Are your hiking boots on their last legs? It can be tough to know when it’s time to replace them, but neglecting to do so can lead to discomfort, injuries, and ruined hikes.

In this post, you will not only learn when to replace hiking boots but also how to test if they are still good to go!

affiliate disclaimer

I review products independently but I might earn affiliate commissions if you decide to buy items through links on this page.

When Should You Get New Hiking Boots?

Purple infographic with text that displays: When to replace hiking boots?

A hiking boot’s durability is determined by factors such as the shoe’s construction, how frequently it is used, and how well it is maintained.

Although the mileage you get out of a pair of hiking boots might vary massively, you can typically expect to get roughly 500 miles out of them.

If you go hiking often, you may need to replace your boots every six months to a year. Casual hikers may get many years out of a pair of footwear.

man sitting at the edge of cliff with hiking boots showing

How often should hiking footwear be replaced?

Some careful consideration is necessary while shopping for new hiking footwear.

In this part, we’ll provide more detail on each of these factors to help you determine whether it’s time to purchase a fresh pair of hiking boots.

#1 Frayed treads

The stitching is what holds the shoe together. You will risk your own safety if you don’t keep track of the quality of the stitching!

Watch out for compression lines or frayed treads, which indicate that it is time for a new pair of hiking boots.

compression lines on outside of trail shoes

#2 Frayed Laces

shoelaces broken

Broken laces on your hiking boots may be an indication that they are nearing the end of their lifespan. Not only do shoes with frayed laces look terrible, but your feet may also slip around inside.

Your hiking boots need replacement if the laces are unraveling or too worn to tie a knot.

#3 Pain in Your Feet

Do you have problems with your feet when you’re out hiking? This could be an indicator that your hiking boot is not providing enough ankle support.

This may be the result of flat midsoles, insufficient arch support, or wearing insoles.

For a more comfortable and pain-free hiking experience, it’s recommended that you get a new pair of hiking boots with proper ankle support and fresh insoles.

#4 Cracked Midsole

The midsole is the section of a hiking boot that is between the outsole and the insole. It has cushioning all around for your feet’s comfort.

If you simply look at your hiking boots and see cracks or pressure lines in the midsole, you should get a new pair of shoes since the old ones no longer give enough support.

A crack in the midsole of a hiking shoe

#5 Stitching That Comes Apart

Visible compression lines on hiking shoe

Hiking boots that are unraveling will not offer the needed support and stability for your feet while you’re out in the wilderness.

If the stitching comes loose, the shoe might break apart and cause injury. Buying some new hiking shoes is absolutely essential in this situation to avoid injury.

#6 Loosening Eyelets

The top of the shoe has eyelets where the laces could be looped. Bad shoe fitting caused by loose eyelets is a major source of foot pain.

Replace your hiking boots if you notice the eyelets are loose. This will make sure the shoes don’t slide around and injure your feet.

Eylets of trail shoes

#7 Bad Shape Ankle Cuffs

Hiking shoes with bad ankle supports

Hiking boots often have a high cuff around the ankle to protect the wearer’s ankles and keep the foot from slipping inside the shoe.

Furthermore, high cuffs offer more ankle support which is important (unless you don’t want your shoes to be comfortable)

An injury could happen if the ankle cuffs aren’t in good condition and don’t provide enough support. The ankle cuffs on your hiking boots have seen better days if they are torn or ripped

#8 No Longer Waterproof

A hiking boot’s sole purpose is to keep your feet dry, but this superpower wears off with time. 

Your hiking boots are likely worn out if you’re experiencing wet feet when you’re on the road.

Wet feet not only make hiking unpleasant but can also lead to blisters and other foot problems. Get some new hiking shoes if your old ones are no longer watertight.

#9 Insoles that are worn out

Insoles give your feet cushioning and support, but they can wear out over time.

If your insoles have cracks, or holes, or don’t support your feet anymore, it’s time to get a new pair of hiking shoes.

New insoles can help you avoid blisters and foot pain while hiking and give your feet the support they need.

Worn out insoles

How to Take Care of Your Hiking Shoes

Credits: Salamon TV

To make sure your hiking shoes last as long as possible, you need to take good care of them. New hiking boots are great, but it’s even better if you can keep them looking like new after a few hikes.

Here are some tips for keeping your hiking boots in good shape:

Clean your boots often.

Use mild soap and water to clean the outside, and use a brush to clean the treads of the boots and remove dirt and other debris.

Dry your boots properly

After cleaning your boots, stuff them with newspaper and let them dry at room temperature. Never dry your boots near a heat source, as it can damage the materials.

Store your boots properly.

When you’re not using your hiking shoes, store them in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or in damp areas.

My Final Thoughts

Hiking boots are an important piece of gear for any hiker, and you should replace them when they no longer give your feet the support and protection they need.

By paying attention to the signs that your hiking boots are worn out, you can ensure that you will never pay the price for walking the trail with bad shoes!


No, hiking shoes and work shoes have different features and designs. Hiking shoes are designed for outdoor use on rugged terrain, while work shoes are designed for indoor or flat surfaces

Look for signs of damage on the eyelets, midsole, tread, or insole. If you feel any discomfort you should also replace your hiking shoes