Hiking Boots vs. Hiking Shoes: What’s the Better Option?

A pair of hiking boots
Photo by Joanna Nix-Walkup on Unsplash

One of the biggest dilemmas you’ll have to face while buying your hiking equipment is finding the right pair of shoes. You’ll have to choose between hiking boots and more casual hiking shoes, but which option is actually better?

Hiking Boots

Some hikers swear by hiking boots, while others believe you should ditch them altogether. They offer good ankle support, traction, and much better protection when you’re exploring rough terrain, but the list of their cons is equally long.

The tricky thing about hiking boots is that they’ll weigh you down during your hikes due to their heaviness. They also take more time to break in than regular shoes, and you probably don’t need a pair if you’re a casual hiker who avoids snowy and rainy terrains at all costs.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are a much better option for recreational hikers who are simply looking for comfort. They’re light, soft, and quick-drying, making them the best possible option for casual hikes in dry weather and gentler terrain.

If you, however, intend to go on a hike in rough conditions, hiking shoes won’t do you any good. They’re less protective on rough surfaces and don’t offer as much ankle support as hiking boots, so it’s best to wear them during moderate and relaxing hikes.