A good quality and comfortable pair of hiking boots are one of the most useful, essential and worthwhile items of outdoor gear you’ll buy. It’s also not a decision to rush into without thought and consideration. Choosing boots can be a bit overwhelming, to begin with, with so many options available. However, choice is essential to making sure everyone can find the perfect pair to fit their feet and intended use. At Paddy Pallin we take hiking boots seriously and make sure to keep a comprehensive range in stock from leading brands. Our range includes models from Scarpa, Arc'teryx, Hoka One One, Salomon, Merrell and The North Face. Be sure to visit us in-store, where our friendly staff can help ensure your next pair of hiking boots are the right ones!
Is it possible to try on and test out boots at Paddy Pallin?
Choosing the right fit and size of hiking boots can be tricky. We always recommend shopping for boots in-store and urge customers not to do it when they’re pressed for time. Our staff can help suggest some suitable models and take a measurement of your feet. All Paddy Pallin stores are equipped with a Brannock device, benches and even ramps to simulate walking up and down hills. We advise trying on several different models, and in multiple sizes, and to take your time walking around the store. Hot tip: Most, if not all people’s feet will swell a little throughout the day. If possible, do your boot shopping in the afternoon or after you’ve spent an hour or two on your feet.
How should hiking boots fit?
Getting the right fit for your hiking boots is essential. While there's no perfect formula, there are some general guidelines and tips that will help. Firstly, avoid too-tight boots at all costs. You want hiking boots to feel comfortable, supportive and snug in the ankle to avoid heel-lift. It’s also essential that in the front you have a little extra length and width for your toes. A general rule of thumb is to go one full size up from your measured shoe size. This will vary between people, brands and styles of boots - but it can be a good starting point when trying on boots. Overall, you’re looking for boots that are already comfortable when you try them in-store.
Should I choose mid-cut or high-cut hiking boots?
Mid-cut boots refer to boots where the ankle padding only extends slightly higher than it would for a hiking shoe. Typically, mid-cut boots will also be lighter and more flexible. They offer a good solution for those wanting a little more padding, protection and ankle support than regular walking shoes. If you plan to carry heavy loads and undertake longer more arduous hikes, however, we’d suggest sticking with a full-height hiking boot, both for the added support the higher ankle offers, but also the extra stiffness and support that this type of boot will typically have.
How essential are waterproof boots?
For most people, a waterproof boot will be the best choice. There can be exceptions, however. Firstly, waterproofing in boots typically comes via a membrane (like Gore-Tex) being sewn inside the lining of the boot. This prevents water from entering your boots, but there are some drawbacks. Waterproof boots will always be less breathable than a non-waterproof equivalent. The advantages are pretty clear though - warm, dry feet. So unless you’re only planning to use the boots in a super hot and/or humid environment, like tropics, we’d suggest sticking with a waterproof option.
What sizes of women’s hiking boots does Paddy Pallin stock?
Our range of hiking boots for women typically starts at EU 36 (US 5) and goes up to size EU 42 (US 11). Even if you think you know your usual shoe size, we always recommend trying boots on before purchasing. Sizing will inevitably vary between brands and even between models made by the same brand.
What’s better? Leather or synthetic hiking boots?
Leather has traditionally been the material of choice for the construction of boot uppers. The advantages of leather are that it’s durable, highly weather resistant (when treated) and very comfortable. However, in recent years synthetic options have become very common. Today’s synthetic boots are almost as durable, often slightly lighter, more breathable, and a little cheaper than equivalent leather options. If a synthetic boot gets really wet, they will also dry much quicker than leather boots. Synthetic boots are also a great option for vegan hikers. Both are great options, and it comes down to purpose and personal preference.
Does Paddy Pallin sell lightweight hiking boots?
It’s a well known hiking adage that “a pound on your feet equals five on your back.” Ok, so that’s not exactly true. But what this means is that wearing heavy boots quickly saps your energy and stamina. Lightweight hiking boots are all but the norm these days. You don’t need a super chunky, heavy pair of boots to get the grip, protection and support needed for serious hiking. Modern materials and boot construction methods mean that our range of quality, lightweight boots are not only readily available, but they’re up to the task too!
Do I need special hiking socks?
Wearing the right kind of socks with your hiking boots is vital. Hiking socks need to provide comfort during prolonged use and have the ability to wick away sweat and other moisture from your feet. Avoid cotton, and stick with merino wool, Tencel, and synthetic blends. Paddy Pallin stocks a big range of quality hiking socks to match your new boots.
Can I re-apply the waterproof treatment to my hiking boots?
All of the hiking boots that Paddy Pallin sells will come with some type of water-resistant coating applied to the uppers. With time and use, this treatment will wear off. If you notice the uppers of your boots are wetting out quicker than when they were new, it’s time to look at re-treating them. First, clean the boots with warm water and a soft brush, then apply a treatment. Exactly which product you need to use will vary depending on the different type of leather or synthetic material the boots are constructed from. Paddy Pallin stocks a range of suitable footwear care products.
How should I store my hiking boots?
If your hiking boots get dirty and wet whilst being worn, that’s awesome! It’s exactly what they’re designed for. However, after use it is important to clean your boots and let them air-dry before putting them away. Once your boots are all clean and dry, make sure to keep them in a well ventilated spot and out of direct exposure to sunlight. And if you don’t plan on using the boots for a while, it’s still good to get them out every couple of months; even a short walk around indoors will help prolong their life-span.