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Due to their ugly styles and limitations, many people are reluctant to buy expensive hiking shoes because they don’t seem to be suitable for everyday use. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in hiking boots just because of their ugly appearance. When it comes to hiking or backpacking, you want quality and performance from hiking shoes over fashion and style. In this blog post, I’ll answer the question “Why are hiking shoes so ugly?” and I’ll share my thoughts on why hiking shoes are uglier than other types of shoes.
Why Are Hiking Boots so Ugly?
Hiking shoes are ugly because they are more practical and durable. They are designed with ultimate comfort in mind along with other features like stability, water resistance, a durable and thick outsole, and a sturdy upper to avoid wear and tear. Hiking shoes are designed to challenge advanced hiking models and expect the hiker to enjoy the activity so much that he or she won’t even notice the discomfort.
Just as your dress shoes and casual sneakers have unique styles and colorful patterns, they don’t always function as expected.
On the other hand, hiking shoes offer many different advantages, for example, beyond an attractive appearance. These types of shoes are durable and reliable because their capabilities are truly endless.
In short, don’t buy hiking boots because of their looks. Choose your hiking shoes for how they feel and how much support they need to provide your feet.
Why Can’t Hiking Shoes Combine Fashion and Protection?
Hiking shoes cannot be stylish and protective, as hiking shoes are durable, stable, and prevent twisting.
All fashion shoes have an elegant look and lightness, that’s why they are used as street shoes and can also be worn in restaurants.
You can take an example of high heels that women wear. They don’t provide any support. Instead, they put a lot of pressure on the balls of your feet, ankles, and lower back. That’s why you haven’t seen a woman standing in high heels for over 8 hours. Likewise, dress shoes are designed for formal events that don’t require you to walk long distances or stand for long periods of time.
But that’s not the case with hiking boots. They are durable boots with a thick outsole that protects your arch from sharp stones and rough surfaces.
Hiking Shoes Go Hand in Hand with The Outdoors
Mountaineering shoes are designed for outdoor adventures, where you can move in a variety of rock-covered terrain or thick mud-covered terrain.
Hiking shoes are suitable for different types of terrain. They have a solid outsole for traction. The aggressive tread pattern on the bottom is designed to provide traction on uneven surfaces and mud and resist rapid wear on the track. Additionally, a snug fit around the ankle and a thick heel collar ensure a secure fit for high-performance hiking shoes.
The hiking shoe also features a thick midsole that absorbs impact, supports and protects your arch from sharp rocks, and provides firm ankle support to avoid sprained or sprained ankles. The upper part of the shoe is usually made of a breathable material that keeps your feet from sweating or getting wet.
Another factor that makes hiking boots unsightly is their weight. Hiking shoes tend to be heavy due to their design and material choices. This means that when you walk for miles or go uphill, you will feel the extra weight on your feet.
Also, it is easy to get wet while hiking in the rainforest. It is best to have hiking boots with a waterproof shell to keep your feet dry.
Finally, laces on hiking boots also make a big difference. Hiking boots have thick round laces which are stronger and better for hiking as they fit better.
How Can Hiking Shoes Improve Mountaineering Expeditions?
For me, hiking boots have to be made of full-grain leather. They should have a deep outsole and, above the ankle, have a stiff heel collar.
Also, as mentioned above, hiking shoes need to be sturdy. The sole should have a good grip, and a waterproof sole is a good choice for muddy trails and snow. Most brands now use Gore-Tex material to make hiking shoes more breathable and waterproof.
In this way, hiking boots can:
- Glide down corners without feeling all the rocks and roots
- Distribute impact pressure on my feet
- Avoid ankle rolls when I step on pesky little rocks I don’t see
- Maintains foot integrity against lateral impacts that can tear most cloth shoes
- Keep feet dry during wet spring runoff
- Helps maintain balance in snow or traversing streams thanks to a stiffer sole and sharper edges
Is the Doc Martens Good for Walking?
No, Doc Martens boots do not provide traction, support, and cushioning. Although they are definitely stylish and cool boots. People like them for everyday use and walking around town, but it’s risky when used for hiking. So if you’re serious about your feet and lower body, I recommend not hiking with Doc Martens boots just to look cool.
Some Stylish Walking Shoes You Will Love to Buy
You should buy some luxury brand hiking shoes because they have an attractive design and don’t look like hiking gear. Although these brands of shoes provide protection and support, they are only suitable for moderate conditions and trails. There shouldn’t be too many lean or boulder jumps while wearing this shoe.
According to a survey of several hikers, Danner Vertigo Boots are the most stylish hiking shoes that can also be worn in everyday life. These hiking shoes are cool both on the mountain and in the city. Their ankle collars are not as sturdy as Doc Martens. So you need to avoid overly rough terrain and make sure you keep less than 10 lbs in your pack.
However, the feature that makes the Danner Vertigo boots suitable for hiking is its Vibram sole, which is highly abrasion-resistant and provides traction on a variety of terrains. This is how your hiking boots will hold up. Although the Danner Vertigo boots have a Gore-Tex lining to make them waterproof, without the gussets, the tongue may allow water to seep through the upper. Another downside to Danner Vertigo hiking shoes is the exposed metal rivets sticking out of the back and rubbing against the ankles. You can avoid this irritation by wearing some special socks while hiking. Check out my article on socks for more information.
Danner 600 hiking boots are also stylish suede boots. Compared to Danner Vertigo boots, these boots are stronger because they feature a TPU heel frame for improved support and technology. Since they’re made of suede, if they get dirty while hiking, you can read my suede cleaning guide.
How Does Make Hiking Shoes Fashionable?
The laces of hiking boots are very dull and look bold and awkward. You can swap them out for your favorite shoe laces to look great on your hiking boots. Just make sure the laces are durable and fit comfortably, as hiking shoes should be comfortable enough to avoid blisters.
Also, be sure to buy hiking shoes first, and then hiking clothing. I usually buy matte hiking pants or shorts and then buy matching hiking shoes. I recommend buying hiking shoe colors that also look good on street walks, and then buying your outdoor clothing gear.
When you put on your hiking boots – ugly-looking things – you have to realize that they are the main thing that makes you taller. If you’re young, wearing these shoes can help with your posture.
Alternative to Hiking Boots
There are some lightweight trail running shoes that are stylish and can be a good replacement for hiking shoes. However, if you use rubber pegs on regular roads or sidewalks, they tend to wear out faster. So if you want to maintain their traction, I suggest you don’t run too much in these shoes.
You can check out my trail running shoes hiking guide. In this article, after hours of research, I have listed some of the best trail running shoes for hiking. If it’s a light backpack and you’re going to be running a few miles, this shoe is good for you. The shoes are also stylish. Therefore, you should check whether they are suitable for urban wear. They are not as bulky as typical hiking shoes. So you should definitely consider buying them.