Hiking Boots – Buy Online or Get Fitted in Store?

buying hiking boots in store
Statistics show we're buying all sorts online. But what about your hiking boots? What are the pros and cons of going in store vs buying online?


I’ve bought more hiking boots in the past than I care to remember. And definitely more than I care to tally up the cost of.

These days, I have brands and models of boot that I know I love so I tend to stick with those and replace with an online purchase when I need to. 

And actually, recent ecommerce statistics suggest that we’re all buying pretty much everything online from food to fashion, furniture and even medication. So why would hiking boots be any different?

Online Shopping

There’s absolutely no denying that buying online comes with convenience factor. You can also price compare incredibly quickly an easily. And let me be honest – I have never once found a pair of boots cheaper in store than online.

There’s also more choice online. You can buy any boot from any brand you like somewhere on the Internet.

I have a few specific brands and models of hiking boots I like. I tend to buy them first in store and then buy a second pair of them for when the first ones wear out online.

And outdoor shops seem fewer and further between than ever before. Some big chains also don’t seem to have the expertise I would like in store. 

So sometimes, I feel as though I can shop online getting information online as I go.

But… there’s no substitute for trying a boot on if its a model you’ve never worn before.

The Perks of Buying Hiking Boots in Store

It’s trying on first. That’s it. The end.

Well, let’s be honest. That’s the main perk anyway.

But perhaps I am being a little unfair. I’ve had two fairly negative shopping experiences in a large chain of outdoor shops where I was frankly given awful advice about winter boots.

BUT, that said, I’ve consistently been given solid advice when trying boots in Cotswold Outdoor and also a couple of independent shops around the Peak District and Lake District too.

So there are good retailers whose staff have expertise and experience and can advise.

In my experience, you’ll pay more for hiking boots in store. But look at it as paying for someone’s time too and having the benefit of knowing how a boot feels on your foot before you hike 20km in it for the first time.

So, Hiking Boot Shopping Online or in Store

Both. It’s both for me.

If I’m trying a brand I’ve never worn before or want a change from the current model I use, I go to a shop and try then buy.

But if I fall in love with a boot I’ll generally buy another pair or two online which is typically cheaper.

So I guess for brand and model discovery the first time, it’s in store. But I’m loyal to my boots and I’ll reorder online.


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