How Long Do Hiking Boots Last (Plus Bonus Boot Care Tips)
It can be really hard to say goodbye to your favorite hiking boots. It can be even harder to know when your boots cannot last any longer and need to be replaced!
So, how long do hiking boots last? And what are some ways that you can do to make your boots last longer?
The essential things that you need to know about the durability of your boots and how to properly care for them can be found below!
How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?
When you buy a pair of quality hiking boots, you’re investing in your hiking future. Even with this investment, though, you cannot expect the boots to last forever. Every pair of boots that you get has limited lifetime durability on it, especially if you plan to hike a lot.
Generally speaking, you can expect a quality pair of boots to last between 500 and 1000 miles. This is a broad range, but that will depend on the difficulty of your hike and your hiking style. Other common factors that will affect how long the boots last are your weight and how well you take care of the footwear.
On another note, even if you don’t hike 500 miles or more, you might find that your hiking boots need to be replaced because they are causing you new blisters that they never caused before. This can be confusing if you haven’t worn the boots a lot, but in this case, it’s not the boots that changed: It’s your feet!
Over time, your feet will change. If you only hike every few years, you may find that the boots don’t fit as well as you remember. This is likely because your feet have changed over time, and that is normal. In that case, you still might need to replace your boots.
What Are the Signs That You Need to Replace Your Boots?
Sometimes, you might start to think that your boots need to be replaced. Maybe you’ve walked an uncountable number of miles in them, and you aren’t sure if you’ve reached the time for replacement or not.
Fortunately, there are a lot of other signs that you can pay attention to in order to understand if it’s time to replace your hiking boots or not, and they are:
- Laces are wearing out: While you can replace the laces in your boots, worn out laces can be an indicator that you need a new pair, especially if you’ve replaced the laces before!
- Loose eyelets: While eyelets can be repaired, worn eyelets are a sign that your boots are getting old and worn.
- Cracked sole or midsole: If either of these parts is broken, your feet will not be getting proper support anymore.
- Misshapen ankle support: If the cushioning around your ankles is too worn out, it’s time to get a new pair of boots as they won’t provide enough stability anymore.
- Worn tread: You need a good grip to stay safe while hiking; worn tread is a sure sign of old footwear.
How to Help Your Boots Last Longer?
While boots may wear out over time, there are some things that you can do to help ensure that your boots last for as long as possible. Simple boot care increases the lifetime durability of the footwear, so taking the time to do these things can be worth it.
1. Clean and Dry
After you finish a hike or make camp for the night, cleaning up your shoes a bit and making sure that they dry out completely will help the boots last longer. When they are left wet or with mud caked through all of their seams, you’ll find that the materials break down more quickly. There’s no reason to let this happen since you don’t have to do a full cleaning routine—simply brushing the boots and kicking the mud off is enough to make a difference.
2. Condition Leather
If you have a leather hiking boot, it is essential that you condition, clean, and protect the leather. If you do not, the leather will become stiff over time and may even become impossible to wear.
Leather is one of the materials that can last a very long time, especially if you choose to re-sole the boots when the treads wear down. However, to maintain the quality of the leather, you’ll have to condition and care for it continuously.
Accept When It’s Time
How long do hiking boots last? For most hikers, they last as long as they have to!
It can be hard to let go of a favorite pair of hiking boots, but remember that you’re only making your hikes more difficult by refusing to get a new pair that supports your feet and help you have a more comfortable hike.
When it’s time to replace your boots, get ready for a new adventure with a new pair of boots instead of lamenting the loss of the old one!