What Is the Difference Between Walking Boots and Hiking Boots?

Walking boots and hiking boots are both types of footwear designed to protect the feet from the terrain and elements when outdoors. They both provide a sturdy sole and ankle support, but there are some key differences between them.

Upper Materials

The upper materials of walking boots tend to be made of a combination of leather and synthetic materials, with some models featuring waterproof membranes.

The construction is usually designed to be lightweight while still offering good support. Hiking boots, on the other hand, are typically constructed with leather or nubuck uppers for durability and abrasion resistance. Some models also feature waterproof membranes for added protection from moisture.

Sole Construction

The sole construction of walking boots tends to be thinner than that of hiking boots, providing less support but making them more flexible for comfortable all-day wear. Hiking boots have a thicker sole that is designed to provide greater stability on uneven terrain and over long distances.


Walking boots tend to be lighter than hiking boots due to their thinner sole construction and lighter upper materials.

This makes them ideal for casual walks or day hikes, while heavier hiking boots are better suited for longer trips on difficult terrain.


Overall, walking boots are designed for day hikes or casual walks on even terrain while hiking boots are better suited for more rugged terrain and longer trips. Walking boots offer flexibility, lightweight construction, and good support while hiking boots provide durability, stability, and waterproofing.

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Alex Wright