Has this question ever crossed your mind: are hiking boots good for walking on concrete?
A quick summary: I don’t think it’s practical to use hiking boots on concrete.
If you have a passion for the outdoors, you’ve probably invested heftily in your hiking boots. You’re probably wondering if you could get more use out of them.
Hiking boots are distinctly designed to provide protection and support for the feet and ankles when walking through uneven surfaces, rugged terrain, and boggy conditions.
As its name suggests, it is best used for ‘hiking’.
However, it is still a fairly good option for walking on concrete.
So, let’s take a look at the factors to consider when deciding if hiking boots are a good option when walking on concrete, for you.
Best Hiking Boots For Walking On Concrete
- Danner Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boots
- Vasque Breeze III GTX
- Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator
- Dansko Women’s Paisley Waterproof Outdoor Sneaker
- Timberland PRO Men’s Powertrain Shoes
What Alternative Shoes Are Good For Walking On Concrete?
- Asics Gel Cumulus 23
- Adidas Ultraboost 21
- New Balance 624 v2
- Brooks Addiction Walker
- Rockport Sidewalk Expression Chranson
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Are Hiking Boots Good For Walking On Concrete?
If you ask me, I do not think it is practical to use hiking boots on concrete. These are meant for heavy-duty hiking, not for daily use on concrete especially if you intend on using these boots on the trail.
Hiking boots are great footwear for adventure and wilderness. Your feet will be supported and protected through muddy swamps, desserts, and icy paths. However, are boots for walking on concrete?
The answer is tricky. Hiking boots are not manufactured for walking on concrete, they are designed to be used on rough terrain.
But hiking footwear now comes in many different styles and fulfills different needs.
If you use your hiking boots on concrete surfaces daily, the traction and sole of the boot will wear out faster in comparison to when you use them on hiking terrain.
This will impact the grip when you take them out for a hike.
Nevertheless, there are lighter options such as hiking shoes that are okay to use for walking on concrete.
Hiking shoes still may feel a little stiff and uncomfortable compared to walking shoes.
If you’re set on getting yourself something that allows you to hike and also walk on concrete, then low-cut hiking shoes or mid-cut day hike boots are what you should get.
What are Hiking Boots Good For?
Hiking boots are good for protecting your feet from bruising and abrasions whilst in the wilderness. Hiking footwear is meant to provide support, stability, durability, and functionality on all kinds of surfaces.
Here we break down what hiking boots are good for by their features such as
In this context, traction refers to resistance against sliding. Traction is essential for hiking terrains as it helps prevent slips on wet, slippery surfaces.
The outsoles of hiking boots or shoes are designed to provide more traction.
Cushioning is a shoe’s ability to absorb shock and reduce impact in the event the wearer slips or has a fall.
Cushioning also provides hiking shoes or boots with stability. If a pair of shoes are not properly cushioned, it may cause instability, and discomfort and can hurt your feet.
- Support & Stability
As mentioned above, cushioning provides hiking boot stability, the midsole of the shoe and its last support movement, and the cuffs support your ankle.
The midsole is the middle part of the shoe that’s between the insole and outsole. A properly designed midsole offers ample support and ensures your feet are always comfortable.
A shoe’s last is the foot-shaped mold around which a shoe is made. It determines its fit, its style, and its purpose. A shoe’s proper design and the right inserts will provide better support and stability.
You can determine a shoe’s stability by compressing the back of the shoe or twisting the shoe. Supportive hiking shoes or boots will resist compression and twisting.
A good pair of hiking shoes will protect your feet and ankles against the unpredictable conditions of the terrain. You’ll be protected from wet, slippery, rocky, and rough surfaces.
The protection your hiking boots offers is highly dependent on the materials that are used to manufacture them.
Hiking boots are made to withstand harsh conditions such as abrasions and make it throughout your hiking or backpacking trip, however long or short it is.
How long you manage to use your boots depends on the way you care for them, how much you’ve used them and what it is made of.
Leather boots are comparatively more durable than synthetic boots.
Lastly, hiking boots are reliable, functional, and flexible. They are able to adapt to changing environments and different surface types.
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Types of Hiking Boots
There are a few types of footwear specifically made for the trail.
Each type has different functions and caters to varying terrain and surfaces, weather conditions, duration, and distance.
1. Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking Shoes
The minimalist trend has made its way to the world of hiking with minimalist hiking shoes. And barefoot hiking shoes are somewhere there too.
The idea behind barefoot and minimalist shoes is that they feel more natural and can help strengthen your feet.
Barefoot shoes are thin, lightweight, and flexible and they come with grippy soles, a neutral heel, and a roomy toe box.
Minimalist shoes are sort of a cross of sneakers and barefoot shoes, they offer light cushioning but no arch support.
These shoes allow you to experience what it’s like to be hiking almost barefoot. This in turn gives you the ability to receive sensory feedback and strengthen your feet and leg muscles.
However, barefoot and minimalist shoes are not as supportive as hiking boots, depending on the terrain, and period of use, they could cause injuries.
If you’re looking for the best barefoot shoes, this post has you covered.
2. Trail Running Shoes
Trail running shoes are an optimal choice for trail running, hiking, and even backpacking. It is relatively lighter compared to other hiking footwear, is breathable, and very comfortable. Due to its features, it could greatly reduce foot fatigue.
Most trail running shoes are appropriate for 3-season hiking and backpacking, but I recommend that you use them mostly for warm weather.
It is also better if you get a waterproof pair, especially if you’ll be treading through wet grounds. This type of hiking footwear is definitely not suitable for colder climates and snow.
3. Hiking Shoes
Hiking shoes are an excellent choice of hiking footwear, you may think there isn’t much of a difference between trail runners and hiking shoes, but there is.
Hiking shoe’s midsoles are stiffer which provides a firmer foundation when trekking through rough trails and provides more protection from bruising. They are heavier than trail runners but still lighter than hiking boots.
These are suitable for when hiking for moderate distances or duration. These can be worn during winter and snow but are also not recommended.
4. Hiking Boots
Hiking boots are mid-cut footwear designed to provide more support and stability compared to all the aforementioned footwear.
These boots are a great option for rugged terrain and for hikers who want additional support and protection. They provide better grip, traction, and comfort when carrying backpacks and going on multi-day hikes.
For colder climates and extreme temperatures, insulated hiking boots will keep your feet nice and warm. If you’re going to be using it in wet environments, like river crossings or bogs, get a waterproof boot or apply a Durable Water Repellant(DWR) to your leather boot.
Be wary though that hiking boots are significantly heavier than hiking shoes, may feel restrictive in terms of movement, and are not as breathable.
5. Backpacking Boots
Backpacking boots are for serious adventures. They come in a high-cut design, provide better support and stability, offer great protection, and are made for heavy loads and long durations.
These are great for off-trail hikes with unpredictable terrain and cold or extreme weather. These are, however, not practical for day hikes, even surfaces, and well-maintained trails.
As they will just weigh you down, they are heavy, less breathable, and not as stable on even ground.
So unless you’re an adventurous hiker or will be in cold weather conditions, getting these boots do not make much sense. It would be more practical and comfortable to go for the choices mentioned above.
These are also not for steep snow, icy, highly elevated conditions, for those you need mountaineering boots.
Are Hiking Boots Good For Daily Walking?
If you are wondering, are hiking boots good for walking? This question gets asked often and the answer is not straightforward.
Have you ever wondered can I wear hiking shoes for walking? So can you wear hiking shoes everyday for walks, the answer is yes.
There is no harm in walking in your hiking boots off the trail, in fact, you can use your pair for walking anywhere else. However, hiking footwear is intended for walking on trails or rough, uneven terrain.
Hiking boots are designed to be vastly different from normal footwear.
Hiking shoes or boots may give you more support and stability compared to sneakers. However, these boots are also bulky, heavier, stiffer, and can be uncomfortable to walk in on even surfaces.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to use and not use hiking boots for casual walking.
Reasons To Use Hiking Boots For Walking
There are arguably quite a few reasons to use your hiking boots for walks. The unequivocal support that hiking footwear provides is reason enough to use them for walking.
- Support and Comfort
As mentioned in the earlier part of this post, hiking boots and shoes are great for the support, cushioning, and protection that they provide for the feet and ankles.
Hikers use these shoes for hundreds to thousands of miles on and off-trail and weeks to months out on their feet. Thus they require additional support and protection for their feet.
Hiking shoes also have tougher soles compared to sneakers and walking shoes. This offers more protection for your feet and ankles.
If you’ve had a previous ankle injury or you’re walking on steep streets, hiking boots may be the best shoes to help you with your stride.
Of course, you do not need this kind of support for pavement walking. But hiking boots can offer great support for daily strolls in the woods, gravel paths, or anywhere with slightly uneven surfaces.
- No Need To Purchase Shoes Just For Walking
If you’re thinking can I wear my hiking shoes for walking and save on buying a new pair of walking shoes? Absolutely.
You can use your hiking footwear for most of your outdoor activities including walking. This way, you also do not have to buy multiple shoes that you are not going to use often, and just have one pair that you’ll use well.
If you are intending to use your hiking shoes for walking, ensure you get something breathable.
- Hiking Boots Are Made of Quality Material
Hiking boots and shoes are usually made with durable material. Hiking boots are designed to withstand unpredictable weather conditions, rough terrain, and different environments.
Leather hiking boots protect your feet from abrasions and cold weather and are naturally water-resistant and breathable, however better for colder climates.
Synthetic boots are not as tough as leather boots but they are less expensive and also come in waterproof options. Synthetic or a mix of synthetic and leather boots are generally more lightweight and better for walking compared to full leather boots.
Walking in hiking boots thus gives you great protection and your shoes will be able to withstand weather and environmental conditions.
If you want to know more about why hiking boots are good for walking, read this post.
Reasons To Not Use Hiking Boots For Walking
While you can use your hiking boots and shoes for daily walks, there may be some factors to consider before using them daily.
- Hiking Footwear Is Expensive
If you want to get a good pair of hiking boots or shoes, you’ve got to be ready to loosen the purse strings. Hiking boots can cost up to hundreds of dollars.
You may be wondering, you’ve already spent so much on these, why shouldn’t you use them daily?
Well, you’re basically using what’s meant to guard your feet on strenuous hikes for daily use, and like any other shoes, hiking shoes are also susceptible to wear and tear.
You’ll be getting your money’s worth by using it only for its purpose.
If you’re looking for affordable hiking boots, click here for the best boots under $100.
- Soles Wear Out Faster
Hiking shoes are great for uneven surfaces like hiking trails and rugged coastal paths, but they are not the best for concrete surfaces.
Using your hiking boots and shoes on asphalt and concrete wears down the soles of your boots much faster compared to when using them in hiking conditions.
This is because when we walk on even surfaces, you will bend your feet more than you usually would hiking.
- Heavy and Uncomfortable
Hiking shoes are not exactly sleek. They are heavier and chunkier than most shoe types.
The average weight of a pair of hiking shoes is around 2-3 pounds and walking shoes weigh less than a pound for the entire pair.
If you are wondering are hiking shoes good for running, unless you want to weight train while running, I’d suggest sticking to walking shoes.
And if you intend on taking long walks with your hiking boots, I’d advise against it, the weight catches up fast.
It also isn’t the most comfortable footwear for walking, especially on even grounds. Hiking shoes may be stiffer and have harder soles thus making it harder to walk well.
They might not be as breathable as walking shoes and can potentially cause blisters.
So are hiking boots good for walking? It is really a personal decision to be made by the wearer if they want to use their hiking shoes or boots daily.
The Differences between Hiking Boots and Walking Shoes
So what are the key differences between hiking boots or shoes and walking shoes?
Firstly, both shoes serve significantly varying purposes.
Hiking shoes are built for rugged paths with dirt, mud, rocks, and water.
These shoes are made of tougher materials and denser soles and are often stiffer and sturdier. Consequently offering more protection, cushioning, and support compared to walking shoes.
With all that protection, hiking shoes are heavy and provide more traction compared to walking shoes.
Walking shoes on the other hand are lightweight, more breathable, and also generally more comfortable than hiking shoes.
These are more practical to use when walking on even, gentler paths for purposes such as pavement walking and indoor walking.
Walking shoes only come up to the ankles and do not provide as much support or stability compared to hiking shoes.
Although some walking shoes are waterproof, they won’t be able to keep water out the way hiking shoes can.
It is much easier to break into walking shoes and the cushioning is much more suited for daily walking, hiking boots may be too stiff and may hurt your feet.
Walking in hiking boots or shoes can feel heavy and warm especially in warmer seasons or if you live in a tropical climate.
When deciding on walking shoes vs hiking shoes, consider that walking shoes are way more comfortable for casual walking and hiking on flat, even surfaces.
They are also better suited to wear for long periods of time and for indoor environments.
However, you may always still use your hiking shoes if you find them comfortable, need the extra support, or simply don’t want to spend on another pair of shoes.
It’s also great if you’re a real outdoors person and you’re constantly on the go, getting on and off the trail ever so often.
Best Hiking Boots For Walking On Concrete
So are hiking boots good for walking on concrete? Not exactly. However, there are options that are versatile, here are the best boots for walking on concrete.
These boots are not your typical hiking boots, despite their tough exterior, these boots are lightweight and agile, providing the same comfort as walking or running shoes.
This boot features a Vibram outsole, paired with Megagrip technology and Danner’s Dry waterproof membrane, which makes it great for the rugged outdoors.
This pair also does not take long to break in and is truly flexible, it can be used for multiple purposes due to its great comfort levels.
The Danner Mountain 600 is a great choice for those who want a pair of boots that can do it all. Use it for backpacking trips, outdoor activities, to work, and casual wear.
These boots are available for both, men and women.
The Vasque Breeze is more of a hiker’s cup of tea. It’s solid and offers great support, stability, and comfort.
It is designed for technical terrain and outdoor endeavors. What makes it great for walking as well is that although it is a leather boot, it has enhanced breathability due to its side mesh panels.
It also has excellent traction and is excellent for wet and slippery surfaces, which makes it great for walking in wet weather and snow.
It provides you with the support and stability of a tough and durable pair of hiking boots, and the comfort for outdoor walking.
These boots are available for both, men and women.
Not exactly boots, but these hiking shoes are super popular amongst the hiking circle. They are known for being comfy and well made.
A great number of hikers would say it’s their number one choice for hiking and backpacking. These hiking shoes need no break-in time and are comfortable right out of their packaging.
It’s made to withstand all kinds of terrain, and has great traction but is breathable and versatile at the same time.
These shoes are available for both, men and women.
These lightweight outdoor shoes come in many colors and are definitely one of a kind.
These are built-in suede with waterproof leather uppers. What’s amazing about these shoes is that they’ve used fiber for moist management and have odor control, which will keep your feet sweat-free and odor will be expelled right away.
In terms of support, these shoes are equipped with a dense footbed that provides arch support and a comfortable amount of cushioning. These sneakers are great for hiking and walking on concrete and other even surfaces too.
These pair of shoes are made for concrete, these aren’t exactly built for hiking but you can absolutely hike in them. The Powertrain is the definition of durability and support.
Its midsole provides the right amount of cushioning for comfortable walking and it comes with a synthetic upper mesh that enhances breathability.
It also has good traction as its sole is slip-resistant which is what makes it great for hiking and wet, muddy, slippery surfaces.
It is lightweight and suitable for long walks on concrete and is great for people who spend the majority of their day on their feet.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing Hiking Boots
Purchasing hiking boots can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if it is your first time.
It’s so easy to get distracted by the sheer amount of options out there. There are so many brands, designs, and different price ranges to choose from.
Before deciding on a pair of hiking boots for yourself, you should take a few key factors into consideration.
- Type of Boots
As we’ve mentioned above, when it comes to hiking footwear, there are several types that you can go for. Are you looking for something versatile to use for day hikes in a tropical climate or something for a long backpacking trip?
You need to carefully select your footwear based on the kind of hikes you’re planning to take on and the surfaces or terrain you’ll encounter.
If you’re looking for something with good support, cushioning, traction, and stability it is better to limit your options to hiking shoes, day hiking boots, or backpacking boots.
- Features of The Boots
Break-In Period: How long does it take for your boots to break in?
If you’re planning to buy a pair of boots right before a day out on the trails, you may want to get something that breaks in right out of the box, like hiking shoes.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be backpacking through rough terrain for a long period of time, you may need a sturdy pair of boots that may need a few weeks to break in.
Support: What kind of support are you looking for? There are a few areas you need to look into when it comes to support.
Arch support improves your balancing abilities. Find out what arch you have by taking the WET Test. Pick boots that fit your arch well and determine if you need additional support.
Are you flat-footed? Click here for the best hiking boots for flat feet. If suffering from overpronation, check out this post on the best boots for it.
There are two considerations when it comes to ankle support, the fit and design of the boot. For there to be adequate ankle support, the boot needs to fit snugly on the sides of the ankle.
If you need extra support, it’s best to get a high-cut boot that can support your lower leg too.
If you want extra stability and shock absorption, ensure that your feet are adequately cushioned. Lastly, the general assumption is that the more comprehensive the shoe’s sole, the more support it provides.
Weight: Heavier boots can help with stability, and are often more durable. However, it may cause fatigue if you’re hiking for long stretches.
The idea is to find a pair of boots that are considerably light while not compromising on performance.
If the terrain is not too demanding, and you’re carrying a light pack, choose a lightweight option so that you can be quick on your feet.
Waterproof: Waterproof boots have a water-resistant membrane that is often layered into the boots that keeps water out. However, these types of boots are heavier and less breathable most of the time.
Waterproof boots are necessary for wet environments and cold, rainy climates.
Non-waterproof boots are more breathable, lightweight, and usually dry faster due to the ventilation. These are great for warmer climates and dry conditions.
Breathability: Wet and sweaty feet can cause blisters and can be really uncomfortable.
Breathability is a crucial factor to consider, especially in warmer climates, as it determines how fast your feet will be able to dry out.
Durability: Leather boots are known for being durable, whereas boots made from synthetic materials are prone to more scuffs.
When hiking on rough terrain, you need a durable pair of hiking boots or shoes, preferably made with leather.
- The Fit
If you ask any hiker, having a properly fitting pair of hiking footwear is essential to your comfort and safety on the trail.
If your boots are too small or tight, you may feel pressure on the top, sides of the feet, or your toes, and you might not be able to wiggle your toes.
If your boots are too big, your foot may be slipping as you walk, which may make you feel unsupported and unstable. The friction can cause chaffing or blisters.
Let’s talk about fitting in more detail.
How Should Hiking Boots Fit?
The key factor to remember when picking out boots is that your boots should not cause you any pinches, pains, pressure, or discomfort in general.
Hiking boots do not fit the same way your casual shoes would. Hiking trails come in varying conditions including rough, dry, muddy, swampy, wet, and icy. Your feet will need support and protection as they will experience unique strains.
It is likely that your shoe size will be too small for the boot. And if you already own a pair of boots, keep in mind that all brands will have varying fits.
A well-fitted boot will be snug and comfortable at the heel and midfoot and your toes will have enough room to wiggle in the front.
To ensure you’re safety and comfort, your boots should provide support for your feet and ankles. You can opt to add on appropriate inserts to reach your desired comfort level.
Here are some tips to help ensure that your boots fit you well:
- Check if the boot length is right for you by fitting a finger at the heel. Do this by placing a finger between the back end of your boot and your heel.
- Try on your boots with socks, ensure the thickness of the socks is the same as what you’re intending to use them with
- Get yourself aftermarket insoles to ensure your heels don’t slip and provide extra cushioning.
- After purchasing your boots, use them regularly for a few hours a day, for 1-2 weeks prior to your hiking day to properly break them in and be comfortable.
- If you can’t get to a store and you’re shopping online, buy from a brand you’ve previously bought from, most of the time the sizing is the same.
What Alternative Shoes Are Good For Walking On Concrete?
These alternatives could be the more comfortable choice for walking and a few of them can still be used for hiking.
One of the best shoes for walking on concrete, the Asics Gel Culumus 23 is known for its comfort. It has no break-in period and can be used right out of its packaging.
It is also very well cushioned and is lightweight, which is great for long hours of walking.
Not only are these shoes affordable, but they are also extremely durable. It has a dense rubber outsole and dense EVA midsole that allows it to cover up to 500 miles in daily use.
These shoes have decent grip and traction on both wet and dry surfaces. It is also super flexible, bending and rolling in the right places.
The Adidas Ultraboost 21 is not only great for walking but is highly recommended for its style, comfort, and durability.
These shoes will complement your outfits and potentially come across as more of a lifestyle shoe rather than running footwear. This one’s for you if you want something that looks fabulous and does the job.
It is made to fit snugly and is very soft, stretchable, and flexible, accomodating varying foot widths and shapes. It is also extremely durable.
It also has an external heel cap that provides additional support and prevents heel slippage. All its features make it extremely comfortable for walking on concrete for long periods of time.
The New Balance 624 v2 is the best budget footwear for walking on concrete. This shoe is everything in terms of style and comfort.
Super comfortable, this pair is great for walking, running, and indoor use. It provides ample cushioning and support, and the midsole is stable but somehow also flexible.
These shoes are perfect for everyday use, and the design and colors it comes in, just make you want to have a pair!
It is also excellent for rainy days, slippery surfaces, and wet weather as it has amazing traction. It is also very breathable despite its upper being manufactured with leather.
The Brook’s Addiction Walker is great for those of you who have to walk or stand on concrete surfaces for long periods of time. These are also great for you if you are flat-footed or have overpronation.
This back, midsole, and front part of the shoes provide the right support and extensive shock absorption, reducing the chances of back, knee, and foot injuries.
The upper part of this shoe is made from leather, making it a comfortable and durable choice.
These shoes are perfect for casual, everyday wear. It is made of synthetic fabric and has a mesh lining that makes it quick-drying, absorbent, and extremely breathable.
It is a durable choice with a solid rubber sole, providing enough grip for both wet and dry surfaces.
It absorbs shock well, reducing fatigue while being flexible, allowing for natural foot movement.
FAQs On Using Hiking Boots On Concrete
Can I Wear Hiking Shoes On Concrete?
You can wear hiking boots on concrete but I don’t recommend it. Hiking boots are not for concrete walking as they are designed for rough and rocky surfaces. If you overuse your hiking boots on concrete surfaces, they will wear out faster than usual. These boots are to be used on uneven surfaces with gravel and dirt.
Can I Wear Hiking Boots For Walking?
You can wear your hiking boots and shoes for casual walking although they are meant for rugged terrain. Hiking shoes can provide more substantial support when walking. However, they are heavier and chunkier compared to regular shoes and they will wear out much faster with frequent use.
What Type Of Shoe Is Best For Walking On Concrete?
5 Best Shoes For Walking On Concrete
- Asics Gel Cumulus 23
- Adidas Ultraboost 21
- New Balance 624 v2
- Brooks Addiction Walker
- Rockport Sidewalk Expression Chranson
So are hiking boots good for walking on concrete?
Yes! Despite being designed for the wilderness, hiking boots are very much versatile and can be used for city walking.
However, do consider the duration of walking. If you’re going to be walking all day, it’s probably best to swap it for something lightweight or add on a pair of socks for extra cushioning.
Keep in mind that choosing the right footwear ensures your overall comfort and contributes to your spinal health. Once you’ve considered all the necessary factors, hiking boots can be a great choice for walking on concrete.
Hopefully, this article helped you decide if your hiking boots are good for walking on concrete. To find out more about hiking boots for walking, read this article.