Hiking boots VS work boots? Outdoor boots may play a significant role in mountaineering and working. Let’s see how they differ!
The difference between hiking boots and work boots is that boots are purpose-built for function, while hiking shoes are built for fashion. That being said, there are some essential differences between the types of footwear you will need to make sure you’re ready to hit the trail.
While both have their strengths, hikers tend to favor lighter shoes for portability and comfort while work boots traditionally come with heavier reinforcements. Since these footwear types do differ in their purposes, it’s important to be prepared for a hike before you set out.
For instance, there are plenty of hiking boots out there that come with the same sort of levels of support as work boots but have a lot more cushioning and sometimes even mild weather resistance. In order to prevent injury while on your hike, it’s critical that you know what type of boot you’re looking for.
Don’t let their names fool you – hiking boots are heavier than most work boots. While there are models out there that weigh only a couple of pounds, others can be as heavy as 10 to 13 pounds. Make sure you’re prepared for the weight of your footwear before taking off in the middle of the day when it’s warm. If you’re not used to walking long distances with heavy gear, it’s best to research different types of footwear before your trip and purchase them before the actual hike.
While most hiking boots have the sort of stiffness most people are looking for, a good pair of work boots can sometimes be softer and more flexible. If you don’t want to wear your work boots for long periods of time, you might consider trying hiking boots instead. As long as they’re flexible and fit comfortably around your ankles, you shouldn’t have any trouble with the weight in your footwear.
While hiking boots might have less traction than work boots, they tend to be better for long distances in tougher terrain. This is because of the fact that they have a thick sole with more tread and are designed to withstand more wear and tear. On the other hand, a good pair of work boots will offer you more grip on even slightly wet surfaces like wet grass and dirt.
Hiking Boots VS Work Boots: Comparison Chart
Hiking boots are typically for the more serious and active hikers, people who are going to spend multiple days on the trail in a row. They tend to have more rugged construction and a lugged outsole which is great for traction over rocky surfaces.
Work boots can also be appropriate for hiking if you need something with a lot of ankle support – but make sure your work boot has a lugged outsole that will provide good traction on rocky surfaces.
|Hiking Boots||Work Boots|
|Definition||Footwear covers the entire foot and calf.||The shape of the shoe body is suitable for the soft plastic or leather upper used with the foot (below the ankle) and the heel and sole of heavier materials.|
|Purpose||It was originally designed to protect feet and legs from snow, water, hazardous materials as well as heavy work. They can cover the entire leg, ankle or calf. It is also used for fashion and style.||Comfort and protect the feet in daily activities.|
|Species||Hip boots, knee boots, thigh boots, wedges boots, short boots||Leisure and dress, sports orthopedics, dance, and work|
|Style||Chelsea boots, Wellington boots, Mukluks, cowboy boots, gum boots, Regal boots, Russian and Valenki boots||Oxford, Blucher, monk belt, loafers, figure-length pants, high heels, mules, heels, ballet shoes, court shoes, moccasins, and canvas shoes|
|Accessories||Boot jack and boot hook||Shoe tree, shoehorn, shoe insole, heel grip, andfoam faucet|
|Materials||Made of rubber and leather. Now, we have plastic, suede, and several materials||Made originally of leather, canvas or wood. It is now made of rubber, plastic and petrochemical materials.|
The Major Differences of Hiking Boots and Work Boots
Here is a video showing the fundamental differences between the two boots.
There are a few distinctions between what you would wear for work and what your daily scenery would entail: waterproofing, ankle support, heavy-duty durability, etc. But the main difference is price and comfort level. You could easily spend $300+ on hiker boots if you wanted to go that route. You could also go as cheap as $35 and check eBay for that pair of boots that matches the one you’re wearing now, just in a different color.
With a hiking boot, an option that you have is lightweight hiking boots. These boots provide the support that you need but are not as heavy and as bulky as the working boot. They aren’t designed for people that are using them to work in all day. They are more for recreational uses with a lot of walking and light hiking included.
They do have some different adjustments in the way they’re made to be slightly more comfortable than some of the other types of boots out there. They give you a lot more options to choose from and the designs can be quite stylish. They can really fit in with any type of outfit.
With the working boot, they are designed to hold up to daily use without having to buy a new pair for a very long time. You will be able to wear the same pair for months at a time without having issues that may occur in other types of boots that aren’t designed for this use.
They are quite heavy, which is why you may want to consider a different type of boot if you are going to be spending all day on your feet. They are built with a lot more support and cushioning so that you can walk or stand for an extended time without having to take breaks or worry about the pain that may occur.
Men’s boots make your everyday coordination more attractive. There are various types of men’s boots, such as trekking boots, hunting boots, and country boules, but this time we will introduce their key features and advantages of hiking and work boots.
Hiking boots can be commonly available in overalls, industry, military, mining, horse riding, snow walking, snowboarding, skiing, and skating. However, since people can now make boots of soft materials, it is a fashion for all women to pair boots while wearing dresses.
Otherwise, we usually use work boots for working on concrete floors, slippery floors, running, jogging, walking, golfing, bowling, dancing as well as formal occasions such as weddings and work. Hiking boots and work boots differ in their functions and usages.
Work boot jacks and hooks can be tools to help you put on and take off your boots. The clap angle provides additional protection. While hiking shoe’s accessories comprise:
- Shoehorn: used to push the foot back and insert the foot into the shoe.
- Shoe tree: When stored in the shoe and not in use for a while, place it in the shoe
- Heel grip: Use when the shoe heel keeps sliding down.
- Foam faucet: It comes to push your foot up while placing foam under the foot ball.
- Shoe inserts: They are used to correct some foot issues.
Prices may vary by brand, distributor, and style. The current prices of the best-selling brands can be available on the official website of Amazon.com.
If you are wondering how much does it cost to resole your boots at home, our article How Much Does It Cost To Resole Your Boots at Home? can help you. We will provide you with all the necessary information to help you save money and get the job done yourself. From materials you need to the step by step process we’ve got it covered.
A Deeper Understanding
As lines blur among kinds of trail running shoes, hiking shoes, walking shoes as well as boots, you can feel more challenging to choose your right pair of shoes for outside activities. So what is the difference between work boots and hiking boots?
Like almost all people, we started by thinking that hiking shoes and walking shoes would be interchangeable before further research. Basically, you can get a more comfortable walking shoe that you may wear for a time. Otherwise, hiking shoes are probably heavier but will provide more protection to the feet.
Hiking shoes certainly come for a long time since the days when they would be essentially clunky work boots. Becoming lighter with both non-waterproof and waterproof options. Also, they have developed into the real shoe with low and medium ankle ranges opposed to the higher hike boot that is inevitably heavier.
Besides, hiking shoes have a thicker sole because of walking over rocks and sharp poles along the hiking trail. It might be your best shoe for you if it is the trail type or path that you plan to walk regularly.
There can be traditional shoes that doctors and nurses have used and can be made for comfort and lightness to stand for much longer time. Unfortunately, they look like the standard shoes of nurses. However, ASICS, a famous brand has released some great shoes that can be more stylish.
Why Should We Choose the Right Boots?
Outdoor boots may play a significant role in mountaineering. But in the dry and hot desert climate, it can cause sweating and blisters on the feet. The lightweight walking shoes are breathable and wick away sweat without blisters. So, we can see that many people wear hiking shoes instead of boots when hiking outdoors.
To ensure your feet are well-protected from hazards in the workplace or during hiking, it’s crucial to choose the appropriate boots. Clothing and footwear that’s appropriate for the job prevents accidents from occurring. When doing a lot of walking, wearing work boots provides stability, support, and comfort. Check out pull-on vs lace-up work boots for more information on which one suits your needs better.
Walking in the Wrong Shoe is a disaster
Walking in the wrong shoes is like driving a car without rubber tires. Many long-distance hikers walk for a long time on the road. So, foot injuries are one of the major reasons why they stop the journey. If there is a problem with the feet, then a hiking trip full of expectations will also go wrong.
However, the hiker is not Cinderella, and there is no glass shoe suitable for any environment. The shoes that suit you best are those that fit your hiking terrain and can provide the support you need.
Hiking boots perform well in rugged terrain, mountaineering, and winter. Its stability, protection, and warmth performance play a certain role. But not all hikers like the challenging weather, terrain, and environment. Most hikers can find a suitable route, so the demand for hiking boots is not so great.
Work boots also have some other advantages. They are breathable, allowing moisture to drain out of the shoes quickly. In non-breathable shoes, sweat accumulates in the shoes and directly contacts the feet. The sweat will soften the skin of the feet, and wet feet will be more prone to blisters.
Then there is a weight difference. Many studies have shown that too much weight on your feet will consume more energy. By reducing weight, you can protect your knees, joints, and bones. And many backpackers will choose boots to support their ankles.
But there is evidence that strengthening ligaments, tendons and stretching the ankle is the best way to prevent ankle injuries. Compared with day hikers or backpackers, long-distance hikers will continue to walk for months. Soft work boots have the agility that boots do not have. And bulky shoes can cause foot fatigue and walking errors. It can lead to falls, twisted feet, and ankle injuries.
If you’re planning a hiking trip, it’s important to consider the weight of your gear, including your boots. It’s recommended to carry no more than 20% of your body weight on your back. Use the healthy weight calculator on Hood MWR to determine your ideal weight and make sure you’re not overpacking.
Work Boots is More Durable
Work boots are more durable than hiking ones. Hiking boots cannot withstand over 2,000 miles of hiking. The hikers’ journey is so long that they need to change their shoes frequently. Most hiking shoes use EVA midsole, and its wear depends on your weight, walking style, terrain, and environment.
However, one advantage of hiking boots is that they can fine-tune the size of the shoes during continuous hiking. Many shoes will become a little bigger as you wear them, and they will fit better. And there is no break-in period for hiking shoes. It means that you can hike even with new shoes.
Which Boot Should You Choose?
First, choose thick-soled hiking shoes, so that you will not feel the rock when you walk outdoors. Sometimes when choosing hiking shoes, there is a common mistake that some people will choose too simple soles such as the shoes designed for road running.
These types of shoes are often not so durable. And in extreme cases, many boots cause tendinitis and bone contusion. The heavier the backpack, the stronger the boots.
When choosing hiking or work boots, you can choose them with texture or sticky rubber on the soles. These types are more frictional and safer on slippery terrain. Many hikers like shoes with a larger front part because the size is just right or some small shoes will cause the feet to wear out and produce blisters.
As with boots, even if the front of your shoe is big enough, try it yourself in a store. Although hiking boots are not suitable for everyone, they can improve the hiking experience. Even in the worst case, losing hiking shoes is less than a pair of more expensive boots.
Other Types of Boots
There are many types of work boots and we have summarized the key features of men’s trekking boots, hunting boots, and country boots, so please refer to them for your everyday wear!
Trekking boots are also available for walking on level ground. The trekking boots come with thick leather and a strong sole. It comes with an emphasis on safety and durability.
Besides, since walking on flat ground is also considered, we are pursuing lightness and ease of walking. And heavy leather with a shoe sole with excellent cushioning is perfect. It is a special material with an excellent waterproof surface and moisture release. People use it as a substitute for hiking boots.
Nowadays, various types of trekking shoes are on sale. And people introduce their purpose of use as highly fashionable shoes decided from everyday wear, such as walking in the mountains and walking in the city.
Boots used for hunting in winter are called insulated hunting boots. Most of the boots come with rubber soles and are suitable for walking in itchy areas. Especially, the L.L. Bean of the United States is famous for this type of boots. The hunting boots produced by this brand are representative of this brand.
The appeal of hunting boots is that they are a nice fashion item to wear normally. L.L. Bean hunting boots are made from a solid and waterproof fabric. These boots look fashionable and have a cool atmosphere.
Besides, Red Wing hunting boots are also popular with men. These hunting shoes are chic and the more you wear them, the deeper the taste will come out. It feels comfortable to wear and has excellent cushioning. Originally, hunting boots are for hunting, so they also have the advantage of being able to walk quietly so as not to miss their prey. Therefore, there is no sound of footsteps.
When it comes to hunting, having the right gear can make or break a day out in the woods. One important piece of gear to consider is snake proof boots, especially during hunting season. Check out this guide on snake proof boots before your next hunting trip to ensure you are protecting yourself from potentially dangerous encounters.
Country boots are boots that you can enjoy aging with excellent practicality. They are the boots that are highly practical and allow you to enjoy aging that differs from US work boots.
Most people think of a shoemaker called Trickers in the UK. But the boots themselves are the standard boots offered by many British shoemakers. The key feature of country boots is their durability and waterproofness.
As mentioned earlier, country roads are muddy roads, and durability and waterproofness are especially important for walking and running under those conditions. The design of the joint between the sole and the leather. It is called Stormwelt. With this design, the water will not enter from between, and the upper part uses waterproof leather.
Also, regarding the sole, they use a rubber sole with good cushioning and a thick double leather sole. The toe medallion also acts as a drainage ditch. Its structure is particular about usability. This kind of practicality is a characteristic of country boots.
Do I need hiking boots?
There are technical parameters to know about hiking boots to make a wise choice according to your needs. You should ask yourself a certain number of questions and check certain elements before making your choice in-store.
As we said at the beginning, keep in mind that we all have different feet. Some are tall, some are small, some are wide, some are thin, with small or large toes. They can be flat or hollow (at the level of the arch of the foot). Some skins are thin and sensitive to blisters, others look like crocodile skin.
In short, each case is distinct, and it is the shape (or morphology) of your foot. It is the most important criterion to consider when choosing your hiking boots. If you want to prepare your purchase well, we advise you to read the rest of this comprehensive article. It will allow you to be knowledgeable on the subject and maybe even better than the salesperson you will have in front of you.
Are hiking shoes or boots better?
Hiking shoes are better suited to a fashion sense and modern lifestyle. They are more hybrid to handle light trails and concrete boardwalks. They are usually more comfortable and reliable than hiking boots as well as can handle uneven terrain and light climbing.
They are lower on your ankle. If you want more support on the ankle, you should find your durable shoes. In fact, some of them are waterproof. However, the majority will not. But it also makes your shoe more breathable and lighter.
Are hiking boots good for standing all day?
Here, you need to determine what walking style you may do recently. If you want to have a shoe to use more dirt trails and paths, your hiking shoe better suits the needs. If you want to find something to use on the streets, then invest in one pair of walking shoes, for sure.
Low or medium shoes?
The taller the shoe heel is, the better it can support. What we have learned is that the ankle support may come from how sturdy and strong the shoe sole is. The stronger the bottom, you will more likely have an easier and smoother walking time as it distributes the balance over the entire foot.
Higher hiking boots will certainly provide the right ankle support as they sit snugly against your ankle. Unfortunately, your legs and feet get tired more quickly due to its extra weight as people prefer hiking more rustic. For longer stretches with slight climbing, we like all low shoes. People are more nimble and faster, and we do not feel like we want the high boot dedicated for more support of your ankle.
If you are considering the height of shoes, whether it should be low or medium, it is also important to ensure the right width for your feet. Find out what shoe width letters meaning is, such as what does M mean in shoe size, and other measurement letters like E, EE, D, and DD to help you get the right fit for your feet. Check out more information on what M means in shoe size here.
Do you think that hiking shoes are suitable for walking?
As far as you may know, hiking shoes come with a stronger sole and may not give much. A pair of walking shoes are more adaptive and flexible to your stride and foot. If you walk for a long period with light trails, a pair of walking shoes can allow us to walk and climb longer and provide additional comfort. Hiking boots and shoes will be a lot heavier as well as feel very heavy the first miles. Besides, you can take gel liners to obtain more comfort and cushion in a pair of hiking shoes.
Are hiking shoes suitable to use on concrete?
A pair of hiking shoes are good for using on concrete. However, there are more comfortable and better options. The major issues while wearing a pair of shoes for hiking on cement or concrete can be that you will wear its tread low quickly.
Walking shoes will also provide comfort and be lighter while the path is level and smooth enough. Winter is a different story because even concrete hiking boots will provide solid, nice traction.
For people who want to find a good boot or shoe for concrete work, then one work boot can suit their needs better than a pair of hiking shoes. It is indeed comfortable and made of waterproof leather with the special outsole which is heat-resistant.
If you’re wondering whether you can use hiking shoes on concrete, it’s essential to consider your daily activities and the terrain you will be walking on. However, if you are looking for shoes that can provide comfort for extended periods of walking, you might want to try work boots that can withstand long walks while providing arch support and cushioning.
Can I wear a pair of hiking shoes daily?
Yes, you can. However, if you walk on concrete, it will quickly wear out the lower tread. If you reach the dirt surface, then your hiking shoe is a better option. Frankly, hiking shoes are better than taller hiking boots as they are much lighter. Their difference in weight is very noticeable.
If a person is on concrete with more time than on dirt trails, a light as well as padded walking shoe will do the job. There are more brands paying attention to their style as well as offering more elegant walking shoes.
Once you have the durable shoe for walking, find something more with lightweight hiking shoes, unless someone is a park ranger as well as hike trails during the day. It is lucky for people by getting these positive benefits and being fully surrounded by our Mother Nature.
How to choose the right hiking shoes?
Here are the five major steps we suggest:
- Step 1: Know the characteristics of a shoe and define your program.
- Step 2: The right questions to ask yourself to choose your hiking boots.
- Step 3: Know your foot (size and width to define brands and models).
- Step 4: Fittings and tests in store
- Step 5: Validation
If you are in a hurry, we offer you a simple and effective guide in which you will find:
- Step 1: The list of characteristics to check when making your choice.
- Step 2: The questionnaire to choose your shoes without worrying.
- Step 3: The method to know your feet.
- Step 4: The in-store testing method.
- Step 5: A checklist to validate your choice in-store!
Which brands of hiking boots suit you best?
Wide to medium feet will rather find their happiness at:
- Meindl (wide front, wide back, and strong instep),
- Merrell (wide in front but quite narrow at the heel),
- Millet, Technica, Columbia.
Average feet will rather find their happiness at La Sportiva, Asolo, Lowa, and Salewa
Medium to fine feet will rather find their happiness at:
- Salomon (thin at the heel but quite wide in front),
- Garmont, Hanwag.
If you’re looking for the best hiking boots brand, consider checking out the top 20 most popular work boots brands in 2023. Although not specifically designed for hiking, many work boots are sturdy, durable, and may work well for your hiking needs. Do your research on the features offered by each brand before deciding on the right hiking boots for you.
They are better for going or climbing with toe protection and ankle support. Part of the tread is bold, which may help traction on the slippery path. But it can bother you more on solid surfaces such as concrete gravel.
Work boots are usually lighter, being built for faster movement. The provided cushion by its sole is the different experience while using the actual shoe than the hiking shoe which feels less flexible and more solid.