Hiking boots are the most robust of the types of shoes, it seems. They are tough and durable, and they can last a long time. They provide great support, even for tough terrains. Whenever you wear them, you feel like you can walk in them for days.
Hiking boots feel like the superior type of shoes, better at anything than the other types. So, is it better to wear hiking boots every day? Let’s find out!
The Considerations to Consider
In every decision you have to make, there are factors you have to first consider. When it comes to the shoes you wear every day, the more serious considerations are as follows:
There are other considerations, but they are more subjective than the ones listed above. These considerations are aesthetics, brand, and others.
Using the major considerations above, we can dissect how compatible hiking boots are for daily use.
Function: Different Types of Footwear Emphasize Different Features
Here is a fact everybody should know: different types of footwear feel differently because of the features they emphasize. Running shoes emphasize the features runners need, features like ankle support and lightness. That’s why they feel light.
In like manner, hiking boots conform to the needs of hikers. And what hikers need are shoes that can take on the rugged terrains of hiking trails.
This is the general rule of thumb among footwear types: their function defines their features, and some of the features are part of the major considerations when choosing footwear.
Here are some features of hiking boots that will help you determine whether they are suitable for daily, casual use:
Most of, if not all, hiking boot models have this feature. And it is a fitting feature considering that one of the likely things hikers encounter are small streams or muddy trails. However, this feature does not bode well for the casual use of the footwear.
Hiking boots are waterproof because of a membrane sandwiched between the outer shell and the inner lining of the boots (the most recognizable name for this membrane is Gore-Tex). To accommodate a good fit, the knit backer and the lining are sewn together with the membrane to form some sort of a sock.
There are two sides to this coin. Wearing a pair of shoes that can withstand almost any weather condition is great. But there are certain luxuries that you have to sacrifice for this feature.
While this little piece of technology is great for hiking, it does not translate well into casual use. The sock-like contraption is not breathable. If the hiking boot is used over a prolonged period, it can get uncomfortable. Sooner or later, the inside of the boots will feel damp and hot.
If you want to keep moisture out, you are gonna have to also seal it in. Although the well-known Gore-Tex technology allows a little bit of moisture to escape, it does not work that well in humid climates or warm summers.
Another problem with waterproof technology is that it makes the boots heavier than other types of shoes. Generally, the more protection a pair of hiking boots has, the heavier it is. If you’re going to use it casually, or for running, you will tire your feet quicker.
Waterproof hiking boots are not good for casual, everyday use. If anything, they can even be considered a hindrance. They will tire and sore your feet because of the extra weight plus the heat due to little to no breathability.
Of course, there are hiking boots that are non-waterproof. These boots are lighter and also breathable. If you want to use hiking boots daily, non-waterproof ones are preferable.
It should be mentioned, though, that even without the waterproof technology, hiking boots are still heavier than regular sneakers. To provide more protection, these boots are thicker and are made of tougher and denser materials than other types of shoes.
Are Hiking Boots Comfortable Enough?
If you’re going to use hiking boots daily, will it rise to your expectations regarding comfort?
There are a lot of factors that determine how comfortable footwear will be. For hiking boots, we have already tackled two of those factors: breathability and lightness. But there’s more to the comfort of hiking boots than those two.
Hiking boots can be considered very comfortable. Because of the purpose, they are designed for, they have a lot of padding. Good pairs of hiking boots offer a balance between rugged stiffness and soothing cushioning. As sturdy, tough, and craggy as they are on the outside, they are soft and quite plush on the inside.
Perhaps this is the biggest reason why the question of whether one can wear hiking boots every day is even asked in the first place. Hiking boots are comfortable.
Ankle support is getting more popular nowadays, but it is still worth it to examine this feature on hiking boots.
Hiking boots provide more ankle support than most types of shoes. In fact, ankle support is the main difference between hiking boots and hiking shoes. The only type of shoes that can match, or slightly exceed, the ankle support of hiking boots is running shoes.
However, the ankle support built on hiking boots is geared towards climbing and changing heights on every step. Since walking on flat city sidewalks does not require much climbing, you will not be utilizing the ankle support feature of hiking boots.
Durability: Will Hiking Boots Last?
Hiking boots are extremely durable. They are meant to withstand the harsh, rocky, muddy, and unforgiving mountainside. So it stands to reason that they can easily last the comparatively easy pavement, right?
Well, not really. The design of hiking boots is meant for hiking. And believe it or not, that same design will fail when introduced to conditions it is not made for. Wearing hiking boots casually will wear it out quicker.
Hiking boots have softer rubber outsoles compared to your regular sneakers. These rubber outsoles are meant to provide a better grip on uneven terrain. When used on pavement or asphalt, they will wear thin rather prematurely.
Hiking boots are also designed to have tread, which increases traction in what would otherwise be slippery terrain. Walking on concrete with hiking boots is like cruising around dry asphalt with snow tires. The treads will wear down quickly.
The only parts that will endure during city walks are the top parts of the shoes.
Price: What is it Worth to You?
The final consideration that we must consider is the price of hiking boots. Is it worth it to use it every day, knowing the cons and pros?
A quick search on Amazon reveals that regular sneakers cost somewhere around fifty bucks while hiking boots hover above a hundred bucks. Using this fairly conclusive research data, we can say that hiking boots are worth around twice as much as your regular sneakers.
Of course, other brands and models with varying features will have different prices. There are also special items that are sold for hundreds of dollars like the NBA signature sneakers. But let’s just say that you want to stick to the casual designs with regular features.
This aspect of choosing a pair of footwear ultimately depends on each individual. We all have our preferences when it comes to which feature should be enhanced in a good pair of shoes.
Do you value comfort? Do you want a pair of shoes that will last? How much are you willing to spend on it? Do you want it to have special features (like waterproof)?
But if you highly value the comfort of hiking boots, then the non-waterproof design might be the best choice for you. There are two major benefits to opting for the non-waterproof variety.
One is it’s a lot more comfortable than waterproof hiking boots. It is lighter, so it will not tire your feet as fast as waterproof hiking shoes do. It is also more breathable. The heat and sweat will not be much of a problem for your feet anymore.
The second benefit is that it’s cheaper. Aside from the toughness, the feature that makes hiking boots quite expensive is the waterproof technology.
If you choose to opt for hiking boots as your regular, daily footwear, then you will have to spend more not just initially. You will have to spend more in the long run.
As was already discussed, the soles of hiking boots wear off faster on asphalt than on uneven, untamed terrain. Soon, you will have to replace your expensive shoes.
What Do You Say?
Is it worth it for you? Hiking boots are expensive, both initially and even in the long run. But they are very comfortable. Are you willing to spend a lot more for comfort?
Can you wear hiking boots every day? The answer is up to you. Hopefully, the dissection and points discussed here can help you decide whether you should wear your hiking boots every day.