If you have been tuning in the past couple of weeks, you’ve noticed that we have talked a lot about foot pain, blisters, hiking, boots, hiking shoes, and that’s because we think your feet are so important.

No one wants to have feet that hurt and are miserable out on the trail.

One of my goals is to help you get outdoors with gear that you already have.

So you don’t have to spend money buying new gear and equipment just to go hiking. But sometimes you just do need to buy a new pair of boots or shoes.

Sometimes you just have a pair of boots or shoes that come up completely suck.

Today I’m going to give you a few tips on what to look for when you’re buying a new pair of boots.

You can check out this video or tune in below.


Here are my top four tips to help you shop for your next pair of boots.

#1: Don’t buy your boots online…yep. It’s true.

Fit is key with boots and you’re just not going to get a good fit when you buy boots online.

It’s important to go to a really good outdoor retail store where you can be fit by a professional.

Now I own an outdoor retail store.

I’m kind of biased here, but I spend hours and hours every month training my employees on how to fit footwear.

It is a really important skill.

We don’t want you to have a pair of boots that don’t fit and just don’t feel good on your feet.

So go to a real outdoor retail store, your feet with thank you.

#2 Watch out for really, really steep discount when it comes to purchasing boots and shoes.

You might find an amazing deal on a pair of boots, but there’s a reason that those boots are so deeply discounted it’s because they haven’t sold.

The reason that they haven’t sold is because a lot of people have tried them on, but they either don’t fit well or they’re really horrible color.

If I have a really good pair of shoes or boots in my store, I can’t keep them on the shelves because people fall in love with them the first time that they try them on.

If you see a pair of awesome boots, that’s discounted 60%, 70%, 80%, go ahead and try them on. They might work for you if you get lucky, but chances are they probably won’t. Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale thinking you can squeeze your feet into them.

Tip #3: Shop for your boots at the end of the day

At the end of the day our feet are just a little bit swollen, we’re on our feet all day long moving and grooving and our feet swell up a little bit throughout the day. You’re gonna want those boots to fit your swollen hiking feet.

Also know that your foot size changes over time.

In college I was a solid size 7 but after couple of babies and a couple extra pounds, my feet size has increased to about a 7 1/2  sometimes even an 8. So be aware that your foot size changes over time.

So, that’s why it’s also important to go to a professional outdoor retail store and have your foot fit by professional and to  try your boots on before you buy them.

Tip #4: Bring your own socks

Make sure that you’re trying on that boot/sock combination.

Boots and socks, they work well together in conjunction with each other. So, bring your favorite pair of hiking socks when you go shopping for boots.  You want to make sure that that sock is going to fit well with that boot.

You’ll be safer too, because how often do outdoor retail stores actually wash their try on socks? Like never.

Tip #5: Put your boot on correctly. 

When you’re trying on boots you want to make sure you’re putting them on correctly and getting your heel all the way in the back of that boot.

So put your boot on, don’t lace it up, but lift your toe up to 45 degrees and then just gently kick your heel back a couple of times.  That will lock your boot into place before you lace it up.

That’s also going to prevent any heel lift and make sure that you have the proper amount of wiggle room right in there for your toes.

Final thoughts

This is my final thought on purchasing outdoor retail, clothing and equipment in general. It really sucks as an outdoor retailer, when someone will come in to be fit for a backpack or a pair of boots, or they’ll want to crawl in eight sleeping bags and I’ll spend an hour with the customer helping them get fit properly.

I’ll provide amazing customer service and a great shopping experience. I’ll give them my card. I’ll write down prices. Sometimes I’ll even offer a small discount.

But then they leave my store and make the purchase online because they can save a few bucks by buying it online.

If you are going to go to an outdoor retail store and spend time with a sales person getting fit please do us a favor and shop locally and make your purchase at that store, especially if you were given amazing customer service and amazing respect.

That is me getting on my soap box saying, keep it local folks.

And I’m going to step off my soap box.

We’d love to know what boots are on your feet!  Drop us a comment below with what you are wearing right now and what you love about them.

p.s. You can check out the rest of our videos in this series by visiting our YouTube channel. 

buying boots

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