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Need new hiking boots? Then avoid these four mistakes!

Any guess as to what the most popular sport among the Swiss population might be? It’s hiking, of course! You’ll enjoy Switzerland’s more than 65,000 kilometres of well-maintained hiking trails better without blisters or sore feet. We reveal four mistakes to avoid when buying hiking boots.

Carmen Fusco

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HIking boots on hiking trail

The 2023 hiking season is officially under way! That’ll delight lots of Swiss people. Did you know that 57 percent of the resident population aged 15 and over hike regularly? That’s around four million people. Switzerland has everything from local recreational areas to alpine peaks. To enjoy this wonderful natural environment to the full, you’ll need suitable clothing, a good rucksack and obviously comfortable hiking boots with a good grip. Here are four mistakes to avoid when buying hiking boots.

1. Unsuitable for the terrain

Where are you going to use your boots? Are you planning to do long or short hikes? Do you hike on flat terrain, in the uplands, in the alpine foothills or in the Alps themselves? There’s no perfect shoe for each type of terrain – but the following categorization may help you to choose the right shoes (source: SportXX (in German)):

2. Wrong shoe size

You need the right footwear to go hiking – and the correct shoes size is vital. First of all: take the time to try shoes out. It’s best to test each shoe by both standing and walking in them for a few minutes. After all, who wants to suffer pain, sores and blisters during a hike? Make sure the shoe sits firmly around the heel, that there’s about a thumb’s width in front of the toes and that your midfoot has good support. As you often wear thicker socks when hiking than during your leisure time, it’s worth buying a half or full size bigger than normal recreational shoes.

3. Focusing on look rather than performance

When hiking, the shoe’s performance is everything. Hiking shoes should be comfortable and functional. If they look great too, then all the better! But don’t get bedazzled by the colour or style – instead go for comfortable, sturdy and waterproof shoes.

4. Overlooking quality

The quality of your hiking boots can make all the difference. Invest in high-quality hiking boots – ultimately, they’re the most important piece of equipment. Even it you have to spend more, it pays off long-term. You’ll enjoy your hiking boots for longer, won’t have to continually buy new ones and most important of all – you’ll really enjoy your hiking.

Did you know …

In conjunction with the Swiss Hiking Trail Federation, Swiss Post is committed to keeping the network safe and well maintained. But how are the two actually linked? In an interview (in German) (PDF, 2.5 MB)[Media | Not Accessible], Andrea Boillat, head of the marketing/communication unit at the Swiss Hiking Trail Federation, and Melanie Schmid, Head of Live Communications at Swiss Post, discuss Switzerland’s most popular recreational activity and the multi-year commitment.

Discover family-friendly hikes

Browse our suggestions for hikes on our website (in German) and discover the many trails for you and your loved ones! Order our new hiking map (in German) now – it includes a ladders game on the back.

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Carmen Fusco

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Different types of food and drink to take on a hike laid out on picnic blankets