a woman tying her hiking shoes

How to choose the right hiking shoes

Deciding on the kind of hiking shoes or boots to get can be tricky, especially when there are so many options! It helps to think about the terrain you are going to explore and the load you plan to carry.

Where to start?


Types of terrains to consider:

- Flat and easy

- Moderate elevation with technical sections

- Difficult, rugged terrain

Footwear features to consider:

- Flexibility of materials

- Level of protection

- Support and traction

flexible, lightweight hiking footwear

For flat and easy hiking trails

If you're hiking on well-marked, well-maintained trails with low elevation levels, opt for flexible, lightweight hiking shoes or boots

They're usually made with breathable, waterproof fabric, which offers less support but plenty of comfort to keep you going for several kilometres, even when carrying a small backpack.

boots for technical mountain trails

For moderate elevation and rocky hiking trails

Planning on tackling narrow, technical mountain trails while carrying a heavier load for one to several days? Go for hiking boots that are high-cut to get optimal support on technical sections.

Those rocky slabs and muddy slopes won't stop you! Although they are heavier than your typical hiking shoes, hiking boots have rigid midsoles that help absorb shocks, as well as toe bumpers and heel counters to protect your feet from roots and rocks.

Their durable soles provide a good grip on rocky and slippery grounds.

hiking boots for rugged terrain

For difficult, rugged terrains

Heading out for an off-road, long-distance hike on rugged terrain?

Look for boots that provide high twisting rigidity, increased protection, and superior shock-absorption.

The importance of soles

Soles play a critical role in providing traction and grip as well as absorbing shock. 

All of our hiking footwear is equipped with soles that provide maximum traction, designed for easy to difficult trails. 

It's part of our commitment to safety.

We hope you found this guide useful in choosing the right pair of hiking shoes.

If you are planning to go on an upcoming hike, be sure to read our following advice below!

How to Choose the Right Hiking Footwear

Written by: Odelia Chan

Hiking Digital Sports Leader, Decathlon Singapore

The best part about hiking? Collecting sights and sounds along the way!

Articles you might like

5 Ways To Be Hiking Ready

5 Ways To Be Hiking Ready

It's challenging to prepare for a hike if you don't know where you are going or what to expect on the trail. Here are some tips from us to ensure you're prepared for your hike always!
How to Prevent Blisters During Hikes

How to Prevent Blisters While Hiking

Discover why blisters form and learn how to protect against them!


Wish for your hiking shoes or boots to follow you on all your adventures for as long as possible? Read on to find out how!