MD Podiatrist Discusses How to Choose and Break in Hiking Boots

For a pain-free experience while on your nature walk, it’s good to ensure your boots fit you properly. “Hiking boots should fit snugly in width, but not tight,” Dan Michaels, DPM says. “For length, there should be 3/8 inches from the tip of the longest toe to the end of the shoe.” Around the ankles, he advises selecting a pair that fits snugly, securely, and stays tight for the best support as you meander surfaces.
While many boots have short break-in materials, thanks to synthetic or softer materials, it may take a minute to get them feeling like second skin. Dr. Michaels advises walking in your new boots several times casually before embarking on your first hike in them. “It may take three to six usages to adequately break them in so they are comfortable while hiking,” he says. “And the type of material may determine the amount of breaking in that is necessary,” he adds.