Can You Wear High Tops For Hiking? (Find Out)

Hiking is a great way to get out into nature, but it’s not always easy! You need proper hiking gear and clothing. 

When choosing hiking shoes, you have to be sure that they’re durable and comfortable. So many people think that high tops are better because they provide more ankle support than low tops do. 

In this blog post, I’ll explore whether it’s true or not!

What Kind of Footwear Is Best for Hiking? – YouTube
High-top shoes can be worn for hiking, but there are factors to consider.
Ankle support, stability, and comfort are important considerations for hiking footwear.
High-top shoes may provide ankle support but can be less flexible than other options.
Hiking boots or trail running shoes are alternative options to consider.
It’s important to choose footwear that suits your specific hiking needs and preferences.

Can You Wear High Tops For Hiking?

Can you wear high tops for hiking? If you’re looking to take your hiking game to the next level, then yes! High tops provide better support and stability when you’re out on the trail. 

They also have better traction on slippery surfaces, as well as keeping your feet dryer. Plus they’re more comfortable than low-tops.

When it comes to hiking, the choice of footwear plays a crucial role. While high-top shoes are an option, it’s important to consider other factors as well. Are hiking boots necessary? Find out in our comprehensive guide on the necessity of hiking boots, and make an informed decision for your next outdoor adventure.

What Are The Benefits Of A High Top Hiking Shoe?

High tops provide more support, ankle support, stability, cushioning, traction and durability than low-tops do. A high top hiking shoe also offers better grip since it has more material covering the bottom of your foot. 

High tops can be made from leather or synthetic materials that are waterproof and breathable so you can hike in them without worrying about getting wet feet or having sweaty feet.

How Do High Tops Help With Hiking?

High tops are great for hikers because they provide a lot of ankle support, keep your feet dryer and warmer, give you better traction and stability, help prevent injuries to the ankle joint, and make it easier to stay balanced on uneven terrain.

Ankle SupportHigh-top shoes provide increased support to the ankle, reducing the risk of sprains and injuries.
StabilityThe higher cut of high tops enhances stability, especially on uneven or challenging terrains.
ProtectionHigh tops offer added protection to the ankle and lower leg from scrapes, thorns, and other hazards on the trail.
ComfortSome hikers find high tops more comfortable due to the snug fit and added cushioning around the ankle.
DurabilityHigh-quality high-top hiking shoes are designed to withstand rugged conditions and provide long-lasting performance.

Do I Need A High Top For Hiking?

The answer is: it depends. If you’re planning on hiking in the winter and snowshoeing, then yes! You absolutely need a pair of high tops for your next hike. 

But if you’re just going out for an afternoon stroll in the woods, you don’t really need them because they won’t make that much of a difference. 

A good pair of low-top hiking shoes will still be able to withstand all sorts of rough terrain while keeping your toes warm and dry at the same time. If it’s hot out, however (and your feet sweat easily), then maybe consider looking into getting yourself some more breathable footwear instead!

Planning to travel with a hiking backpack? Learn if hiking backpacks are allowed as carry-on and get valuable insights on airline regulations and tips for successfully carrying your hiking gear onboard.

Why Do I Need To Wear A High Top For Hiking?

The answer is that you don’t need to wear a high-top hiking shoe to hike, but they can make your hike more enjoyable if you do. A high-top hiking boot provides ankle support and stability without feeling restrictive or uncomfortable. 

You will feel more secure with each step as the sturdy heel cup keeps your foot in place while traveling over uneven terrain. This added support reduces the risk of injury and makes it easier for you to stay on your feet, especially when carrying heavy loads or walking downhill or up steep inclines.

Hiking boots are designed specifically to give hikers better traction than lower-cut shoes so they don’t slip while climbing slippery rocks or hillsides covered in snow, mud and ice during winter months when temperatures dip below freezing at higher altitudes (where snowfall is common). 

The tread pattern on these types of footwear also helps prevent slippage on wet surfaces such as rain-soaked trails during summer months when temperatures rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).

Is It Ok To Wear Sneakers For Hiking?

While hiking in sneakers is possible, it’s not recommended. Sneakers are not designed for hiking and therefore do not offer the same protection as a high-top or low-top shoe that has been specifically designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor terrain. 

You might be able to hike in sneakers, but that doesn’t mean you should!

Ankle SupportLimited
DurabilityLower than hiking shoes/boots
ComfortDepends on the sneaker model
Terrain SuitabilityLight trails, well-maintained paths

What Is The Best Hiking Shoe?

We all want to find the best hiking shoe for our feet, but with so many options available on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

With so many different types of hiking shoes available these days, it’s easy to get confused about which type of shoe will work best for you. 

So what is the best hiking shoe? What are some of the most popular types? Which one should you choose? We’ll take a look at each type in detail below and help guide you through this decision process by breaking down their pros and cons.

Planning a hiking trip and wondering about the carry-on policy for hiking backpacks? Our article on hiking backpacks as carry-on provides valuable insights and guidelines. Learn about the rules and regulations to ensure a smooth travel experience with your hiking gear.

Do High Tops Make You Fall Off Of A Cliff?

If you are worried that high tops will make you fall off a cliff, don’t be. High tops can actually help avoid this from happening. 

High tops provide more support to the ankle and foot, which prevents injury and improves balance for hiking and all kinds of other sports.

Should I Wear High Tops Or Low-Tops On My Next Hike?

High tops are more supportive, which makes them better for people with foot issues like bunions or fallen arches. 

They’re also more comfortable to wear over long distances and provide more protection from sharp objects on the trail.

Low tops have their advantages as well they’re more flexible and can be lighter than high-tops. If you plan to do a lot of jumping around and running up hills, low-tops will feel good on your feet. 

Low-top shoes are also usually less expensive than their high-top counterparts, making them a great option if you’re looking for something affordable but still want the support of a hiking shoe without breaking the bank!

Do High Tops Or Low-Tops Make The Best Hiking Shoes?

In the world of hiking, there’s a lot of debate about what kind of shoe you should wear. Do you go with high tops or low tops? Well, it depends on what style of hiking you’re doing.

High Tops

If your goal is to get out into the wilderness and really explore, then high tops are probably best for you. They provide more ankle support and protection from sharp rocks and other hazards on steep trails. 

In addition to their protective qualities, they also give you more traction when climbing inclines you’ll have less chance of slipping on steep terrain than with a low top shoe. Low Tops

If your interests are more casual and focused on following established trails through well-marked areas (and if not falling over cliffs is also important), then low tops will probably suit you better as they offer superior flexibility underfoot and can be worn with a wider range of socks than their high-top cousins do which in turn provides extra cushioning for sensitive feet during extended periods outdoors

AspectHigh TopsLow-Tops
Ankle SupportBetterLimited
VersatilitySuitable for rugged terrainSuitable for light trails
Brand ExamplesSalomon Quest 4D GTX, Vasque St. Elias FG GTXMerrell Moab 2 Vent, Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX

Do High Tops Help With Balance?

High tops provide more support for the ankle, and they help you balance better while hiking. If you’re a beginner hiker, or if you have issues with your ankles or knees, high-top hiking shoes may be a good option for you.

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Do High Tops Provide Better Traction When Hiking?

If you ask me, I think high tops provide better traction than low tops. High-top hiking shoes are designed for hiking and often have more tread on the bottom of their soles. 

This means they have more grip on slippery surfaces like rocks, trails and mud while also being able to support your foot better when walking over rough terrain (like stairs). 

They also tend to have a stiffer sole than low-top hikers which can contribute to stability when climbing steep inclines or navigating uneven terrain.

Do High Tops Keep Your Feet Dryer?

High tops are better for hiking in wet conditions and hot conditions because they provide more protection from the elements, like rain and heat. Low-tops can’t do that because they don’t cover your ankle or foot which could get wet when it rains. 

The waterproof material on high-top hiking shoes will keep your feet dry when you’re walking through puddles or streams, so long as the shoe has a breathable membrane (like Gore-Tex) inside of it.

High tops also make good cold weather shoes because they have a higher insulation value than low-tops. Because of this colder temperatures aren’t as likely to cause frostbite on your toes or ankles since their protected by an extra layer of material between them and the ice outdoors!

Heading for a hike in the beautiful Smoky Mountains? Don’t forget the essentials! Check out our comprehensive checklist on what to bring when hiking in the Smoky Mountains. From proper footwear to necessary gear, this guide will ensure you’re well-prepared for a memorable hiking adventure.


So, can you wear high tops for hiking? The answer is yes! You can wear anything that fits comfortably on your feet while you’re out there exploring the world. 

But if you’re looking for something that will keep your feet dry and provide traction in slippery conditions, then we recommend getting a pair of high tops. We hope this article has helped to answer any questions you might have had about why they are so great!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on hiking footwear:

  • Are Converse Good for Hiking?: Discover whether Converse shoes are suitable for hiking and learn about their pros and cons in this insightful article.
  • Hiking Boots: How to Choose: This comprehensive guide from REI provides expert advice on choosing the right hiking boots for your outdoor adventures. Learn about different features, fit, and materials to make an informed decision.
  • Hiking Boots or Shoes: Do I Really Need Hiking Boots?: If you’re unsure whether hiking boots are necessary, this article offers valuable insights. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of hiking boots versus hiking shoes to find the best option for your needs.


Here are some frequently asked questions about hiking footwear:

Are hiking boots better than hiking shoes?

Hiking boots and shoes each have their advantages. Boots provide more ankle support and protection, making them ideal for rugged terrains and heavy backpacking. Shoes offer lighter weight and more flexibility, suitable for shorter hikes or trails with less challenging terrain.

How do I choose the right size of hiking boots?

To choose the right size of hiking boots, it’s recommended to try them on in the afternoon when your feet are slightly swollen. Ensure there is enough space in the toe box for your toes to wiggle without feeling cramped, and check for a snug fit around the heel and arch for stability.

How do I break in hiking boots?

Breaking in hiking boots is essential to avoid discomfort and blisters on the trail. Wear them around the house or on shorter walks to gradually break them in. It’s also advisable to wear them with hiking socks and make adjustments to lacing for a customized fit.

How long do hiking boots last?

The lifespan of hiking boots varies depending on factors such as usage, terrain, and maintenance. On average, high-quality hiking boots can last between 500 to 1,000 miles of hiking. Regular cleaning, drying, and proper storage can extend their durability.

Can I use hiking boots for other outdoor activities?

Hiking boots are designed specifically for hiking, providing the necessary support and protection for rugged terrains. While they can be suitable for some other outdoor activities like backpacking or mountaineering, specialized footwear may be recommended for activities such as trail running or rock climbing.