The Best Hiking Boots with Your Wedding Dress (Updated for 2023!)
Looking for the best wedding hiking boots? This guide has the best options, plus plenty of inspo and tips for choosing the perfect option for your day.
Updated: March 13, 2023
Why a good pair of hiking boots is essential
If you’re going to be walking a significant amount (say, more than a half mile) for your hiking wedding, or if you’re going to be exploring on uneven terrain, having the right footwear is really important.
Not only does this help your feet stay comfortable and dry to avoid blisters, but it helps protect you and your ankles from taking falls.
As an elopement photographer, I have seen brides try to wear heels on rocky outdoor terrain, and this usually results in a shoe change or going barefoot at some point.
Luckily, wearing hiking boots with your wedding dress has become a much more popular choice these days! It’s no longer rare to see this, and in fact it is the most common footwear option for adventure elopements and hiking weddings.
What to look for in wedding hiking boots
While you can actually dive really deep into what makes a good hiking boot and what works best for each person, there are a few features that are absolutely crucial.
I always recommend looking for waterproof hiking boots. If you’re going to invest in a good pair of boots, then you want to make sure it will not only last but also keep your feet comfortable on all your hikes. You make think you aren’t going to be stepping through water, but you never know when you’ll come across a muddy puddle, small creek, or even just a few inches of snow. Waterproofing is essential.
Any good hiking boot should have the appropriate tread on the bottom of the shoe to provide traction as you are stepping through rocky terrain. This helps to keep you from sliding around and falling, and it’s an important feature that all good hiking boots have.
Last but certainly not least, you need a hiking boot that fits you well. Even the right boot with the wrong fit can leave you miserable on the trail. Be open to wearing whatever boot fits you the best, even if it isn’t your favorite look or your usual shoe size. Your feet will thank you I promise!
Once you have the right shoe size, check out this guide to lacing your hiking boots, which can also make a big difference in your hiking experience!
PRO TIP: REI allows its members to return any gear that isn’t working out for them within a year. This means if you try out your hiking boots on a few hikes, and they aren’t working for you, you can return them.
This extremely generous return policy is one of the best parts of the membership in my opinion (although with the coupons and dividends, it basically already pays for itself anyway).
It’s one of the reasons that I always shop at REI if I can find a product there because it’s basically a product guarantee that you will be satisfied with the money you’ve spent. You don’t get that anywhere else (that I know of). As someone who wants to feel like I’ve invested my money in the right gear that will suit my needs and last, that is huge for me.
Don’t forget to break them in!
If you’re buying new hiking boots for your wedding day, it is very important to break them in!
All boots need to be broken in, and skipping this step can lead to blisters. Not what you want on your wedding day!
Start at least a few weeks in advance. Wear them around the house at first for 30 minutes or so at a time. Then start with a couple of short hikes and gradually work up to what you’re planning to hike for the wedding.
Best Wedding Hiking Boot Brands
Although I actually believe that what fits your feet best is more important than going with any one particular brand, it is important to choose brands that make good quality footwear that will last you over time. A good hiking boot is an investment, and you want that investment to last and perform well for you.
Here are a few brands that make high quality hiking boots:
- La Sportiva
My Top Wedding Hiking Boot Picks for 2021
If you’re not set on having a white boot, but instead focused on functionality, these are the boots you’ll want to check out!
Here are my personal favorites for a wedding hiking boot. These are the best combination of function and style!
Lowa Renegade GTX
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking boot is my current hiking boot of choice. It offers great comfort right out of the box and provide solid ankle support, without feeling overly constrictive. It was the also most highly rated boot on REI’s 2023 Best of Hiking Boots Guide.
The other thing I love is how many different colors this boot comes in. I’ve never seen a pair of hiking boots with so many color options (Reed/Honey color is pictured here).
Although these boots are a little pricier than other options, they are well worth it.
Danner Mountain Light Cascade
These classic leather boots from Danner have been around for decades and are trusted by many experienced hikers I know. They also have a great look to them, and I love the red laces!
They are more expensive than the other boots on this list but they can be resoled which increases their lifespan. They are very sturdy and made to last a long time.
La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX
I am a big fan of this hiking boot as well.
This boot has everything you could want. It is lightweight, waterproof, durable, has great ankle support, offers excellent traction, and I like the look of it as well.
KEEN Targhee III – Best Budget Friendly Option!
If you’re looking for a more budget friendly hiking boot option that still meets all your basic needs, this is the shoe for you.
It is waterproof, comfortable, lightweight, and pretty durable considering the price.
White hiking shoes
On the other hand, if you’re completely set on having white shoes, these are some good options.
While I don’t recommend hiking long distances or difficult trails in these, they can be a great choice if you’re planning for a shorter adventure for your elopement or wedding day.
More Options for Bridal Hiking Boots
If you are still wanting to look at more options, you can check out these others at REI here.
Or check out more custom embroidered bridal sneakers here.
Photos shown above from REI, Amazon, and Etsy.
Bonus Tip: The most important (and overlooked) part of hiking wedding shoes…Socks!
Socks are so often overlooked when it comes to gear for your hike, but they truly are one of the most important things you will have.
The right socks will keep your feet dry and prevent excess friction which causes blisters. The wrong socks will cause blisters and exacerbate any problems with your hiking boots.
In fact, most hiking experts will even recommend bringing an extra pair of socks with you since they are small and lightweight. If for some reason you get caught in a rainstorm or step in a creek that is just a little too deep and your socks get wet, you’re going to be in blister hell without a dry pair of socks.
Tips for choosing the right pair of hiking socks
- Ideally, you want to look for wool socks. Definitely avoid cotton socks for hiking.
My favorite brand of hiking socks is Darn Tough. They are high quality and also offer a lifetime warranty on their products.
Back when I was first getting into hiking, I asked for a recommendation from a more experienced friend about what brand of socks to buy and she recommended Darn Tough to me, saying she “had strong opinions about hiking socks.” At the time I actually laughed a little about that as it was kind of a funny thing to say, but years later, I completely agree with her!
- Choose socks that are tall enough for your hiking boot. If your socks are too short, the boot will cause friction against your skin.
- Make sure the socks fit well and have the right amount of cushioning for your boot. You don’t want a sock that is too thick for your shoe and causes the hiking boot to fit too tightly.
- If you still have issues with any blisters or hotspots on longer hikes, try sock liners. These have made a huge difference for me with hikes that are longer than 6-7 miles.
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Hi I’m Kim, a Denver, Colorado based photographer specializing in Adventure Elopements in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on the most special day of their lives is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to have the most amazing elopement day ever! That includes everything from assistance with location ideas, timeline planning, and lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!
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