Our two youngest boys are actually quite close in size, even though they are two years apart in age. What it means is they right now wear the same shoe size – which is a good thing when super sales happen. Both Walker and Alistaire had grown out of their Keen boots over the winter and when Kirk saw a Lightning deal on Amazon for Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Hiker at $36 a pair, we jumped for it. The regular price is around $55 at Amazon, which isn’t bad (which is around what it costs today). Pricey, but a good solid boot can be passed down or resold later on. But at $36, a deal.
These are traditional hiking boots, sturdy and a bit on the solid side. With full lacing features they can be changed to dial in the fit. A bonus? Not any hot spots on first wearing.
While a trail runner can work well in summer, if you hike in mud or wet areas (and in the PNW this is common), a waterproof boot prevents cold/wet feet. The sturdy tread gives gripping power, giving less slips. Now then, if your children are not used to wearing heavier shoes, break them in before hiking – it can change their gait a bit and cause them to trip over their own feet.
The boys took to the new boots quickly.
Tip for easier lacing? Have the kid(s) stand above you, on stairs for example, this keeps their legs straight and much easier than bending over! It also allows you to pull up their pants. Once laced, make a knot of the bow, this helps with them working undone as they hike.
Boot wearing tips: Always bear the weight of a second pair of shoes when backpacking, nothing more than a pair of Crocs or sandals is needed, so their feet can air out in camp – and encourage them to soak their feet on hot days in a creel or lake to keep their feet fresher. Kids have a habit of getting dirty feet, dirtier socks into dirty boots – which can lead to blisters or hot spots. As well, make sure you cut their toenails and look for dead skin (especially on the pinkie toes) before you go on hikes! While an adult can suck it up with foot owies, it isn’t easy for kids.