While outdoor apparel seems to have made its way into every day usage, you may find yourself wondering if you can wear your hiking boots everyday as well. After all, it could save you from needing to bring an extra pair of shoes with you everywhere!
While you can wear hiking boots every day, there generally is not a benefit to doing so. Additional wear will lead to your hiking boots needing to be replaced sooner, and they may not be appropriate attire for work or formal settings.
Let’s dive deeper into why hiking boots might not be the best choice for everyday wear and why you might want to change things up on a pretty regular basis.
Will Hiking Boots Hurt Your Feet?
While it may be convenient to leave your hiking boots on in anticipation of a spontaneous trip, you may find that they’re uncomfortable to wear after long periods. This is especially true in the beginning before they’re full broken in!
Until the break-in period passes, you’re likely to experience minor irritation to your feet and ankles, as well as potentially a few blisters. Thankfully, the worst of these symptoms should subside once your boots break in.
Breaking them in can be a matter of simply wearing them often for short periods, or you can try to speed up the approach by using this method. Soak your boots and then walk around in them until they’re only damp. Finally, remove them and allow to sit and air dry.
Once the boots are fully broken in you should be good to go!
At this point, while you certainly could choose to wear your hiking boots 100% of the time, I generally would not recommend it.
For one, most hiking boots are more expensive than casual shoes. Unless you NEED to wear them for traction, you’d be better off leaving them at home to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
You’re better off wearing out a $50 pair of shoes around town instead of your $150 hiking boots!
This is especially true if you’re going to be walking around on a lot of paved surfaces that are likely to wear down the boot tread faster.
In addition to sparing your boots for the trail, there is a factor of movement to consider. While hiking boots certainly should be comfortable to wear, most limit ankle movement to some degree compared to a casual pair of shoes.
It’s good to let your feet and ankles spend some time where they can experience 100% of their natural range of motion for mobility purposes. This isn’t to say that wearing hiking boots for long periods is necessarily bad for your feet, just that a change of pace is always good!
This may not effect everyone, but I know that my feet tend to get a little hot inside hiking boots. When it comes to hot days in summer, I really like to be able to wear something like a trail runner or tennis shoe that breathes a little better.
If you’ve ever spent a whole day hiking in the hot sun, you know exactly how good it feels to take your boots off at the end of the day and relax!
Last but not least – it’s worth pointing out that hiking shoes don’t always tend to be the most fashionable of shoes. While some certainly look better than others, I wouldn’t really consider them to be even business casual attire.
It’s highly unlikely that I’d wear them out to a restaurant on a date, but hey – maybe that’s just me 😉
Where Shouldn’t You Wear Hiking Boots?
You probably shouldn’t wear hiking boots to every occasion. Clothes matter, and what you’re wearing can make a big impression on the people around you.
If you’re going to a wedding, for example, it might be better to pick out a nice pair of black or brown leather shoes. At least something more formal!
The brown or green of your boots also might not go with the black of a pair of slacks.
You want to look your best at an interview, so you might want to give the muddy boots a break for just a little while. Interviewers want to see that you’re dedicated to your profession and excited to take the job.
Wearing more formal shoes mighty turn them off, and decrease your chance of landing the job. Unless of course you’re interviewing at an outdoor store like REI!
The car is also the wrong place to wear hiking shoes because of the complications the shoes cause. We’ll get into that in our next section.
Can You Wear Hiking Boots While Driving?
The short answer: I don’t recommend it.
The long answer has to do with the way hiking boots fit into the area beneath your steering wheel. You’re used to navigating this area by feel, most likely wearing a pair of sneakers.
The added bulk of your boots causes issues when you try to change from pedal to pedal.
GEICO estimates that 16,000 crashes each year are caused by pedal errors, which are more likely when you’re wearing clunky boots.
Boots also have traction on their bottoms and can scrape against the walls of your car and even get stuck as you try to switch pedals. Corners are also a big catch-risk.
If you must wear hiking boots in the car, make sure they’re less bulky and have short laces. The first few times you drive, take a moment to familiarize your feet with the area before driving.
What Kinds of Boots are Best for Everyday Wear?
The best boots for everyday wear are the kinds of boots that don’t stick out too much. You want your boots to be subtle because subtlety is key to fabulous style.
For example, boots with high tops or endless laces might look conspicuous in an office or classroom. You might not be able to get your pant-legs over the boots, which can make you stick out like a sore thumb.
To avoid this, wear boots with low tops and shorter laces. These will go nicely beneath the cuffs of your pants and stay mostly invisible.
Black and brown boots will also go nicely with more casual pants. Black and brown are good base colors and will pair nicely with the blue of denim jeans or the gray of a pair of athletic sweatpants.
Smaller boots will also help with the problem of driving and lighten up your footsteps, so you aren’t stomping through the office or classroom.
Is There Any Advantage to Wearing Hiking Boots Regularly?
In terms of convenience, no.
For the first little while, your hiking boots might squeeze your feet and make you feel sore. They do provide some ankle stability, but you most likely won’t need this in a casual setting.
If you want to go on a spontaneous hike, you might simply keep a pair of boots in the car for emergencies. This will solve your proper shoe problems and keep your sneakers pristine. You don’t want to be wearing muddy shoes everywhere, after all.
Hiking boots even prove a disadvantage because wearers are encouraged not to drive cars. If you’re wearing hiking boots, it’s best to take a bus or a train, so you don’t put yourself or other drivers at risk.
If you must drive, make sure to get acclimated to the car’s space and be careful as you go.
In conclusion, wearing hiking boots every day might be a bad idea if you’re looking to make a good impression or fit in with a particular crowd. Additionally, driving while wearing hiking boots is not recommended as it can lead to accidents.
If you’re going to wear them every day, it’s best to choose a smaller, less awkward brand that blends in with casual clothes. Wearing hiking boots every day might help to break your boots in and won’t wear them out.
Make sure to take a look at these other related resources before you go!