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Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet: Complete 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Hiker woman

Hiking is a fun and exciting way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. But if you don’t have the right type of footwear, your fun trip can quickly take a turn for the worse. Wearing the best hiking boots for wide feet will ensure you don’t end up with swollen, sore, and blistered feet at the end of the day. These shoes are designed specifically for hikers with wider feet, so you’ll have plenty of wiggle room. But as you probably already know, finding wide hiking boots isn’t as easy as it is to shop around for standard sized boots. In this buyer’s guide I’ve included all of the important features you need to look for to find a pair of boots that are built tough and designed to last. I’ve also tested out many of the leading models on the market, narrowing it down to four pairs that are currently the go-to choice for hikers with wider than average feet. These boots have what it takes to provide all day comfort, with a design that’s cushioned, supportive, and durable. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists each of the models that landed on my list, their best features, and how they rated.

Hiking Boots for Wide Feet Comparison Chart

ProductSizesColorsMaterialRating
Columbia Newton Ridge
Plus II Hiking Boot

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1110Leather/Suede
Timberland Men's White
Ledge Ankle Boot

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125Leather
NORTIV 8 Men's
Hiking Boots

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144Nubuck/Nylon
KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid
Waterproof Hiking Boot

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1113Nubuck

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Hiking Boot


Our Rating: (5/5)

These hiking boots by Columbia are made out of suede, leather, and mesh, for a durable, breathable design. These boots are waterproof and come equipped with a midsole that’s lightweight, making these boots a good choice for those longer hikes. The lace-up closure provides a secure, comfortable fit, while the sole is made out of advanced traction rubber, designed to prevent slips and falls. The tread features the patented Omni-Grip design that allows hikers to take on any type of challenging terrain, safely. The dual-zone winter tread pattern is perfect for icy conditions and will ensure you stay on your feet, whether you’re dealing with freshly fallen snow, ice, or black ice.

Pros

  • Omni-Grip design
  • Wide footbed
  • Made out of leather and suede
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Boots run a size small

Conclusion

These boots use top of the line technology to improve the hiker’s traction, while the wide footbed gives the feet just enough wiggle room to prevent swelling and discomfort during a longer hike. The advanced traction grip will allow hikers to use these boots on any type of terrain, from mud and sand, to snow and ice.

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Ankle Boot


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These hiking boots are made out of one hundred percent full-grain leather, with a seam-sealed waterproof design that will prevent water from seeping into the inside of the boots during your journey. The speed laces and hook closures provide a snug fit for top of the line ankle support, which is exactly what you need if you’re taking on challenging terrain. Timberland is a company that earned a reputation for their durable, multifunctional boots that not only provide ultimate traction and comfort, by style as well. These boots are available in five color options and can be worn for challenging hikes, work, or they may quickly become your go-to boots when you’re running errands on your day off. The extra-wide footbed design will allow your feet to rest comfortably, taking the pressure off the toes and allowing them to breathe. Durable, stylish, and designed to last, Timberland has done it again, producing a pair of boots that will provide ultimate traction and comfort, for any type of terrain on your next challenging hike.

Pros

  • Durable
  • EVA padding
  • Waterproof
  • Oiled leather finish

Cons

  • Interior will become soaked with heavy rainfall

Conclusion

Made out of one hundred percent leather, the oiled finish, will protect these boots from cracking, tears, and other damage. The removable dual-density foam is designed to provide all-day comfort, combined with the padded collar. These multifunctional boots are built tough and have a great waterproof coating, so you can wear them rain or shine.

NORTIV 8 Men’s Hiking Boots


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you’re looking for boots that can handle seriously rugged terrain, this latest pair by Nortiv delivers. The durable rubber outsole is equipped with multi-directional lugs, which provide ultimate traction on a wide range of terrain types. The footbed is wide, making these boots a perfect choice for users with wider than average feet. The foot bed is also cushioned with EVA foam, for improved comfort and support. The upper is waterproof and oiled, for long-lasting durability. These boots are also available for an affordable price. Because of the price, you won’t get leather, but a type of durable nylon ripstop material. The shoes are coated with Nubuck, to give it a high-quality look, but the Nubuck doesn’t do much in terms of making the shoes more durable, since the material is very thin.

Pros

  • Designed to handle any terrain type
  • Waterproof uppers
  • Wide footbed
  • EVA foam cushioning

Cons

  • Nubuck material is very thin

Conclusion

These boots may not be as durable as models that are made out of one hundred percent leather; however, they do offer the type of traction needed for hiking challenging terrain. Additionally, the extra-wide footbed is designed for hikers with wider feet, while the speed lacing system allows you to achieve a tighter fit, for much-needed ankle support.

KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Boot


Our Rating: (4/5)

These boots are made out of one hundred percent Nubuck leather. Their waterproof design allows your feet to remain comfortable and dry, even in heavy downpours or wet environments. The leather has been treated with a type of PFC-free water repellent, for all day protection. The repellent may be PFC-free, but it’s just as tough as repellents that use harmful chemicals. The outsoles provide top of the line traction in all types of environments. The all-terrain outsole will allow your boots to grip slick surfaces, making these boots a great choice for all-year use. The torsion stability external support shank combined with the mid-height design of the boots will provide better than average ankle support and comfort.

Pros

  • Better than average ankle stability
  • High-traction grip
  • Made out of one hundred percent Nubuck leather
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Sole is very stiff

Conclusion

The breathable waterproof membrane on the boots do an excellent job of keeping the user’s feet warm and dry, while the wide footbed will give toes all the room they need to spread out, yet the design prevents the feet from sliding around. The ESS and mid-ankle design of the boots will keep them well-protected, even when the wearer is hiking over challenging, rugged terrain, working to minimize ankle injuries and discomfort.

Hiking Boots for Wide Feet Buyer’s Guide

Your footwear can have a big impact on how much you enjoy your latest hiking experience. But if you have wider feet, finding the right footwear can be a big problem. Fortunately, there are many boots specifically made for people with wider feet.

If your feet are wider than average and you normally wear traditional sized hiking boots, after several miles of hiking your feet will be uncomfortable and sore. This is because traditional footwear often has tapered narrow toe boxes, with a major toe drop. The narrow toe box and raised heel will cause the toes to be squished and wedged together with every step. Fortunately, there are special hiking boots out there that will cater to hikers in need of a wider, more comfortable design.

There are many benefits that come with ditching your traditional hiking boots and making the switch to a pair with a wider toe box. Once you decide to take the plunge and try out this different design, you’ll find yourself out on the trail more often, since your feet will now be able to remain relaxed and comfortable, all day long and without the type of pain, soreness and discomfort you’d normally experience the day after a hike.

Benefits of Hiking boots for Wide Feet

couple hiking

  • You’ll immediately experience major improvement in foot comfort. With a spacious and wider toe box, a hiker’s toes will no longer be jammed together.
  • Depending on the length of the hike and the terrain, a hiker’s feet may still feel fatigued but not quite as much as with regular boots.
  • A hiker will enjoy improved balance. A wider toe box will provide better balance and the wearer’s toes are no longer crammed inside and are able to spread out. This results in improved stability. Wide toe boxes will also feature a lower stack height, so the wearer will be closer to the ground, for a lower center of gravity.
  • With improved balance comes a reduced chance for injuries. Now that the wearer’s center of gravity is significantly lower and their toes are able to provide a stable base, their chances of rolling their ankle significantly drop. A wider toe box will also reduce the chances of ingrown toenails.
  • Wearing the right size of boots that are comfortable also promotes foot health. Hiking in a wider pair of boots will encourage the toenails to realign to their natural position because the toes are no longer squeezed tightly together in a small space. This will reduce toe numbness and improves blood flow to the feet.
  • Wearing the right type of hiking boots can prevent that extreme soreness that many hikers end up feeling the day after. Boots that are supportive and come equipped with thick soles and a comfortable interior can save your feet from plenty of wear and tear.

Must-Have Features

Choosing the right pair of boots can be a matter of personal preference, however, for hikers with wider feet, their options can be very limited. Boots that fit well will provide all-day comfort, traction, and protection. Of course, there are many factors to consider before you decide to buy a new pair. First up is size. The size of the boots you wear can have an impact on comfort, balance, and protection.

Size Options

How usable a pair of boots are all boils down to how well they fit your feet. Unfortunately, not all brands offer wider shoe sizes, which is why it can be so difficult to find hiking boots that fit the way they should. When you’re shopping for new boots, it’s important to measure your feet and then look at every manufacturer’s size chart to compare your foot measurements to those of the pairs of wide boots available. Ideally, go with a pair that’s an inch or two longer than your feet and an inch wider. This will give you plenty of wiggle room.

Types of Hiking Boots​ for Wide Feet

You can choose from a  couple of basic styles of hiking boots. The type you decide to go with will be a matter of personal preference and the type of hiking you enjoy.

Day Hiking

This type is perfect for basic day hiking. Their design is somewhat similar to hiking shoes and they’re also meant for short hiking trips and light loads. These shoes are very flexible, yet more durable than a pair of hiking shoes. This type of boot is often available in mid-cut and high-cut styles.

Backpacking

These boots are by far the most durable. They’re made to handle heavier loads and can cover longer distances and stand up to the challenge. These boots won’t fall apart on you when you’re on a longer hiking adventure. In fact, they provide both optimal comfort and durability. Most of these boots are available in the high cut style and are designed to provide better than average ankle support. These boots have midsoles that are much stiffer than day hiking boots. ​

Uppers

The upper portion of the boots can determine the weight of the boots and can also have an impact on breathability, durability, and water resistance. Ideally, you’ll want boots that have uppers that are breathable and durable.

Hiking boots often feature uppers that are made out of leather since it’s more durable, however, many types of leather can cause the feet to sweat excessively since this material isn’t exactly breathable.

Split Grain

This type of lea​ther is commonly found in cheap pairs of boots. Split grain leather gets its name due to the rough material and the smoother exterior. The biggest drawback for split grain is that it has poor abrasion resistance and water resistance.

Full-Grain

This type of material offers excellent abrasion and water resistance, which is why it’s usually the material of choice for the long-distance backpacker. This type of leather is able to handle heavy loads, rough terrain, and longer trips. However, it’s also less breathable, which can lead to excessive sweating. Additionally, because of the stiffness of the leather it also requires a sufficient breaking in period.

Waterproof Membrane

Boots made out of waterproof membranes are perfect for wet weather conditions or in environments that experience severe humidity. Hiking boots that are made out of this type of material are considered highly water-resistant. Waterproof membrane material is also very breathable, and it offers a higher level of water resistance compared to leather uppers.

Split grain leather tends to offer a better level of breathability in comparison. Another drawback to waterproof membranes is the fact that because it doesn’t allow moisture to exit or enter, the feet will often accumulate moisture in extreme weather conditions. This can make boots that have waterproof membranes unsuitable for humid environments.

Nubuck

This is another type of full grain leather, however it more closely resembles suede. Nubuck is buffed out to make it appear similar to suede, however it can be just as durable and water resistant as boots made out of waterproof membrane material. Hiking boots that come equipped with this type of leather are considered very rugged but they also require an extended breaking in period. The downside to this type of material is that it’s not as durable as full grain and tends to show signs of wear much sooner.

Vegan

This is a type of synthetic leather. Typically, shoes that are made out of vegan materials are designed for people who do not wish to use any products that are derived from an animal. These synthetic materials are not quite as durable as leather, but they’re a great alternative for the vegan or the vegetarian.

Insulation

Most types of insulating materials used in hiking boots are multi-layered and thick. The entire purpose is to maximize the amount of insulation provided. Boots that are well-insulated are perfect for wet and cold conditions.

Midsoles

This is the portion of the boot that  is widely responsible for cushioning. The material used in the midsole determines how efficient the boot is in absorbing and protecting the feet from Impact. It will also play a major role concerning how stiff the boots are.

There a couple of different types of material that are used for midsoles:

EVA

EVA is the standard type of material that’s used for midsoles in softer and lighter hiking boots. If you’re planning a short trip or a daytime hike in an environment that’s not very challenging then this is the perfect type of material for the midsole in your boots. Boots that come equipped with this type of midsole are often more affordable compared to the alternative material that’s used

Polyurethane

Compared to EVA, this type of material is more expensive. This is because it’s much sturdier and firmer and has a reputation for lasting significantly longer. If you want boots that are designed to last or you want to use a pair for a longer hiking trip then this midsole is a perfect choice.

Extras

Boots that are designed for wider feet will come with additional components and features that can make them more durable and breathable depending on the type of terrain you will be hiking through. The more sophisticated and Innovative the boots are, the more benefits you experience.

As an example, some come equipped with improved torsional stability, which is perfect for rough and rocky terrain. This is definitely a must-have feature if you often find yourself hiking over challenging terrain, or you’re a long distance hiker who needs boots that offer better than average support and comfort. This type of support will also be crucial if you’re carrying a heavy backpack.

Support

Tourist in trekking

There are a couple of important features that  you’ll find in high quality hiking boots; plates and shanks. Both of these features can provide the type of support the long distance hiker needs for all day comfort.

Shanks

This portion of the boot can either cover the entire length or half of the midsole and it’s what’s responsible for adding the stiffness. Stiffer boots are not only able to improve the overall durability of the boot, but it also increases the boot’s ability to absorb impact

Plates

When you’re hiking, you expose your feet to uneven and rough terrain. You’ll have to walk down trails that are filled with thick twigs and branches, poking roots, and rough rocks. The addition of plates between the outsole and midsole will ensure that the wearer’s feet are well protected from being bruised and punctured by these objects during a hike.

Of course, even with these extra features, the boots you choose should not be bulky or heavy. When you’re hiking a long distance, it’s very important that you choose footwear that’s lightweight and durable.

Durability

Most manufacturers will claim that their boots are the most rugged and durable around, able to handle any type of terrain. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case, especially when it comes to low-priced boots. However, you can still find a good pair of hiking boots that are offered at a lower price, you just can’t expect them to last for several years, like higher priced boots tend to. If you hike more than three or four times a week, then it’s important that you consider hiking boots a serious investment. When you’re shopping for hiking boots, they should be considered an important investment. If you hike often, then it’s well worth it to shell out the extra cash, instead of having to purchase another new pair of boots after your low-quality boots begin to fall apart after just a month or two of use.

Weight

Hiking boots can be pretty heavy, since many are equipped with thicker than average soles and a more durable design compared to traditional boots. However, if you’re planning on hiking several miles a day on your next camping or hiking trip, then look for a pair that’s durable, yet lightweight. Lighter boots will allow you to move easily and quickly, and won’t contribute to fatigue or soreness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need Wide Hiking Boots?

If you’re able to slide your feet from side to side in your boots, then the boots you’re wearing are too wide. Boots that are too wide can cause blisters on the sides and bottoms of your feet. If the boots fit nice and snug, but they don’t cause soreness, then they’re a good fit.

Should you buy Hiking Shoes a Size Bigger?

Many hikers prefer to wear boots that are half a size or a full size larger than their usual shoe size. This can help to accommodate for the thick hiking socks most hikers wear and will not cause discomfort. However, if you wear boots that are too large then this can lead to toes that slam into the front portion of the boot, which can result in nail damage, pain, and general discomfort.

How do you Know if Your Hiking Boots are too big?

Put your boots on and lace them up, then stand and try wiggling your toes. If there’s a thumb’s width of space between the front of the toe box and your big toe then your boots are too large.

Should Hiking Boots be Loose or Tight?

These boots should have a snug fit all over, but should not feel tight anywhere. Boots that fit well will have enough room for you to wiggle your toes easily.

How Much Room Should be in the Toe of a Hiking Boot?

If your feet remain stationary on the foot bed as you’re hiking, and there are a couple of fingers worth of room in the interior, then the boots offer a good fit. You should also keep in mind that feet can swell during a hike, growing as much as half a size. Because of this, a roomy toe box is ideal.

Final Thoughts

Best hiking boots for wide feet will protect your feet from tough terrain, will come equipped with a wider toe box, and lower boot stack, and feature the type of rugged design that allows you to use them season after season. This buyer’s guide and the products that made it onto my top four list are designed to help guide in the right direction so you can purchase the perfect pair of hiking boots that will keep your feet comfortable and well protected.