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Walking Boots vs Trainers

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If you are heading off on a walking holiday then wearing the correct footwear will help protect your feet, but what is best walking boots/shoes or trainers? For long days on your feet you need to make sure you take care of your feet as you don’t want to be getting blisters while on holiday.

We would always recommend on our walking holidays that you wear proper hiking boots that go above your ankle so you are fully supported while out walking on your holiday. Read below for more information.

Walking Boots & Walking Shoes

Full height hiking boots are better for rough terrain and also for the longer distance walking as your ankle is fully supported. If on your holiday, you will be walking on rough/wet terrain then full ankle walking boots would be better. However, on walking holidays that are flat and on tarmac paths then you can get away with walking in walking shoes. Although for us the protection of the ankle support from a walking boot would make us purchase a boot over a shoe.

Our advice would be to head down to your local outdoor store and try on as many boots as possible. You do not want your boots to put pressure on any part of your foot. Some stores have a special section where you can walk over different terrains and you can test walking up and down over them. This is valuable if you are walking on rough terrain. You may even find you need a bigger boot.

Top Tip: While trying on boots make sure you wear a good pair of hiking socks as you may find the boots don’t fit properly once you get home and put your hiking socks on.


Trainers are not made for long-distance walking holidays. If you wear trainers you won’t get the support you need for long walking days and you are potentially more likely to injure yourself as they won’t be strong and sturdy as a boot/shoe.


A good pair of quality hiking socks can help prevent blisters while on your holiday. Bridgedale does a great range of hiking socks for women and men. They also keep your feet dry which is essential on a walking holiday.

Once you have a pair of good fitting pair of boots then make sure you head out for some training for your walking holiday. If you have a good pair of fitting boots already then why not head over to Hooked on Walking and grab some inspiration for your next hiking adventure.

First published – Feb 2015

About the author

I have worked for Hooked on Cycling & Walking since 2007 and love to travel and explore. I like to get outdoors and take my two young boys with me and hiking/cycling is enjoyed by all of us.

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