Are hiking shoes good for walking

Are Hiking Shoes Good For Walking? +Top Recommendations [2022]

Many people wonder if they can use their hiking shoes for walking. 

While it is known that these shoes have different purposes intended for them, is it possible to use them interchangeably?

If you, too, have wondered about the same thing, then read on! 

In this article, we will be exploring why you should or should not use your hiking shoes for walking and everything else you need to know about this versatile footwear. 

Even though hiking shoes and boots are commonly used for walking over rough terrains, you can use them casually or walk in the street.

Walking in hiking shoes may provide additional support to your feet.

However, hiking shoes are bulkier and heavier than regular shoes, and they tend to wear out faster with casual use. 

Hiking shoes are designed differently from regular walking shoes, and therefore the choice to wear them out for walking depends entirely on the individual and their comfort preferences.

Some may prefer the support, and some may not like how heavy it can be, but to find out more about their differences, read on, and we’ll tell you all about it! 

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Difference Between Hiking Shoes and Walking Shoes

Walking Shoes Hiking Shoes
Lighter weightHeavier and bulkier 
Flexible cushioning Thicker soles and more rigid
More breathable Offers more protection

The main differences between a pair of hiking shoes and a pair of walking shoes are the weight of the shoe and the level of protection it provides.

Typically, hiking shoes are meant for more challenging terrains, and so they usually have thicker soles, more rigid exteriors, and more protection than the average pair of walking shoes. 

However, with better protection and thicker soles, you also get a lot of added weight to your shoes. 

When taking a stroll in the neighborhood, you won’t usually need that much protection from external elements such as tree roots and sharp rocks on the ground.

In this case, regular shoes made from lighter materials are probably more comfortable and breathable than hiking shoes – minus the weight. 

Hiking shoes have more tread on the bottom of the shoes that help with your grip when maneuvering over slippery paths or climbing rocks. 

This can be a little too much when you’re walking on pavements, so your feet will feel the effects of thicker and heavier shoes while you walk. 

However, walking shoes, in general, have different types of cushioning. Hiking boots can sometimes be stiff and hard to break into, whereas walking shoes have more flexible cushions and are better suited for walking on flat surfaces. 

Are hiking shoes good for walking
Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

Advantages Of Using Hiking Shoes For Walking 

1. Cushioning and Support

Hiking shoes are known for their extra cushioning and support. 

Hikers usually wear hiking shoes or boots for miles, so they will require the extra cushioning to support walking over rugged terrains for long distances. 

Naturally, hiking shoes can sometimes be on the stiffer side, so if you require more cushioning, some hikers recommend adding a second layer like a pair of socks to cushion your feet when you wear your shoes. 

This might result in some overheating in your feet, so it depends on your preferences and what would work best for you. 

2. Sturdy Soles 

Most walking shoes, sandals, or fashion shoes do not have sturdy soles, unlike hiking shoes designed for protection. 

They are often designed with thick and rugged soles that can protect your feet from bumps and rough terrains. 

While you won’t always need these rigid and heavy soles for walking, they can come in handy if your daily walks involve treading gravel paths or wooded areas.

If your walks usually involve a paved road, this protection can be a bit of an overkill. 

3. Multifunctional 

The good thing about having a pair of hiking shoes that double as a walking shoe is that you won’t have to buy multiple shoes.

 Whether you are the kind of person who needs various pairs of shoes to match your wardrobe, this could be a drawback or a benefit. 

Having multifunctional shoes also means you’ll be able to save more money and have one pair of shoes for all your outdoor activities – using your hiking shoes for walking may be one of your best deals. 

4. Ankle Support 

Most hiking shoes are primarily designed with sufficient ankle support in mind. 

This is because hikers generally have to walk over rough or uneven terrain, and hiking shoes must have support to avoid twisting their ankles and injuring them en route. 

Ankle support is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether or not you should wear hiking shoes for walking. If you will predominantly be walking on flat surfaces, having that additional support may help support your stride and prevent any overuse injuries. 

5. Traction 

Hiking shoes have more traction than walking shoes, which can be a great added advantage. 

This is important as hiking shoes require traction to avoid slipping and falling when you are hiking over rocks or potentially icy or wet terrains. 

6. Tough Exteriors

Unlike most walking or running shoes, hiking boots are generally more rigid materials. Some hiking shoes are even designed to be waterproof, which can help keep your feet dry and comfortable when crossing streams or in rainy weather. 

While this does add to the eight of the shoes, it compensates for extra protection from rocks, stumps, and water. 

Disadvantages Of Using Hiking Shoes For Walking 

1. Expensive

If you want to buy name-brand hiking shoes, you are more likely to spend anywhere between USD 80 to USD 150

So why shouldn’t you use your hiking shoes for walking? 

A good explanation for this is similar to putting miles on a Lamborghini on your daily commute.

 Your Lamborghini is meant to be explored on the open road, but most of the car’s life and mileage is being spent on a dull route you’ll have to drive every day. 

In this case, your pair of hiking shoes is the Lamborghini. 

You pay more money for hiking shoes, and then you go out and wear them for the same things you do every day instead of using them specifically for what they’re meant for, which is hiking. 

You might get a bigger bang for your buck if you wear your hiking shoes for hiking instead of walking to work.

2. Heavy and Chunky 

Admittingly, hiking shoes are heavier and chunkier than most shoes. They do well for what they’re meant for – hiking – but they are still relatively bulky for a pair of shoes. 

This can be a disadvantage if you’ll be wearing them throughout the day at work or just for a  day out because wearing heavier shoes over a prolonged period can tire you out faster and reduce your efficiency. 

3. Not Very Stylish 

Typically, hiking shoes are not the most stylish pair of shoes you’ll own. Unless you’re going for the rugged outdoorsy look, these will do great. These shoes are usually chunky, oversized, and often come in minimal colors (brown or black), which is not the most attractive shoe combo when it comes to it. 

Best Hiking Shoes For Walking 

1. Salomon X Ultra 4 Low GTX

Are hiking shoes good for walking

Weight: 1 lb. 9.9 oz. (450 g

Sizing: True to size; fits narrow, wide sizes available.

What we like about this hiking shoe for walking

  • Durable 
  • Lightweight 
  • Supportive 
  • Comfortable 
  • Great traction

What we didn’t like: 

  • Quicklace takes a while to get used to
  • Expensive 

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX hiking shoes offer an outstanding balance of durability and weight. They feel much lighter and sturdier than other similar shoes but still have the fit similar to a pair of trail runners.

They do not require breaking in and can be used straight out of the box.

 In addition to this, the traction of these shoes is also quite remarkable, which makes them an excellent addition for day hikes or backpacking trips.

 If you’re looking for shoes that fit like trail runners and last as long as hiking shoes, then this is for you. 

2. Oboz Sawtooth II Low B Dry

Are hiking shoes good for walking

Weight: 2 lbs. 1.1 oz. (900 g

Sizing: True to size; wide toe box, wide sizes available

What we like about this hiking shoe: 

  • Durable 
  • Stable
  • Wide toe box 
  • Supportive 
  • Comfortable 
  • Great traction

What we didn’t like: 

  • Wide fit may not be for everyone
  • Heavy

The Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry is for those who are looking for hiking shoes with great support and stability for taking on rugged terrains. 

The traction on these shoes extends past the sole and onto the sides, providing aggressive traction for various kinds of surfaces. 

The extra rubber and leather uppers make them quite heavy, but they also give the other shoes an edge for durability.

 These protective shoes are excellent for hikers who often find themselves on challenging trails and for backpackers who tend to carry heavier loads on the trail.  

3. Merrell Moab 2 WP Low

Are hiking shoes good for walking

Weight: 1 lb. 13.7 oz. (450 g

Sizing: True to size; fits wide, wide sizes available.

What we like about this hiking shoe: 

  • Durable 
  • Stable
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable 
  • Great traction

What we didn’t like: 

  • Wide fit may not be for everyone
  • Heavy
  • High heel-to-toe drop

The Merrell Moab 2 WP Lows are an excellent choice for hiking shoes with great value without compromising quality. 

These shoes are a favorite among hikers due to their comfort, durability, and affordable price. 

Despite being more on the bulky side, the Moabs can last long. Even though it can be a little heavy, the cushioning and support they provide are a plus, especially for day hikes and weekend trips on the trails. 

4. Keen Targhee II Low WP

Are hiking shoes good for walking

Weight: 1 lb. 13.7 oz. (450 g

Sizing: True to size; fits wide.

What we like about this hiking shoe: 

  • Good value
  • Stable
  • Roomy toe box
  • Secure lacing system 
  • Great traction

What we didn’t like: 

  • Stiff
  • Heavy
  • It needs a longer break-in time 

These shoes are a favorite among amateur and professional hikers alike because of the support, traction, and value for money. 

The KEEN Targhee II Low WP is made of leather and will require a longer break-in time, but it also lasts very long, making it a good value for money. 

One of the best features of these hiking shoes is the elastic band that connects the laces to the cup of the heel.

It helps provide a secure, locked-in feeling and makes it easier to get the fit right. 

Considering that they’re bulkier than most hiking shoes, they are best suited for day hikers and those looking for something long-lasting with a reasonable price tag.

5. Salomon XA Pro 3D V8 GTX

Are hiking shoes good for walking

Weight:  1 lb. 7.9 oz. (450 g

Sizing: Runs large; we recommend sizing down ½ size

What we like about this hiking shoe: 

  • Supportive 
  • Stable
  • Durable 
  • Rock plate
  • Great traction

What we didn’t like: 

  • Quicklace takes a while to get used to

The Salomon XA Pro 3D V8 GTX is ideal for hiking over-complicated terrains with excellent traction and a supportive, stable build. 

They are lighter than most hiking shoes but slightly bulkier than trail runners, making them a good compromise for all-day comfort and durability.

It also has aggressive Contagrip traction and GoreTex membrane, making them one of the best shoes for hiking in wet and rugged climates. 

Can You Wear Hiking Shoes Everyday? 

You can wear hiking shoes for everyday use and daily walks. 

They provide excellent ankle support, good traction, breathability, and many other great features that help you tackle any surface.

 You can use them on any surface – on tile, carpet, concrete, or asphalt as long as you change the areas you walk on throughout the day. 

Are Hiking Shoes Comfortable? 

Yes, hiking shoes are comfortable. Hiking shoes are a product of hiking boots and trail runners combined into one. 

They are relatively lighter and more comfortable than hiking boots but still offer a similar level of protection without the cuff around the ankle. 

Hiking shoes are also designed to last longer than trail runners but can usually be a little heavier because of the additional protection that comes with them. 

Conclusion 

If you need a pair of shoes that are not only durable but also comfortable, then a couple of hiking shoes may be just what you need.

 They offer excellent protection for your feet, good traction for rough and slippery terrains, and excellent cushioning and support for your feet. 

They are also versatile and can be worn for hiking and casual everyday use, which is good for the money if you ask us. 

However, keep in mind that they can be a little heavier on your feet, and the soles may wear out faster if you use them more for walking instead of hiking, so this ultimately depends on your preference. 

We hope this article has given you some insight into how proper hiking shoes can be for walking and what are the best ones to choose from should you decide to get a pair for yourself. 

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