HIKING FOOTWEAR TYPES PROS AND CONS

HIKING SANDALS
PROS – enhanced breathability – barefoot-like experience; you can feel the terrain better – river crossings are easier – dry faster than other types of footwear

CONS – uncomfortable for hiking in areas with prickly vegetation – some models are really heavy – your feet get dirty – no good for scree slopes with broken rocks and debris

TRAIL-RUNNING SHOES
PROS – lightweight and comfortable – breathable, highly suitable for warm and wet conditions – suitable for a variety of terrain and conditions – dry faster than most other types of hiking footwear

CONS – not recommended for winter hiking, ice, snow. and climbing up rock – less durable – need strong and flexible ankles for challenging trails – can’t use crampons. snowshoes or microspikes with them

HIKING SHOES
PROS – stiffer midsole than trail runners, helps when walking on rough trails – suitable for hiking with moderate load or on rough terrain – relatively breathable – waterproof models are suitable for hiking in colder conditions

CONS – not recommended for winter hiking, hard snow, and steep terrain – waterproof hiking shoes don’t offer good ventilation – takes more time to dry them, especially waterproof models – no good for prolonged wet weather

HIKING BOOTS
PROS – mid-cut; extra ankle support and stability – good choice for off-trail hikes – warm, suitable for cold conditions – suitable for areas with scree slopes, fresh snow, and difficult terrain

CONS – relatively heavy – less breathable – takes more time to get them dry – restrict mobility in comparison to lighter footwear options

BACKPACKING BOOTS
PROS – high-cut; better balance, ankle support. stability, and motion control – best suited for winter, off-trail hiking, forests, and tundra – suitable for hiking with heavy pack over rough terrain – durable and protective

CONS – wearing heavy boots is uncomfortable and tiring – require considerable time to be broken in – less breathable – give false sense of security, increased rate of ankle injuries

MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS
PROS – high-cut; better balance, ankle support. stability, and motion control – best suited for negotiating steep terrain in harsh conditions – stiff-soled: can use technical climbing crampons with them – should be top choice for glacial travel, higher elevations

CONS – expensive – require considerable time to be broken in (not always valid) – can be bulky and less agile on and off snow – once wet, they take longer to dry