Note: This article contains affiliate links (hyperlinks, widgets, or through images), which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through them. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. Visit my disclosure page for more information.
A quality pair of boots is a must for hiking enthusiasts. BUT, work boots are also a necessity in many careers. With the high price tag of boots, some wonder if these boots can serve a double purpose. While there are some similarities between the two, there are also a few differences that are worth exploring.
Many people give very little thought to the weight of their boots. However, when you intend to wear those boots for many hours in a single day, it is an important factor to consider.
Work boots tend to be heavier in weight while hiking boots usually weigh a little less. A heavy work boot is needed in a work setting because heavier materials tend to protect better.
Hikers, on the other hand, are more concerned with accessibility. This requires lighter materials.
An ideal hiking boot should be flexible and lightweight, allowing the hiker to climb, jump, or trek through the different land types. A lighter leather material can also make it easier to navigate long hikes in comparison to workers who do not cover as much land.
Safety is one of the most important characteristics of a work boot. Some work environments can be pretty harsh and pose severe risks to the employee. For this reason, many employers require the purchase of a safe work boot with specific safety technologies, such as water and flame resistance.
Some work boots even have the ability to protect against electrical surges!
Of course, a person hiking a large area also cares about safety. Safety in a hiking setting requires different features than a work environment. While water resistance might be important, hikers generally do not need a boot that is flame resistant.
The same heavy leather materials that protect from fire and chemicals can prevent the hiker from getting the flexibility they need to cover difficult terrains.
Comfort is an important feature in any boot or shoe you choose. This, however, looks very different depending on the setting. The same features that make sense in a tough work setting are not going to provide you with the same comfort you need when hiking miles through a wooded forest. A comfortable work boot should have a heel, midsole, and ankle support.
Although some amount of support is needed in a good hiking boot, they are usually designed around flexibility instead. A good hiking boot should be comfortable for long distances.
Traction is a necessary feature in both work and hiking boots. Workers are often subject to slippery floors which can lead to dangerous slips and falls. Because of this, work boots are designed with slip-resistant properties.
Hikers also need a good amount of traction. However, the level of traction found on most hiking boots is not sufficient for slippery work settings.
It is important to consider your intended use before choosing a boot type. Boots are carefully designed to protect, provide support, and to be comfortable. While some boots may have features that serve more than one purpose, choosing the wrong type of boot can be a dangerous decision.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.