6 Reasons Why Can Hiking Shoes be Used For Walking


On my 3rd serious hike, back in Israel, I’ve decided to buy a pair of hiking shoes. I was used to hiking boots; however, I felt that in hot climates I needed something lighter. After that hike, I didn’t have much to do with these, so I just store them in the corner of my closet. That was pretty frustrating since hiking shoes are expensive and yet – they were just sitting there with no use. Over the years, I’ve learned why can hiking shoes be used for walking as well.

In this article, I will present you with six different reasons for that.

Hiking shoes can be used for walking since they work great on Asphalt, provide the right amount of ankle support and perform well on long distances walks. Moreover, Gore-Tex hiking shoes are well water resistant and dry quickly, turning them ideal to be a footwear alternative.

1. Work Great on Asphalt

Personally, I usually take the bus when I go to work. The thing is that the bus station is about 600-700 meters away from my doorstep, so each morning I do have a decent hike to make.

At first, it doesn’t seem much, since we are talking about a walk which is only 5-10 minutes long. However, when taking into account the way back as well, the overall distances sums up to approximately 6.5 kilometers a week.

That is quite a big deal since the ground underneath is rough Asphalt. I’ve noticed that previous shoes I had, which were more elegant, worn-up really quick.

The durability of hiking shoes is, in my opinion, perfect for hiking to the bus station, since it accumulates to a significant distance. The one feature which does a great deal on that matter is the outsole. 

Hiking shoes are known for their thick rubber sole, which provides both durability and traction. Asphalt doesn’t have much impact on that kind of sole, in opposed to what happens with leather footwear.

2. Suitable For a Long Distance Walk

I’ve already mentioned that walking to the bus station may be problematic, although you shouldn’t underestimate walking at your working area either.

Many times I’ve heard these hints about burning calories while working. The people who were talking about this said that the number of steps you take is sometimes outrageous, that you are literally losing weight.

That got me into thinking – if you are really taking so many steps, perhaps you need more serious footwear. 

I’ve decided to dig a little deeper into it and figure out how many steps people actually take during a working day by average. I came across a site which gathered information on that matter and seems pretty reliable.

The numbers I’ve seen were jaw-dropping – industrial workers, servers, and custodians were at the top with 10,000-13,000 daily steps, which are 4-5.5 miles in total. 

Teachers and nurses also fell into that category with 4,500-8,500 daily steps, which are 2-3.5 miles in total.

That got me into thinking – when walking such a long distance on a regular basis, why not using hiking shoes?

The main reason to avoid these would probably be the dressing code, however, as you will see later on, some hiking shoes are quite stylish.

3. The Right Amount of Ankle Support

I’ve been talking about ankle support quite a lot by now. In previous articles, I explained that ankle support is one of the reasons hiking shoes are actually necessary.

As you’ve probably guessed by now – that kind of support is essential since the ankle area is prone to injuries. 

In opposed to hiking, walking across the street or your workplace features lower chances for slipping or falling.

Yet, as I’ve mentioned above, walking around during work might be quite intense. That brings me to another scenario which might occur – stress fractures. 

I’ve been spending quite some time reading across the internet when I came across OrthoInfo, which contains articles written by professionals.

According to them, stress fractures occur with an ‘increase in physical activity.’ If you ask me – walking several miles a day is an increase in physical activity, especial if you’ve just started working.

For that, I believe, the ankle support hiking shoes provide is exceptionally essential.

4. Impressively Water Resistant

I remember a few times I’ve been wearing sneakers or leather shoes for work or university when winter was at the doorstep.

It wasn’t such a pouring rain. However, my socks got instantly wet. Not only that, my leather shoes just lost their texture and bright color in a way I was embarrassed to keep them.

That was when I started using my hiking shoes I bought for one of my hiking in Israel. This pair featured a Gore-Tex which immediately enchanted me – I was able to enjoy both dryness and breathability. 

I remember I liked them so much I was starting to test them by walking ‘accidentally’ in puddles. There were no surprises even then – they performed twice as better than leather.

Well, water resistance isn’t a must-have thing when walking in a closed workspace. Nevertheless, it is an entirely different story when walking to your bus station or even when working outside.

5. Quickly Drying

When I was walking with leather shoes across the street, I was frustrated when they got wet.

As I’ve already said – it was terrible to see how they loose texture so quickly, yet, what was even more frustrating was the long period it took them to dry.

I remember sitting in my lectures hall, saying to myself: “Well, I am completely soaked, but things will be much better in an hour.”

As you’ve might have guessed it wasn’t – I was literally walking in wet socks all day long. When I started wearing hiking shoes to university, water was rarely able to get inside.

Still, even when it did – the shoes were drying extremely fast. As I’ve gained more experience in the camping field, I realized that shoes tend to dry much more quickly when featuring a mesh from the sides. 

For that reason, I think hiking shoes perform better than boots on that matter since hiking boots usually contain much more leather.

6. A Quite Good Alternative

To explain this one, I will have to admit one thing – I tend very often to watch how other people behave.

I cannot precisely recall when this started, yet, it very quickly became a habit of mine. One day I’ve noticed that a doctor who was tutoring me wasn’t wearing the same shoes he wore in the morning.

It took me a while until I pluck up the courage to as him on this matter and I was quite surprised when the answer came.

He told me that he saves one pair of shoes at work since streets Asphalt tends to wear out his leather shoes, which are obviously more expensive.

I’ve noticed the same thing when I was working as a bartender in wedding halls. Workers had brought their elegant shoes in a plastic bag while wearing hiking shoes when setting things up.

Frankly, I was influenced profoundly by these two incidences and started doing the exact same thing. Even if your workplace has got its own dress code, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring your hiking shoes and switch them when you arrive.

Can I Wear Hiking Shoes at My Office?

As you might have already noticed, this one is a quite general question. There is no doubt that the answer for that depends on your workplace dress code and culture.

From my intuition, hiking shoes wouldn’t be appropriate when working in a prestige firm, for example. Nevertheless, if you don’t have to be drastically elegant, I believe hiking shoes might still work. 

I’ve personally seen a few nurses walking around with hiking shoes during my hospital rotations. That is, of course, a matter of taste, however, if you ask me – lightweight hiking shoes look pretty nice for most work fields.

Will Asphalt Damage My Hiking Shoes?

The thing with Asphalt is that it is pretty rough and differs much from the ground found in hiking trails. What really damages your outsole when walking on it is the sharp edges its little rocks feature.

In general, my answer would be yes – Asphalt would damage your hiking shoes – there is no escape from this – you do put a lot of pressure on these sharp edges. 

Nevertheless, hiking shoes feature a quite thick outsole, usually with the proper traction to walk on all kinds of terrains.

Asphalt does damage your shoes, however, for their durable outsole – hiking shoes will wear out much slower than leather shoes or sneakers. 

I don’t think you should be afraid to ruin your hiking shoes with Asphalt, especially when fancier shoes are usually even more expensive.

Are Hiking Shoes Too Warm to Work With?

One thing I’ve found really important to mention is the temperatures issue. As you might have known, hiking shoes are designed to perform well in cold conditions.

To do so, manufacturers usually design them in a way they will maintain thermal insulation pretty well.

That might be an issue when wearing them for an extended period, especially during the entire working day.

Although, you should also keep in mind that hiking shoes are usually ventilated, especially when featuring a Gore-Tex membrane. Yet, I would still advise you on wearing light socks so sweat wouldn’t be too big of an issue.

What About Hiking Boots?

There is always that ongoing battle between hiking shoes and boots. If you ask me, you should be more cautious about wearing hiking boots for walking.

In opposed to shoes, hiking boots feature more leather and are, therefore, less breathable. Besides, hiking boots provide too much ankle support that might cause ankle pains when working long hours. 

Yet, the case is a bit different if you are working outdoors, especially in rainy conditions. If puddles and mud is an integral part of you walk or job, lightweight hiking boots might still work.

How Many Calories Does My Job Burn?

I find this question inevitable, although, it is less relevant to the topic of hiking shoes. For that reason, I’ve decided to mention it towards the end of my article.

Apparently, the amount of calories burned during a working day depends on the nature of your job.

Nevertheless, even sedentary jobs burn some since you are usually required to run back and forth to the printer or to the nearby office. This type of job tends to burn approximately 820 calories in one working day, which is equivalent to roughly 4,800 steps taken. 

The math from here is quite easy since easy calculation will show that each step burns about 0.17 calories. Therefore, if you know how many steps you take during a whole working day, just multiply in 0.17.

Conclusions

Hiking shoes are expensive and, in my opinion, shouldn’t be used for hiking solely. During the time I had my first pair, I’ve found hiking shoes entirely compatible with just simple walks.

The first reason for that would be their excellent performance on Asphalt. As you might have known, this type of terrain is extremely rough and may wear your footwear out pretty quickly.

Yet, hiking shoes feature a thick rubber outsole which, on that matter, is quite durable.

Second, working around the clock many times accumulates to a long distance walking – as I’ve shown, this might get to 4 miles and more.

For those cases, I highly recommend you wear hiking shoes since they provide proper ankle support and probably prevent stress fractures.

If you have to walk in wet conditions, hiking shoes would once again be on your favor, since in most cases they are waterproof and dry quickly.

Furthermore, if you feel these shoes do not fit the dressing code – you may just consider them as an alternative, by bringing your elegant shoes in a plastic bag for later on.

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