How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?10 min read

Picking out a good pair of hiking boots is always fun. With so many different options available, you begin to ask yourself: how long do hiking boots last? This is a good question for many reasons.

Anyone who has been hiking knows how exhilarating it is. They can’t get enough of it. Going hiking becomes a common thing. If you don’t have the right hiking boots for your constant hiking, they can easily tear on you.

If anything does happen to your boots, they are automatically unwearable. You do not want to wear boots while hiking that are torn.

Durability in your hiking shoes also speaks for the quality of your boots. You do not want just any hiking boots. They can easily make the difference between life and death while hiking.

All that aside though, in general, we will discuss how long hiking boots last. There are a couple things to address when discussing this topic.

Factors That Play a Role in How Long Your Hiking Boots Last

To start, we will go over a few things that affect how long your hiking boots last.

Number of times you actually go hiking 

A very simple factor. Some people enjoy going hiking every other day. Your boots durability will be greatly affected by this. If you only go hiking every week, you can expect your hiking boots to last much longer. 

Amount of care you put into your boots

Taking care of your boots will, of course, increase their life span. Washing them off after every hike and making sure they dry correctly is important. Excessive hiking can put a hurt on your boots. Not caring for them after a ferocious hike is the number one way to make sure they don’t last.

Brand of hiking boots you own 

The quality of the boots that you have will directly affect how long they last. Buying a $20 pair of hiking boots won’t last you long at all. Of course, spending $500 on a pair of hiking boots may last you a long time, but might be out of your price range.

Understanding the other points on our list will help you with this. We will discuss how you should go about picking a pair of hiking boots later on, but keep in mind that you pay for what you get.

Pressure and weight you put on your boots 

Keep in mind that your weight puts a lot of stress on your hiking boots. Going through different terrains only increases this impact. The more stress on your boots, the shorter the life span will be for your boots.

Don’t focus only on your body weight either. You also have to take into consideration the weight of your backpack. It may not seem like a huge impact on your shoe durability, but over time, this weight can wear down your hiking boots. That is why there are different types of hiking boots available such as backpack hiking boots. 

The location you choose as your hiking spot 

Every bit of land you hike on will be different. Ground that is soft with firm trails is great for your hiking boots. They will last longer on these types of environments.

If you plan to go hiking through a marshy area or rocky area, your boots will take more of a beating and its durability will be affected.

Short Hiking Guide

Choosing a place to hike is one of the most important steps of hiking. As this will affect how long your hiking boots will last, you should have an idea of where you will be hiking.

Choosing a place to hike is always fun and going through a few steps to figure out where you want to hike makes deciding easier.

Length of the Hike

Hiking can sometimes take days. There are also places you can go hiking for a day or shorter. Figure out if you want to go for an extensive hike or a short one.

For beginner hikers, you might want to start off with a day hike. Check your schedule, figure out how much time you can invest into hiking.

Hiking Alone?

Is hiking a personal interest of yours? A way for you to escape the world? That is perfectly understandable! You should be careful though. Hiking can be dangerous and anything can happen.

If you have any friends that you think would enjoy hiking with you, don’t hesitate to ask them. If you will be going out alone, try to stick with shorter hikes as well. This way, you take less of a risk while you are alone.

Understand Where You Are in Your Hiking Journey

Check your own experience level. Do you have a couple hiking journeys under your belt or are you just about to start? Are you capable of making a long journey or are you out of shape? It is important to understand your limits and boundaries before setting out on a hike.

If you are just starting out, you should not have to worry about how long your hiking boots will last as you should be taking it slow to begin with. Try to stay close to home and plan ahead.

Picking the Ideal Spot

After taking into consideration the above three points, go ahead and visit It has an extensive directory of great hiking trails and can find them around your area. You can also ask around and see if anyone you know is aware of any good hiking trails.

Always Notify Somebody You Will Be Hiking

Safety is important when hiking. That is why the durability of your hiking boot is so important. Before you head out on your hiking journey, always call or text a friend or family member and let them know exactly where you will be. If anything happens, they can be there for you.

How to Clean Your Hiking Boots

Your boots stand a better chance of lasting longer if you take care of them. Just like with dress shoes, or any other shoe for that matter, care is important in extending their life span.

Even though hiking boots are built to take on many different harsh environments, you still have a lot of room to make sure they last longer.

To note, if you choose not to clean your boots, they will deteriorate faster. The dirt and grime that is stuck in them will fall further down into your shoe and eat away at your boots over time.

That is why you should try and clean them after you are done hiking or the day after. It is also important to know that mud takes away moisture from leather as it dries. This will aid in destroying your leather boots.

Now, you will need only two things to get started cleaning your boots regularly: a boot brush and some special boot cleaner. Alternatively, you can try to find an old vegetable brush or toothbrush and try using dishwasher soap.

Cleaning Your Boots

Before you begin cleaning your boots, you will want to remove your laces. After that is done, get your brush, and gently stroke to get any dirt and dust off. With a boot cleaner, you will be able to get a better clean in. Water also helps.

You will want to avoid using any detergents or bar soap when cleaning your boots. They contain harmful chemicals that are not good for your leather and its waterproof layering.

If you have any mold on your shoes, a mixture of 80% water and 20% vinegar will do a great job of removing it.

After every cleaning session, you will want to wash your boots thoroughly with clean water. Also, do not take the easy way out and throw your boots into a washing machine. This can easily mess your hiking boots up and lower its durability.

Focusing on the Outsoles

Now that you are done cleaning your boots, you can focus on the outsoles. The mud that has built on them is easily taking away some of your traction. Cleaning this will ensure your safety while hiking.

Begin by brushing the outsoles aggressively. Try to get any rocks that are stuck in the lugs. Soaking the outsoles for a few minutes and using a hose is also a great way to clean them.

Time to Dry

After you have finished washing the parts of your boot that you want clean, it is time to dry them. Take out the insoles and have them dry separately.

Your boots should be drying in an area with low humidity and at standard temperatures. Try to avoid putting them in places like attics or your car trunk.

Using any heat source like a fireplace or heater is not a good idea. It will make your leather age faster and weaken the materials of your boots. It is okay to use a fan, however.

Another suggestion for quicker drying is to put newspaper in the boots. Keep in mind though that you will have to keep replacing the newspaper as it gets wet.

If you have full-grain leather boots, you should consider conditioning them after they have dried. This will keep your leather fresh and sustainable. 

How to Choose the Right Hiking Boots for You

The lifespan of your hiking boots is determined solely on the person who wears them. For this reason, picking the right hiking boots is essential.

If you are not aware of which hiking boots are the best for you, you won’t be able to get a general feel for how long they will last for you. Different factors will play into how you choose a pair of hiking boots, but we will discuss them below.

Firstly, you will want to know what your options are. There are several different types of hiking boots depending on the type of hiker you are. Three major aspects of hiking boots include the type, composition, and fit.


The number of hiking boot types are extensive. You have multiple options from trail shoes to mountaineering boots. Understanding where you want to hike and if you will be hiking in different areas will help you when picking a type.

If you plan to hike in no specific location or have no clue of what type of hiking you will be doing, choosing a versatile pair of boots is advised. You can also do some research on the different type of hiking you can do and pick the one that you think you will enjoy the most.

Hiking shoes

These are great low cut shoes that are flexible and perfect for day hiking. If you are going to be going on a long hike, this is the hiking shoe for you.

Day hiking boots

These are standard boots made for light weight loads. Shorter hiking trips work well with this type of boot.

Backpacking boots

For the die-hard hiking fan, backpacking boots are your ideal choice. Designed with heavy loads in mind, long hiking trips are easily accomplished with these boots.


If you want a pair of light hiking boots, they will likely be made of different material than boots that you will use to trudge through marshes. That is why composition is important. After choosing what type of hiking you plan to do, you should consider the composition of the boots you want to buy.


Lastly, we have the fit of your hiking boots. Hiking while wearing uncomfortable boots is terrible. With each type of boot made differently, you can expect it to be hard to find a proper fit for your boots. Keep this in mind before choosing your boots. 

How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?

Your hiking boots will last depending on a lot of factors. From the quality of boots you buy to how often you go hiking, it is hard to state a set general answer to this question.

Pick the right shoe for your hiking needs and take care of them properly and you will be on your way to having your hiking boots last for several years.

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