Hiking shoes are essential gear for outdoor enthusiasts, providing support, comfort, and traction on various terrains. However, like all equipment, hiking boots have a lifespan and must be replaced when they start showing signs of wear. In this informative guide, we will explore the key indicators that signal it's time for new hiking shoes, a simple "press test" to check your boots' condition, and general mileage guidelines for replacement.

The "Press Test" for Your Hiking Boots:


A quick "press test" allows you to assess your hiking boots' condition. Follow these steps:


Press the outsole of your boot upward with your thumb, mimicking the flexing and compression during hiking.


Observe the midsole for cracks or strong compression lines. Fine lines indicate good condition, while cracks or no compression signal a need for replacement.


Signs You Need to Replace Your Hiking Shoes:


Frayed or Worn Laces:

Frayed or worn laces indicate that your hiking boots are reaching the end of their serviceable life. The constant tightening and loosening of laces wear them down over time, affecting the overall fit and support of the shoes.


Cracked Midsole or Compression Lines:

A cracked midsole or visible compression lines are definite signs that your shoes need retirement. The midsole's structural integrity is compromised, leading to a lack of cushioning and support during long hikes.


Loose Eyelets:

Loose eyelets make proper lacing difficult, diminishing the shoes' comfort and support on the trail. If you notice this issue, it's time to start looking for a replacement.

Worn Out Insoles and Ankle Support:

Examine the insoles for cracks and the ankle collar for misshapen cushioning or a loose fit. Worn-out insoles and ankle support significantly reduce comfort and stability during hikes.


  1. Worn Outsole Tread:

Worn tread on the outsoles of your hiking shoes affects traction, jeopardising your stability on various terrains. Replacing the shoes ensures safety on the trail.


Increased Discomfort:

If you experience blisters, foot, joint, or back pain, or "hot spots" that weren't present when your shoes were new, it's a clear indication that your hiking boots are too worn out for further use.


General Mileage Guidelines for Replacing Hiking Shoes:


On average, quality hiking boots and trail shoes can endure 500 to 1000 miles (805 to 1610 km). However, the actual mileage depends on various factors such as hiker weight, terrain, shoe type, and maintenance.


Heavier hikers and high-mileage hikers will experience quicker wear and tear on their shoes.


Proper care, cleaning, and drying after each trip can extend the lifespan of your boots.


The brand and type of hiking boots also play a significant role in their durability.




Knowing when to replace your hiking boots is vital for ensuring a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. By recognizing the signs of wear and performing a simple "press test," you can determine whether it's time to invest in a new pair of hiking shoes. Additionally, following general mileage guidelines and considering factors like hiker weight, terrain, and shoe care will help you make informed decisions and extend the life of your hiking boots. Be sure to choose quality brands when purchasing your hiking footwear to ensure durability and performance on your outdoor adventures.