Gear Up: The Difference between Hiking Shoes and Hiking Boots


Posted on: 04 June 2018 by Bonnie Allen

Gear Up: The Difference between Hiking Shoes and Hiking Boots

There is an on-going debate about which is more preferable – the hiking boots or the hiking shoes? Although both offer genuine satisfaction and comfort when in mobile at a critical terrain, several are still confused which gear is best for hiking?

Today’s outdoor footwears are far more revolutionary than the past. Also, they become more diverse in functionality, making you realize that outdoor footwears have several types and classes; one of these are the hiking boots and hiking shoes.

What is the difference between the two?

Both hiking footwear is efficient and reliable compared to regular sports shoes; in fact, both are designed to stand an extreme sport like hiking. What physically differs between hiking shoes and hiking boots is the ankle collar. The hiking boots are designed with ankle collar with a rigid and tough sole, while the hiking shoes are designed to have a mid-cut ankle collar with a flexible sole. 

Both hiking boots and hiking shoes are popular due to several good reasons; below are its features that will help you understand their differences:

Hiking Boots

1.    The reason why hiking boots are designed with ankle collars is to stabilize your ankle when trailing at a tricky and critical terrain.
2.    It prevents any insect or debris from getting inside your footwear
3.    It is easier to plunge into wet or muddy terrain
4.    It is preferably used for:
•    Trails that are rocky and terrains that are uneven and critical
•    If your trek shall involve plunging into small rivers or wet areas
•    If your trials are remarkably steep
•    If you are planning to camp out during the winter season
•    Long distance hiking trails

Hiking Shoes

1.    It weighs much lighter than the hiking boots
2.    Preferable for casual hikers
3.    Much flexible to use
4.    Breathable than the hiking shoes
5.    It is preferably used for:
•    Trail running at an even terrain
•    Hiking during the daytime
•    Light hiking or camping outside

To fully understand the difference between the two footwear, here are more information that you need to understand:

1.    The weight

The hiking boots are heavier than the hiking boots; this is because, most of the time, the former is usually made from leather, while the latter is made from quality synthetic materials. 

2.    The outsole

Both outdoor footwears were designed to have a durable outsole that can tolerate critical terrain; however, the outsoles of the hiking boots are rigid and tougher than the hiking shoes. Nevertheless, the hiking shoes are much flexible than the hiking boots.

So, which outdoor footwear is much preferable?

There is nothing to compare; both hiking footwears are used according to their specifics. There is nothing arguable which is the recommended ones other than its brand. 

So, if you are confused which one to purchase for your next outdoor adventure, you have to consider your trail area, the terrain, and the weather. Then, if you have determined which hiking footwear you should use, your next step is to look for the best and reliable brand.

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Bonnie Allen

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