How to Pick Hiking Boots? Problems to consider while buying

Exploring nature’s beauty and grandeur is a must-do in New Zealand, so having the right hiking gear can make or break your experience. From boots to shoes – there are numerous options available that will help you traverse through New Zealand’s breath-taking landscapes with ease. 

To ensure an unforgettable adventure without foot-related soreness, read our guide on How to Pick Hiking Boots?. We have listed out all of their pros and cons so you can pick what works best while getting ready to take on some truly incredible terrain.

What Material is Best for Hiking Boots?

A world of exciting shoe possibilities awaits at the store. Whether you’re looking for something lightweight and breathable, perfect for navigating unexpected terrain during a summer hike, or an ultra-durable boot that won’t miss a beat in windy conditions: your search begins here.

Explore leather materials to protect against all-weather while checking out New Zealand’s diverse climate. So whatever activity you fancy – we’ve got footwear up to the challenge.

If you’re looking for a waterproof, lightweight shoe or boot with quick break-in time and an affordable price tag, synthetic materials like polyester, nylon and faux leather are strong contenders.

While these might not be as long-lasting as traditional leathers, Gore-Tex haircalf provides reliable water repellency without sacrificing breathability– making it the best of both worlds.

Hiking boots

If you’re heading into the backcountry for a multi-day trip and must carry heavy gear, mid and high-cut hiking boots are your key to success. With generous ankle support plus extra protection around your heel, these workhorses provide stability needed on technical terrain. 

Depending on where you’re trekking, options are fitted with deep lugs that grip securely or wide-spaced ones designed for mud shedding – both of which add weight but give greater flexibility in rougher conditions. Get ready, though, as some break-in time is required.

With varying climate conditions across New Zealand and Australia, selecting the perfect outer for your gear is essential. Your budget and level of care will dictate if synthetic or full-grain leather is best for you; both offer excellent waterproof protection but have unique benefits to weigh against each other.

Synthetic outers are easier to break in, while extra attention can help full-grain last longer – giving you an unbeatable combination of quality and value.

Hiking Shoes

If you’re looking for a comfortable, durable shoe to help tackle the trails without fuss, hiking shoes are ideal. With soles that offer moderate stiffness and lightweight construction – they won’t need big break-in times like heavy boots do – hike with confidence knowing your ankles will be securely supported in either mid or low-cut choices available on today’s market.

 Whether it’s day trips along maintained paths or more rugged Great Walks coverage, let these trusty footwear companions take some of the load off.

Trail runners

Trail running shoes are the lightest options for navigating various surfaces, giving you greater flexibility and increased heel support. While they work well on short journeys with little weight, these lightweight soles may not provide adequate stability under pressure if your trip requires more gear.

Opt for a lower-cut shoe if you’re looking for the ultimate versatility. Trail runners dry quickly when crossing rivers and are great if your pack is under 50L; however, don’t forget that hiking boots can provide extra ankle support with larger groups.

How to lace hiking boots?

Instead of relying on tired old lacing techniques, trail runners can now enjoy the convenience and durability of bungee-style laces.

Not only are they easier to manage, but with just a few simple knots, you’ll find improved heel stability and superior protection against sore spots.

An abundance of tutorials exist online, yet here’s an easy one that could be enough to ensure a worry-free outing in no time at all.

The surgeon’s knot

Start by snugly pulling them over the top of your feet to support your feet and keep laces in place. Reach for two sets of lace hooks closest to where you bend forward when standing on tiptoes –

then use a neat-knotting technique called “surgeon’s knots” to tie securely at each pair twice, locking tension after passing through every loop before finally tying everything off as usual.


If the thought of blisters, blackened toenails, and plantar fasciitis is enough to make your feet cringe – there’s a simple solution. Make sure you start by selecting the right socks.

Not only should they be comfortable, but many modern styles are designed with patches of varying thickness that can help alleviate pressure on problem areas.

 When it comes time for boots shopping, forget about size numbers because, in this case, one size does not fit all; opt for what feels good when wearing those same hiking socks. Investing in some extra effort now could spare an awful lot later on.

Boot selection isn’t just about style and colour; it’s also important to ensure the right fit. The construction of a boot determines how comfortably and securely your foot will be held within, as footwear manufacturers craft their models around “lasts”: formed wooden shapes that consider the structure of an individual’s feet. 

When selecting boots, choose wisely – if there is too much pressure on specific points due to mismatched lasts, even quality materials cannot successfully fix this issue.

If your feet move around inside hiking boots due to discomfort or slipping, the solution may be as simple as a customized footbed. Often people with higher arches need more arch support than most in-store options and can find relief through specialized products like Super feet’s moulded inserts. 

Ornate designs fit any budget – retailing from $10-$30 for over-the-counter varieties. Ultimately, custom orthotics might do the trick for more severe cases that remain unresolved, though they come at an increased cost (upwards of $150).

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