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How To Make Hiking Boots More Comfortable? | Top 19 Best Solutions

When it comes to hiking boots, comfort is highly personal because everybody has different levels of pain tolerance. Two different people with slightly identical feet shape and sizes may test out the same pair of hiking boots and one will like it while the other will think it is a disaster.

However, even the best-fitting hiking boots may need some form of tweaking to make them more comfortable. For example, when you take your nice and fit trail runners out for a spin in rocky terrain, you will likely encounter serious discomfort because they were not designed for that terrain.

In other words, comfort is a factor of how well the boots fit over your feet and the terrain that you are using them for. However, before you can talk about making your hiking boots more comfortable, they have to be the right fit, to begin with.

It is almost impossible to get hiking boots that fit poorly and make them comfortable. That is why you need to do your best to get a pair that fits snuggly.

You may still experience slight pains in some areas, particularly if you chose leather boots. No need to worry because that will easily go away after a break in.

Assuming you have got a great pair of hiking boots that you love because of their unique colors and designs but want to make them more comfortable, we have got your back.

In this post, we will discuss all the tricks and tips to make hiking boots more comfortable, from the appearance all the way to the feel. Keep reading to unravel that elusive mystery.

How To Make Hiking Boots More Comfortable

Wear Miniskirt With Hiking Boots

There are lots of factors that can make hiking boots uncomfortable. For one hiker it may be that the boots look ugly which makes them feel uncomfortable when they wear them.

To another, it may be that the boots are weather-sensitive and they will have to deal with wet socks whenever it rains.

Other common problems that hiking boots users often encounter include too dry and stiff leather, mold infestation, stinking boots, blistering on the heels or toes, and the list goes on.

However, the most serious discomfort will always arise when you purchase hiking boots that are not your perfect fit-either they are smaller or bigger than your feet. So, in the journey to making hiking boots more comfortable, the most important step is getting boots that give a snug fit.

Interestingly, hiking boots are so dynamic that there is usually a fix for every problem—except when you purchase a pair that are far smaller than your feet. In that situation, it will be best to return them for another pair or give them out to someone with smaller feet.

Below are some of the common causes of discomfort in hiking boots and how to deal with them. Some of these tips, you will not find anywhere else on the Internet.

1. They look ugly? Paint them!

paint hiking boots using many colors

We know that not everyone is financially buoyant enough to change their hiking boots after every few hikes. Some people will hold onto their boots until they start falling apart.

The problem is that even if the soles stand the test of time, the upper may look so old that you may feel embarrassed wearing it to any group hike. One of the ways you can boost the appearance of your boots is by painting them.

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How you will go about painting your hiking boots will depend on the material used in making the boots. When it comes to painting, you have the option of either using a brush or spray painting them.

We have a complete guide on how to paint hiking boots here. If you want more ways to make hiking boots look cute, check out tips here.

2. Covered in molds? Clean them!

Clean Mold Off Of Hiking Boots with cloth

Perhaps, the last time you hiked with your leather boots it got wet and you failed to dry them properly before storing leading to mold infestation.

Even when boots are properly dried, they can still be attacked by mold if they are stored in a humid environment. When mold infests your hiking boots, it causes them to lose their shine and can give off unpleasant smells.

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Last update on 2022-11-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Thankfully, when you clean your boots properly, you can get rid of the molds. Substances like petroleum jelly, alcohol, vinegar, and Epsom salt solution have all proven effective when it comes to getting rid of molds from boots.

Want to know how to clean mold off of hiking boots using these substances? Check out our step-by-step guide here.

3. They don’t blend with your clothes? Wear them like this!

Wearing A-line skirt With Hiking Boots!

Inasmuch as they are called hiking boots, some people wear them for casual day-to-day outings. However, since they are different from regular fashion footwear, styli it that way.

While there are many reasons why you can decide to hike in a skirt or jean pants, you need to style them properly to blend in.

If the only thing holding you back from wearing your hiking boots with jean pants or skirt is what people will say, check out our tips on how to wear hiking boots with jeans here.

If you would rather wear them with a skirt, here is a detailed guide on how tng them with your jeans or skirt can be a source of uneasiness.

Lots of people have a reputation for looking good—and want to keepo do it fashionably.

4. Having discomfort with downhill hikes? Tie them like this!

wear hiking boots in the sea

When hiking downhills, you have to be extra cautious about the possibility of slipping and falling. That extra caution may affect the way you walk which will eventually cause the boots to become uncomfortable.

One of the common problems that start to occur during this time is that your feet will start rubbing in different areas of the boots. Another common problem you may encounter is heel lift.

All of these will eventually lead to blisters if you do nothing about them. However, hiking downhill should be just as enjoyable as hiking on other terrains.

A trick as simple as changing the way you tie your hiking boots can make your hiking boots more comfortable when hiking downhill. See our detailed guide on how to tie your hiking boots for downhill here.

5. Discomfort from the dirty inside? Clean it this way!

Clean Mold Off Of Hiking Boots inside

Depending on the nature of the terrain that you hike, your hiking boots can start to accumulate dirt, dust, and debris. This will not only cause the inside of the boots to smell terribly awful, but it may also lead to spiky pricks when you wear the boots.

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Certain categories of dirt are hard to get rid of when they get absorbed in the insoles or the inner lining of the hiking boots. Properly cleaning your hiking boots will not only make them more comfortable but will also prolong their lifespan.

Have you been struggling with how to clean the insoles or remove dirt from the insoles or the inner lining of your fabric or leather boots? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean hiking boots inside.

6. Fighting blisters? Use this hack to make your boots more comfortable

Increasing foot pain when wearing hiking boots

Blistering of the foot can happen around the toes or heels. Regardless of where it happens, it is one of the problems that hikers dread the most because it has the tendency of terminating your hike abruptly.

Blisters usually occur when the boots are slightly bigger than your feet. This allows your feet to move around in the boots creating friction between your feet and the inside of the boots.

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It is this friction between your skin and the boots that leads to blisters. From wearing thicker socks to the use of toe cap protectors, there is a myriad of ways to prevent blisters from hiking boots and we have detailed all of them here.

7. Boots are too stiff? Soften them!

Getting a new pair of leather hiking boots is usually an exciting moment and you usually can’t wait to take it out for a spin. Sadly, new hiking boots, especially those made of leather, can cause severe pain the first time that you wear them—even when they are the right fit.

The reason is simply that the leather is still too stiff and will irritate your skin when they come in contact. Note that boots made of other materials can also present this problem.

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We have put a step-by-step guide on how to soften hiking boots made of different materials. It is really important that you do this before your first hike to prevent the discomforts that come with new boots.

8. Discomfort from the foul smell? Stop the smell!

Soften Suede hiking boots

When you wear smelling hiking boots to a hike, people will usually want to keep their distance from you. When you store them at home, the smell can fill up the entire room leading to discomfort and embarrassment if you have visitors.

Some odors are so strong that they persist even after rounds of regular cleaning. How you go about cleaning a hiking boot will also differ depending on the cause of the odor.

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Regardless of how bad the odor of your hiking boots is, use our hacks to stop your hiking boots from smelling. We tried these hacks and guarantee that you will definitely find the right one that will solve your odor problem.

9. Hiking boots rubbing? Deal with it!

Increasing foot pain wearing hiking boot

Hiking boots rubbing can ruin an otherwise interesting hike and cause serious discomfort to the feet. If you try to ignore the pain that comes from the rubbing, you will only end up with blisters.

For one reason or another, even the best hiking boots can rub your feet in different areas. This is particularly the case if the hiking boot has not been properly broken in.

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Thankfully, there are different hacks you can apply to solve this problem. From changing your lacing techniques to the use of thick socks, here are all the tricks that will stop your hiking boots from rubbing your feet, legs, and heels.

10. How to break in hiking boots to improve comfort

Use lotion on the hiking boot's sole

If you search the Internet for ways to make hiking boots more comfortable, the majority of info that you will see will likely tell you to break them in. No doubt, breaking in is the best way to make a snuggly fit hiking boot more comfortable.

Properly breaking in your hiking boots can solve myriads of problems including rubbing and stiffness. The right break in process will soften the hiking boots and form them around your feet.

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We have compiled a step-by-step guide on all the different tricks on how to break in hiking boots. Feel free to try more than one technique until you find the combination that gives you the desired result.

11. Hiking boots got wet on the trail? Dry them!

Heat hiking boots with a hairdryer 

Sometimes we fail to listen to the weather forecast and end up getting our boots wet while on the trail. We all know that wearing wet hiking boots can be extremely uncomfortable.

However, there are times that your hiking boots will get wet accidentally, especially when you are hiking in wet terrain. Wearing wet hiking boots is not only uncomfortable but makes it easier for the boots to trap dirt which can make a mess of your home.

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Drying boots on the trail is easier than you think and we have prepared an exhaustive guide on how to dry hiking boots on the trail. Grumbling doesn’t solve anything but one of these tricks will.

12. Discomfort around toes? Here are useful tips!

The biggest issue that those with wide toes have to contend with is pain around the toes. The first step to solving any problem is knowing the cause of the problem.

While a narrow toe box is usually the cause of pain around the toes, there are other factors that can lead to pain in the toes.

If you have been dealing with persistent pain and discomfort around the toes, have a look at our detailed post on ‘why do hiking boots hurt my toes’ to see what you can do differently to solve the problem.

13. Dealing with sand in your boots? Get them out!

hiking boot with gusseted tongues for sand

Sand in boots can be a source of discomfort because they will prick your feet and create pressure points when you go on a hike. Excessive sand in the boots can facilitate blistering if nothing is done.

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Simply turning your boots upside down may not be enough to get the sand out. This is because some sand particles may get stuck in the inner lining of the boots.

We have put together a step-by-step guide on the different techniques you can use to get sand out of hiking boots.

14. Having a water problem? Waterproof your boots!

hiking boots loss of waterproofing

Some hiking boots usually come waterproofed. However, following prolonged use, the waterproofing mechanism may start to wear off causing water to get into your boots.

When this happens, the water may get into the soles and weaken the glue causing the boots to fall apart. Water can also soak into the inner fabric of the boots, causing it to stink badly. In fact, there are three main reasons why your boots will leak.

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Hiking on wet feet is not only uncomfortable but can also be dangerous. If you hike on wet feet in really cold areas, you stand the risk of frostbite.

Waterproofing hiking boots is not difficult but you will need to stick to some procedures to get it right. We have a step-by-step guide on how to waterproof hiking boots here.

15. Does Boots feel too tight? Stretch them!

Hiking boots with shorts

Hiking boots made with some materials are prone to shrinking when you expose them to certain environmental conditions. Carrying a heavy backpack is usually uncomfortable and you wouldn’t want to add tight hiking boots to the picture.

If your boots used to fit snuggly and suddenly started tight in some areas, it is time to give it a good stretch. Stretching can also help to make your boots more comfortable if you purchased a pair that is slightly smaller than your feet.

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In addition to making your boots hurt less, stretching hiking boots are cheaper and can ease the pain in stiff surroundings. We have compiled a long list of methods that you can use to stretch hiking boots here.

16. Bed bugs in your boots? Get rid of them!

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood to survive. Their bites leave blood spots and an uncomfortable itch.

Bed bugs are not like other insects because they are resistant to a lot of substances that easily kill other insects. Since they are really tiny, they can hide in certain areas of the boots that you cannot easily reach, helping them to survive your typical boot cleaning.

Last update on 2022-11-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have been dealing with bed bug infestation or think your boots are under bed bug attack, we have got your back. Follow these steps to get bed bugs out of your boots.

17. Slippery hiking boots? Do this!

round outsole of slip resistant hiking boots

Slippery hiking boots are a health risk to any hiker. Slip and fall are one of the most common forms of injuries reported among hikers and the use of slippery hiking boots can put you on the list of the victims.

Boots can start out having great grip but may lose them over time with prolonged use—and depending on the type of terrain you hike. Should you throw away your boots when they become slippery? Certainly not.

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There are different hacks you can apply to remedy the situation. We detailed all of them in this post.

When your boots are less slippery you don’t have to be overly cautious of your steps. Therefore, you can quicken your pace too.

18. Sweaty feet in boots? Cool them down!

Heat hiking boots with a warm damp cloth

When you hike during the summer periods, it is always important to keep your feet dry. However, some boots are poor with breathability leading to heating up on the inside.

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Insulation in boots, wearing thick socks, and water-resistant coating are some of the reasons that can make a boot cause your feet to sweat. Regardless of the cause of the problem, the good news is that there is something that you can do about it.

Have a look at useful hacks that we outlined that will help to keep your feet cool in hiking boots. When your feet are cool and not sweaty, you will feel more comfortable hiking longer distances.

19. Stones getting in your boots? Stop them!

man wearing hiking boots standing on terrain with sand and tiny stones

The way you walk, the nature of your outfit, the type of terrain you hike, and the nature of your boots can lead to small stones flying into your boots.

Suddenly stepping on a pebble with your bare foot is always painful and can create the environment for the formation of blisters. It can also slow down your hike since you may have to stop from time to time to get them out.

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Thankfully, there are tricks that you can apply to stop the stones from getting in your boots. We have a long list of tricks we have tried with proven results to solve the problem. See all the tricks here.

Conclusion

The first step to making your boots more comfortable is finding the source of your discomfort. As you have seen, there is a long list of factors that can lead to boot discomfort.

In other words, there is no one-cap fits-all when it comes to making hiking boots more comfortable—notwithstanding that some hacks can solve more than one problem. That is why we didn’t go about listing a bunch of hacks like using heel inserts or moisturizing your boots.

Rather, we identified the different factors that can make your boots uncomfortable and give you a list of things you can do to remedy the situation.

Your hiking experience is always tied to the comfort of your boots. That is why making sure that your boots are comfortable is not an option but compulsory.

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