Are Hiking Shoes Good For Normal Walking?

Are hiking shoes good for normal walking? Can you wear regular hiking boots on pavement? Is it ok to hike in regular running shoes? Can you wear a heavier boot while hiking in wet weather?

After I bought my first pair of ‘real’ hiking shoes I had these questions. Although I found my shoes on sale, I didn’t want to wear them out by walking on pavement and asphalt.

In spite of what is commonly mentioned by others, I don’t think so. Here’s why.

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What is the difference between a hiking shoe and a walking shoe?

Although all shoes are designed for different uses, some features apply to all hiking boots. The soles are usually made of rubber and need to have traction in all types of conditions. The traction gives your feet traction and helps to avoid slip and fall accidents.

A Few Differences To Note:

Comfort and Security

You will also want your hiking shoes to fit comfortably and securely. The last thing you want is to spend time on your feet and then walk out of them because the shoe is too big or the size is not correct for your foot type.

Design and Structure

If you are not going hiking regularly or plan to just go on short trips, a pair of normal running shoes might be adequate. Hiking shoes are designed for rough terrain and steeper hills. They provide good ankle support for hiking and climbing. They provide additional stability and are better equipped to handle hiking that involves movement on uneven terrain.

Support and Protection

Hiking boots are designed for hiking and provide added ankle support for hiking and climbing. You will need a wider footprint when hiking in order to prevent injury. This is especially true if you are hiking on steep terrain.

Normal walking shoes are usually made to fit a normal foot size. However, many normal shoes are now manufactured with various other sizes in mind. This is because people who have wide feet may find it difficult to walk in a regular shoe. Wearing a wide-heeled shoe enables the person to walk normally in the normal shoes.

Weight and Movement

A hiker needs to keep in mind that a good pair of hiking shoes will not be too heavy or cumbersome. Instead, they should be light enough to allow for easy movement. Your hiking shoes should also be comfortable to wear and should allow for proper balance and gait. They should also have a sturdy, well-padded sole.

Many people who love the outdoors and hike frequently need more support in their ankles than someone who only spends a few times a year taking walks in the woods. Hiking shoes provide added support and help make your hiking experience more enjoyable. They also give the wearer an additional level of safety.The

The Difference in a Hiking Shoe and Walking Shoe
The Morning Hiker

There are several brands of hiking shoes on the market today. They are available in every price range and style imaginable. When shopping for hiking shoes, you should pay close attention to features such as shock-absorbing soles, extra cushioning, and other elements such as moisture management. If you plan to go on extended treks or hikes, consider purchasing a boot instead of a pair of hiking shoes.

One question you might want to ask yourself before asking, “are hiking shoes good for normal walking?” is if you plan to use them on rough terrain. It’s important to realize that walking on the rugged terrain will significantly increase the wear and tear on your hiking boots. Therefore, you need to purchase a pair of hiking shoes that will last a lot longer than normal walking shoes.

If you only plan to walk on level ground, then normal walking may be fine for you. For instance, if you only take short hikes on weekends, it would not be reasonable to spend two or three hundred dollars on a pair of hiking boots. You can save money by using inexpensive shoes. In fact, in many cases you may be better off buying inexpensive shoes. This will allow you to buy them at a reasonable price and they will probably last a lot longer.

For some people, normal walking is all they do, so no matter what your fitness level is, you may benefit from trying to improve your hiking performance. When considering buying a new pair of hiking shoes, it is important to think about quality versus cost. It may not make much sense to pay twice the cost for a pair of shoes if you will rarely use them.

Hiking is an outdoor sport. It may be one of the most rewarding, fun, adventurous and nature-oriented activities you experience. In fact, hiking is very popular in the United States. 

As more people become aware that hiking is a fun outdoor activity that requires very little special equipment, they have begun hiking across all surfaces – from dirt to frozen river to grass and sand. They hike up mountains and down valley paths.

Can you wear hiking shoes on pavement?

Walking boots are OK to walk on concrete, but better options are available. One of the biggest challenges with wearing your hiking shoes on pavement is that you are going to wear out the tread very fast. It happened to me, so I speak from experience.

A walking shoe would also be lighter as long as the route is very straight and flat and provide greater comfort. Winter is another matter, but it can provide some good solid traction even with concrete hiking shoes.

I’ve been careful to only wear my hiking shoes when we hike. Becuase of this, they have lasted longer than most of my sneakers.

Taking care of hiking shoes is a whole different subject. The important thing to know is if you take care of them they will last. Common sense, right?

For this reason, I don’t wear my hiking shoes every day. That’s why they have lasted for years.

Is It Ok to hike in running shoes?

Another similar question I had was, is it Okay to hike in running shoes? For me, the answer was no.

I realize there are many people who disagree, but from my experience, I found several reasons they were bad for hiking.

1) While hiking shoes are designed for comfort, they are mostly made for durability and traction.

When we moved to Colorado I hiked in my tennis shoes for the few few months. It was miserable. The steep incline on many of the hikes we took made it almost impossible for me to keep my balance and not slip.

In fact, in the long run, they proved to be more uncomfortable. When I bought my Murrell hiking shoes, I found my feet hurt less after a long hike (9 miles plus) than they did when I only wore my running shoes.

Because my hiking shoes helped me keep traction and not slip, my feet were actually more secure in the shoe and more comfortable in the long term.

2) Hiking shoes will prove to be more durable and last longer.

I realize comparing hiking shoes to running shoes is subjective; there are a lot of factors to consider. It’s a little like comparing apples to oranges. The quality of both shoes needs to be considered. The material of both are factors. There are tons of other things to add to the mix.

If you plan on hiking often you need good durable shoes. Sure, a comfortable shoe is important, but do not sacrifice durability, design, and traction for comfort. It is possible to have both.

But overall, I recommend getting a decent pair of hiking shoes if you plan on hiking more than once or twice a month. It was a life saver for me.

How Often Should You Replace Hiking Shoes?

The simple answer is replace your them when you notice wear and tear that interferes with the quality of your hike. 

A few things to pay attention to are:

  • Are the laces worn and frayed?
  • Are the soles cracked?
  • Does the tread look worn down and useless?
  • Are the eyelets for the laces loose?
  • Are there holes in the sole?
  • Is the area around your ankle worn and loose?
  • Is the toe area coming loose from the top of the shoe?
  • Do your feet hurt after a hike?

This image from Sierra shows the most common areas of wear and tear to evaluate.

When to replace hiking shoes
Image from

Taking care of your shoes is taking care of your feet. Make sure you regularly look over all your hiking gear to make sure things are in order and working properly.

What Are The Best Shoes For Trail Walking?

As mentioned above, there are many factors to consider when shopping for hiking shoes. Budget is just one of them. Comfort, fit, and durability should also be considered.

Here is our list of the most popular hiking shoes for men and women.

Most Popular Hiking Shoes for Men

Ranked by popularity, here are the top hiking shoes for men.

[products category=”299″ columns=”3″ limit=”6″ orderby=”price” orderby=”popularity order=”desc”]

Most Popular Hiking Shoes for Women

Ranked by popularity, here are the top hiking shoes for women.

[products category=”298″ columns=”3″ limit=”6″ orderby=”price” orderby=”popularity order=”desc”]

Final Thoughts on Are Hiking Shoes Good For Normal Walking

The simple answer to this question is, ‘No. Probably not.’ But like most things, it depends. Our recommendation is to use your hiking shoes for hiking only. They are designed to help you navigate the terrain of mountains and trails. Not necessarily for everyday walking.

It is far better (and more comfortable) to buy a pair of running shoes for everyday use.

At least, that’s our take the subject.

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