Regardless of where you are in life, one of the most important things to invest in is a good pair of boots. For some people that means combat boots for others, it may mean hiking boots but either way they’re going to be a big investment.
We’ve put together this article so you can get the answer from someone who knows the difference between hiking and combat boots, what each type of boot offers and how they differ from one another. Plus we’ll show you how to make sure you get your money’s worth when buying a pair.
What’s The Difference Between Combat and Hiking Boots?
Combat boots are usually reserved for soldiers, law enforcement and military personnel. They’re built as tough as possible so they can withstand the rigours that any of these professions may throw at them. They usually have a side zipper, but no laces, making them easier to take on and off for quick deployment. A reinforced toe protects you from injury if you drop a heavy object on your foot. Plus it features slip-resistant rubber soles to keep you from losing your footing when running which is important in combat or catching criminals. But these features are just icing on the cake when it comes to these kinds of boots.
These boots are mostly used for tactical purposes. But the use for civilian law enforcement is also a big reason why boots like these are popular. They’re designed to offer protection to officers who may be walking up and down dangerous crime scenes, thus putting their own lives at risk. Plus they’re built to ensure that you can run for long periods without having to worry about damage to your feet or ankles from prolonged wear and tear.
Most of the top brands in combat boots come from the military. Many people prefer buying a pair of hiking boots over combat boots because they don’t want an outfit that’s going to make them look or feel like a soldier. But if you’re in the military, this isn’t an important factor for you. The most important thing is getting a high-quality, durable boot that allows you to do your job safely.
Hiking boots are what people typically think of when they hear the phrase ‘boots.’ They’re designed to make walking long distances easier and more comfortable. They usually offer plenty of support to distribute weight evenly on your feet. And much like combat boots, a hiking boot will protect your feet from injuries from falling rocks or branches.
But when compared to combat boots a hiking boot is made with more comfort in mind. Because they’re designed for long walks, their soles are more flexible and responsive. They’ll also feature a much lighter tread pattern than the heavy-duty tread on combat boots to make it easier to walk on uneven terrain.
Hiking boots are also usually water-resistant or waterproof. This is good if you’re going on long excursions into the outdoors where your feet may get wet from rain or rivers. With good breathability, you’ll stay dry and not have to worry about getting cold feet when hiking in the winter months.
Hiking boots are also popular as casual wear around town. Most people use them for this purpose because they look more attractive and stylish than combat boots. Hiking boots can also be worn for work if you’re doing a lot of walking or standing on the job. They add a nice touch to an office worker’s look that most people find attractive.
Drawbacks To Combat Boots
Combat boots are only designed for people who plan on wearing them outside the home or office which means if it’s not your full-time job to wear them, they may not be the best choice for you. This is because they can be uncomfortable if you’re not wearing them for long periods of time. Plus, spending the day in a pair of combat boots may leave your feet feeling sore when you get home.
So if you plan to wear your combat boots only on the weekends to go camping or on trips to the shooting range, they may not be the best choice for you. Their stiff soles make it difficult for you to walk comfortably in them for long periods of time and their rigid construction doesn’t allow your foot and ankle to roll and bend as easily as other types of boots.
Hiking boots are usually made with more comfort in mind than combat boots. They’re built more for long walks and hikes that require you to stand or walk for long periods of time. Because of this, they feature a flexible sole that allows your foot and ankle to bend and roll as they would in most other boots. This makes them very comfortable when worn for a long time, making them a better choice if you plan on wearing them around town.
Because hiking boots are more comfortable than combat boots they’re also lighter and more stylish. Hiking boots are the perfect choice if you plan on doing anything outdoors like camping, hunting, fishing or just spending time in nature.
Can combat boots be used for hiking?
Yes, they can. But then, they can’t.
Okay, what’s going on here?
Well, the key issue is “for hiking.” Combat boots are not designed for hiking. You can use them for hiking all right, but that doesn’t mean that they’re ideal for it. And you shouldn’t expect the same quality of performance from them that you would have if you had used a pair of boots that were designed specifically for the activity in question. (If you want to know how I know this let me just say that I’ve been using both types of boots outdoors and in combat settings since I was a teenager. Okay, I admit it: I’m an old guy.)
If you’re going to use your combat boots for hiking then be aware of what they are and are not good for.
Here are the main issues:
- They are heavy – heavier than regular hiking boots
- They may have a poor range of motion in the ankle – a tradeoff for increased ankle stability and durability when used in combat situations. (They should still give great lateral stability due to their double-stitched construction.)
- The tread on the sole is designed to grip slippery surfaces such as ice, mud, or wet rock rather than to bite into soft surfaces such as dirt or sand. This means that they will tend to “float” on soft surfaces.
- They are intended to be used with only a single pair of socks, rather than the multiple pairs of socks that are sometimes recommended for hiking boots. This means that you should expect them to get wet in areas where water flows under the sole and remain wet for longer periods of time when compared to hiking boots.
- They may be more likely than hiking boots to get filled up with small rocks when you step on a rock while crossing a stream or river. This doesn’t mean that this necessarily will happen, but it is more likely in any case, due to their construction.
- They may be less comfortable on long hikes that involve a lot of up-and-down walking patterns because the stiff soles give you less cushioning when you’re coming down.
- They are not as comfortable on hot days because of the lack of airflow around the feet.
Despite all this, combat boots can still be used for hiking as long as they fit your individual situation and preferences. A good example is to use them when going into areas where you expect to walk in soft mud or snow with a high probability of having to cross streams or rivers.
What is the difference between hiking boots and mountaineering boots?
Okay, let me get this straight. You want to ask a mountaineering store manager or an experienced hiker what the difference is between hiking boots and mountaineering boots?
Are you sure you don’t want to ask a ski-shop manager instead? That might be easier. Or how about asking that guy who lives down the street having a pair of ice skates in his garage?
As you can see, the question is much more complicated than it looks on the surface. But let me try to deal with it anyway.
The first main difference has to do with their construction. A hiking boot is simply what it sounds like: a boot designed for use on hikes. A mountaineering boot is not only a hiking boot but one that is designed to be used in mountaineering situations. Thus, its construction is more rugged than that of hiking boots.
Some key differences include:
- the more rugged outsole and tread
- tougher leather
- heavier construction,
If you’re going to do a lot of mountaineering then this type of boot probably makes sense for you and they are also appropriate for winter hiking or snowshoeing.
If you’re mostly going to take short hikes on relatively easy terrain then you may want a lighter hiking boot that has better airflow and more comfort. If you’re going to hike in extreme weather (e.g., snow) then this snow boots will give better protection for your feet than a lighter one will provide. On the other hand, if it’s not extreme, it’s often preferred not to lug around the extra weight or pay extra for the added protection unless the situation warrants it.
In some cases, military personnel who do not need extreme conditions may prefer an all-around light hiking boot for general use and then add a pair of mountaineering boots in cold-weather situations or when doing serious mountain climbing.
Okay, so the short answer is that a mountaineering boot is a heavy-duty hiking boot that is often used for mountaineering. If you want something to use for long hikes on easy terrain then the hiking boots may be better. If it’s going to be extreme weather conditions then you definitely need some kind of extreme mountain boot.
What is the best kind of hiking boot?
There are many good hiking boots available on the market these days and it can be hard to decide which one is the best or suit your needs best. Well, if you’re not really sure what you’re looking for this question will never get answered anyway.
Instead, I’ll offer a different way to think about it. Instead, you need to ask yourself these questions:
1. What types of terrain will you be hiking on?
If it’s mostly dirt or loose gravel then a lightweight boot with good cushioning and ankle support may fit your needs better than a specialized mountaineering boot. If the terrain is hard-packed dirt, mud, pavement, or grass then you may prefer a more robust all-around hiking boot.
2.Is it applicable?
If you’re going to be doing any snow or ice climbing then you probably want something designed to give better protection for your feet and ankles by being stiffer and providing more support (e.g., reinforced toe guards).
3. What is your budget?
If you’re looking at an entry-level type of boot that may be made from cheaper materials and will not have the durability of sturdier boots then you should be aware of their limitations.
The bottom line here is that it’s hard to give a general recommendation about the best boot type because many variables are involved. The only thing I can do is refer you to reviews online and in magazines on different boot types and then tell you what my own preferences are. But I can’t really tell you what’s best for you, because it depends on your situation, budget, and goals.
Best Hiking Boots Online
Now that we have the basics covered, let’s take a look at my recommendations for the best hiking boots on Amazon.
When I checked the prices, there was a wide range of prices in each boot category. The good thing about these online stores is that you can quickly compare prices and see reviews on specific boots to help decide which one to buy.
Like everything else out there, prices can vary wildly depending on the brand and quality of materials used in making them. When it comes to hiking boots I tend to spend more and get better quality gear every time. In my opinion, you are better off purchasing a durable pair of boots that will last more than a few years than buying cheap boots that will fall apart in under a year.
The first thing you need to do is decide on what type of boot you want to purchase. Then go online and read some reviews and compare prices. If you’re unsure where to begin, try Amazon because they have an excellent selection of hiking boots at competitive prices.
Once you make your choice, try them on at the store before completing your purchase. This might seem like common sense but it’s amazing how some people can be fooled by their screen when ordering online without actually trying the gear on first. If you buy a pair of boots that don’t fit, you will end up returning them and losing money.
Women’s hiking boots tend to be smaller than men’s boots so it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and order a size or two larger than what you normally wear. If the boots feel too tight when trying them on, they will most likely be uncomfortable when you’re hiking in them for several hours.
Also, keep in mind that new hiking boots will initially cause some discomfort due to the stiff material needed to protect your feet whilst walking over rough terrain.
What is better for hiking shoes or boots?
Usually, hiking boots are recommended for those who plan to hike a long distance and normally have a standard of hiking boots is same for both men and women. However, there are cases where people need high-heel hiking shoes that look like normal dress shoes. For such people whose daily life is like this so that they can enjoy hiking with less fatigue, it is better to choose a shoe with an ultra grip sole.
However, you can choose to buy hiking boots because the price of the shoe is cheaper than the previous one. If you choose hiking boots, then you can choose what type of boots and what model is most suitable for your foot. The basic types of hiking boots are:
- Light hiking boots
- Mid-range shoes
- A wider heel hiking boots
However, some people want to buy combat style shoes because they are more rugged and protect their foot from blisters.
So, the combat boots are more suitable for those who like to walk on rugged terrain. And hiking shoes are more suitable for those who want to walk through a forest that is not too rugged.
Normally, hiking boots are cheaper than hiking shoes. However, you can get a reasonable price by choosing a high quality product. Moreover, the hiking shoes’ sole is usually made of sponge and it will not last as long as the others.
Generally, it is better to choose hiking boots than your normal sneakers because they are rugged and have high durability compared to normal shoes.
Another advantage of hiking boots is that they cover the ankle which protects them from wounds. When you walk through rugged terrain, if you have a wound on your ankles, then it will become serious and you will not be able to walk. Another advantage of buying hiking boots is that when your feet sweat during walking, then they are good at wicking moisture from their inside. And the shoes can dry in a short time.
Because of those benefits and features, hiking boots are better than other types of shoes.
What should I wear if I don’t have hiking boots?
If you don’t have hiking boots, then you can choose hiking shoes and those are also good for hiking. Another way is to use normal shoes. If you like to wear normal shoes, you should buy orthopedic shoes that have high durability and last longer than other types of shoes.
Which pair of boots is best?
It depends on many factors such as the terrain you will walk on, what kind of hiking boot or shoe you will wear and the weight of your backpack. Generally, people who hike in rugged terrain are equipped with hiking boots that have a thin sole. On the other hand, those who walk on forest trails like Kilimanjaro and Inca Trail are equipped with normal shoes or hiking shoes. However, mountain hikers need sturdy boots that have a thick sole.
When you wear boots or shoes, don’t forget about your socks. When you wear heavy boots or shoes without wearing thick woollen socks, then your feet will sweat and they will get hurt and they might become blisters. If you want to prevent from being blisters, then choose a pair of woollen or nylon socks which are suitable for your type of shoes. And when it is raining, be careful with stepping on the slippery ground because you can get a twisted ankle easily if you slip in the rain.
Are leather hiking boots better?
People who are used to wearing shoes with thick soles such as cowboy boots, wear them if they want boots with a heavy sole. On the other hand, those who are used to wearing insulated or non-insulated hiking boots which choice is good for those people.
Avoid wearing shoes made from materials that will break easily when you walk on rugged terrain. If you want rugged hiking boots or hunting boots whose soles are made of solid rubber, you should choose hiking boots that are designed for hilly and rugged terrain.
Last but not least, before buying any type of heel, try it out in the store and see if it fits your feet well and offers comfort whether it fits you well or not. And avoid wearing shoes that don’t fit you well because your feet will hurt in a short time while walking.