Major features for hiking boots and shoes are ankle support, stability, good grip and durability.
Most models use leather for support and durability and incorporates a shank, a wooden, steel or plastic insert built into the sole unit to provide lateral stability and to prevent the boot from twisting or flexing too much.
Many styles use waterproof leathers or waterproofing systems such as “Goretex” to keep feet dry in harsh, wet conditions. Soling is made from “non-slip” rubber with specially designed tread to provide as much grip as possible.
Many lightweight styles are also available utilising suede and mesh materials which reduce weight and are usually suitable for day hiking in warmer conditions. For hikers who do not require extra ankle support, hiking shoes cut lower down the ankle are available.