We were newbs, so we asked the experts how to find hiking boots.

I’m sitting in a café in Saint John, New Brunswick, because it’s pouring rain and I needed wifi. And what do I have on my feet? My hiking boots. Because I want to look badass, and stay dry.

Turns out, hiking boots aren’t just for hiking anymore.

hiking boots

And thank baby Jesus for that. Because when you downsize your life like we did, all of your belongings suddenly become multifunctional. So my strolling-through-town footwear is now the same thing I’d wear to hike an epic seaside trail, or what I slip on in the morning after waking up in our rolling home. My hiking boots are reliable, waterproof, and they fit like a gosh darn glove.

But how the heck does one find a hiking boot that offers both versatility and functionality while still looking A+? I had no idea. (And neither did Coleman.) So Li et Co enlisted Heather Taylor, Marketing Dir­­ector at KEEN Canada, an authority on outdoor adventure footwear, to find a pair of hikers that fit better than Cinderella’s glass slipper.

hiking boots

Heather, Coleman needs boots that he can hike in, but also, that aren’t going to smell terrible during or after he wears them (he’s a big, sweaty guy, and we live in a teensy van). What should my hairy man-friend look for in pair of boots?

It’s important that he chooses a pair of hiking boots that are waterproof. Our boots are equipped with a patented technology called KEEN. Dry—a waterproof, breathable system that lets vapour out without letting water in—to help manage moisture. It’s also important to wear an appropriate sock, like a merino wool hiking socks for moisture control and extra cushioning.

Our dainty city feet aren’t yet used to all of this hiking. Is there a certain type of hiking boot that can prevent blisters?

We wish! But no, there are no hiking boots that help prevent blisters. However, there are ways to avoid blisters from occurring by examining the boot’s fit and moisture control.

For instance, if the boots are too large, this causes slipping, and in turn, blistering at the heel. If the boots are too small, blisters are formed at pressure points.

What should a newbie look for when choosing a hiking boot for the first time?

Select a boot with both stability and ankle support. From a fit perspective, a snug fit at the heel and ankle are important, along with healthy room at the forefront for natural movement when hiking. The type of terrain that will be covered on your hike will also impact which footwear is most appropriate.

hiking boots

So now we’re rocking really rad looking hikers (mine have gold hardware!), and our feet are comfy and dry. In fact, we’ve sent all of our other boots back to our hometowns to live with our parents for now (thanks, parents!), so these are all we’ve got.