Choosing hiking boots that are right for you sounds like a daunting find one pair that meets all your criteria: fit, comfort, lightweight and of course, fits the pocket book too.

Whatever your criteria is for the right boot, (this will differ from person to person), you will find that the information that follows will lead you down the right path.

Armed with this information, you will be able to make an educated decision as to the type of boot that fits like a glove, so to speak!

Then you, too, can get out into the beautiful outdoors!

Not only is the wonderful outdoors filled with beauty and challenge...but, there are MANY health benefits of hiking, too! There are three main ''types'' of hiking boots.

Choosing the right boot for your needs is very important.

Consider your comfort and the type of hiking, such as the terrain, you will be hiking most of the time.

Listed below are the different types of boots and their characteristics.

1. Day Hiker, Trail Shoes, Light Weight

- hike duration from a couple hours - 1 day

- more support, protection and traction than a running shoe

- lighter and more flexible

- feet will tire more easily on longer hikes due to the lack of foot support - best to carry a light day pack as your feet will also tire quicker when carrying more weight

2. Backpacking, Hiking Boots, Mid Weight

- hike duration from overnight - a couple to a few days

- more support for your feet because of the increased stiffness and higher cut

- ankle support avoids twisting the ankle

- provides protection from protruding sticks, rocks and other obstructions

- deeper tread and increased traction, for slippery rocks, mud and other wilderness obsticles

- suitable for carrying an overnight pack

- increased protection from the elements

3. Extended Backpacking, Mountaineering Boots, Heavy Weight/Duty

- hike duration 3 days plus, on and off trails

- increased support, protection and durability for climbing on challenging terrain

- ideal for longer trips and for carrying heavier loads

- increased stiffness of soles for better traction on snow pack or glaciers

- ankle support and foot protection on difficult trails or off trail

- to keep the legs/knees straight, there is increased support on the sides of the boot

- crampons can attach easily for even more grip or traction