How to do the "press test" on your hiking boots
The "press test" is a quick test you can do on your hiking boots to determine whether or not they need to be replaced. It's super easy, just follow the simple two-step process below.
1. Press the outsole of your boot upward with your thumb. Press hard enough to simulate the flexing and compression that the boot would experience as you hike on a trail.
2. Look at the midsole as you press and watch for cracks or strong compression lines. If the midsole has small, fine lines or wrinkles, it's in fine shape and can still provide support as you hike. If you see cracks, many strong compression lines or no compression at all, your midsole is no longer able to provide the support and shock absorption you need to comfortably hike on a trail.
General mileage guidelines for replacing hiking shoes
Quality hiking boots and trail shoes can usually be expected to last 500-1000 miles (805 to 1610 km). Yes, that's a huge range, but the total mileage your boots can handle depends on a few factors that can vary widely among hikers. Your weight, the most common hiking terrain, the kind of shoes and the care or maintenance of your shoes all variables that play into how long your shoes will last.
Heavier hikers will see quicker shoe wear and tear, as will high-mileage hikers and hikers who don't keep their shoes clean and dry after a trip. The brand or kind of hiking boots also makes a big difference. Asolo, Alico, Hi-Tec, Merrell, La Sportiva and Scarpa are a few of the best, most reliable hiking boot and trail shoe brands, and you can find all of them for an unbeatable value at Sierra Trading Post.