Can You Use Military Boots For Hiking?

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Can You Use Military Boots For Hiking?

7 December 2018
 Categories: , Blog

The "right" shoes or boots for hiking is a general concept that you have to customize to your own feet. While there are universal issues that everyone needs to look for, such as the boots having tread on the soles that will allow the boots to grip uneven ground, much of what makes a good boot is very personal. In the search for hiking boots that work for you, you may see military footwear advertised on surplus websites. The rugged soles and tough exteriors make these boots look like better substitutes -- and in some cases, they can be.

Do You Find Them Comfortable?

First and foremost, if you try using military boots in place of hiking boots and find the military versions more comfortable, especially on test hikes, that's the biggest clue that they'll work for you, at least in the short term. Because military boots aren't all made for long-distance walking, you will want to monitor how your feet feel as you break in the boots and use them more; pay attention to how your shins feel, too. As with any shoe, if you experience issues you should look at switching styles. But if your feet feel fine and you like walking in the military boots? Enjoy hiking in them.

Arch Support and Cushioning

Many military boots, such as basic-training styles, don't come with a lot of specialized arch support or cushioning. This has led some to claim the boots aren't good for hiking. However, you can add cushioned insoles to create the arch and foot support you want. Remember, many hiking boots are not going to have insoles that support your feet, even if the insoles support a lot of other people's feet. If you like the other features of the military boots, customize the insoles.

Heavy Loads and Heavy Boots

Military-style boots are heavier than hiking boots for good reason. Hiking boots have to be lighter so that they don't create drag on your legs on long hikes. Military boots have to be heavier to provide better overall support when you're carrying a heavy load. The extra weight of military boots initially makes them seem not so good for hiking. Yet if you have to carry a heavy pack and cross over rough terrain, the heavy boot may be better for you.

Ankle Protection

If you have weaker ankles or just prefer to add protection to those joints, military boots are best. These boots are built to support the wearer's ankles -- that's one of their specific features.

You can find several styles of military boots available, so take your time choosing. Test out a lot of them if you can so that you get the right combination of features to keep your feet comfortable and safe.