Nothing beats the smell of fresh-from-the-factory hiking boots, but wearing them to wander in Yosemite straight out of the box? Disaster. You’re pretty much begging for blisters, bleeding, and likely a crappy time.
Save your feet and your memories by taking a few days or weeks to break in your boots first. Here’s how.
Make Sure They Fit Right Out of the Box
Your boots will stretch a bit over time, but not enough to make your size-7.5 boots fit your size-8 feet. Ask a salesperson or brand rep for help and take your time making sure the boots fit right—or read reviews online about how the particular brand tends to size—before you check out.
Pro Tip: Bring thick wool socks with you to the store so you can test the boots for cold-weather hikes too.