Are Hiking Boots Necessary? Pros and Cons of Wearing Them

If you are thinking about going on a hike, but not sure whether or not to wear hiking boots, this article is for you! This article will cover everything you need to know about the pros and cons of wearing them. I’ll also share my personal experience with hiking boots in case that helps anyone’s decision.

Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Earth, 9 M USI personally wear hiking boots on every hike I go on. The main reason is because my ankles are pretty weak and hiking boots help me from twisting an ankle, which has happened before when wearing regular shoes. The Merrell’s pictured here are the hiking boots that I wear.

I don’t know of any trail in the woods or mountainside that is clear of all debris. All it takes is one tree root or small stone sticking up in the path to ruin your day!

Hiking boots also provide more traction than other footwear so you can keep your footing better during a slippery walkway in the woods. But they also weigh more, which is a trade off when you are tired on mile 8 of a 12 mile hike.

Hiking boots are great because they have very durable treads that last much longer than other types of shoes do. I’ve never had one break down before and it’s been years since my first pair!

The only con to hiking boots are that they can be a little rough on your feet. I’ve always found this to depend on the type of boot and my level of activity though, so it’s hard to say for sure whether or not this will happen in all cases.

Faded Mountain Hike with hiking boots

What are the benefits of wearing hiking boots

  • Hiking boots are durable and can last for years
  • They provide good traction on slippery surfaces
  • They’re waterproof – great for wet weather conditions
  • The soles of the boot offer excellent shock absorption, which is important when hiking over uneven terrain
  • There’s a wide variety of styles and colors available in stores today

What are the drawbacks to wearing hiking boots

  • They can be heavy
  • Can get hot in warmer weather
  • Bulky and not easy to travel with, especially on a plane
  • More expensive compared to sneakers or running shoes

How do you choose between different types of hiking boots?

The type of boot you choose really depends on your own needs. Do you need a light weight, waterproof hiking boot? Or are you looking for something that will provide more support and stability? Some hikers prefer boots with rubber soles while others would rather wear leather ones. For long hikes or treks up steep terrain, it’s usually recommended to have boots that provide ankle support.

They also don’t typically provide much arch support, which is important for those with high arches who tend to experience pain in their feet after hiking all day. One way around this issue is to find a hiking boot that has some sort of insole. Then, you can customize the boots with your favorite socks for added comfort and warmth.

If you’re looking for something light that won’t weigh your feet down, then a lighter weight hiking boot is the way to go. They also typically provide better flexibility and agility during long hikes over difficult terrain. These types of boots are usually waterproof with rubber soles, so they’ll be great for those rainy days or any time there is inclement weather.

The first thing you’ll want to do when shopping for a new pair of hiking boots is decide what type of boot is best suited for your needs. There are different types, including water-resistant and waterproof options as well as low weight and high ankle height versions.

The second step after choosing the right fit will be finding the perfect style to match your personality. Even when you’re out hiking you still have to look good! πŸ˜‰

If you’re unsure what type of hiking boot to buy, it’s a good idea to stop by your local outdoor store and talk with an expert. Many stores will have staff members who are knowledgeable about shoes for hiking.

Places that specialize in hiking will have stands built that can give you the same feel as going down a steep incline. You can also test out the boot to determine how it feels on uneven surfaces.

When should you wear your hiking boots and when shouldn’t you wear them?

Walking in your hiking boots is a big decision. They are bulky, heavy, and expensive. For some hikers this may not be a concern but for others it can make the difference between going on the hike or not. When should you wear your hiking boots and when shouldn’t you wear them?

Hikers use their shoes for different purposes while they’re out on their hikes so knowing what those are will help determine whether or not they need to apply their thick soles.

If you are hiking in an area that is remote, has rough terrain or is experiencing inclement weather, then it’s best to wear your boots. If not, you may experience blisters and soreness because your feet won’t be as supported.

Otherwise, if the trail isn’t too difficult or there’s no rain in sight, go for a lighter shoe like a running shoe instead. Tennis shoes are good for long, flat hikes because they have more padding, breathability, and are lighter.

Why is it important to break in a new pair of shoes before taking them on a hike?

When you wear a new pair of shoes on your first hike, the seams will rub against your feet and cause blisters. You need to make sure that they fit and perform well because your feet will be relying on them for hours at a time.

But before you take them into the wild, it’s important to break in a new pair of shoes before taking them on a hike. Breaking them in before wearing them for an extended period of time is key to avoiding possible pain. Plus, it’s nice not to have sore toes after hiking all day!

The good news is that this break in process can be as easy as wearing your new shoes around town for a couple days or up to two weeks if they’re really stiff or uncomfortable. And once you’ve done all that hard work, then getting out there and hiking is going to feel like heaven!

What type of socks should I wear with my hiking boots?

The type of socks you wear with your hiking boots depends on the environment and activity. For instance, if it’s hot outside or there is a lot of moisture in the air, wearing cotton socks would be uncomfortable because they absorb sweat and get damp quickly. Choose synthetic fabrics or wool to stay cool and dry. On colder days, you could wear a thicker wool sock to stay warm. One of the best socks I own are smart wool, which contain a wicking material that helps to prevent sweat from getting trapped in your shoes. They are warm on cold mornings, but not too warm that my feet sweat when the temperature raises in the afternoon.


How do you care for your hiking boots?

The key to caring for them is drying them after a wet hike and giving them some time to dry out before storing or wearing again. This will prevent the leather from becoming stiff and cracking, as well as protect the waterproofing on your boot’s membrane. You should also clean off any dirt or mud with a damp cloth and allow them to dry before applying any sealant. The dirt from hikes can cause the leather to become dry and brittle, making them uncomfortable to wear in the future.

Washing hiking boots is best done with soap and water, or if that’s not available, a damp cloth can be used instead. Let the wet shoes dry in an open space like on your porch so any smells are dispersed outside of your house.

How often should you replace your hiking boots?

Some hikers find that their shoes last a long time, while others have to frequently buy new ones every year or two. For those who wear them continuously for over ten hours per day, they may need to be replaced more quickly because of increased wear and tear. If you only go hiking a few times a year (like me), then you probably won’t need to replace them.

Your hiking boots are your most important piece of gear, and will protect you from injuries such as cuts or blisters on the trail. They are important because they provide protection from the bumps and bruises of trail life, but too much wear can render their protective qualities less effective. Just like with tennis shoes, you should replace them when they start to deteriorate. If you’re someone who likes going on long hikes a few times a year then your hiking boots may last awhile before needing replacement.

male feet hiking

Below are a list of pros and cons comparing hiking boots to sneakers or tennis shoes.


  • Protect from injuries while walking through tough terrain like rocks and sharp objects.
  • You will be more prepared for the next time you go out because your feet will have taken less of a beating.
  • Hiking boots offer more durability and protection than running shoes or tennis shoes.
  • They provide insulation in cold weather because they cover your foot with more than just a shoe made of mesh or fabric (or no shoe at all)


  • Heavy to wear after several miles over rough terrain
  • Bulky and not easy to travel with, especially on a plane
  • More expensive compared to sneakers or running shoes
  • Uncomfortable to wear if you don’t have proper socks
  • Your feet may get too hot in warmer climates and it might cause a blister
  • Can be restrictive when you’re trying to move quickly on the trail.

I would personally recommend wearing hiking boots because they help your ankles, toes and knees from getting injured. Wearing them will also help you to move more quickly on the trail because they have less restrictions than sneakers or running shoes.

In the end, it is up to you which type of hiking shoes you choose. Although some prefer boots for their durability and water-resistant quality, others swear by a lighter shoe with better breathability. Take into consideration what your needs are when buying these types of footwear then make the decision that best fits them!