What To Look For
Always consider the type of terrain you will be in. Boots with softer soles are better for hiking on rocks, while boots with hard rubber soles are better on dirt and grassy terrain. Look for boots with an upper made of a strong, durable material, preferably with double-stitching, which holds up in even the most rugged terrain. Examine the welting, the part of the boot that connects the upper to the sole. Higher-end boots are made with weatherproof cement welting. Compare the weight between boots.
Hiking boots are formed around a plastic form called a "last." The size of the last is based on what the manufacturer thinks to be the average foot size, so different brands are more better suited to different people. Try on several different brands.
Where To Buy
You can buy boots at megastores like WalMart, but it's best to buy them from a quality sporting goods store because the staff should be educated on the products and better able to answer your questions. Avoid buying online unless you are already familiar with the boot.
Hiking boots range in price from $50 to $300, with the average pair of boots costing around $120 as of 2009.
Although it's cheaper, do not buy used hiking boots that have already been broken in. It is better to buy a pair of lower-end boots at a cheaper price than used higher-end boots at the same price. After extended use, the padding and cushioning inside the boot lose form and become less comfortable.
Jessica Leigh is a professional writer with works published for "The Houston Chronicle" and various websites. In addition to pursuing a degree in legal studies she has years of experience in the financial industry as a tax preparer.