Why is it Important to Wear Hiking Boots?

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If you’ve planned an upcoming hike or rock climbing and are looking for the best advice on why wear hiking boots, you’ve come to the right place.

Sire, there are many people who swear by hiking barefoot or in sneakers/tennis shoes, but if you really want to embark on the most awe-inspiring hiking adventure of your life, then quality hiking boots are a must.

best foot forward after hiking in boots

Let’s find out why!

Foot Related Problems You Might Get While Hiking

Hiking itself can cause hundreds of foot related problems as it is something you do by using your feet in a major role. This situation can be tackled by only one thing, preparing yourself for the worst and that includes wearing a pair of good-quality hiking shoes.

tying the shoe lace knot up on the hill

We’ll discuss the “quality” measure for hiking boots. But before that let’s take a glance at some foot problems that we can get by not making footwear a priority. The most common and painful problems are blisters and foot arch pain.


Blisters are painful skin irritations occur due to friction, infectious and other causes. This condition occurs when a specific part of your feet constantly rubs against a part of the boot. It sometimes happen to a point where extreme friction causes that area to swell up.

You will get blisters when your boots don’t fit your feet well and this will cause extreme sore while hiking. At this point, you must consider throwing away these unfit shoes and start searching for the right ones. Wearing high quality shoes and right socks will prevent this painful problem from occurring.

Foot Arch Pain

Every one of you, either experienced or novice, must have experienced some foot arch pain at least ones during hiking trips. Such pain persisted because your arches are not getting the support they need and they start to sink in, causing pain and discomfort in hiking.

There are several cases where hikers ultimately gave up hiking because they couldn’t deal with their foot arch pain any longer.

Hiking boots are made keeping in mind these issues, hence they provide support to your arch. This will enhance stability that you need while voyaging through highest mountain trails.

Reasons: Why You Must Wear Best Hiking Boots?

We’ve seen foot related problems above which are an obvious reason to wear these boots. But along with these physical and medical reasons their are several other things that we need hiking boots for.

Today, let’s have a look at these reasons to invest in a pair of premium hiking boots, so read on to find out more!

Beat The Rain and Mud

No matter what hiking trail you’re on, we can all agree that treading through muddy lands with your bare feet is never a pleasant experience. Similarly, hiking in running shoes on wet terrain is a recipe for disaster. Which is why investing in a quality pair of hiking boots is the best thing you could do for yourself.

hiking on a mud trail while wearing boots

Waterproof hiking boots save your feet on rainy days and help to ensure that your feet stay dry at all times. With these boots, you’ll be able to easily walk through streams and mud whilst straying dry.

Furthermore, ensuring that your feet are well protected in muddy conditions will reduce exposure to fungus, bacteria and other organisms that can infect your skin and nails.

Give Those Precious Feet Some Support

When it comes to hiking, ensuring that you offer your feet enough support, and stiffness is the key. A good pair of hiking boots will provide you with both , support and stiffness. This can greatly reduce the chances of you spraining your ankle during your adventure.

If you plan on carrying a heavy backpack along with you, your best bet is to invest in a pair of boots that give you sufficient ankle coverage. It should also offer stiffer midsoles in order to better support the load you are carrying.

Take On Tougher Trails

For those who love a challenge, hiking boots are the perfect gateway into taking on tougher trails. Due to their sturdy nature, hiking boots offer you more protection from both the elements and from rugged terrain.

The rubber toe caps and internal shanks found in hiking boots offer greater foot support which you will need in order to keep yourself safe.

On top of that, hiking boots also offer deeper insole cushioning that is sure to keep your feet feeling pristine even at the end of a long and arduous hike!


In choosing hiking boots, the most important thing is to consider the amount of tread you will need while hiking. Tread is the bottom part of the sole which has patterns to grip uneven surfaces and prevent slipping while walking downhill.

Other than hiking boots, casual footwears are made with a light tread and that’s useless when you will hike through rocky, uneven surface, up, and down hills. Hence, trails with tougher terrains require better treads with increased traction.

Support and Stiffness

If you are hiking the backcountry, you’ll need greater support and stiffness, especially if you’re carrying a heavy backpack through rough terrain. Hiking boots offer better ankle coverage, which helps prevent ankle sprains, and much stiffer midsoles, which provide better support.

It’s dangerous to wear regular sneakers or tennis shoes when hiking because not only can you sprain your ankle, but you can actually hurt yourself. Nothing is worse than hurting yourself in the middle of a hike, especially if you’re in a remote trail with no hiking buddy.

Surviving Slippery Slopes

One of the best things about hiking boots is that they are often made using rubber. While this may not seem like a big deal to you, the reason we think of this feature as a plus is its ability to prevent you from slipping or sliding on sloppy hills whilst hiking.

why wear hiking boots is explained in this image with rocky mountain

Depending on the variety of boot you purchase, some shoes may even offer added features such as improved traction and heel brakes that greatly reduce your chances of slipping on a steep decline.

The Gold Standard in Durability

Since hiking boots are made specifically for one purpose, you can be sure that your hiking boots offer durability unlike any pair of runners or sneakers would.

Those who hike in sneakers often need to purchase a new pair every 2 months or so. It can prove to be quite costly in the long run. A quality pair of hiking boots, on the other hand, can last you years (around 1200 kilometers or 9-18 months for most people). Especially, if you keep them clean, dry and look after them properly.

Protect Yourself From Bites

Why Wear Hiking Boots? Last but not least, hiking boots provide full insect protection and offer an impenetrable barrier against snake bites.

Depending on the terrain you’re looking to explore, this may or may not be a worry for you. However, considering how serious snakebites can be, it is always wise to keep yourself protected. After all, a famous person once said prevention is better than cure!

Characteristics: Why Wear Hiking Boots?

So fellas! we now know the need and purpose of wearing hiking boots. For that, we need to consider the characteristics of these footwears so that we can get aid in buying quality boots. Let’s dive into the characteristics of a top-notch hiking boots;

The rubber toe caps Boot


It is the ability of a shoe to absorb shock. Cushioning is also named as ‘shock absorption’ by most companies. A cushioning system works by increasing the duration of an impact by absorbing the force and thereby reducing it from transmitting to the musculoskeletal system.

The ground reaction force in approximately 1.25 times the body weight while walking, whereas, its 2 to 3 times higher while running. Thus, midsole cushioning lessens the impact on the body while hiking.

The material used by manufacturers in early days was rubber. Nowadays, they use and market quiet varied midsoles all sorts of air soles, pads, gel or fluid soles.


Weight is an important consideration for good hikers because heavier boots last longer, probably years. Specifically when maintained in good shape. At this point, climbing pants also comes in consideration as these may also carry extra weight, causing heaviness.

The general rule is to reduce shoe weight as much as possible without sacrificing the safety and performance. Wearing heavy boots may cause hindrance in performance by consuming greater oxygen and energy. However, it also provide more ankle support and stability on the trail.

Moreover, the foot, while walking, move through a longer distance than any other part of the leg and that requires balance. A balance is crucial between your shoe weight reduction and other important features such as traction and cushioning.


A boot will function properly only when its a proper fit. Being fit must be a crucial part and essential part for functioning, no matter how well it has been constructed.

It is an open challenge to mass-produce trekking boots with a good and fine fit. People have different sizes of their both feet which makes it difficult for manufacturers to satisfy all the size requirements.

Moreover, foot shape is exceedingly dynamic specifically when feet are active during hiking and backpacking. So no specific shape can be a perfect fit in all situations for all people. You have to adopt the rule of trying and testing before choosing the perfect fit.


Ventilation is essential while wearing heavy boots as lack of ventilation can cause discomfort. The reason is that when the climate changes, the moisture from the boot does not vent out. It ultimately locks the moisture inside, causing discomfort and foot problems.

For tackling with this situation, breathable material is used in constructing hiking boots. This material most commonly includes synthetic fabric with patches of synthetic leather and nylon mesh (preferably knitted).

Moreover, layering is used and is widespread so that the shoe can be durable. All these factors incorporate in overall breathability of the hiking shoe.

Note: Along with it, our own breathability should be under consideration because of high altitudes for hikers and climbers where altitude sickness might be an issue. Hikers should be alert and prepared for such situations up there.

Take Away

The best thing a hiker would is to buy the best quality hiking boots. I hope this article has inspired you to throw those sneakers and buy a pair of trekking shoes for hiking.

All clothes are not suitable or wearable on all occasions, same as this, all shoes are not for all uses. Our feet are unique as well as our environment and they have special requirements.

There is an axiom that means the shoes designed to excel at one function will almost surely fail at another one. However, in this present era, the designs of these heavy duty footwears are wonderful that covers multiple occasional uses. No doubt, hiking footwear today is far more advanced and superior than those existed years ago.

The reason behind this is – nowadays, functionality, construction, comfort, quality, and design are more important than the brand identity. Happy Hiking!

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