Walking shoes vs. Boots : What is the main difference

Your friends are all geared up for the next trip, but you are still confused about choosing the right pair of footwear between walking shoes and boots. But don’t worry, this article is going to tell everything about walking shoes and boots, which will help you choose the right footwear for your next trip without being further confused.

Walking shoes vs. Boots

When you need to wear walking shoes or boots

The simple answer to this question is to protect your feet when you are heading outdoors. No matter what conditions you are walking or running or hiking, you always need to use a pair of footwear. This pair of footwear will keep your feet away from dirt, water; prevent slippage, ankle strain, or any other damage to the feet.

However, using walking shoes or boots for every purpose is never a wise thing. Boots and shoes are made for the intended use and there are some things you need to consider before deciding which footwear is perfect for you.

Which one is better between walking shoes and boots

Walking shoes are better. No, walking boots are better. Well, actually both walking shoes and boots are better. The matter is to choose them for the right purpose. If you are going on a rough terrain road and wearing simple walking shoes, this won’t be the right choice.

In the same manner, you don’t need to wear walking boots when you are heading for a morning walk in the nearby garden. So each of these footwear has its intended use and it’s up to the user to use them at the right time.

Considerable things 

Walking shoes

Walking boots


Short trips and normal walks on a sunny day

Long-distance hiking and walking in rough weather conditions


Flat pathways

Uneven, rough, hill tracks


The flat sole doesn’t offer much protection

Prevents slippage and protects the ankles from strain, twist


Poor choice of waterproofing

The better cushioning and a breathable liner makes them waterproof





Leather and fabric

Leather and fabric




The purpose of wearing

The first thing you need to do before choosing walking shoes or boots is to decide for what purpose you are going to use them. If you need a pair of footwear for a morning walk, then choose walking shoes. Someone who goes out every now and then should also choose walking shoes above boots.

If it sunny out there, you should never select boots as footwear. However, for the winter or rainy season, you can choose boots instead of shoes. Again, boots will go well for a long-distance trip as you need more protection then and for short trips, walking shoes are more preferable. All in all, you have to make sure that you choose the right pair of footwear depending on the purpose.

The terrain you are walking on

Especially if you are amongst the hikers and love to hike on uneven, rough areas, a good pair of walking boots is going to be appropriate for you. However, a person who walks on the straight, flat pathways regularly should go and purchase a pair of walking shoes.

Here, I wanted you to understand choosing a pair of footwear depending on the terrain you are going to walk on. Hikers supposedly hike on the rough, uneven track, climbs hills, walk on the wet surface that has every possible chance of slippage. So they need a better grip on the ground and for this, boots are better.

However, walking shoes have normal flat soles and they provide enough traction on the ground to help the walker walk along the flat surface safely on regular basis. So they don’t need any boots for this.

What about the protection

As I said earlier, before going out you need to use footwear to ensure the safety and protection of your feet. And this is another crucial factor to consider before choosing walking shoes or boots. To protect your feet and ankle from harsher conditions, boots do a far better job than walking shoes.

Boots have taller protection for your ankles, which prevents unwanted sprains and twists while you are walking on rough terrain. It also supports the ankles on long-term hiking. Moreover, climbing hill tracks is also easier with boots than walking shoes.

In slippery conditions, boots are more preferable to flat walking shoes. Unlike the flat soles of walking shoes, they have better spikes underneath that prevent slippage also.

Which one provides better waterproofing

If someone is thinking to go outside for tough terrain hiking during the monsoon, he/ she should choose boots instead of walking shoes. Walking boots have better cushioning inside and a breathable liner, which ensures it, will prevent the water from entering inside the shoes in watery conditions.

These shoes are not only waterproof but also support your feet during snowy conditions. Due to the cushioning inside the boots, they keep your feet warm during colder conditions. Moreover, the taller design of the boot also prevents the water from entering inside of the shoes.

Unless you are going out on a rainy day or snowy condition, it is recommended to use walking shoes instead of boots.

Choosing the lighter one

I don’t think I have to say much about this, as the walking shoes are the lighter footwear. You can sense, which one is lighter and which one is heavier by looking at both these footwear once. The bigger one is the heavier, which is boots and the smaller one is the lighter, which is the walking shoe.

In fact, the walking shoes are supposed to be half in weight compared to the boots. The lightweight nature makes them better for people who don’t like heavier footwear. Also, these lightweight shoes are perfect for hot weather. The lighter weight provides you more comfort than the heavier boots during summer.

Materials used to make the shoes and boots

There are basically two materials used to make the shoes and boots, leather and fabric. Both these materials have their good sides and bad sides. Leather produces heavier boots or shoes, whereas fabric boots or shoes are a lot lighter. Leather shoes and boots are far more long-lasting than fabric ones.

If you want enhanced protection leather is better, but the fabric will provide you much comfort that’s for sure. Leather shoes and boots are waterproof, which makes them usable in watery conditions quite easily. Moreover, taking care of fabric footwear is a tougher task than leather ones.

What about the cost

The cost of both these footwear depends largely on the materials used to construct them, but walking boots are a bit pricier than walking shoes. In terms of size, walking shoes are smaller. Moreover, they provide less protection was they use less durable materials, and the cost ranges from $20 to $90.

However, walking boots are more protective on terrain surfaces and they ensured better waterproofing as most of them are made of leather. The cost of boots ranges from $40 to $330 or sometimes more as well.

Concluding words

I have discussed every possible side you need to know for choosing between walking shoes and boots. Now the final decision is yours.

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