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Blog > News

Hiking Boots vs Hiking Shoes Explained

Hiking boots or shoes is a big choice on many explorers' minds. There are so many things to consider when it comes to choosing your hiking footwear, from the cut of the shoe, the grip of the sole, to waterproofing qualities. It’s a decision that requires thought to ensure you have the most enjoyable hikes possible. Picking the right hiking boots or shoes for your trek sets the foundation for future adventures. Step into the differences with Giesswein


Do I Need Special Footwear For Hiking?

How Do Hiking Boots vs Hiking Shoes Differ?

Why Hiking Boots?

Finding the Right Fit

Benefits of Hiking Shoes

Waterproof vs Water Resistant Outdoor Footwear

Hiking Boots vs Shoes: Which Footwear Is Right for Me?

Do I Need Special Footwear For Hiking?

If you’re new to hiking you may be questioning whether you need specific footwear, or whether your normal sneakers or  trail running shoes will do the job. Your feet are what allow you to move forward through every step of your journey, so keeping them stable and comfortable is crucial. Choose between hiking boots or shoes designed to do just this. They both provide levels of support and stability that you may not experience in your regular sneakers.

If you’re walking on rugged trails this extra support is a must-have to ensure you feel stable! Just like  stability running shoes keep your steps assured as you jog. In addition to this, specialist outdoor footwear, like hiking boots or shoes, is designed to keep you comfy when on the trail. From anti-blister heels, to wool linings, there are many benefits of hiking shoes and boots to improve your trek.

what are the differences between hiking boots and hiking shoes?

How Do Hiking Boots vs Hiking Shoes Differ?

The most noticeable difference between hiking boots or shoes is their height. Hiking shoes tend to be lower cut and therefore carry less weight than hiking boots. Whereas, a  good walking boot typically comes up higher to provide ankle support. Due to the nature of walking boots, they are often heavier than shoes. As both types of footwear are specifically designed for hiking they share very similar features. 

Choosing the right footwear is essential for an enjoyable hike. Compare the unique benefits of hiking boots vs shoes, from shape and weight, to sole. This will help you decide whether hiking boots or shoes are the best option for you and your feet. 

what makes hiking boots and hiking shoes different?

Why Hiking Boots?

When faced with the hiking boots vs shoes dilemma, boots are an extremely popular option when it comes to outdoor footwear. With so many benefits to this choice, it’s no wonder why. 

As hiking boots cover both the foot and ankle they can provide protection against the environment you are in. Whether it be avoiding scratches on low lying plants or keeping dry while stepping in puddles, your feet should be protected at all times! Our  Wool Cross X Alpine Boots are a great choice for hiking. Lined with  soft merino wool, these boots are designed to keep your feet comfy with every step. Paired with an anti-blister heel, the lining helps to reduce friction between your foot and the shoe, ensuring no nasty sores occur!

are hiking boots better than shoes?

Weather is often unpredictable, but that shouldn’t stop you exploring til your heart’s content. Come rain, snow, or shine, our  hiking boots are 100% waterproof, meaning your feet will be kept dry in unexpected downpours! In addition to this, the merino wool lining allows this boot to be temperature regulated. This will keep feet cool in the heat, but also makes for excellent  warm boots. If you’re someone who likes to hike year round, these are really important features to get you through all seasons. These shoes act as both summer and  winter boots

Keeping feet stable and supported on the trail is essential. Our hiking boots have a half-height padded shaft with a two zone lacing system. This supports your feet and ankles, keeping them stable throughout your hike on both ascent and descent. With their micro-grip sole, this pair of outdoor footwear are suitable for all terrain! Hiking boots can often be heavy due to their size, but ours weigh in at just 860 grams! So you can be agile on your feet in your  lightweight hiking shoes for your whole journey.

Finding the Right Fit

Another important step in picking between hiking boots or shoes is knowing  how hiking boots should fit. Picking the right size guarantees these boots will work in your favour. Properly fitting hiking boots or shoes will keep your feet as comfortable as possible, and they will be able to carry you through all your journeys.

Benefits of Hiking Shoes

The benefits of hiking shoes can aid your decision in choosing between hiking boots or shoes. Hiking shoes are similar in shape to a classic sneaker, but they have enhanced features that make them perfect for trekking! Giesswein’s  Wool Cross X is the perfect hiking shoe to take you on your travels. With room for the ankle to move, these are the perfect partners for all of life’s incredible journeys.  Lightweight hiking shoes take you from one adventure, to the next! Due to their casual nature, the benefits of hiking shoes include their extreme versatility. Use them to explore a famous beauty spot, or take your dog for a walk, they’re the ideal companion. 

When comparing hiking boots vs shoes, the smaller design means that hiking shoes are lighter than boots. Our hiking shoes weigh in at just 550 grams! You can even wear them as a  lightweight sneaker. That way, you can be light on your feet with every peak you take on.

should I get hiking shoes?

Whether you opt for our hiking boots or shoes, they are both lined with merino wool. This means one of the benefits of hiking shoes includes being soft, comfortable, and temperature regulating. Hiking shoes are lightweight, and flexible, making them ideal as trail running shoes. The  wool is naturally moisture wicking, which helps to move away any moisture from the foot. Therefore, you stay dry from sweat. This can allow you to stay active, without sacrificing comfort. 

The natural structure of the lining means it is  antibacterial, keeping unpleasant odours at bay. Both our hiking boots and shoes have this super quality! That way, you don’t have to worry about any smells when you switch from trail to daily life. If you find your hiking shoes become dirty, as the best trails do, have no worries. You can learn  how to wash merino wool, and simply pop your outdoor footwear in the washing machine. They’ll look brand new again in no time, ready for your next adventure!

The trails you take may be bumpy and you want to protect your feet as much as possible from this for an enjoyable adventure. The benefits of hiking shoes include their wide toe box and a strong toe bumper that will protect your feet from lumps and bumps! Just like  cushioned running shoes provide a soft landing as you jog, hiking boots and shoes do the same as you step. Thanks to our cushioned insole, your feet will be kept ultra-comfortable in hiking boots or shoes, however rocky your trek.

Waterproof vs Water Resistant Outdoor Footwear

One of the main differences between hiking boots vs shoes, is their waterproof properties. A great pair of  waterproof hiking shoes can keep you dry as you journey onward. That way, you can focus on the steps in front of you, not on damp feet!

Our hiking shoes are water repellent, so the surface of the shoe prevents water from entering. This again makes them great for unexpected downpours as feet will be kept dry. Just like your favourite  water resistant trainers keep you dry during the day-to-day, water resistant hiking shoes avoid the rain from slowing you down. 

Like all outdoor footwear, whether that be hiking boots or shoes, the grip on the sole is of the utmost importance. Our hiking shoes have a microgrip sole that makes them ideal for all terrain, including slippery and crumbly surfaces. Like  slip resistant sneakers do for everyday wear, these soles keep you upright and stable on your feet. Both hiking boots and shoes are great for all climates and surfaces. Either one should keep your feet dry and comfortable as you explore. 

Hiking Boots vs Shoes: Which Footwear Is Right for Me?

Ultimately, when it comes to hiking boots vs shoes, the decision is up to you. Hiking boots are great for the avid explorer, being 100% waterproof, and offering maximum stability. The temperature regulating properties mean they can be a  cool summer hiking boot, and a warm one in winter. Boots are brilliant for year-round explorers who want to scale different types of terrain. If you’re up for an outdoor challenge, hiking boots may be for you. 

The benefits of hiking shoes make them perfect for those who want to switch between the trails and city easily. With a versatile style, you can do everything in these shoes! This is a key difference when it comes to the choice between hiking boots or shoes. Many may not want to wear their boots on a daily basis. Being super lightweight, hiking shoes are a great partner for hikes, walks, and as  barefoot trail running shoes. 

should I choose hiking shoes or hiking boots?

Choose between hiking boots or shoes, with the knowledge of each of their benefits. This will empower you to make the right choice for you and your feet. Both types of footwear are sure to make your hiking journey more comfortable. Whichever you choose, you’ll be able to appreciate the great outdoors without your shoes slowing you down.

Comfortable Footwear from Giesswein

At Giesswein, we specialise in more than hiking boots or shoes. We make comfortable footwear for all the family, combined with sustainability. We use our  Green Strategy to ensure our  men’s sports shoes and  women’s sports shoes align with our values for animal welfare and the planet.