Walking boots or trainers – which is best?


May 02, 2024

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Walking boots or trainers – which is best?

When preparing for a walk or a hike, one question you’ll ask yourself is whether to lace up your trusty walking boots or slip on a pair of comfortable trainers. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, and choosing the right footwear can significantly impact your comfort and performance on the trail. In this guide, we'll explore the pros and cons of each type of shoe, which should make your life that little bit easier.

But first of all… what’s the difference between a walk and a hike?

The main difference between a walk and a hike is the level of difficulty and distance. A walk is a relaxed stroll, usually on easy paths or steady terrain with little to no elevation and for shorter distances. A hike is a more challenging trek, often on natural trails or rugged terrain, such as woodland, hills or mountains, and covering longer distances taking more time. Hikes involve elevation changes, rocky paths, and sometimes require an extra level of thought such as…have I packed enough jelly babies? 

Right, now we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk footwear.

The Difference Between Walking Boots & Trainers

Walking boots are specifically designed to provide stability, support, and protection on rugged terrain. They typically feature durable materials, such as leather or synthetic uppers, reinforced toe caps, and sturdy outsoles with deep lugs for traction. Walking boots come in a variety of styles, including lightweight hiking shoes, mid-cut boots, and high-cut boots for ankle support.

Trainers, on the other hand, are lightweight and flexible athletic shoes designed for a variety of activities, including walking, running, and casual wear. They often feature breathable mesh uppers, cushioned midsoles for shock absorption, and flexible outsoles with moderate traction. While trainers may not offer the same level of ankle support and durability as walking boots, they excel in comfort and versatility.

The Pros & Cons of Walking Boots


  1. They provide good ankle support and reduce the risk of sprains and injuries.
  2. They’re durable, hard-wearing and oftentimes, waterproof.
  3. With features like toe caps and waterproof membranes, they offer great protection.


  1. They’re quite heavy.
  2. They need you to break them in before they feel comfortable to wear.
  3. They sometimes lack breathability, which can lead to some sweaty soles!


Ultimately, because of their hard-wearing and protective features, walking boots are better suited for longer walks (more than 2 hours) and hikes on rugged terrain where you’re likely to experience some elevation shifts.

Check out our range of men’s walking boots and women’s walking boots on our website!

The Pros & Cons of Trainers


  1. They’re super lightweight.
  2. With their cushioned midsoles and soft, breathable uppers they’re very comfortable.
  3. They’re versatile and can be worn casually for short walks, or for activities and sports.


  1. They don’t offer the best ankle support, so shouldn’t be worn for strenuous activities like hiking in mountains.
  2. They can get wet very easily.
  3. They have a shorter lifespan, especially if worn a lot and on uneven terrain.

Trainers are brilliant for lighter activities and short walks (under 2 hours) that are on even surfaces such as paths, or roads. If you think your walk will take you off-road onto more uneven terrain, we’d always recommend a pair of walking boots instead.

Check out our range of men’s trainers and women’s trainers on our website!

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