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Home > Gear Guides > When should I wear heavy hiking boots?

When should I wear heavy hiking boots?

When buying hiking boots, keep in mind that both men’s hiking boots and women’s hiking boots fall into three basic categories:

  • Light hiking: Light hiking shoes often don’t cover the ankle. These outdoor hiking boots are designed for day hikes, so they are more flexible but less stable than outdoor hiking boots.
  • Midweight hiking: Midweight hiking boots are a popular all-purpose choice for both women’s and men’s hiking boots. Midweight boots cover the ankles and provide support when hiking or backpacking on a trail or off-trail while carrying a moderate amount of weight, such as a day pack. They are more durable than lightweight hiking shoes, but they are not designed for extended trips over rugged terrain.
  • Heavy hiking: Heavy-duty outdoor hiking boots are designed for multiday hikes and for mountaineering in more extreme conditions and difficult terrain. Some heavy hiking boots are designed to hold crampons for winter hiking.

Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports shop for expert advice, and to try on a wide selection of hiking boots.

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