In today’s article, we’ll try to answer all the questions you might have about hiking boots. There are actually a lot of common misconceptions!
We cover a lot, but to start, let’s answer one of the most common hiking boot-related questions: can you wear hiking shoes everyday?
1. Can You Wear Hiking Shoes Everyday?
Yes! You can definitely wear hiking shoes everyday.
Hiking shoes come in all shapes and varieties, with plenty of them being capable of everyday use. These types of shoes are durable and sturdy, making them excellent for daily jogs or walks.
Due to the wide variety of styles for this kind of footwear, they can also be excellent work shoes, exercise shoes, or even formal shoes.
Personally, hiking boots are my go-to shoes for practically everywhere. Call me strange, but I use mine as casual shoes for everyday purposes like walks, store visits, and even a formal visit or two (assuming it’s more of a casual dress code).
Are Hiking Boots Really Necessary?
Hiking footwear give more traction, padding, and support than many other types of shoes or boots, making them ideal for long walks.
Wearing other kinds of shoes or a hike or long walk can lead to soreness, blisters, or even a sprained ankle if you slip and fall. The worst culprits are usually flip flops and high heels.
A potential exception to this rule, though, is a type of shoe that’s very similar to hiking boots. If you have tennis shoes or sneakers, those will likely be fine for a shorter hike.
In general, though, try to wear hiking boots.
Can You Wear Hiking Shoes for Walking?
Because they’re so similar to tennis or running shoes, hiking boots make excellent casual walking shoes.
What’s more, hiking footwear often give better ankle support and padding than sneakers, making them arguably a superior pick for long or casual walking in general.
Especially for rainy days, my everyday shoes are my hiking boots!
Are Hiking Shoes Good for Work?
In fact, I only use hiking shoes at work!
Due to the wear and tear shoes get from many different occupations, you want your work shoes to be padded and supportive–two qualities we already mentioned hiking shoes possess.
This makes them a particularly attractive option if you work on concrete or other hard surfaces for long hours.
You might think that hiking shoes don’t fit a more white-collar environment, and that may be true to a certain degree, but there are plenty of hiking shoe choices that could easily disguise as dress shoes.
What Size Hiking Boots Do You Need?
To figure out what size hiking footwear you need, you’ll need to measure your shoe size. But don’t worry, that’s easy to do!
To get your measurements, lay a piece of paper on the ground, beside a wall. Then step one foot on the paper, heel against the wall. With your heel still against the wall, draw an outline of your foot on the paper.
After this (feel free to step off the paper 😉), use a ruler to measure the widest and longest part of your foot’s outline. Those are your measurements!
Now that you have your foot measurements, you can use a size chart to see what shoe size you are. And from this, finally, you can figure out what size hiking boots you need!
Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running?
Yes, hiking shoes can be used for running and jogging.
In fact, due to their great ankle support and sturdiness, hiking boots can be excellent alternatives to running shoes.
One important note, though, is to make sure your hiking shoes don’t impede the running motion for your ankle.
If the hiking boots are a larger version that are hurting your ankles, switch to proper running shoes or other variants, like a tennis shoe set, that offer a shorter neck.
Do Hiking Boots Protect Ankles?
While hiking boots differ in size, you can find plenty of pairs that offer ankle protection.
This can be particularly helpful on a muddy or rainy hike, or if you’re unexpectedly wading through a leech-infested creek (trust me, not fun!).
If you’re on the lookout for hiking shoes with ankle protection, make sure to either see an image of the shoes or at least the dimensions. As I mentioned above, some of these kinds of shoes are practically sneakers, meaning they don’t have any ankle protection, while other hiking boots have plenty.
Why Are Hiking Shoes So Ugly?
When you think think about wearing hiking boots, using them as a fashion statement probably doesn’t come to mind. After all, they’re ugly and boxy, right?
However, there are plenty of trendy and stylish hiking shoes, ones that models and celebrities wear all the time. In fact, according to eonline.com, hiking boots are a new trend!
How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?
I can’t speak for every pair of hiking boots, but my old pair has lasted about six years already, and they’re still hanging in there! They don’t see a ton of wear and tear, but they do get weekly use.
According to Outdooryak.com, hiking boots tend to last between 500-900 miles. If you do 10 miles of hiking per trip, and you go hiking twice a month, those boots would last about three years.
Keep in mind, though, that that’s a lot of assumptions. As with many things, a quality pair of hiking boots could last much longer than cheaper varieties.
What Are the Benefits to Wearing Hiking Boots?
If you’re out in the wilds, wearing hiking shoes is quite possibly the best footwear to have.
As we’ve mentioned above, these shoes are durable and sturdy, have a better grip for uneven terrain, and can withstand the daily wear and tear of a harsh environment.
Wearing hiking boots also gives you excellent traction, and the flat soles make it easier to keep your balance, similar to walking shoes like sneakers.
Despite all this, hiking shoes remain quite affordable, with quality pairs available for as little as $30-$60.
However, while getting a cheaper pair saves you more money, make sure not to go too cheap, since you probably want hiking boots that will last (and won’t need to be replaced as soon, which is better for the environment!).
Can You Wear Hiking Boots with Shorts?
Absolutely! Since they can easily look like more casual shoes, hiking boots go excellently with shorts, and plenty of people wear them–myself included.
Of course, if your hiking shoes are outrageously bulky or large, they might look weird with shorts. However, generally speaking it should be fine.
Just be sure to avoid long socks, since that can start to look a bit like an English golfer (unless that’s the goal, of course!). My go-to method is to wear boots with shorter socks, or to roll my socks up so that they barely show above my boots.
How Long Does It Take To Break in Hiking Boots?
The time it takes to break in a pair of hiking boots varies depending on the boots.
For more lightweight boots like mine (which are almost more like trail runners), they can be ready right off the bat. Other shoes, particularly hardcore hiking ones, can take days or even weeks.
Generally speaking, the more you walk and go around wearing hiking boots, the more comfortable they’ll become. To accelerate this process, you can use your new boots around the house (you might not want to wear shoes on hard-to-clean carpet, though!).
In addition, since you know that you can wear hiking boots every day if you so choose, and that they’re stylish, go ahead and wear them out and about! You can start small like on walks or at the grocery store, and all the while the boots’ break-in period will be progressing.
Can You Use Snow Boots for Hiking?
In my experience, you should not wear snow boots for hiking.
For one thing, Snow boots (at least mine) are quite bulky and heavy shoes, meaning they can quickly become tiresome on a long hike.
What’s more, if you start to get warm, snow boots can become clammy on your feet. A potential exception to this is if you’re traveling in an icy winter, but even then, I would recommend warm winter socks and a pair of hiking shoes instead of snow boots due to their heavier weight.
Do Hiking Boots Prevent Ankle Injuries?
Yes! While no shoes will make your ankles impervious to damage, hiking boots give some of the best protection for your ankles.
Due to their taller neck, these kinds of boots offer more stabilization and protection for your ankles. The strong grip and traction that hiking shoes provide also helps prevent you from slipping and injuring or spraining an ankle.
Can You Use Training Shoes for Hiking?
The short answer to this question is yes, you can use training shoes for hiking.
However, there’s more to it than that. First off, let’s just make sure we’re on the same page about what training shoes are.
Training shoes are, unsurprisingly, shoes you exercise in. They’re gym shoes, basically, so a little different from running shoes. They also aren’t exactly sneakers, but they are similar.
With this in mind, you can definitely use training shoes for hikes. Especially for short hikes, training shoes actually one of the best alternatives.
However, for longer hikes, hiking shoes are better. They have a superior grip compared to training shoes, and they offer more ankle protection.
Are Expensive Hiking Boots Worth It?
At least in my view, expensive hiking boots can absolutely be worth it, but it largely depends on your goals and priorities.
As with anything, if you’re looking to save as much money as possible, more expensive shoes will probably not be worth it for you.
However, if you have some extra money, or you’re interested in lowering your environmental footprint and/or having a pair of boots that last you a decade, then it’s worth exploring more expensive options.
In general, I look in the $45-$75 range for a pair of hiking shoes. That’s certainly not a universal standard, but it seems like a good range to find the best “bang for buck” for these kinds of shoes.
So, can you wear hiking shoes everyday? At this point, you should have the answer to that and a whole lot more!
Footwear is, in my opinion, an important part of your hiking gear. Without comfortable shoes, your feet can get sore and the hike can become miserable.
With a little knowledge and preparation, though, you can easily get a good set of shoes for your next trip. So get out there and start adventuring! 💪