The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NYC Podiatrists Recommend the Best Hiking Boots for Maximum Comfort

Posted by on Monday, July 2nd, 2018


The summer months are a great time to explore the outdoors—as long as you have the right gear to protect your feet from blisters and nagging soreness. The best hiking boots should be flexible and supportive, with traction treads. NYC podiatrists from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine offer boot shopping tips and suggestions.

[Image Source: Unsplash user Joanna Nix]

How to Avoid a Boot Shopping Mistake

  • Choose support above all else. “You want to stay away from really flimsy—I call them ‘buttery’—super flexible and mushy boots like the traditional UGGs,” says Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM of the American Podiatric Medical Association. “They’re pretty bad, especially for people that have flat feet and especially when they’re worn out.” You shouldn’t be able to bend the sole of a boot. It may be comfortable when you first step in, but it won’t give you enough support. Look for a deeper shoe that can accommodate a custom orthotic insert if necessary.
  • Don’t overlook the upper support material. Leather is generally the best upper material, as it’s soft, yet durable. Avoid flimsy suedes that lack structure and soil easily. Use a wooden shoe tree to stretch out your new uppers and “break them in,” rather than injuring yourself with a long day of walking in brand new boots.
  • Find the best size. Sizing can be difficult to predict across brands, which is why some podiatrists recommend purchasing two or three pairs if you’re buying online and taking advantage of hassle-free returns policies. Try them on at the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen. Experiment with lacing, as this can greatly impact the shoe fit. Consider buying half a size bigger to accommodate for foot swelling and sliding as your foot moves back and forth in the shoe during uphill or downhill climbs.
  • Assume that a good pair will cost about $100 or more. As you consider a new pair of hiking boots, resist the urge to skimp on a cheap product. Your feet are the key to your mobility, which you really can’t afford to lose—even for a week!

The Best Hiking Boots for Women

Some of the best hiking boots for women in 2018 include:

  • OluKai Malie Boot – for plush leather lining and sturdy arch support

  • Ugg Kesey – for super soft wool interior and waterproof wool upper

  • Keen Terradorra – for ankle cushioning, flexible Achilles panel, and narrower heel

  • Columbia Fire Venture – for lightweight and sturdy durability

  • Discovery Expedition – for sturdiness and thick-soled traction

  • Merrell Moab – for sturdy arch support and dry comfort

The Best Hiking Boots for Men

Some of the best hiking boots for men in 2018 include:

  • Timberland Euro Hiker Jacquard – for treads, cushioning, and arch support
  • La Sportiva Blade GTX – for snug lacing and roomy toe box
  • Merrell Eagle – for a comfortable footbed with heel cushioning and stability
  • Mishmi Takin Kameng Mid Event – for Ortholite footbed and fast-drying waterproof outer
  • Rockport Rugged Waterproof Boot – for APMA-recommended foot support and a comfortable fit
  • Vasque Breeze III – for ankle support, wide toe box, and rigid sole

Get Custom Orthotics in NYC

Be sure to see a podiatrist if you’re experiencing regular issues with blisters, ingrown toenails, blackened toenails, or pain in the big toe, ankle, arches, or Achilles. These injuries are largely preventable. We routinely see people who want a proactive structural assessment of their feet and gait cycle, as well as personalized footwear recommendations.

Among other things, The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC can help you get fitted for custom orthotic inserts that fit in nearly any shoe to give you added comfort and support. We especially recommend them for people with plantar fasciitis (heel pain), Achilles tendinitis, and metatarsalgia, although people with high or low arches or supination/overpronation issues will also benefit from biomechanical correction. Generally, insurance covers most, if not all, of the cost. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns pertaining to your feet or ankles.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.