5 Best Kids Hiking Boots for Camping
Quality kids hiking boots are a must-have for families that like to camp or take to the trails together. A solid hiking shoe can make all the difference in whether our kids enjoy their early hiking and camping experiences.
The terrain where we hike and camp can be tricky for little ones, and we don’t want them to turn an ankle or suffer from blisters in the middle of an otherwise spectacular time in nature.
To ensure that our kids can safely enjoy the trails and camping areas we visit with them, let’s have a look at five of the top-rated kids hiking boots – and see what makes them among the best!
What Makes Great Camping Shoes for Kids?
Great camping shoes for kids need to be comfortable, and they need to protect their feet and keep them steady as they run.
Kids are always on the move and whether they’re running, jumping, climbing, or hiking, they need a solid shoe with adequate cushion, support, and durability. A shoe that is waterproof can also be helpful, especially for little ones who are drawn to every puddle and creek!
Tips for Picking the Best Kids Hiking Boots
Size & Width
When choosing kids hiking boots, it’s very important to pay attention to the way they fit. A solid camping or hiking shoe will need to fit a bit differently from sneakers, street shoes, or ballet slippers!
It’s best to fit a hiking shoe one-half to a full size larger, to offer extra length to help prevent blisters. (A good pair of hiking socks will be helpful in this regard as well!)
It’s also important to make sure the shoe is wide enough to accommodate your child’s foot comfortably. The width of kids’ feet varies widely, so make sure to measure the width of your child’s foot as well as the length!
If a shoe doesn’t fit properly or if a good sock isn’t worn, rubbing on the sensitive skin of a child’s foot can cause blistering very quickly.
In addition to paying attention to the length and width of kids hiking boots and camping shoes, the timing of your shopping trip can make a difference!
Make sure to take your child to the store in the afternoon when our feet tend to be at their largest due to the swelling that takes place later in the day. This way, you’ll be making sure that your child’s footwear fits well for any time of day.
Ensure they try on both shoes and that they walk and run while wearing them. Some stores even offer artificial climbing hills for trying hiking shoes.
Be Aware You May Need to Try More Than One Pair
Kids hiking boots can fit very differently, so it’s best to try on several pairs of varying types to assess which shoes work best for your child.
Also, consider the way in which your child will be using the shoes. What activities does your family tend to enjoy when camping? Do you hike light trails or are you climbers? Is your child a climber who’ll be racing for the playground as soon as you arrive at the campground?
Trying on multiple pairs of shoes is always a good idea while keeping in mind how your child will use them. This will allow you to compare things like how well different soles grip to prevent slippage, for example.
Break Them in Before the Trip
Be sure to let your child wear the shoes for several days before you leave for a planned camping trip or hike. It’s important to break shoes in before you ask them to take your child’s feet on a long excursion.
Allowing time for the sides and heel to relax and for your child to get used to the feeling of the new shoes can be critical to the experience your child will have on your family’s next big hike.
Bring Band-Aids & Spare Shoes Just in Case
When you head out on your next camping trip or hike with the new shoes, be sure to bring band-aids and an extra pair of comfortable shoes along.
These are a must-have in case your child develops a blister or is having difficulty walking for any reason. Kids hiking boots are a different form of footwear for your child to get used to, and it’s best to be prepared in case he or she experiences discomfort or needs more time to adjust to the new shoes.
5 Best Kids Hiking Boots for Camping
Let’s have a look at five of the best kids hiking boots for camping and see why they rate so high among reviewers!
#1 – Merrell Kids Chameleon Hiking Boots
Merrell’s Kids Chameleon Hiking Boots are waterproof over-the-ankle boots that offer support and breathability. With Merrell’s M-Select GRIP to offer superior traction, these kids hiking boots will take your child anywhere.
The breathable mesh uppers make these boots lightweight. And the leather outers and traditional laces offer a sturdy, secure fit around your child’s foot and ankle.
What People are Saying: “My daughter loves her boots so much that she begs me to let her wear them to school. She has had them for about a month now and has hiked about 15 miles total in them, mostly on weekend hikes from 1-4 miles in length – never once complaining that her feet hurt.
On the occasions when the boots have gotten wet, her feet have stayed dry. She has not developed any blisters. I attribute this to good sizing fit, comfy hiking socks, a bit of room for growth, and lastly common sense breaking in methods.”
#2 Keen Kids Hikeport Boots
Another mid-height waterproof hiking boot, the Keen Kids Hikeport Boot is a lightweight kids hiking boot with a rubber sole that offers a solid grip. Hook-and-loop closures pull the traditional laces around your child’s foot for a secure fit.
The upper and lining are synthetic, and the shoe has an EVA midsole for comfort and support. The shoe is treated with an antimicrobial product to inhibit bacterial growth. Meanwhile, the breathable upper helps keep perspiration at bay.
What People Are Saying: “My daughter is on her 3rd pair of these shoes. She wears them all the time and has since she was about 18 months old. Hiking, running and just every day my daughter loves these shoes. The toe bumper is great protection for the toes since most young children are not fully paying attention. Great grip and the waterproof lasts a long time.
First pair she outgrew so I bought them bigger. Her last pair had almost no grip after a year. She has been on around 300 miles of hikes and we all know kids. She has probably done 500 as she runs ahead and then back. Best children’s shoe ever.”
#3 – Keen Kids Targhee Hiking Boot
The Keen Kids Targhee Hiking Boot is a mid-height boot made of waterproof leather along with a light, breathable textile.
The webbing is a reflective material, and the boot has a rubber sole with a strong, protective rubber toe. The EVA footbed is removable, and the boot has a hook-and-loop closure rather than traditional laces.
What People Are Saying: “My kids and I hiked 100 miles across England in 8 days last year in these boots and both kids loved them. I loved that they could put them on alone because tying shoelaces over 100 miles would have driven me crazy.
We bought them a month before our trip and they were great even with so little break-in time. In addition to the hike across England, we took them trekking up to falls and mountains in Skye and they kept feet reasonably dry and blister-free. Buying a new set for this summer.”
#4 – Columbia Youth Newton Ridge Suede Boot
The Columbia Youth Newton Ridge Suede Boot is an ankle-high kids hiking boot. It has a waterproof suede and leather upper and a high grip rubber sole, which Columbia calls its “OMNI-GRIP traction system.”
The boot has a traditional lace-up design for custom snugging around the child’s foot and ankle for support.
What People Are Saying: “My son wanted boots that were meant for hiking and provided adequate water protection. He did NOT want boots that looked like hiking boots, but rather old school men’s work boots. These hit the mark with everything we wanted…lightweight, warm, waterproof,etc.! Would highly recommend to anybody!”
#5 – Northside Rampart Kids Waterproof Hiking Boot
This ankle-high boot is made of 100% leather with a rubber sole. This kids hiking boot boasts a strong protective toe box and a heel stabilizer.
In addition, it has a suede upper and ripstop nylon lace hooks. The EVA insole is removable and washable, and the seams are waterproof. Northside considers this an all-weather hiking boot.
What People Are Saying: “We tested these out in snow, ice, puddles, fallen leaves in the woods. I got two pairs and both of them fit wonderfully to my children.
We sized up. They are sturdy and look to be made of quality materials. They truly kept their feet warm even in the snow, provided good traction and were waterproof. I recommend these.”
Excellent Options for Kids Hiking Boots
Whether your kids are hikers, climbers, or just all-around campers, there are several excellent options for quality kids hiking boots available. Boots that will keep them safe and comfortable on and off the trails.
Find a good, waterproof hiking boot with a strong and supportive sole capable of gripping all types of terrain. It will go a long way toward ensuring your little camper enjoys the outdoor experiences your family shares.
And children who have outdoor fun with their families tend to enjoy the great outdoors for a lifetime!
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