What's the difference between hiking boots and sneakers?


Sneakers Vs Hiking Shoes

At first glance, some modern hiking boots strikingly similar to pair of sneakers. So why should you bother to invest in a hiking shoe when you've already got a perfectly good pair of sneakers at home? There are several reasons, and in this article, we’ll go over some of the main differences and talk about why they’ll benefit you on the trail.

1) Hiking boots feature a more aggressive tread on the sole. 

The aggressive tread on a hiking boot is much better for gaining traction and balance on natural terrain you encounter on a hike. Flip over a pair of hiking boots or shoes and look at the sole. You’ll instantly see that the sole has much greater tread depth that is designed for digging in to natural terrain. The smooth soles on most sneakers are designed to have excellent grip on hard, flat surfaces (like the gym floor or asphalt), but put them on wet grass or gravel and their ability to grip diminishes significantly. The deep grooves on the sole of a hiking boot will grab on the varied terrain you encounter on a hike giving you much better overall performance.

2) Sneakers do not offer the same level of support as most hiking shoes and boots. 

Even low top hiking shoes that look similar to a sneaker offer much greater support under your foot. Of course, we all understand that a mid-height hiking boot improves ankle support, but the way the bottom of the shoe is constructed also plays a big part. Most hiking shoes feature stiffer materials under your foot to prevent rolling and help you maintain better balance on the trail. Some will even feature a heavy-duty chassis or shank for added support.

3) Hiking shoes feature more durable materials. 

The components throughout the shoe on a hiking boot are usually more tear resistant and offer better protection for you foot. On a hike you may bump your foot against rocks, stumps, thorns, and other obstacles. The materials on a hiking boot will hold up vastly better and help to protect you foot in the process. Sneakers are simply not designed with this type of protection in mind.

4) Hiking boots are way better on rocky terrain. 

Here in Pennsylvania a lot of our trails feature very rocky terrain. Stepping on all those jagged rocks with a pair of shoes designed for the gym can be downright painful as the miles rack up. Because of the stiffer materials and beefier cushion under foot, hiking boots can make walking on rocky terrain exponentially more comfortable. 

Interested in looking at Hiking Boots? We recommend you visit our store if you're nearby. in the meantime, check them out online here: 

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