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Steel-toed boots for hiking?


Q. Dear Gear Guy, Is it a good idea to wear steel-toed boots for hiking?
—Curious Jason, Midlothian, Texas

A. So, Jason, steel-toed boots for hiking? Nah, not the best idea. Steel-toed boots are required when working on a job site (to help protect your toes from getting crushed by an errant hammer or some such) but they are going to be overkill for the trail, heavier weight, and not as comfortable as traditional hiking boots.

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17 Comments on Steel-toed boots for hiking?

  1. Composite toes are OK, but steel toes, no. The whole balance of the shoe or boot is off and they are really uncomfortable after a while of hiking. They will also conduct heat and cold into the foot.

  2. I have steel toed hiking boots and I actually love them because I don’t hurt my toes like I used to. If you walk around the store bend and flex you can find decent ones. And when your scout son drops a large piece of wood it doesn’t hurt lol! It really is personal preference.

  3. Off-Trail Monkey // January 11, 2015 at 2:21 pm // Reply


  4. duke of nothingham // May 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm // Reply

    no not A good idea \

  5. Awesomeness // August 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm // Reply

    I would suggest hiking boots without the steel toes because the toe part of my boots are already protective as it is. But they’re lightweight.

  6. i like steel toed boot they may be heavier but they are tough and won’t fall apart over years of use

  7. NO. steel-toed boots are way too hevy,you really have no use for them,annd they are too stiff

  8. I would not use steel towed boots, because there’s no flex.

  9. if you want some thing similar go with composite

  10. I actually just bought a pair of Keens with a light weight steel toe and they are not that heavy but provide a good stiff boot which I need due to foot problems. It’s not like the big heavy boots with the steel shank in them.

  11. No steel toes for hiking. They will get colder quicker in cold weather and once cold, they will retain the cold. Stick with flexible boots and those with good insulate.

  12. A reinforced Toe Box in your boots can be very helpful when hiking in ruggard country. The toes on hiking boots take a lot of wear as you may scrape you toes along the hike up a trail or move rocks out of the way. Just something to think of.

    • The only thing steel toe protects is your toes they will not help to protest from scraping on rocks and such. There is an piece you can buy to help protect the outside however.

  13. Scoutmaster Bill // June 10, 2011 at 11:05 am // Reply

    Steel-toed shoes are not good for hiking. They don’t flex and the rigid toebox can cause blisters and bruises. Additionally, the non-porous material does not breath very well. Finally, the extra weight makes the shoe harder to walk with, causing fatigue. The purpose of steel-toed shoes is to protect your feet from injury if a heavy object were to fall on your foot. This is a very unlikely situation when hiking.

  14. I’m with the GearGuy on this one. I sometimes bring out the old “Waffle Stomper” hiking boots I wore when I was a scout back in the early 80’s – but not for hiking! Just when we are doing training to show today’s scouts and leaders how much better the gear is today and how much less impact we make on the trails today.

    Get some good steel toed boots if you’re going to be working in a warehouse or on a construction site – but leave them home when hiking.

  15. Haven’t hiked in years, but I cant tell you steel-toes are definately not good for it. Not only are they too heavy, but the plate doesn’t allow the proper toe movement or flexibility that you would generally need to climb, crouch or walk large distances. Plus, they can be hard to squeeze into tight foot holds and impossible to feel things around your toes when you may need to find out if your foot is in the right place.

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