Why You Shouldn’t Buy Hiking Shoes Online

Technology is amazing. Online shopping makes it possible to buy anything from pretty much anywhere. You can pick out your groceries or place an order for a puppy while you’re stuck in traffic. You can buy a new mattress or bacon flavored toothpicks while waiting for your turn in the barber’s chair. Taking a coffee break at work? You can peruse and purchase your hiking shoes online.

It doesn’t always make sense to buy things online, though. Bacon flavored toothpicks are pretty standard, and it doesn’t really matter if you buy those in person or place an order online. Buying hiking shoes, however, requires a trip to your local outdoor gear store for the best results and the best experience.

Dialing in the fit

The fit of your shoes can make the difference between a great hike and miserable experience. It’s difficult to get a good fit when buying shoes online. This is fine for sneakers or casual shoes, but it’s a bigger deal when you’re wearing hiking shoes. An ill-fitting hiking shoe, hiking boot, or trail shoe can lead to blisters, hotspots, or even a sprained ankle.

You simply can’t try shoes on before you buy them when you shop online. Different brands have different fits, and even the different models within a brand can vary slightly in size, shape, and fit.


People typically think it’s more convenient to buy hiking shoes online than to buy them from their local camping store. This isn’t necessarily true, however.

When you buy hiking shoes, a hiking backpack, or whatever from a local gear shop you drive to the store, browse a bit, maybe chat a bit, try some shoes on, find the shoe that’s right for you, and head home.

The process takes an hour, or maybe a bit longer, and then you have your shoes on your feet. They fit right, they meet your needs, and you’re happy with them. Buying shoes online isn’t this easy, though.

When you buy shoes online you have to wait 3-5 business days, slightly fewer if you pay much more, and then your shoes arrive. Maybe they fit, and maybe they don’t. Maybe they didn’t look the way that they looked online, or maybe they have a defect. If you ship them back, you might have to pay for shipping, but you definitely have to wait a few more days, and then a few more days after that for a different size or a different shoe. Then you have to repeat this process until you ultimately get a shoe that you think you’re satisfied with.

If you get lucky buying shoes online can put shoes on your feet in a few days, but it could take a couple of weeks before you’re trail ready. It’s really just easier to buy your shoes in a store.


Maybe the biggest advantage to buying your hiking shoes in a store is the learning experience. You can learn how to properly fit hiking shoes. Learn about trails and hikes in the area, learn tips for hiking, or learn about a cool new spot to camping. You can even learn which shoes are right for you and why.

Maybe you were looking at buying trail shoes for a 2-week long backpacking trip in the mountains; that’s not the right shoe for that trip. You need something more substantial with a stiff sole and ankle support.

These types of things just tend to come up in normal conversation in a camping store.

When you buy in the store you have access to a knowledgeable sales associate who can answer questions for you and help you get the perfect shoe.

Supporting local businesses

Another perk to buying your hiking shoes in a store is that you help bolster your local economy and support local businesses.

Buying hiking shoes online isn’t as convenient as buying them in a store, and the results are typically better when you buy your hiking shoes in person. Let us help you find the hiking shoes that are right for you. Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters in Fayetteville, Arkansas for any of your outdoor gear needs!

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