Are you confused between hiking boots and hiking shoes? You are not alone.

There are a lot of hikers who can’t decide between hiking boots and hiking shoes, especially when they are new to hiking. But, is there any difference between the two types of footwear? Can you use either one on any hiking or trekking adventure?

If you are ready to purchase a pair of good hiking footwear but can’t choose between the two, the next details will help you decide whether you need a pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes.

What is a hiking boot?

Hiking boots are designed with ankle support and protection during outdoor walking activities, including hiking and mountaineering. Most of the hiking boots are known for their quality and durability that are built to endure long-distance and multi-day trekking; for this reason, there several types of hiking boots that are built with significant weight, which makes the boots ideal for professionals. However, there are also guaranteed lightweight but very dependable and comfortable too. On this website, you’ll find ways on how to choose a perfect hiking boot.

What is a hiking shoe?

Hiking shoes are usually designed for light hikers or casual trailers; these are mostly close in association with the usual sneakers. Hiking shoes are often one of the ideal choices for recreational hikers.

Here are the notable differences and key features of the hiking boots and hiking shoes that you should take note:


Key Features:

  • Hiking footwear that is intended with great ankle support.
  • Stable
  • Durable
  • Designed with foot and ankle protection
  • Constructed from high-quality materials; tough enough to endure all types of weather and environment.
  • Built with great traction than hiking shoes; which makes the former ideal for snowy, slippery, muddy, and rough terrain.
  • Warmer; ideal for snow hiking trips.


  • A little heavier than the hiking shoes since hiking boots are intended for a longer duration of hiking adventures.
  • Need time to break-in.
  • For most hiking boots, it takes time to dry the footwear.
  • Harder to pack up.


Key Features:

  • Breathable; dries faster than hiking boots.
  • Very lightweight; ideal for fast pacing day hiking trips.
  • Very comfortable
  • Doesn’t require a break-in period
  • Cooler than the hiking boots; ideal for hot-weather hiking trips.
  • Easy to pack up.


  • Less durable; this is why it is not ideal for a longer duration of hiking trips.
  • Low ankle protection
  • Less protective on tough and rough terrain.

Final Verdict

If you are confused about whether to use a pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes, you have to consider what type of hiking trips will you be joining or having? If you are a beginner and will be joining a group of new hikers and are planning to have a day hiking trip, you should choose hiking shoes – it is convenient, less strain, and comfortable for new hikers like you. However, if you are planning to join a couple of enthusiasts and are planning to have an overnight or multi-day hike, the ideal hiking footwear is the hiking boot. If you are worried that wearing hiking boots will be tiring for a beginner, there are hiking boots that are impressively lighter than the usual hiking boot. Try to visit Hikers Shop’s website for additional details.