Any recommendations you can provide are appreciated. No real budget concerns.

    Thanks – Vic

    1. Brian

      Hi Vic,

      Since you do a lot of hunting and fishing, I recommend you take a look at my following pages:

      Hunting Boots
      Fishing Boots

      You’re bound to find something useful on there!

      Do you think this helps?



  3. Mudasir Khan

    Hey, you site is just awesome. I love your content. it really easy to understand and very much informative too. Do you write it yourself or you do have a writer?

    1. Brian

      Hi Mudasir,

      Lots of content I have written myself. But there’s a tightly knit team behind the Boot Bomb. Sometimes, they do some writing. Although I’ll always be the face of the Boot Bomb!



  4. Susan

    Hi I really appreciate this site you helped me get the right boots for through hiking in the sierras and long distance in the high sierras now I am looking at a fun hike on the Na Pali Coast do i need a different shoe? Will my Targhees do the job? Any advice is much appreciated this is my first Hawaiian hike

    1. Brian

      Hi Susan,

      I’ve never been on the Na Pali Coast myself. I researched it though. The first few miles are pretty easy, but after that it gets a little steep and narrow.

      The Targhees are sturdy boots, however. I expect that they’ll be able to handle the hike. If you’ve been in similar areas before, they are likely to do well for you on the Na Pali Coast as well.

      In my experience, not every new hike needs a new pair of boots. But that’s just me talking.



  5. Nigel William

    What do you use to prevent pain in your feet? Boots often are very uncomfortable.

    1. Brian

      Hi Nigel,

      Two things:

      1. You’ve gotta take your time to break boots in. Take them for a half hour walk 5 times a week for half an hour, before wearing them full time. That’s what I do, and it works well for me.

      2. Wear good insoles.



  6. Corey

    I stand all day on concrete about 10 hours a day and have a bad left ankle were should I look I want something light but strong I was thinking red wing but not sure if there worth the money

  7. suman shrestha

    Hi, I am going to trek Everest Base Camp Trek coming October. Which trekking boot do you suggest so that I can feel very much comfort in trekking?

    1. Brian

      Hi Suman,

      Check out my hiking boot review pages: men’s, women’s.



  8. Khushal Khan


    I was wondering if you could help me with the following queries:

    A- Help me choose hiking boots that fit the following characteristics as closely as possible:

    1- Light Weight.

    2- Moderately Hard Outer Sole: Should be able to protect my foot against rocks and vertical twisting.

    3- Breathable Outer Top: This should be reinforced, with leather, at the points where it meets the sole and, at regular intervals, along the entire length of the foot with vertical leather strips for support and for protection against rocks.

    4- A Narrow/Medium Fit That Tapers From the Heel Toward the Front, But With a Small and Gentle Drop in Height from Heel to Toe : It would help me wear a shoe half-size larger than my actual size, still fit snugly into it, and prevent my toe from bearing my entire weight when going downhill.

    5- A Well-Cushioned Mid-Sole with a Gentle Arch Support: An arch support should either be gentle or, else, avoided altogether.

    6- A Snug Fit, with Support Around the Ankle: This should prevent my ankle from twisting. I’d prefer a breathable fabric, supported with leather strips around the ankle, and held snugly with laces.

    7- Laces that Go As Far as Possible Up the Ankle and Down the Toe As Possible: This would help with the fit around my ankle and the entire length of my foot.

    8- A Tapered and Solid Toe: This should provide just the right gap between my toes and the toe of the shoe and also be hard enough to protect against inadvertent knocks and pressure when going downhill.

    9- A Good Breathing Shoe That Dries the Sweat and Will Dry Easily After Having Waded through a Water Channel: Important for it to breathe in hot weather and dry quickly. The weather out here goes up to 50 degrees Celsius and drops down to -2 degrees Celsius in winters. So, I’d be more concerned about the long summers than the winters. I could wear thick socks in winter.

    I’m past my fifties, so need a shoe that is comfortable and would protect my foot. I don’t run and don’t lift a backpack, so need it just for walking and climbing.

    I don’t need these for everyday use, but only for when I’m climbing or walking up to my log cabin or surveying sites for my business.

    B- Suggestions for another lighter boot/shoe, preferably with ankle support, for my 1-hour afternoon/evening walk. I don’t/can’t run because of my spine, so nothing more taxing than a brisk walk. This is the most I can do, in terms of exercise, to keep my arteries unclogged and my bones strong enough. Recently, I cracked my foot and then tore a tendon, so would prefer orthopedic ones, out here.

    C- My shoe size is European 43, Mondo 275, American 10, and UK 9. Would it be wiser to choose shoes, at least, half a size larger for thicker socks in winter or take foot swelling into account? Would that go for both sneakers and boots(I’ve never worn these). I wear European 43 Brogues, Oxfords, and assorted Ermenegildo Zegnas.

    My apologies for having consumed such a large chunk of your precious time.

    1. Brian

      Hi Khushal,

      You’ve already let me know via email that you had already purchased 3 pairs of boots, none of which are on Boot Bomb. So I suppose that, by now, you know better than I do which ones meet the criteria. I’d be open to learning which ones they are.



  9. Beth

    Your opinion please. I am a woman with flat feet that are prone to stress fractures. Last year, I spent almost 6 months in an orthopedic boot with 3 stress fractures after a month long walking trek in Israel. And, I found that I have osteopenia. Now, I have been told to never walk in my bare feet but to always be in supportive shoes. I am looking for very sturdy walking and hiking shoes. From my understanding the harder the sole, like a clog, the better??

    1. Brian

      Hi Beth,

      I have a page dedicated to reviewing hiking shoes. None but the very best of shoes make it on there. Click to have a look at the reviews.

      If I were you, I’d complement them with Tread Labs insoles. They are the best ones I’ve ever worn. And they never wear out, either, so I’ll be wearing them for a long time to come.

      I’m not a medical professional, so I cannot tell you whether you need hard soles. You’d have to ask your doctor about that.



  10. Mike Fugate

    Thank you for your review of tactical backpacks. I decided on the Maxpedition Falcon – II. Found a really good deal on OpticsPlanet. Can’t wait to get it. I’ve got your blog bookmarked!

    1. Brian

      Hi Mike,

      The Maxpedition Falcon is a good one for sure. It probably won’t disappoint, but I’d still be interested to hear your experiences with it.

      Thanks for the bookmark. And tell your friends!



  11. Peter

    Camouflage Mesh Light Up LED Sport Shoes ARE JUNK!!!!!!!!!!!! BOUGHT THREE PAIR AND NONE HELD UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE COMPANY IS A SCAM!!!!!!! DONT KNOW WHY YOU GAVE THEM SUCH A GREAT REVIEW??????!!!!

    1. Brian

      Hi Peter,

      I think you are referring to my LED shoes review page.

      I don’t recall ever having anything on there called Camouflage. In your other comment, you speak of ‘Skachers light up’. But these are also not on my LED shoes review page, or any other page on Boot Bomb, for that matter.

      Sorry to hear you aren’t happy with the durability of your LED shoes. Truth be told, LED shoes were never meant to be good footwear. They’re gimmicky things that you wear for fun to a special occasion every once in a while.



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