If you’re an adventurous hiker who loves hiking on long trails, you sure would have come across places where you had to wade through the water during your hike.
So, is strapping on your wading boots better when you have to wade through the water quite often? Are they built the same as hiking boots? Or should you carry wading boots separately to wear during such time? Let’s find the answers to all these questions here.
Since wading boots are designed for fly fishers and hiking boots for hikers, they are made of different materials to serve the purpose. Read on find out if you can wear waders for hiking.
Can Wading Boots be Used as Hiking Boots?
The answer to this is yes and no.
Yes, wading boots can definitely be used for hiking, but they may not be as comfortable as hiking boots if you’re walking on long-distance trails.
Sure, wading boots can easily help you wade through the water during hikes, but you may have to switch to hiking boots if you don’t want to deal with discomfort and burns.
Since hiking boots are constructed to give maximum ankle support and comfort, they work the best on rough and even terrains during both hot summers and cold winters. You can try wearing wading boots for your next hike, but it’s not recommended.
If you’re only looking for waterproof boots, you need to know that if the water level is higher, you will anyway get wet as it will seep into the boots after a certain level. So, carefully assess your hiking trail and maybe carry wading boots and waders to change during such hikes.
Wading Boots Vs Hiking Boots
Hiking boots are built to protect your feet from rocks, rubbles, and thorns from hurting your feet. So, not only do they provide comfort, but they also offer maximum protection. Hiking boots keep your feet dry by absorbing sweat and do not cause discomfort even if you’re walking for long hours.
But if you wish to use your wading boots for hiking, you need to know that they are not waterproof and are designed to let water pass through, so if you don’t wear wading socks, your feet are likely to get wet when you come across streams during your hike.
On the other hand, several waterproof hiking boots are available on the market designed to prevent water from entering your boots. Plus, they offer protection when you come across sharp obstacles, so it’s entirely constructed to withstand different surfaces and weather conditions to have a pleasant hiking experience.
Features of Wading Boots and Hiking Boots
In some aspects, wading boots seem to be better, and hiking boots tend to be better in a few. So before wearing wading boots for hiking, here are some of the features you need to keep in mind. So, let’s look at some of the features of wading and hiking boots and see if you can wear wading boots for hiking.
Material and Weight
The soles of wading boots are made of rubber which is why it is ideal for hiking too but may not be for long-distance trails. And the material used outside of the boots may not work the best during summer seasons as they can cause blisters and burns to your feet.
However, you can wear wading boots during winter for hiking. Moreover, some hiking boots can be heavy, but a few wading boots are lightweight, making it easy to hike on long trails. You can surely go with lightweight hiking boots, but if you want to wear your wading boots for hiking, they can work the best too.
Comfort and Breathability
Wading boots are both breathable and waterproof. Though they are not built to be completely waterproof, they allow water to pass through, which means if you’re wearing neoprene wading socks and come across water trails during your hike, your feet will be warm and dry.
But if you don’t wear waders or wading socks, you will have to deal with wet feet and discomfort. So, if you’re hiking on water trails or plan to go fly fishing along with hiking, wearing wading boots can be perfectly fine.
Can you Hike in Waders?
It’s not ideal for hiking in waders as they can be heavy to carry and uncomfortable during hot weather. You can maybe carry the waders and then wear them once you reach the spot, but carrying them around can be a hassle.
Boot-foot waders and stocking-foot waders keep you dry if you come across waist height water, but they are definitely not for hiking. If you wear them for long hikes, you’ll notice how uneasy you’ll feel as they can cause sunburns and blisters due to sweat.
All in all, wading boots can be used for hiking and vice versa, but you can experiment with wearing wading boots for hiking if you wish to. However, wearing them is not recommended as they can cause discomfort and not make your hiking very pleasant, especially for long-distance hikes.
If you’re going fly fishing and hiking together, you can wear wading boots, but if you’re just walking on long trails, it’s always better to wear hiking boots for comfort and support. It’s always better to buy a pair of hiking boots for hiking rather than pushing the capabilities of other boots built for different purposes.
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I am Jordan James, I am a writer and researcher over here at Outside Origin. I love spending time in nature and just being outside. I have hiked many trails such as the Appalachian Trail, Pennine Way, Half Dome to name a few.