When to Replace Hiking Boots? 9 Ways to Tell

Everything has its shelf life, and hiking boots have no exceptions. But it is always wise to know when to replace hiking boots than to cut the on-going trip just because the footwear has broken.

So, before your hiking boot gets broken and bothers you, you should better replace it.

Typically, you should replace hiking boots after 500-1000 miles of usage. Though there comes different situations that tell you more clearly whether you should be replacing your hiking boot or not.

Let’s see those situations determining the right time for replacement hiking boots.

How Often Should You Replace Hiking Boots?

Down below are the various alarming situations that will tell you to replace your hiking boots:

1. Shabby Outsole

The boot outsole that is too worn out due to excessive use or durability concerns is a big reason to buy hiking boots now. Not to mention how it’s dangerous to maintain reasonable traction on slippery and mossy rocks. If you often go on hiking trips, keep an eye on the outsole and its quality.

Typically, replacing your hiking boots every six months of hiking with 300 to 500 miles would not let you down amid the hiking trip.

You should replace the boot at 10 miles per week for an average hiking approach. This means after every 500 to 1000 miles of hiking; the boot must be replaced with the new one, provided you already own high-quality footwear.

Below are the images that show the poor conditions of hiking boot outsoles which will give you the idea to replace them.

inside view of hiking boot worn out outsole
boot outsole from outside view - good sign to replace your hiking boot

2. Unravel Laces or Eyelets

The split lace of the hiking boot is perhaps among the most apparent signs that ask for a boot replacement. Although you can buy the boot laces, for that matter, if it’s due to over-wear, the boot needs replacement.

The boot quality gets impacted for hiking in snow, mud, extreme temperature, water, and dampness. And the laces are the first thing that gets trapped with the dirt particles. So, if you don’t replace the laces in time, the eyelets may become prone to rust, cracks, etc. If you spot cracks on the eyelets or frayed laces on the hiking boot, it’s time to replace them to save from any possible tripping incident.

early signs of boot laces eyelets getting damaged

3. Loosen Seams

The seams of the hiking boot fabric, outsole, and uppers are a matter of their quality. Another sign to replace the boot is when the seams of the insole or upper start to loosen. The poor quality seams that are not tight and well-stitched can make your hiking misbalance.

Therefore, the chances of tripping become greater. Also, it impacts the grip and fitting. Even if you see the seams getting detached from the sole, upper, or fabric liners, rush to replace them sooner.

bad broken seams of a hiking boot

4. Alien Pain While Wearing the Boot

Sometimes your feet swell due to hiking, and it may cause pain. However, if you feel a new kind of pain during the boot-wearing time, you should consider replacing it. The new pain that you never experience before during boot wearing can be due to multiple reasons. 

For instance, the insoles are worn out, the boot interior has been de-shaped, or your feet’s shape has changed. So whatever he reasons, you need to buy the new boot just according to your current foot size and shape.

5. Poor Waterproofing and Leakage

Hiking boots are usually waterproof. But when they’re not, it’s time to replace them. The leakage and the dampness in your feet will tell you to opt for the new hiking efficient boot that is smart to keep your feet dry.

The leakage in the boot may be due to a punctured outsole, workout, or defective uppers or midsole. Make sure the boot has an intact interior for hiking, and if not, purchase the boot that has one!

6. Inefficient Ankle Support

The ankle support of the hiking boot warps the feet in protection and maximizes snug fitting. But if the boot fails to provide either of these parameters, there is no use in keeping wearing the boot for hiking. If the ankle support is losing its firmness and softness to stiffness, the boot must be changed. 

Moreover, if the ankle support or the collar of the boot is not well-padded, it will cause injury and won’t hold back the impact during the hiking trip. So if your hiking boot has worn-out ankle, less spongy padding, or cracks on the fabric liners, it’s the right time to buy new hiking boots.

Good ankle support of hiking boot because of high top

7. Midsole Quality

Over Time, the interior of the boot becomes less efficient. For that, the midsoles and the comfort liners, such as EVA footbeds, start to crack. If your hiking boot also features such signs, it is alarming enough to replace the boot.

The fine-quality hiking boot with a balanced footbed helps to attain comfort and stability during walking, running, hiking, and climbing.

8. Loosing of Softness and Comfort

The new hiking boot always offers the best comfort and softness during hiking time. However, overuse or misuse makes the boot’s interior less feet-friendly. So, if it’s over 2 years since you bought the boot and you are an avid hiker, it’s time to replace it. 

A few signs of a lousy insole are if you’re getting blisters or chafing often during hiking. Moreover, improperly working the moist-wicking insole is also a sign to replace the boot.

9. Squeaky Noise or Poor Traction

The squeaky sound of the hiking boot can be either due to leakage or poor fitting of the interior. The outsole may be too weary to hold the steadiness in the tread. Moreover, the traction and firmness in the footsteps are also significant signs to look for a new pair of hiking boots.

Although some of the express and manufacturers would recommend replacing the hiking boots every six months, you can choose not to replace them after six months if you don’t hike too much. However, noisy tread or poor non-skid outsole traction is a sure sign to replace the hiking boot.


Tim Campbell

I am Tim. Getting the inherited hobby from my father when I was a child to the fully grown individual I always loved boots. I live in hilly areas and love to explore the world at heights. That's where my profound hobby of boots collection comes in. I have tried a lot of boots and now helping my community to do better when having fun in different conditions like hilly areas, work, or farming. In this very blog, I have covered some awesome reviews and information that you may get hard otherwise. All of my self-experience and expert advice I have incorporated in this blog.

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