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What is the difference between Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes?

It can often be difficult to decide what type of footwear you want on your travels. There are two main types we'll discuss; Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes.

Hiking Boots versus Hiking Shoes

So you've decided to invest in some high-quality Hiking Footwear, but after surfing the web and browsing the market you're left with a very difficult choice; Do you want Hiking Boots or Hiking Shoes? And it might be useful to know exactly what's the difference between them?

What are Hiking Boots?

Hiking Boots are generally built tougher, heavier, and sturdier than their Hiking Shoe counterpart. Often the exact same design is shared between Hiking shoes and Boots with one major difference. Hiking Boots are normally mid or high-rise meaning they offer a greater degree of ankle support by tracking higher up your feet. and therefore covering up more of your ankle. Hiking Boots are usually wider, thicker, and more solid; which also means they are heavier. Consider a pair of Hiking Boots for longer, more adventurous hikes where rocky and conquering really difficult terrain is your goal.

Benefits: Much more support, sturdy on difficult terrain, durable.

Disadvantages: Heavier, bulkier, and can take longer to dry if wet.

See some Examples of Hiking Boots:

What are Hiking Shoes?

Now Hiking Shoes on the other hand are generally lighter, softer, and designed for less intense trekking and even sometimes trail running. You should opt for a decent pair of Hiking Shoes when you aren't going to be tackling extremely rocky terrain or spending too much time walking in wet and windy weather. Hiking Shoes normally have a low ankle rise meaning the rigid ankle support of Hiking Boots is sacrificed for lightweight. While some Hiking Shoes can have waterproof linings you will find that Hiking Shoes wear down quicker over the same amount of miles as Hiking Boots. However, the trade-off here is that Hiking Shoes are quicker to lace up and will let you get out on a much easier hike.

Benefits: Lightweight, comfortable, easier to dry if wet, usually cheaper.

Disadvantages: Less ankle support, wear down more quickly, less durable.

See some Examples of Hiking Shoes:

Take a look at some more of our in-depth reviews to find out what type of Hiking footwear you'd prefer on your adventures.


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