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Inside The Outdoors
Walking Boots vs Walking Shoes – How to Choose

Walking Boots vs Walking Shoes – How to Choose

05.01.2023 | Expert Advice

People are sometimes uncertain when it comes to buying footwear for walking, ‘do I need shoes or boots?’  Here are some things to consider when choosing between the two:


What is the difference between walking shoes and walking boots?

Walking boots are categorized by their higher collar, while walking shoes look more like a traditional shoe. Walking shoes are usually more lightweight, but walking boots can be sturdier and built for harder terrains.


Before choosing which pair to wear consider the terrain you will be walking on. If you are walking on established and maintained pathways or road/street surfaces then you probably only need a shoe. If you are planning on walking off the beaten track or on sharp rugged terrain, you may want to go with boots for the extra support and protection they offer.



Walking shoes are usually a lot lighter than boots. If you’re on a short walk you don’t want heavy boots weighing you down, so you’re better off with a shoe which will feel lighter on your feet. If you’re walking around all day a lighter shoe makes all the difference.

mens walking shoes

Walking Shoes


wide fit walking boots

Walking Boots




The weather can influence your decision as to what you wear on your feet. If it is a hot or mild day you may opt for a walking shoe so your feet don’t get hot and sweaty. However if there has been rain that will likely mean wet ground and muddy pathways. In this case you may want to wear your boots to reduce the chance of getting wet feet. You will also be more stable on your feet in boots if the ground is muddy or slippery.


Many people prefer walking boots as they protect your ankles from scrapes and bumps when the terrain is a bit harsher. The high support can also reduce the severity of any twists and sprains. However, you’ll feel lighter on your feet with walking shoes and will tend to take better care with where you step.