One of the most important choices a hiker has to make is the selection of the best hiking boot. Individually it can be the most important piece of equipment and the choice in hiking boots can make or break a trip, leaving a hiker feeling strong and sure-footed or exhausted and nursing sore feet with blisters. In addition to the choice in type and style of hiking boot, there is also the decision of whether a waterproof hiking boot is the best choice.
- The best waterproof hiking boots are designed to withstand water even when submerged. That way, a backpacker can walk through streams, rivers, deep puddles and snow and can be sure that his feet will not get wet.
Normally a waterproof pant is worn with these boots so that the elastic bottomed pant leg is pulled down over the top of the boot, providing additional insurance that water will enter via the top of the waterproof hiking boot, getting the foot wet.
Waterproof hiking boots are sometimes confused with water resistant hiking boots which only withstand water for a certain amount of time before letting it through to the feet. Although the best waterproof hiking boots can withstand submersion, water resistant boots cannot, even though they appear to be made of similar materials. It’s important for an individual who is looking for waterproof hiking boots to check with the store or manufacturer to make sure they are indeed waterproof rather than just water resistant.
- One drawback to using a waterproof hiking boot is that they do not breathe as much as a water resistant hiking boot or the lightweight style of hiking boots that do not have any water repelling properties.
It is important for the foot to have some air passage in the hiking boot so that the moisture from the foot itself is able to pass out of the boot.
Waterproof hiking boots should have some breathability, but a hiker will find that they will need to make sure they wear water wicking socks so that the water that does come from their foot is wicked away from it, thus providing more comfort while hiking.
The best waterproof hiking boots are also usually more expensive than regular hiking boots of the same type, although if you search for them in the off season they can often be found for comparable prices to water resistant or non-waterproofed boots.