To Boot or Not to Boot
Any parent knows how expensive shoes are. What's worse, costs quickly mount up when you have to buy tennis shoes, dress shoes, sandals, winter boots, and rain boots.
Do you really need to add hiking boots to this list?
The answer depends on how much hiking your child will be doing and on what type of terrain.
For instance, I just got my six-year-old son his first real pair of hiking boots. Until this summer, good tennis shoes or other shoes with good traction have served him well. But this summer we tackled some steep trails that required significant rock scrambling. It was high time for an extra dose of traction.
Add to this the bonus that if you wait a bit, the hiking boots will seem like a reward for slightly older children. My son is proud of his new hikers, and he loves to perch on rocks and show me how well they grip.
I can foresee that my twin girls, now age one, might get their first hiking boots a bit earlier than my son. Last summer we were busy tending to new babies, so Will didn't get to hike much. But by the time the girls are four or five, they'll have plenty of opportunities to scramble to keep up with their big brother.
Here's a little primer on hiking boots and kids.
Article and photos © Alice Cary
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication