If you are the adventurous sort and retreat to mountain trails from time to time, chances are you already own a pair of hiking boots. One of the common complaints people often have about this type of shoe is its aesthetics. Despite their functional importance, hiking boots are often, quite simply put, ugly.
But why is that? Is it a design choice or a necessity? In this article, we will explore the reasoning behind the looks of these hiking shoes and might be able to develop a deeper understanding of the subject. So, without further ado, let us dive in.
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Why Are Hiking Boots So Ugly?
The aesthetic appeal of a shoe or boot and its comfort and function are two entirely different things. Both of these elements demand some design choices that can drastically affect the pricing. For instance, a simple no-design shoe will usually cost a lot more than a designer shoe with complex weaving put into it.
In simple terms, making a shoe look good can be costly. And when it comes to hiking boots, they are already quite expensive. Making them look pretty will only add more to the price, which can, in turn, have a negative impact on the number of units sold by the manufacturers.
There are some excellent hiking shoes out there that also look stunning, but most of these are absurdly expensive. As a result, they generate a lot less revenue since most people would go with function over aesthetics when it comes to hiking boots. And less revenue means less production, which means you see less of these boots.
You should think of hiking boots as a piece of safety equipment more so than a fashion statement. Hiking boots offer a better grip and traction, ensuring your feet stay firmly planted on the ground.
If you face sliding your feet forward in the hiking boots don’t get worried. Preventing your feet from sliding forward in hiking boots is not rocket science. You can do it by following some simple tips. A hiking boot can make the difference between life and death on a dangerous mountain trail.
What Is The Purpose Of Hiking Boots?
The appeal of hiking boots is not the aesthetics but rather the function. They provide better support for the legs and back, eliminating a large portion of the fatigue that comes from hiking or long trails. Getting tired on a long trail is a normal thing, but these boots can delay the tiredness to some degrees.
Hiking boots are also built like a tank and can survive harsh conditions with relative ease. If you wear a casual pair of sneakers on a mountain trail and survive to tell the tale, you will notice a lot of wear and tears on the poor pair of shoes. They are just not meant to take this much abuse.
Another element that makes hiking boots such an exceptional piece of gear is the treads. Typically, these boots feature a more robust tread design providing better traction and the ability to dig into the terrain. As a result, you will be able to climb tough terrains with relative ease when wearing a pair of hiking boots.
Hiking boots also take into account your comfort more than fashion. They might not look good, but they offer better insulation and breathability to ensure you remain comfortable. Since you would be sweating a lot during a hike, the breathability features in hiking boots are a lifesaver.
Last but not least, some hiking boots offer a few adjustment options to the user. Sure, changing shoelaces is a common modification most shoes allow, but hiking boots let you change inner pads or insulation to better accommodate your needs and preference. Casual footwear typically does not allow this.
Disadvantages Of Hiking Boots
For people who hike regularly, going without a pair of hiking boots is strictly a non-factor. However, there are some issues with this type of boots other than its aesthetic quality. Although they are not enough to negate the positives that come with it, they are still worth knowing if you are planning to buy a pair for yourself.
The major issue with hiking boots is their cost. They tend to be very expensive and sometimes can even be the most expensive piece of your hiking equipment. Spending this much on a pair of shoes can often be the main down point for a lot of people.
For the price of a decent pair of hiking boots, you can get at least two or even three pairs of casual sneakers that you can use every day.
Another gripe about hiking shoes is the weight. Unfortunately, the weight of a hiking shoe is an important element of its design. The heavier the shoe, the better durability it offers. In addition, a heavier boot typically offers better stability when walking on slanted grounds.
- Not Very Versatile
You can wear a pair of sneakers with a lot of different outfits for a variety of occasions. However, the use of hiking boots is strictly limited to one purpose, hiking. Since aesthetics is not the prime concern of these boots, it usually does not serve well for social functions or your daily commute.
Love it or hate it, hiking boots are exceptional pieces of gear that do exactly what it is supposed to do.
If fashion is your goal, then hiking boots might not be what you want for yourself. However, it is hard to imaging a grand hiking adventure without your trusty pair of hiking boots by your side.