Are Hiking Shoes Good For Walking? Pros, Cons, Differences

Many people wonder if you can use your hiking shoes for casual walking. While these shoes do have different intended purposes, can you use them interchangeably? In this article, we will explore why you would or would not choose to wear your hiking shoes for walking.

Although hiking shoes and boots are for walking over rough terrain, they can be used to walk on the street or in casual circumstances. Walking in hiking shoes can even provide more support. However, hiking shoes are heavier and bulkier than regular shoes and can wear out faster with casual use.

Because of their designs, hiking shoes and boots are drastically different than the normal walking shoe. For that reason, it is really up to the individual to decide if they want to wear their hiking shoes for walking.

By the way, as an Amazon Associate, I earn when buying qualified products through links on my site.

Yet, I personally use my hiking shoes for normal walking and have had no problems. Granted, much of my walking does have some form of uneven ground and it is not totally on pavement, but regardless, I still use them for walking. To learn about the differences between walking shoes, hiking shoes, and hiking boots, read on!

What is the Difference Between Walking Shoes and Hiking Shoes?

When it comes down to it, the main difference between hiking shoes and walking shoes is the level of protection and weight of the shoe. Typically, hiking shoes are meant for rough terrain. That means these types of shoes have thicker material, thicker soles, and more protection than walking shoes.

As an example, check out my hiking shoes up close:

My Keen Voyaguer shoes. Notice their bulk.

And another picture from the bottom. This is really what separates hiking boots and shoes from casual shoes–the sole is thick and strong and able to protect your feet from the pressure of thousands and thousands of pebbles as you walk dozens of miles.

sole-of-hiking-shoe

Notice the thick sole of the shoe with rubber on the bottom for better grip.

With that thicker sole comes a price. You get more protection, but you get a lot of weight.

When you’re walking through the neighborhood, you usually don’t need that much protection from the elements, such as sharp rocks and tree roots. For that reason, regular walking shoes are made from lighter material and are probably going to be more breathable and comfortable than hiking shoes.

Hiking shoes have much more tread on the bottom of the shoes. While this tread can be helpful when an individual is climbing rocks or maneuvering over slippery paths, it is a little overkill for walking on pavement. So your feet will feel the effects of heavier and thicker shoes.

Obviously, it is only an inconvenience to have heavy and hot feet. Hikers can hike 16 miles a day with hiking boots so it’s definitely something that will stop you.

On the other hand: Walking shoes in general will also have a different type of cushioning. Many people who wear hiking boots report that hiking boots in particular can be really stiff and are often difficult to break in. Walking shoes, on the other hand, have cushioning that is more flexible and better suited for flat surface walking.

What is the Difference Between Hiking Shoes and Hiking Boots?

While many people use hiking boots and hiking shoes interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between the two types of shoes. When it comes to appearance, there definitely is a difference between hiking shoes and hiking boots. For example, hiking boots tend to have a higher rise than hiking shoes.

Further, hiking boots do tend to be thicker, heavier, and chunkier than hiking shoes. However, hiking boots do tend to have more protection simply because they do have that higher rise and sometimes a thicker sole.

wearing-merrell-moab

An example of a lightweight hiking boot. Notice how much taller the ankle support is on the hiking boot

If you are deciding between hiking shoes and hiking boots, the choice is really up to you. Plus, hiking shoes tend to be lighter and they may even be a better option if you are using them for both hiking and casual walking.

If it’s helpful, I asked a hiking community what they wore for hiking and found out that most people wore hiking boots, with trail runners and running shoes as second, with hiking shoes in 3rd place.

A survey I asked of over 150 people about what they wear hiking

If you want to learn more about hiking shoes and decide if you really do need them, make sure you check out my in-depth article here.

Are Hiking Boots Better Than Walking Shoes?

Casual walking shoes are superior to hiking boots when hiking on flat even terrain because they are lighter and more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Hiking boots or shoes make sense for casual walking if you don’t want to spend money on more shoes or if you need additional support and sole strength that walking or casual shoes don’t have.

In either case, hiking boots and shoes are pretty great for hiking in the wilderness, especially when you are hiking cross-country where the ground is very uneven, or if you’re hiking on very rocky trails. (basically any mountain you can think of)

Looking for hiking snack ideas to go along your hikes? Check out our mega list of hiking snack ideas for every situation.

Is it OK To Wear Hiking Shoes Everyday?

As with anything, there’s a tradeoff between using your hiking shoes for walking around work or town vs. using your hiking shoes only for hiking on trails.

It’s perfectly OK to wear hiking shoes every day. However, keep in mind that these shoes are not meant to be everyday shoes and they may not be the most comfortable to wear as more lightweight shoes. On the other hand, you might find your hiking shoes to be more comfortable than your casual shoes for certain circumstances (and feet)

Let’s break down some reasons for and against using your hiking shoes or boots for walking:

Reasons To Use Hiking Boots/Shoes For Walking

Personally, I do use my hiking boots for walking. Of course, many of the walks that I do go on tend to be on trails or on pavement that will lead to a trail. However, there are many reasons why you could benefit from using or hiking boots for walking. Among others, support and quality of the hiking shoes alone may be the reasons you decide to use your hiking boots or shoes for walking.

Support and Cushioning

Hiking boots are known for their extra support and cushioning. Because these are the shoes that hikers or backpackers will wear for miles on end, they need to have extra support and cushioning to support walking over rough terrain for numerous miles.

Of course, sometimes hiking boots or shoes can be on the stiffer side, so if you do need to add more cushioning to your shoe, some hikers recommend adding a second pair of socks onto your feet when you wear your shoes. Naturally, this might also make your feet overheat, so it’s up to you to decide what works best.

If you want to see why wearing two pairs of socks could actually save your feet from blisters, make sure to check out my article on the subject, here.

Don’t Have To Buy More Shoes

One obvious perk of using your hiking boots for your regular walking shoes is that you don’t have to buy multiple pairs of shoes. Now, depending on if you are the person who likes to have many different types of shoes to supplement your wardrobe, this may be a benefit or drawback.

However, if you were looking to save some money and only have one pair of shoes for your outdoor activities, using your hiking boots for walking may be one of your best bets.

Tough Soles

While some walking shoes, sandals, and fashion shoes do not have tough soles, hiking boots/shoes are designed for protection. That being said, they usually have tough, thick soles that protect your feet from the terrain.

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Of course, you do not always need these tough, and oftentimes heavier, soles for walking. They may be good if your daily walk contains some wooded areas or gravel paths. However, if you are walking on a paved road, this protection is overkill.

I can’t emphasize this enough. I’ve gone hiking in running shoes before, and I felt every little pebble that I stepped on. It doesn’t hurt at first, but over time that constant pressure can cause significant pain. It’s my opinion that a really tough sole is absolutely investing in.

Quality Material

Unlike most walking shoes or even running shoes, hiking shoes and boots are generally made from tougher materials. In fact, some hiking shoes and boots are designed to be waterproof that can help keep your feet dry and comfortable as long as you don’t step into any puddles (in that case, sometimes the waterproof shoes take much longer to dry). While this does make the shoe typically thicker and bulkier, it does provide some extra protection for your feet from rocks, stumps, and of course, water.

They do make some hiking shoes that have lighter material, however, heavier material is typically thicker and does a better job at protecting your feet. So if you are walking in some areas that have obstacles such as rocks or branches, wearing hiking shoes that have quality material may save your feet from excess scrapes and bruising.

Ankle Support

Hiking shoes and boots are designed with ankle support in mind. Because hikers generally have to walk over rough or uneven terrain, it’s crucial that hiking boots have that support so that hikers don’t twist ankles or otherwise injured themselves.

This is actually one of the most important factors to consider as you decide whether or not you should wear your hiking shoes for walking because even if you are walking around on a flat surface, having that extra support might prevent any overuse injuries and may help support your stride.

Yet, you likely don’t need a ton of ankle support for walking on flat surfaces. So even though this may be important for walking on rough terrain, it’s not necessary if you’re just using them for walking on pavement.

If, however, you’re walking up steep streets (think of Dunedin, NZ or San Francisco, USA), then having more ankle support can actually be incredibly helpful.

I have to caveat this by saying that everyone’s feet and needs are different. Some people believe that the ankle support from hiking boots leads to weaker ankles, while others cannot hike in any other shoe except tough hiking boots because of ankle problems–but the truth is probably more complicated and varied from person to person.

If you find your ankles hurting after hiking, it’s worth talking to a qualified professional who can help diagnose what foot support your body needs to do the hikes you want to.

Traction

The increased amount of traction is definitely a benefit to wear hiking shoes for walking. Similar to having extra ankle support, hiking boots need to have traction so that hikers don’t slip as they climb over rocks or potentially wet or icy terrain.

If you’re hiking on snowy and icy streets, this might be exactly what you want.

Reasons Hiking Boots/Shoes Are Not Great For Casual Walking

While there is nothing wrong with wearing hiking boots or shoes for casual walking, there may be some reasons why you wouldn’t choose to wear these on a daily basis. For example, these boots are not generally the most fashionable choice, they tend to be big and chunky, and they are also rather heavy on your feet.

Hiking Shoes or Boots are Expensive

If you get name-brand hiking shoes or boots, you are looking at buying shoes anywhere from $80 to $150. Why is this a reason to not use your hiking boots or shoes for walking?

It’s like putting miles on a Ferrari on your daily commute. Your Ferrari is meant for the open road but the car’s life is being spent on a rather dull route you have to drive every day.

The same is true of hiking boots or shoes. You pay more money for the hiking shoes, and then you wear them out doing the same stuff you do every day instead of using them for what they are meant to protect you for, which is hiking.

You might get more of your money’s worth if you wear out your hiking shoes while hiking in the mountains rather than walking to work.

Not Super Stylin’

Unless you are going for that rugged outdoorsy look, hiking boots and shoes are not the most stylish pair of shoes. Typically, the shoes are big, chunky, and come in the colors of brown or browner. There are some more colorful options (such as black), they still are not the most attractive shoe when it comes down to it.

If you do plan on using your hiking footwear for casual walking, hiking shoes may be a better fit than hiking boots. Generally, hiking shoes have that lower heel and may not appear as bulky as the generic hiking boot.

Yet, if you are willing to sacrifice fashion for extra support and protection, then it’s totally valid to go that route.

Chunky

I admit, my hiking shoes are chunky and clunky. They work great for what they are for–hiking outdoors–but they are fairly bulky shoes. Scuffing your feet on the floor and other faux pas is a lot easier to avoid with smaller shoes.

Heavy

Along with being extra thick and chunky, hiking shoes are heavy. In fact, if you were to hold one hiking shoe in your hand and then a regular tennis shoe on the other you will notice a difference immediately.

I went online at REI and checked out the average weight for a pair of hiking and trail running shoes. After analyzing the different types of shoes online, I found that one pair of hiking shoes can weigh up to 3.75 pounds and many running and trail running shoes weigh less than 1 pound for the pair. That is quite the difference in shoe weight and can get real heavy real fast if you tend to go on long walks.

Soles Wear Out Faster

I wanted to investigate whether walking on asphalt and concrete actually did wear down the sole of a hiking shoe faster than regular hiking. After analyzing many different online forums, I did gather that walking in hiking boots or hiking shoes can wear down the sole excessively. However, all this information seems to be word of mouth and no one has done an exact study on the difference between walking on pavement, asphalt, or normal hiking terrain.

I admit that it’s difficult to know from standard use because if you’re like me, you’re probably walking around work and your house a lot more than you’re hiking in the wilderness (even though that’s where we want to be). Any shoe, when worn, will get more wear and tear.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention that is a train of thought that many believe that your soles will wear out much more quickly on asphalt and cement.

Alternatives to Hiking Shoes for Walking But Also Are Good For Hiking

Now that you know choosing to wear hiking shoes for walking is more of a personal choice I wanted to mention some alternatives that are potentially more comfortable options for the dual purpose of casual walking and hiking. The types of footwear that we have listed here were found by analyzing hiker’s forums and even asking the hiking community through online surveys.

Trail Running Shoes

In a survey, we asked hikers what they tend to wear while hiking. While hiking boots were the most common answer, the second most common shoe used for hiking or trail running shoes and running shoes. Generally, trail runners are a better shoe for hiking because they are designed to be lighter weight, more breathable, and still have the appropriate traction needed for hiking on rough terrain.

That said, trail running shoes may be a better option for walking on pavement because you probably won’t have to deal with such heavy shoes and potentially sweaty feet. If you want to learn more about what the hikers said they were on their feet with this survey, check out this link here.

Approach Shoes

Approach shoes are similar to hiking shoes in that they are durable, provide protection, support the top of the foot, and are water-resistant. But, these shoes are more appropriate for walking long distances. These shoes are a combination of hiking shoes and climbing shoes and are typically used by climbers who need to wear different shoes to the rock surface they plan on scaling.

If people were deciding whether or not they wanted to invest in a pair of hiking shoes for casual walking, many hikers from the hiking community suggested using approach shoes for walking on flat surfaces. While I have not personally tried this type of shoe, many hikers seemed to advocate for it and said that they work perfectly fine.

Chacos

While not everyone agrees that hiking in Chacos is the best, the people who do hike in their Chacos will never wear anything else. That said, Chacos can be a great shoe for both casual walking and hiking. Not only do Chacos offer fantastic support, but some are stylish, let your feet breathe because they’re completely open like a sandal, and are generally durable and comfortable.

The one drawback that we have consistently heard from hikers regarding wearing Chacos while hiking is that they tend to stub their toes. While the Chacos themselves do claim to be designed in a way that will prevent your pinky toe from being smashed into a rock, some hikers still report that this happens frequently.

Read Post  Trail Running Shoes vs Hiking Shoes: Which to Choose

Make sure to wear socks with your Crocs if you are hiking long distances.

Peter is a software developer who loves to take every opportunity to go outside that he can get. Peter grew up going on long backpacking excursions with his family every Summer and now enjoys staying at the beautiful Texas State Parks and swimming in the amazing Texas Rivers.

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10 Tips to Help Improve Your Hiking Photography

To help you make the most of the hiking season, let’s talk about 10 awesome tips to improve your hiking photography.

The sun is back, the snow has melted, and there are more places than ever to go hiking – it’s summer! After a long few months of being restricted by snowy mountains, the wait is over, and the hiking season has officially begun.

For photographers, the start of summer also means more places to go with your camera. More trails to explore, mountains to climb, and adventures to be had.

The trouble is that hiking with all your camera gear tends to pose a unique set of challenges.

So without further ado, let’s get on to 10 ideas to help you find the perfect shot, stay more organized, and still enjoy the adventure. These tips are a must for any hiking and photography fanatics!

#1 Focus on capturing the experience

What’s the main reason people like to go hiking? For the view, of course! But too many people leave their camera packed away until they reach the top, only to snap a photo of the final lookout. Don’t let yourself get stuck in that bad habit!

When you leave your camera packed away for the majority of the hike, you miss countless photo opportunities. What about those moments of struggle grinding up a steep trail? Or that beautiful section with the perfect light?

When you stay in the mindset of “the best photos are at the top” you really limit your photography.

Some of the best candid moments are found during the actual hiking part of your adventure.

Remember, photography is a journey not a destination! – Darlene

Candid moments are perfect to showcase what it felt like to be there with your subject. Think of your camera as the extra person (aka your audience) in your group just tagging along for the ride. What would they want to see to make them feel like they’re part of the experience?

These shots don’t have to be all smiles and rainbows either. Even when the going gets tough, get your camera out and see what things you can capture. Those are the moments that will always more enjoyable to look back on later, compared to just the typical viewpoint photos.

#2 Bring a tripod to capture some self-portraits

Perhaps you love doing solo hiking trips. If that’s the case, bring a tripod on your hike so you can take some self-portraits!

Setting up your camera with a delayed shutter (use the 10-second timer) is the perfect way to play photographer and model at the same time. When you’re alone, self-portraits open up more possibilities as to what you can photograph.

Then you can never use this excuse, “This shot would be perfect if a person was standing right there.” With the help of a tripod, you can easily frame the shot exactly as you want, while also being in the photo.

#3 Use a holster for easy camera access

A camera holster or camera clip is one of the most useful photography accessories for hikers. These holsters clip onto your backpack strap and securely mount your camera in front of your chest.

This way, you can keep your hands free while still having quick access to your camera.

Nothing’s more annoying than seeing the perfect shot but having to unload half your backpack just to get to your gear. Using a camera holster completely solves this problem.

Two great options for camera holsters are the Cotton Carrier G3 Strapshot or the PeakDesign Capture Clip. Both are worthy candidates and will keep your camera secure no matter what terrain you face!

#4 Wait for golden hour whenever possible

If you want to put in all the work to hike somewhere, why not get the best light possible?

When you have the time, aim to arrive at the top just before golden hour. Nothing compares to a sunset or sunrise in the mountains, and it’s nearly impossible to get a bad photo at this time of the day.

To plan for golden hour, consider the recommended time to hike the trail versus your fitness level. Trail websites like AllTrails give relatively accurate time estimates for thousands of hiking trails near you. They’re a useful reference to work from if you aren’t sure where to look!

Next, find out when golden hour will take place. Remember, this occurs twice a day – the hour before sunset and just after sunrise. If you show up right at the time of sunset, you’ll have already missed the show!

Try using a free web app called The Photographer’s Ephemeris to get accurate information for golden hour at any location. Another great app is Photo Pills. It’s not free (under $10) but it does many things really well like sunset/sunrise times, when the Milky Way is visible, Moonrise, etc.

Just remember it will be dark heading down after taking photos at sunset. Be sure to pack a headlamp and stay safe.

#5 Spend the night out

If you want to get the most bang for your buck, pack your bags and head out for the night. Camping in the backcountry provides a more memorable experience while offering more time for you to take photos.

Since you’re spending the night, you can see both the sunset and sunrise from an epic vista.

After you set up camp, grab your camera and explore around the area. Check out places you wouldn’t have the time or energy to do during a day hike. You’ll be amazed by how many hidden lookouts, viewpoints, and photo opportunities you’ll encounter.

Especially when you’re in an alpine area and don’t have trees and underbrush to deal with, the mountains are your playground. You can easily access just about anywhere you point.

There’s truly limitless potential when you spend a night out in the backcountry.

Remember to do some blue hour and night photography as well!

#6 Use a friend to show scale

With hiking photography, it can be hard to showcase the same sense of scale you get in being there in real life.

So try adding a point of reference (a human) to help viewers of your images understand how massive are your surroundings.

Using a friend for scale is the easiest way to show the size difference between you and the environment.

To make the most impact, get them to stand farther away from you whenever possible. Especially when using a longer focal length like 200mm, it makes the environment seem impossibly large.

Aim to place your human subjects against a light background (like a near silhouette), so it’s easy to spot them in the frame.

Rather than having the person blend in among the rocks, frame them against the sky, a body of water, or a distant faded mountain peak.

If that isn’t possible, get them to wear a bright color to make them stand out from the background in the scene.

Primary colors like red, yellow, or blue tend to work best to separate a hiker from most backgrounds.

#7 Be selective about the gear you bring

One of the unique challenges about hiking photography is that you have to carry a heavy load. Even if you have some high-end, ultralight hiking and overnight gear, your camera and lenses are still going to weigh the same as they always do.

And camera gear is NOT light!

So rather than packing every piece of camera gear you own, be selective about what you’re actually going to take.

You could bring that massive 400mm lens you love, but what are your legs going to think? Especially after hours of climbing up a steep trail?!

I’m willing to bet you’ll be ready to throw that lens off a cliff halfway through the hike.

Save your legs and energy levels by streamlining the camera gear you bring. Pick one lens to keep on your camera, plus one additional lens to balance out its weaknesses.

For example, you don’t want to pack two different wide-angle lenses. That’s because both lenses will capture the same types of photos. Instead, opt for a wide-angle and a telephoto to maximize your options during the hike.

Ultimately, try to consider what types of photos you hope to capture and what gear is required to take those shots.

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#8 Seek wildflowers whenever possible

Wildflowers not only smell amazing, but they also add a lot of beauty to your hiking photos.

Whether you’re taking pictures of the flowers themselves, or incorporating them into a larger scene, they offer so much potential. Including flowers is an easy way to add a splash of color into any scene you come across while hiking.

Wildflowers are usually found in meadows during early to mid-summer. Depending on the elevation and snow levels, this will vary.

There are so many varieties you can come across on a single hike, so you’ll never run out of new flowers to photograph!

#9 Challenge yourself to go farther

Here’s the reality – if you want to capture fantastic hiking photos, you need to put in the work.

You’ll rarely find a place on a 2-hour hike that hasn’t been photographed from every angle. If you want your hiking photography to stand out from the crowd, explore places most people have never been.

To find more unique places to hike, you’ll need to resort to a topographical map of the area. Topographical maps show you potential routes you could follow to get to new summits or alpine bowls.

You’ll be amazed at how many forest service roads are around to get you most of the way up too. You just need a 4×4 vehicle if you plan to drive them!

NOTE: Always tell someone where you’re going and ideally do not go alone. Put your personal safety first.

If finding brand new places isn’t for you, try going farther past well-traveled locations. Rather than stopping at an alpine lake, scramble up one of the nearby slopes to get a better vantage point.

Try anything you can do to find a different view, one that most people have never seen. Going further with your camera does take a lot more physical effort, but the results are always worth it.

#10 Enjoy the moment

There are tons of people who like to hike just for the gram (Instagram).

Rather than focusing on getting the perfect shot, enjoy your surroundings and try to be more present. It’s easy to become detached from the experience by only focusing on the next shot.

Try to think of hiking photography more organically than that.

As weird as it sounds, some of the best shots are found when you aren’t looking for them. When you are just enjoying an area for what it is, you’ll notice the little details.

It becomes a lot easier to find unique compositions that you may have otherwise overlooked. Rather than focusing solely on the view, see what other spots and angles make for beautiful images.

When you’re present and enjoying the hike for what it is, it’s much easier to notice the beauty in things that others may miss.

hiking photography tips

Conclusion

With these 10 tips to help improve your hiking photography, you’ll be well on your way to taking better photos on the trails.

If you’re willing to put in the effort, there are no limits to where your camera can take you in the mountains. Although your legs may be burning, the fantastic photos you come back with will always be worthwhile.

Where are you looking forward to hiking this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Can You Use Hiking Shoes for Walking?

Can You Use Hiking Shoes for Walking

I love hiking and because of this, I usually have multiple pairs of hiking shoes laying around my house.

However, I can’t always make it to a hiking trail due to lack of time or poor weather conditions. So I wondered if I could use a pair of my hiking shoes to take a quick walk around my neighborhood to at least get a little exercise in for the day.

But should you use hiking shoes for walking?

What I found out is even though there are some design differences between a hiking shoe and a walking shoe, such as a more rugged design and aggressive tread pattern, you can use hiking shoes for walking as they make a good substitute for walking shoes.

Are Hiking Shoes Good for Walking?

Hiking Shoes

However, just because hiking shoes make a good substitute for walking shoes, does that mean that hiking shoes are actually good for walking?

While you can definitely substitute hiking shoes for walking shoes in a pinch. If you’re planning on doing a lot of walking, it’s best to use a pair of walking shoes instead of hiking shoes.

This is because there are design differences between walking shoes and hiking shoes that can make hiking shoes more cumbersome and challenging to use for walking over extended periods of time.

The Differences Between Walking and Hiking Shoes

There are several key design differences between walking shoes and hiking shoes that can have a big impact on comfort and performance.

So let’s take a closer look at a typical walking shoe and a typical hiking shoe to see how they differ and how these differences impact walking ability.

Upper

Walking Shoes vs Hiking Shoe Upper

Usually the upper of a hiking shoe is made from durable materials such as heavy-duty canvas or leather while a walking shoe’s upper will usually be made from mesh or lightweight canvas.

The reason for this is that hiking shoes are designed for more rugged applications such as hiking across rough terrain while walking shoes are designed for lighter duty and casual walking so they don’t need the same level of protection.

Midsole

The midsole in each shoe is another key difference between walking shoes and hiking shoes.

As hiking shoes tend to have a much more robust and thicker midsole when compared to walking shoes which provides more cushioning and padding for navigating over rocks and challenging terrain.

All this extra cushioning on the midsole of a hiking shoe comes at a cost though in the form of extra weight. This is one of the reasons why hiking shoes are heavier than walking shoes.

Walking Shoe vs Hiking Shoe Sole

One of the easiest ways to tell hiking shoes and walking shoes apart is by looking at the sole of the shoe.

As hiking shoes tend to have a thicker and more rugged sole compared to walking shoes.

This is because these two types of shoes were again designed for very different purposes. As hiking shoes were designed for traversing rugged and uneven trails while the walking shoe was designed for more casual walking on even and mostly paved surfaces.

Tread Pattern

Walking Shoe vs Hiking Shoe Tread Pattern

The final key difference between walking shoes and hiking shoes is the tread pattern on the bottom of the shoe.

Walking shoes tend to have a very light tread pattern with very little pronunciation while hiking shoes will have a very aggressive tread pattern providing more grip and better traction over rough terrain.

Final Thoughts on the Differences Between Walking Shoes and Hiking Shoes

As you can see from above there are quite a few design differences between walking shoes and hiking shoes. And because of these design differences, each type of shoe is best suited for specific uses.

Walking shoes are designed to maximize comfort by keeping the shoe as light and flexible as possible, which allows the shoe to be worn for long periods of time comfortably and without fatigue.

While hiking shoes are designed to maximize durability and ruggedness to provide better foot protection over rough and uneven terrain.

Can You Wear Hiking Shoes on Pavement?

Yes, you can wear hiking shoes on pavement, keep in mind though that hiking shoes were not made or intended for concrete or pavement.

And excessively wearing hiking shoes on pavement can wear down the tread pattern of the hiking shoes faster than normal, ultimately shortening the life of the hiking shoe.

Can You Wear Hiking Shoes Every Day?

While you could technically wear hiking shoes every day, there are shoes that would be more comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis such as walking shoes or running shoes.

This is because hiking shoes were not designed or intended for everyday use and instead were designed to stand up to the rigors and stresses of hiking over rough terrain.

Because of this, hiking shoes will more than like be too heavy and rigid for comfortable everyday use as they are extreme overkill for casually walking around town.

So if you are looking for a good everyday shoe it’s best to go with a sneaker-style shoe such as a walking shoe or a running shoe . As these types of shoes will be lighter and far more comfortable for everyday use.

Jason is an avid lover of camping, hiking, and well just about anything outdoors. He is both a writer and editor for Outside Pulse and has been camping and hiking for over 20 years.

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About Me

Hi, I’m Jason, and I’m an avid lover of anything and everything outdoors. I’ve always loved camping and hiking for as long as I can remember. So I created this blog to share what I love as well as what I’ve learned along the way.

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