Work boots as hiking boots?

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Ttiabinar
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Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby Ttiabinar » 4 Jan 2019, 7:35am

I've always been a big fan of wearing joggers for comfort when going for long walks, but with a trip to the Overland Track in Tassie coming up at the end of the year I've decided to get a pair of hiking boots again. My old boots are from Kathmandu (the shop, not the city), and never really wore in properly, to the point where I still can't wear them for a walk over a few hours in length, even after multiple trips and trying various methods of wearing them in.

I'm also not too keen on all the marketing hype from the trekking oriented manufacturers so am wondering about trying some work boots this time, such as Steel Blue or Oliver which by the sounds of things are very popular and comfortable. The only thing is I'm not sure if I'd find them too heavy for walking decent distances. Sounds like there's no problem with durability though.

Has anybody used boots like this for hiking around?

Thanks for the help

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Paulatic
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby Paulatic » 4 Jan 2019, 8:21am

I could never contemplate wearing a boot like you suggest. People might review that they’r comfortable but they will be walking on firm level surfaces. Several times in my working life I tried to wear safety boots. Always cold, painful and heavy.
If you’ve not had any success with current boots ask your self , Do you need boots? When I could no longer get my beloved Brasher boots I changed to buying walking shoes. I’ve never looked back. Currently wearing https://www.outdoorsupply.co.uk/walking ... -low-brown
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rjb
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby rjb » 4 Jan 2019, 8:23am

I am still using a pair of safety boots inherited from when I was working. They were very uncomfortable from new and I could not break them in. After retiring some 18 years ago I vowed to get them broken in. I applied a thick layer of a homemade polish (50/50 rapesead cooking oil, and a wax furniture polish.) This softened up the leather sufficiently to allow me to wear them without producing blisters. I now wear them as everyday footwear. Whilst not a great hiker I have used them for walks up to 5 miles over rough and wet ground without a problem. I wore them for a very wet walk over the Somerset Levels yesterday walking through sodden ground and puddles of a couple of inches and no problem with water coming though. The shoes are very rigid so you may need to fit a more comfortable insole. :wink:
Here's a pic and you can see the tide line. :lol:
IMG_20190104_082201.jpg
Safety boots
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Vorpal
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby Vorpal » 4 Jan 2019, 9:06am

I have worn work boots for hiking and hiking boots for working. In some cases, there is little difference between them. IMO, the main thing is comfort. A few points I would consider before wearing work boots for hiking, however:

-Are the soles appropriate?
-If the ground is likely to be rough, do your work boots have adequate ankle support?
-If they are steel toe / toetector type boots, the bend occurs a bit further back than in boots without the steel toes. On many people this can cause rubbing.

Only you can decide whether you are better off with light, flexible boots, work boots, or heavy mountaineering ones. You have to consider the weight, protecting your feet, flexibility, and walking all day in varying condition. I don't necessarily believe the marketing hype about trekking boots, but if I were buying new boots for an undertaking like that, I would not attempt to save money by buying work boots. I would spend as much as could afford to make sure I was comfortable.

There are only a couple of brands that fit my feet well, so I stick with those. If I didn't have that kind of restriction, I would go around trying lots of different boots in lots of different shops, and talk to the folks in the shops, some of whom are likely to know what they they are talking about.
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reohn2
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jan 2019, 9:18am

My SinL wears these and swears by them,though I suspect they'd be too high for me:- https://www.military1st.co.uk/9038-2-br ... nd-nosto-1
Boots are like any other footwear they need to be tried on and it's not always the most expensive that are the best for what you want them for,personally I'd steer clear of work boots for walking as toetectors only add weight to already heavy footwear.
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Bonefishblues
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby Bonefishblues » 4 Jan 2019, 9:31am

Lots of new style lightweight boots available from Hoka, Salomon and the like. If you've habitually worn trainers, then this might be the way to go, as opposed to the Workboot 'nuclear option'?

pwa
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby pwa » 4 Jan 2019, 9:38am

I have gone through many pairs of work boots over the years, doing a lot of outdoor work. And I have had a few long lasting pairs of hiking boots. Work boots are okay for hiking, but not nearly as good as well fitted hiking boots. You need good fitting hiking boots and you need to wear them in with lots of short walks before attempting a long walk in them. Look after them and they will last ages.

My own current hiking boots, which I have had for years, are my second pair made by Scarpa, in leather. They were not cheap but they are top quality and I forget I've got them on.

Fitting is crucial. I have recommended a brand, but if that brand does not fit the shape of your feet go for another brand. And you need the boot to just about hold your foot snugly without crushing, and to have a little space in front of the toes. A good shop will guide you through it. Do not buy online. You need to try them on. With socks of the sort you will be wearing when you use them.

Hiking shoes that look more like trainers work well for some sorts of walking. Their relative lightness is a bonus and they don't need as much breaking in. The main downside is that they make crossing streams slower / wetter. My daughter uses a pair of those and I have to wait around when I have gone through a stream in my boots and she is picking her way over wobbly rocks in her trainer style shoes. Other than that they seem fine.
Last edited by pwa on 4 Jan 2019, 9:47am, edited 2 times in total.

reohn2
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jan 2019, 9:44am

pwa wrote:.........Fitting is crucial. I have recommended a brand, but if that brand does not fit the shape of your feet go for another brand. And you need the boot to just about hold your foot snugly without crushing, and to have a little space in front of the toes. A good shop will guide you through it. Do not buy online. You need to try them on. With socks of the sort you will be wearing when you use them.


Sound advice.
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pwa
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby pwa » 4 Jan 2019, 9:55am

Thinking about the high cost of good hiking boots, I'd expect to pay around £175 for a new pair. But they would last for a good few years, maybe ten, they would be used dozens of times each year and be the best things I could have on my feet for that activity, and they would be good value in the long run. Work boots, which I am very familiar with, would be a compromise.

reohn2
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jan 2019, 10:36am

pwa wrote:Thinking about the high cost of good hiking boots, I'd expect to pay around £175 for a new pair. But they would last for a good few years, maybe ten, they would be used dozens of times each year and be the best things I could have on my feet for that activity, and they would be good value in the long run. Work boots, which I am very familiar with, would be a compromise.

The last two pairs of hiking boots which I wore for work cost around £75 per pair were supremely comfortable and lasted approx 2 years each of everyday wear :)
The make were Trezeta :- http://trezeta.com/prodotti/summer
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pwa
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby pwa » 4 Jan 2019, 10:55am

I quite like boots described as "mid", meaning somewhere between a shoe and a boot in terms of height. They tend to be lightish, but still good for crossing streams. They are lighter than most work boots.

https://www.blacks.co.uk/footwear/01152 ... brown.html

If I went into a shop and saw these for sale I might try them on. The price is good and on the face of it they would tick a lot of boxes. Unlike most work boots the soles of good hiking footwear curves up a lot at the front and a tiny bit at the heel to allow the foot to roll without the shoe creasing a lot just above the toes. These boots tick that box.

thirdcrank
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Jan 2019, 11:07am

Nobody seems to have said welcome to the forum, so I will.

As I know little about hiking or boots for hiking I'll leave it at that.

reohn2
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jan 2019, 11:08am

pwa wrote:I quite like boots described as "mid", meaning somewhere between a shoe and a boot in terms of height. They tend to be lightish, but still good for crossing streams. They are lighter than most work boots.

https://www.blacks.co.uk/footwear/01152 ... brown.html

If I went into a shop and saw these for sale I might try them on. The price is good and on the face of it they would tick a lot of boxes. Unlike most work boots the soles of good hiking footwear curves up a lot at the front and a tiny bit at the heel to allow the foot to roll without the shoe creasing a lot just above the toes. These boots tick that box.

Agreed,they look to be a good boot at an affordable price :)
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Bonefishblues
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby Bonefishblues » 4 Jan 2019, 11:12am

I'd prefer a style with a membrane if I was going to do anything beyond casual strolling.

FWIW I really like this brand (and their product warranty's bulletproof, IMPE) because I know it fits my feet, irrespective of the shoe/boot style https://www.keenfootwear.com/

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cycleruk
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Re: Work boots as hiking boots?

Postby cycleruk » 4 Jan 2019, 11:40am

Obviously work boots will have a steel toe cap but may, and should have, some form of sole protection. This is to protect against such things as nail penetration if stood on. The soles may be stiffer than normal footwear so could be uncomfortable if walking long distances. Standing and just moving around at work is not the same as walking for miles day after day.
Depending on the terrain, to me, will determine whether you need ankle protection so requiring a proper boot. Again, to me, a proper boot will hold the foot better and stop it slipping up and down causing blisters.
I have various boots including some cheap ones. These I find hot to wear, so not a good summer boot, probably because they don't breathe well.
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