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Why Are Hiking Boots So Stiff – How to Make them Comfy

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Hiking is an amazing way to explore the outdoors. It’s also a great exercise, as it burns around 300-400 calories every hour. However, many people find that for some reason their hiking boots are too stiff when they first break in. This can be incredibly frustrating and discouraging – especially if you’re planning on hiking up a mountain tomorrow!

So why are hiking boots so stiff? Here’s what we’ve learned about how to choose the right pair of hiking boots, and how to break them in to make them more comfortable.

Why Are Hiking Boots So Stiff – Reasons

High Heel to Toe Drop Ratio

They are stiff because they have a high heel-to-toe drop ratio. This allows the foot to bend and flex more easily, and provides the necessary support for hiking. This higher heel-to-toe drop ratio can increase your ankle stability and help protect your ankles from injuries. Hiking boots also have a thicker midsole, which makes them more durable and can help you walk longer distances.

Rigid Sole

The rigid sole of the hiking shoes also makes them so stiff. Actually, this stiff sole allows the boot to keep its shape and form as you walk, even when you are wearing it all day. This helps you maintain the correct posture when walking, which is necessary for good health.

Moreover, hiking boots have a stiff sole to help you maintain the correct posture while walking. A stiff sole hiking shoes are important for hiking boots because it keeps the foot in the correct position.

Made of Stiff Material

Hiking boots are usually made of stiff material because they are waterproof, breathable and have good ankle support. Hiking boots also keep your feet warm in cold weather. Hiking boots have good traction on slippery surfaces. The materials used in making hiking boots are typically very durable and are designed to be flexible and lightweight, which makes them suitable for hiking.

Hiking Boot Size

Hiking boots are stiffer than your average pair of shoes. This is because they have more support and padding in the heel, shin, and ankle area. Hiking boots are also lighter than normal shoes, which makes them easier to carry on longer hikes.

They are not meant to be worn with socks, however, you can wear them with thick socks if you want to. Hiking boots are also waterproof and breathable, so they’re a good choice for summer hikes or rainy days.

What makes a good hiking shoe?

When you’re preparing to start hiking, one of the first things you’ll notice about your new gear is that it’s quite stiff. You might even wonder why hikers would choose such stiff shoes over the more comfortable sneakers or tennis shoes that they’re used to wearing.

There are various types of hiking boots are available on market. Some will provide you with perfect foot support while others might not be comfortable enough. In order to choose the best pair of hiking shoes, the first and foremost thing is your budget.

There is no point in spending money on a pair that is beyond your reach. After your budget gets finalized then you should consider the following factors that would help you in choosing the best pair of hiking shoes: 


Buying hiking shoes is a task that requires a lot of research. It is very important to choose the right hiking shoes, as they will make all the difference. Hiking shoes should have enough cushioning and support to help you walk comfortably on your hike.

Hiking shoes are designed to be lightweight and provide adequate cushioning for your feet. This is because you want your feet to be comfortable when you are walking long distances.


A wide-fitting shoe offers great comfort and support for the foot, but it can be difficult to find a pair that fits well. You can also choose hiking shoes that have a mid-height design since it allows you to get the right fit. Some people also argue why are hiking shoes so ugly, so this design is one of the reasons why it looks bad. But, it is also possible to also make your hiking shoes look fashionable.

Height and Weight

Shoes with a heel lift provide additional support for the ankle, but they may not be suitable for someone with a low arch. Hiking shoes are available in a variety of sizes to fit every individual. A hiking shoe should be lightweight, sturdy and well-fitting to avoid injuries.


Hiking shoes are designed to protect your feet from blisters and chafing. If you want to hike for a long time, then you need to buy hiking shoes that are waterproof.

Hiking shoes are designed with a moisture-wicking lining that is waterproof. These shoes also have a waterproof membrane which can keep your feet dry and warm even in wet weather.

Grip and Shoe-Fitting

Hiking shoes are also designed to fit comfortably so that you can walk for long distances without having to adjust your shoes. You need to make sure that you buy a pair of shoes that fits you perfectly and gives you the best grip and comfort.

You also need to check the size of your feet and make sure that the size of the shoe is correct. Another important factor to consider while buying hiking shoes is arch support.

The grip helps you to maintain your balance while walking on rough terrain. If your hiking shoes have a good grip, then you can easily walk in the rough terrain without slipping or falling down.

Oxygen Flow

They have a special kind of heel and toe design, which provides the foot with more room to move. The upper material is also lightweight and breathable, which helps in keeping the feet cool and dry. The stiff soled hiking boots are made from durable materials that can take the shock of all kinds of terrain.

Built Durability

The key to buying a good pair of hiking shoes is to check the construction and durability of the shoe. A good pair of hiking shoes will have a rugged, durable and lightweight construction. The most important thing while buying hiking shoes is to look for the right fit.

Moreover, hiking shoes should be made of leather or synthetic materials, since they provide great comfort and support.

Warmth and Temperature rating

Although, hiking shoes are made of high-quality materials and use advanced technologies to provide maximum comfort and support. But, they can be expensive, and they are not suitable for all types of terrain.

A good pair of hiking shoes should have a rating of between -10 and 0 degrees Celsius. This will ensure that the shoe keeps your feet warm in cold weather, but is not too hot in hot weather.

Key Note:

Hiking shoes are not only for hiking. They are also a great choice for running, walking, and even casual wear. To get the best hiking shoes, you need to consider your purpose and the activities you plan to do with them.

Hiking shoes offer great versatility as you can wear them on all terrains, from the city streets to the mountains. There are different types of hiking shoes available in the market. Some are ideal for rugged terrain while others are best for lightweight trail running.

Anatomy of Hiking Shoes

Anatomy of Hiking Shoes

What are the disadvantages of Wearing Hiking Boots?

Hiking boots are one of the most important equipment while hiking. They provide an extra layer of protection to your feet but it comes with certain disadvantages as well. Here are a few of them:

Wearing hiking boots is a good way to protect your feet from injuries, while also providing you with a comfortable and safe hiking trip. However, hiking boots have some disadvantages as well. Firstly, it can be very uncomfortable to walk in them for long periods of time.

Secondly, they are not ideal for dry weather conditions and can lead to blisters and sores on your feet. And finally, you cannot go for long hikes without them, as they provide extra protection against blisters and other injuries.

What should be the ideal stiffness grade of hiking shoes?

The ideal stiffness grade of hiking shoes depends on the type of terrain you are going to hike. If you are going to hike in dry, rocky areas, then hiking boots with stiffer soles would be best. For a soft, wetter terrain, you can opt for hiking boots with softer soles.

What is stiffness grade in hiking shoes?

When looking for hiking boots, you’ll see a measurement of stiffness called stiffness grade. You’ll want to choose a boot with enough flex, but not too much. What does that mean?

It means you want your boots to be stiff enough so they don’t bend when pressure is applied to them.

There are three grades of stiffness: A, B and C. Grade A is typically what you want when choosing a boot. Grade B offers more room in your shoe while allowing some give under pressure and Grade C boots are soft like house slippers and aren’t ideal for hiking if they bend under pressure because you won’t have good support.

Comparison of Stiff Soled Hiking Shoes and Sneakers

People often say that hiking boots should be as comfortable as sneakers, but how true is that? The fact is, these two types of footwear have different purposes. Sneakers are made for walking long distances and are fairly flexible. In contrast, hiking boots are built to protect your feet when you’re out on rough trails and are much more firm.

Shoes like sneakers also tend to rely heavily on good cushioning (rather than support). While a pair of well-cushioned running shoes can work for short hikes or simple day trips to a nearby park, if you plan on doing more serious trekking over rougher terrain, you’ll likely want a better fit.

What can I do to soften my hiking boots?

A lot of people have trouble with the stiffness of their new hiking boots. The main reason for this is the tightness of the boot, which makes it very difficult to walk.

If you’re planning on going on a hike in them tomorrow, it’s important to take a few steps now to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible.

  • Wear your boots around the house for a few hours at a time, ideally while you watch TV or do something else so you don’t feel self-conscious about how they look. This can help to break in the leather of stiff walking shoes and stretch out the wrinkles.
  • Hiking boots are designed to provide comfort and support. When your hiking boots become too soft, you might have to replace them. You can use a footbed liner or a cushioning insole to soften your hiking boots. This will help you use your hiking boots for long periods of time.
  • Drizzle some olive oil or baby oil onto your feet before you put on your boots to give your feet some extra protection from chafing and rubbing while breaking them in.
  • Fill up a big bowl or bucket with warm water and add 2 cups of vinegar. Soak your feet in the solution for 10 minutes before wearing your boots, then let them air dry outside of your boots for an hour or two (or use a hairdryer if it’s cold).
    This is one of the most effective ways to break in new boots because it relaxes all of the leather that has been pulled tight over your foot and toes, making it more comfortable once it dries out.
  • Wearing wool socks on your hiking boots can help soften the hard leather. Wool socks will help protect your feet from abrasions and scratches. Additionally, wool socks are a great insulator and will keep your feet warm in cooler weather. But it is also important to mention here that you should should not wear cotton socks for hiking as it is not advisable by the experts.
    By doing this, you can avoid painful blisters and the risk of injury. Some people even wear socks over their hiking boots. However, it is not recommended to do this as it can cause a risk of tripping or slipping.
  • Hiking boots are made to be durable and sturdy. When they become too stiff, you may want to soften them up with a water-based conditioner. It will help restore the softness of the leather, which will make them more comfortable to wear.
  • One of the best ways to soften your hiking boots is to wear shoe inserts. There are many types of shoe inserts available in the market. One can use their favourite brands or try out new ones.
  • It is important to know that not all hiking boots are waterproof therefore there you need to make them waterproof first. For this, you need to clean your boots with warm water and mild soap. Next, apply a waterproofing spray or wax to the insides of your boots. Apply a thin layer of waterproofing spray on the inside of your boots and allow them to dry completely before putting them on.

Important Advice:

It is always important to know the type of shoe you are wearing. This is because you need to know the correct foot shape and size. Your foot shape and size will determine how well your shoes fit you. If you are hiking in rugged terrain, or in cold weather, you will need a pair of boots that can provide great support. A hiking boot is designed to be waterproof and breathable.


How stiff of a sole should be of hiking boots?

There is no one answer to this question as it depends on the type of hiking boots you are using and your individual foot shape. However, the stiffness of a hiking boot sole should be stiff enough to provide good traction and durability, but not so stiff that it causes discomfort or blisters.

A good rule of thumb is to go with a boot that has a Sole Stiffness Rating (SSR) of at least 85.

Why you shouldn’t opt for soft hiking boots?

There are a few reasons why you should not buy soft hiking boots.

  • First of all, these boots are not designed for long-term use. They will eventually wear out and become unusable.
  • Secondly, they are not very durable. If you happen to step on a rock or thorn while wearing these boots, they may tear easily.
  • Thirdly, they are not very comfortable. These boots are not made to be worn for extended periods of time, and they will become really uncomfortable after a while.

What is the most common mistake people make when buying hiking boots for the first time?

The most common mistake people make when buying hiking boots for the first time is not considering the type of terrain they will be hiking on. If you are planning to hike on rocky or mountainous terrain, you will need a heavier boot that can handle the extra weight and pressure.

While, on the other hand, if you are planning to hike on flat ground or in an urban environment, a lighter boot may be more appropriate.

Another mistake people make is purchasing boots that are too small. Hiking boots should fit snugly but not be too tight; otherwise, your feet will be uncomfortable and your boots will not last long.

If you had to give one piece of advice about how best to care for your new hiking boots, what would it be?

If you had to give one piece of advice about how best to care for your new hiking boots, it would be to always store them in a dry and cool place.

Hiking boots are designed to protect your feet from extreme weather conditions, but if they get wet or damp, the leather will start to rot. This can cause the boots to become unusable and even dangerous.

Do you think that hiking boots make it harder to hike or is it a matter of preference?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question as everyone has their own preferences. However, hiking boots are designed to provide extra support and protection when hiking in order to make the experience more comfortable.

Many people who hike prefer to wear hiking boots because they feel that they make the experience more enjoyable and safer. Hiking boots also help prevent blisters and other injuries by providing additional cushioning and protection.

How long do hiking boots last?

Hiking boots typically last for three to six months, depending on the type of hiking boots and how often you wear them. If you take good care of your boots by cleaning them after every hike and treating the leather with a waterproofing agent every few months, they should last much longer.


When you’re preparing to start hiking, one of the first things you’ll notice about your new gear is that it’s quite stiff. However, hiking boots are a must-have in a backpacker’s arsenal. When choosing the right pair, it’s important to consider the climate and terrain. There are many different types of boots that cater to specific climates and terrains. You might even wonder why hikers would choose such stiff shoes over the more comfortable sneakers or tennis shoes that they’re used to wearing.

There are many reasons why are hiking boots so stiff, but with this post, we’ve helped you in understanding why hiking shoes are so stiff and how to buy the best pair of hiking shoes.

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