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The Best Women's Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet

What to Look For

Wide feet must fit comfortably into the shoe without pinching the sides of the foot. Thread and quality of rubber sole are the first considerations when buying hiking shoes. Loose terrain requires shoes that grip the earth without collecting mud. Slippery shoe soles with little or no tread may wear quickly and need replacing.

Common Pitfalls

Women with wider feet sometimes buy a larger size to compensate for the foot width. Hiking shoes will stretch over time, but do not fit the shoe just to the width. When hiking down hills, your foot will slip into the front of the shoe and blister. Some blistering from a new hiking shoe can be expected. Protect your feet with socks and bring adhesives or moleskin for any sore spots.

Where to Buy

Wide hiking shoes may not be available in retail shops, but specialty sports stores have a larger variety. Online there are many retail options such as L.L. Bean and Sierra Trading. Fitting the shoe is difficult online with many costly returns. Finding the hiking shoe you like in a sports shop, and researching it online prevents making a sizing mistake.

Cost

The best hiking shoes range from $75 to $260. The quality of the hiking shoe is based on the arch support, sole materials and strength of overall design. The difference in cost varies based on the different types of hiking shoes, from light summer sandals to waterproof trail runners.

Comparison Shopping

Consider the types of hiking terrain you will be walking. Buying a shoe that is designed for long backpacking hikes is not necessary if you are hiking only on marked trails. There are several types of hiking shoes for all different types of terrain. The shoe that works best for your wide foot must first be appropriate to its use on the trail.

Accessories

Socks that wick away moisture will prevent frostbite when hiking through cold climates. Try on your hiking shoes with socks that you use when hiking to ensure the correct fit. Remember, most new shoes will stretch after use. If the shoe is not waterproof, ask about products that you can apply to waterproof the hiking shoes, especially any leather parts. Insoles can be replaced. Choose a shoe with a removable insole to buy insoles that better suit your feet.

Insider Tips

The sole of the hiking shoe should never wear down. Vibram or Jeep-engineered rubber soles have a long life and are available in the Merrell brand shoes or J-41. J-41 uses recycled materials in its products and is an eco-friendly shoe company. Comfort is important, so shop for support and appropriate style for climate and terrain.

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About the Author

Amie Comeau first published writing and photography in 1998. Her images appear on Fine Art America, and her writing appears on eHow and Answerbag. Comeau studied art therapy at the University of New Mexico and teaches integrative yoga therapy. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Tulane University.

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