The Different Types of Hiking Footwear and Their Purpose

women hiking footwear 2
Just like any other type of footwear, the type designed for hiking can provide comfort and protect the wearer’s feet against harsh conditions. However, both men and women hiking footwear can additionally protect one’s feet against bruising and abrasion from the rough terrain and provide traction on a rough, slippery, wet and muddy terrain, and cushion one’s soles.

Generally speaking, hiking shoes should be durable, supportive yet lightweight and should be able to respond to changing environments. Luckily, today more than ever, you can choose from a plethora of such shoes, according to the purpose you need them for.

women hiking footwear

Trail Shoes

According to a lot of hiking enthusiasts, these types of shoes are the ideal ones for hiking. A rule to remember is that good trail shoes should have traction, must be waterproofed and light enough so it won’t cause any ankle/feet pain when on the trail. Generally speaking, the outer material of these shoes is made of leather as that can add more to their longevity and protective properties. Such shoes are great for almost any type of off-road adventure, the key is just to choose ones that can provide the perfect fit, and ones that are quality and durable enough to withstand almost everything.

Hiking Boots

Adored by both men and women hiking footwear boots are the ideal type of footwear for wet, muddy and rocky hiking conditions. Just like with everything else, there are lots of lower quality hiking boots, so choosing ones that come from a reliable supplier and are made of high-quality materials is a must. This is the only way to be sure that the chosen hiking boots are lightweight, but able to offer a maximum level of protection. Since hiking boots are heavier than shoes, more energy is needed for their use. Just like shoes, hiking boots are available in different models and materials out of which leather and a combo of suede and nylon are the most commonly used types.


According to users, they are the least favoured option. Although lightweight, roomy, comfy and ideal for the summer days, hiking sandals offer a low level of protection as a great part of the feet is exposed to different weather conditions.

Five Fingers

Although strange at first sight, these types of shoes can also offer a good level of protection, excellent trail feel and agility. However, the sole they have is pretty thin when compared to the other types which can leave one’s feet sore and achy.