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You’ve waited all week to get in the car, head out to a beautiful trail, and enjoy the spectacular view from the top. You’re halfway up the trail and getting excited. Just then, ouch! You’ve got a major blister! Now your enjoyment of the view is clouded by your aching foot. It’s a common situation we envision when shopping for hiking boots for wide feet.
We’re all too familiar with outdoor adventures being ruined by sore feet. It’s hard enough to select the perfect hiking boots with “normal” feet. But if you’ve got wide feet, your options feel even more limited.
Luckily, there are actually many great options out there! We’ve done careful research and selected the best hiking boots for wide feet. We have great recommendations, ranked by stability, durability, cushion, and more. We did find an all-around winner.
The best all-around hiking boots for wide feet are the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX hiking boots. It’s nimble, stable, and has great traction. It’s waterproof with Gore-Tex mesh, and is ideal for ankle support. These are great all-around boots for wide feet that will last you a long time.
Your hike starts from the ground up. Read on to use our guide to select the boots that will keep your feet happy and comfortable!
- Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet – Quick Reference
- Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (All-Around) : Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX
- Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Shock Absorption) : Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX
- Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Flexibility) : Merrell Moab Mid
- Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Longevity) : Timberland Premium
- Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Best Value) : KEEN Targhee II Mid WP
- Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Best for the Budget) : Hi-Tec Altitude IV
- Factors When Choosing Hiking Boots For Wide Feet
- Tips for Selecting Hiking Boots for Wide Feet
Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet – Quick Reference
|Best All-Around: Salomon Quest 4D-2 GTX||View on Amazon|
|Best Shock Absorption: Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX||View on Amazon|
|Best Flexible: Merrell Moab Mid||View on Amazon|
|Best Durable: Timberland Premium||View on Amazon|
|Best Value: KEEN Targhee II Mid WP||View on Amazon|
|Best for the Budget: Hi-Tec Altitude IV||View on Amazon|
Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (All-Around) : Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX
The Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot is the ideal footwear for those with wide feet. Award-winning trail runners have worn it because of the support, stability, and performance it gives. What makes this boot great is that it also improves the stability of the ankle.
Aside from hiking, this boot is also ideal for running as it’s both nimble and stable. It is an excellent choice for all-rounder trail runners.
Additionally, its outsole uses Contagrip technology that gives quality traction, regardless of the terrain that you are trekking. Aside from this feature, this footwear sports the 4D Advanced Chassis that increases foot support and gives stability to the torso.
The upper construction is a combination of synthetic and leather materials meant to improve the boot’s durability and resistance to abrasion and water.
It has a quality lacing system, and its ankle collar provides comfort whenever you are descending. It also uses Gore-Tex mesh for superior water resistance.
- Sturdy and durable construction
- All-around shoes
- Great traction
- Provides stability to the foot
- Has a lot of seams that can wear out
- Too burly for casual hiking
Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Shock Absorption) : Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX
The Vasque Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex is another excellent choice for hikers who are in search of high-performance hiking boots.
The design itself makes you never want to take them off. The boots also come with an affordable price that won’t burden your mind.
The Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex boot uses lightweight and multi-padded EVA cushions in its midsole for superior comfort to your feet.
Its entire construction is a combination of different sturdy synthetic materials that improve the footwear’s flexibility and durability. It also has Gore-Tex Mesh that gives waterproofing and breathability.
Moreover, it uses Vibram technology on its rubber sole to improve ground traction and shock absorption. The Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex also uses a modern lacing system, which is complemented by its unique collar design.
Unlike some other boots that discarded durability and stability for weight purposes, this footwear didn’t. Therefore it is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a hiking boot that can deliver top performance at the cost of some weight.
- Durable and stable
- Modern lacing system
- Perfect for wide feet
- Traction on wet surfaces is excellent
- Heavier than the rest of the brands
Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Flexibility) : Merrell Moab Mid
One unique attribute of this hiking boot is that it has dual layers for its uppers—textile and leather. Coupled with its waterproofing feature, these shoes are perfect for the cold and wet environment.
The soles are made of EVA. Thus, you can expect that this boot is comfortable and is flexible. Instead of actual lugs, the shoe sports lug patterns. The removal of lugs increases the flexibility of the shoe and maximizes comfort.
The uppers feature breathable mesh that allows moisture from the feet to escape while preventing water from entering the shoes. Nonetheless, moisture does not escape efficiently. In addition, it locks in heat, so your feet feel warm. We don’t recommend this boot for hiking in summer or hot areas.
- Waterproof and breathable upper
- Highly flexible soles
- Removable insole
- Antimicrobial materials
- A bit heavy
- Durability issues
Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Longevity) : Timberland Premium
Compared to all hiking boots featured in this review, the Timberland Men’s 6″ Premium Waterproof Boot has a rather simpler design. Perhaps the intended purpose is to serve up to its name—being a boot for men.
The upper is clearly mad of nubuck leather which gives it a suede appeal. You’d expect these shoes to be highly durable (and thankfully, it is).
However, the material is soft on the inside. It may seem quite uncomfortable on the outside, but it feels soft inside.
Soles are made of rubber thus it sports some degree of flexibility. However, the soles are not designed for maximum flexibility and do not have an added cushioning effect.
One attractive feature of this boot is that it’s available in wider sizes. Since it’s designed for men, it’s just logical that Timberland makes wider versions available.
- Available in 2E size
- Highly durable
- Simple design
- Not as much ventilation
- Moderately flexible
Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Best Value) : KEEN Targhee II Mid WP
Often, the problem with waterproof shoes is that it also locks in moisture inside allowing the accumulation of sweat. The Keen Men’s Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot makes waterproofing possible while allowing breathability inside the shoes. As a result, your feet remain dry all throughout your hiking activity.
For maximum flexibility, the midsoles and outsoles are all rubber. The upper is made of nubuck leather.
As the name suggests, this hiking boot is available in mid-cut height. This maximizes ease of movement while still retaining support for the ankles.
- Protects the ankles
- Waterproof yet Breathable
- Moderate durability
Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet (Best for the Budget) : Hi-Tec Altitude IV
The Hi-Tec Men’s Altitude IV Waterproof Hiking Boot may not be a popular choice, but it’s more than adequate for almost anyone who wishes to go hiking.
With a great price value, you would be surprised at how many useful features it sports. It high-quality nubuck leather keeps the entire shoe protected against abrasion and water.
Also, it is a very lightweight boot, so it doesn’t add much pressure from carrying heavy gear while you are trekking.
The boot’s amazing level of comfort comes from thick cushioning and padding on its midsole, making it excellent wear. It also doesn’t itch like some other boot models tend to.
Perhaps the greatest edge of the Altitude IV is its stability. The midsole is relatively stiff, and the thickness of the outsole improves traction. It also provides a lot of support to the ankle although the collar has a lower cut.
Furthermore, various rubbers are used in the upper construction so that this footwear can enhance lateral support to your feet. Luckily, the boot is still flexible on top of all this.
- Provides lateral support to the feet
- Super comfortable
- Highly flexible and stable
- Perfect for people with wide feet
- Not the most breathable
- Moderate traction
Factors When Choosing Hiking Boots For Wide Feet
Insoles, outsoles, toe boxes, oh my! It’s easy to become overwhelmed when researching hiking boots, especially when you have wide feet. There are so many features, functions, and variables from the material to the laces.
Never fear because we’ve got it all broken down for you here– everything you need to know to select the perfect hiking boots for wide feet.
Boot construction is one of the most important aspects to know when selecting your hiking boots. Let’s review the main components and terminology of a hiking boot:
- Outsole: The outsole is the outermost portion of the boot. It’s the part that comes into contact with the ground.
- Plates: These are plastic or metal inserts placed between the outsole and midsole. They ensure that your feet are protected from objects which might puncture the sole like sharp stones or sticks.
- Midsole and Insole: These parts give a boot its cushion. They stiffen the boot to prevent sore feet. They give shock absorption which aids in carrying heavy loads.
- Shank: The shank is an arch support insert that aids shock absorption. It stiffens the midsole to reduce impact and strengthen the boot.
- Upper: The upper of a boot is what adds support and gives protection. An upper can make a boot heavy and add waterproofing, breathability, and durability.
There is a wide variety of materials available for hiking boots, each offering its own pros and cons. When looking at material, we consider durability, weight, breathability, and whether that material is water resistant.
We can group hiking boot materials into two categories– natural and synthetic. Natural materials include many different types of leather and suede. These materials are highly water resistant but not very breathable. Leathers will be durable and heavier, while suede is lighter and less durable.
Synthetics on the other hand, are light and breathable. They will be less durable though, and easier to get wet (but quicker to dry as well).
Here is a description of some of the more common hiking boot materials:
This type of material is a cheap option for uppers. The “split” in the name refers to the splitting of the smooth exterior of the cowhide to the rough interior. The downside of this material being cheap is that it has poor water and abrasion resistance.
Because of this material’s durability and its ability to resist water and abrasion, full-grain leather is often the choice for backpacking boots. Full-grain leather can withstand long trips, rough terrain, and heavy loads. This material, however, is less breathable and requires a sufficient break-in time before the shoes can be used for a trip.
This material is perfect for wet conditions or environment and hiking boots made out of this can easily resist water. What amazing about waterproof membranes is that they remain breathable despite having water resistance. Popular brands of waterproof membranes include eVent® and Gore-Tex®.
The breathability of this type of material, however, is not as great as split-grain. Another downside to this material is that, since it doesn’t allow moisture to enter or exit, the feet can accumulate moisture from sweat during summer, thus rendering the shoes unfit for dry conditions and environment.
This is full-grain leather, but it closely resembles suede. It’s buffed to make it look like suede, but it can resist water and abrasion and is highly durable. Similar to full-grain leather, hiking boots made of this require an extended break-in period before it becomes completely flexible.
The most common materials used for Nubuck leather are nylon, polyester, and synthetic leather. Shoes made of Nubuck leather dries quickly, breaks in for a significantly lesser time than full-grain leather and is relatively cheap.
The main disadvantage of nubuck leather is that it is less durable than full-grain leather and shows wear sooner.
Vegan leathers are a type of synthetic leather. Usually, shoes made out of vegan materials target customers that do not want any product derived from an animal.
Insulation materials for hiking boot uppers are thick and are often multi-layered. The purpose is to maximize insulation. Shoes with this material are perfect for cold and wet conditions.
Ethylene vinyl acetate is the standard material for the midsoles of lighter and softer hiking boots. If you’re planning to go on a short hike or hike in the daytime with a less challenging environment, then EVA is the perfect material for the midsole of your shoes.
Not only does EVA cushion the feet well, but it is also a relatively cheap material. Shoes with EVA midsoles, thus, cost less than shoes with Polyurethane ones.
This material is more expensive compared to EVA. The reason is that polyurethane is firmer and sturdier compared to EVA. If you want your hiking boots to last you long or if you want to go hiking for an extended period, then polyurethane is perfect for you.
Trail and Trip Characteristics
Will you be going for a day trek on relatively flat and easy trails? Or will you be backpacking for a few days through rocky terrain, crossing bodies of water, and going up steep inclines?
The answer affects your choice of hiking boots. Just as you wear rain boots in the rain, snow boots in the snow, your hiking boots should also reflect where you’ll be wearing them and what you’ll be doing in them.
There are three general categories of hiking footwear:
- Hiking shoes: These are lightweight footwear designed for the day hiker. Hiking shoes are generally very comfortable, cut low, and allow you to hike up easy and moderate trails with ease. They won’t provide the strength and durability needed on more difficult and longer hikes though.
- Day hiking boots: These boots are sturdy and give good traction, making them perfect on high-grade trails, rocky terrain, or anyplace where you need some added traction and protection. Ranging from mid to high cut, they are still lightweight. They are best for day trips and won’t stand up to heavy pack loads or multiday usage.
- Backpacking boots: These types of boots are very sturdy, built for long, multiday treks. They are often stiff and cut high to provide ankle and whole-foot support. Incredibly durable, these boots will be heavier and able to accommodate your larger packs and added wear-and-tear you’ll be placing on them.
Keep these categorizations in mind as you think about which boots to buy. Also think of the type of weather and climate where you’ll be as well. For example, if you’ll be in a wet climate, or will be hiking in creeks, look for boots with excellent traction and waterproofing.
Weight is another crucial factor to consider when selecting your hiking boots. Most hiking boots range between 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. Weight is a spectrum, and it has trade-offs. The heavier a boot is, the more sturdy and durable it is, but the more it will tire you out. What you’re looking for is a balance of strength vs practicality.
Heavy Weight Boots
Best for short hikes on rough terrain
- Good for rough terrain
- Requires more energy to lift as you hike
- Can tire you out faster
Light Weight Boots
Best for long hikes on easy terrain
- Easy and light to hike in
- Doesn’t strain the body
- Good on flat terrain
- Good for long distances
- Less stability
- Can be dangerous on rough terrain
- Risk of ankle rolls and sprains
- Doesn’t give support when carrying large packs
In the event you’re going on a hike that is both long and tough, some manufacturers have lightweight boots specifically made for longer distances.
Just like weight, height is a tradeoff as well. The higher the boot is cut, the more stability and ankle support it has. But the stiffer and less flexible the boot will be.
Conversely, a low-cut boot will be flexible and easy to move in, but it won’t give support to your ankles when hiking on rough terrain.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to boot height is to err on the side of a higher cut. If you know for sure you’ll be on easy trails, and don’t need the added protection and stability, opt for a low cut height. However, if you’re venturing on unstable ground, or a new trail which you have never trekked before, opt for a mid- to high-cut height. And of course, always go for a high-cut height when on difficult terrain.
Fit is a crucial aspect of both comfort and function when it comes to hiking boots for wide feet. Boots that are either too tight or too loose can both cause problems. They can lead to blisters, shin splints, and other conditions that quickly put an end to your trekking. As many runners can attest with poorly fitting running shoes, poorly fitting boots (especially on a multi-day hiking trip) can lead to toenails falling off.
With wide feet, some of us end up with boots that are too big, because we’ve gone a size up to get a bit more width. Others of us have boots that are too small, because we’ve stayed in the correct size but the boots are too narrow. What can be done?
- If you’re shopping in-store, go shopping at the end of the day. Your feet will be slightly swollen from standing and walking all day, which is the perfect time to try on hiking boots. Consult with a knowledgeable sales associate about the fit.
- If you’re shopping online, read reviews before purchasing and see if the boots run a bit bigger/smaller/wider/narrower than you’re used to. Boots in the same size from different manufacturers can fit differently.
- When trying on boots, whether in a store or at home, wear your hiking socks so you get an accurate picture of how the boots will feel on the trail.
- The boot should feel snug everywhere, but not tight.
- You should be able to wiggle your toes inside the toe box.
- If your toes hit the end (front) of the toe box, try another size up.
- If the boot’s length is perfect, but the boot is too tight overall, don’t go a size up. This will result in you wearing a boot that’s wide enough but too long for your foot. Instead, try another model or manufacturer.
You have the same general problems of manufacturers’ sizes running smaller or larger than the size you’ve selected. However as a person with wide feet, you also have the problem of sizes running too narrow.
Tread and Traction
The outsoles of hiking boots are made up of a series of bumps, called lugs. If you look at the bottom of a running shoe, you can easily see the shapes and groves which provide traction where the shoe contacts the ground. These are analogous to the lugs on hiking boots.
With lugs, the important factor is depth. The deeper the lugs, the more readily they grip surfaces. However, the deeper the lugs, the heavier the boot. In combination with the outsole material, your choice here will be a balance between grip and traction vs weight.
Ventilation and Breathability
Not the most pleasant of topics, you should consider the breathability of hiking boots. No one likes to have sweaty feet while hiking. It’s even more important on longer trips, where you need to consider foot hygiene. If you’re hiking for several days at a time without access to a shower, foot fungus like athlete’s foot is a real concern. Ventilation also extends the life of your insole by keeping moisture out.
Generally ventilation and waterproofing are at odds with each other. Ventilation means that air flows through, and if air can flow through, so can water. Newer synthetic materials like Gore-Tex have created a great solution to this problem though.
Hiking boots are utilitarian footwear, designed for their usage and not their appearance. If there’s a boot you just absolutely can’t stand, then by all means don’t buy it. However you’ll be best advised to make your decision based on its technical qualities. Especially for hiking boots for wide feet, you may not have as many choices of style and color. For something which you’ll be dragging through the mud, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like!
Aside from any particular aspect which contributes to comfort, your last step should be to try the boots on and feel how comfortable they are for yourself. Although a boot may be rated as the most comfortable, it might not suit your particular foot, especially for someone with wide feet.
Ultimately, if your hiking boots are not comfortable, you’re not going to wear them. So take some time to walk around in them, whether it’s in a retail store or at home. Some retailers offer returns after you’ve worn the boots, but some do not, so please check your retailer’s terms and conditions when making your purchase.
If your retailer doesn’t allow returns if the boots have been worn outside, try wearing them at home and wrapping the soles with plastic wrap. This way you walk around in the boots to get a feel for them, and also protect the soles from damage.
We also suggest trying your new boots with the socks you will wear. Socks can make a huge difference when it comes to comfort. So either wear your hiking socks to the retailer, or try them on at home together.
Cost and Quality
Like all outdoor gear, there is a wide range of cost, quality, and features. In general, higher-quality boots with more features will cost more. So when making your own purchase, thinking about which features you will actually use vs what your budget allows.
Consider also that higher-quality hiking boots have greater longevity and serve you for years to come. So what appears to be a more expensive boot will save you money in the long run because they won’t need to be replaced.
Buying one high-quality pair of boots is more convenient as well, especially for those of us with wide feet. It’s much more convenient to do thorough research and pick a great high-quality boot that we will wear for years and years.
Tips for Selecting Hiking Boots for Wide Feet
- As a wide footed person, your running shoes might be the most comfortable footwear you own. However unless you’re hiking on a flat and well-maintained trail, skip them entirely and opt for hiking boots. Running shoes do not provide traction or ankle support. So on rocky terrain, you might slip or roll your ankle.
- Always try on boots with your hiking socks before purchase, if you can. If shopping in person, shop at the end of the day when your feet are swollen. If shopping online, read the reviews to get a feel for the sizing. After ordering, try them at home and take note of the retailer’s return policy.
- Don’t choose a pair of boots because of the design, color, brand name, commercials, etc. Stick to what works for your needs.
- Avoid blisters and other painful conditions by breaking in your boots before wearing them hiking. Wear them for a while as you do errands or go for a walk in the neighborhood until they become perfectly comfortable.
- Adjust your socks as needed to get the fit perfect. If, after breaking the boots in, they feel a bit loose, opt for a thicker sock.
- Treat your boots with care and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning, drying, and storage.
In most cases, hiking in running shoes is not advised. Because you never know what nature has in store, it’s best to go with the support, stability, and protection of a hiking boot. Running shoes are dangerous on uneven terrain and can lead to sprained ankles. They are also not waterproof, they won’t keep your feet warm, and they have no traction.
Ankle support serves a number of functions. First, it prevents injury when your foot slips on uneven or slippery surfaces. Second, it supports the whole foot which is needed when on long hikes, when carrying large packs and heavy weight, and when doing arduous trails.
Unfortunately, while going a size up might increase the width of the shoe, it will also increase the length, leaving you with a poorly-fitting shoe length-wise. In some cases going a size up doesn’t even increase the width, leaving you with a poorly-fitting shoe all around.
A properly fitting hiking boot should feel snug all over, but never tight.You should have enough room to wiggle your toes, but your toes shouldn’t touch the front of the shoe (the toe box).