When it comes to hiking there are a lot of choices that need to be made. You need to decide on a location, trail difficulty, gear, and perhaps most importantly, your footwear. The key to having an enjoyable hike is choosing the right equipment that will suit your needs.
Many people naturally assume that in order to go hiking they need boots or shoes made specifically for that purpose. But is that really the case? Can you use footwear that was originally made for other activities, like logger boots, on your hike? Read on to find out!
History of Logger Boots
Logger boots, also known as caulk boots, were originally used in the Pacific Northwest for those working in the lumber industry. These boots were designed specifically to provide support, comfort, traction, and durability while lumberjacks worked in the woods.
Lumberjacks worked in tough conditions. The weather could be pouring rain and they would still be expected to work despite the slick conditions. Logger boots provided the solution they needed to work safely in this environment.
Are Logger Boots Good for Hiking
It turns out that logger boots can actually be a great choice for hiking. They’re typically made out of leather which gives them the durability needed to withstand many hikes over rough, uneven ground.
They’re also designed to provide as much comfort to the wearer as possible. Logger boots have a raised heel that helps protect your foot from the stress of your hike. A raised heel provides a bit of a barrier for your foot.
It helps to absorb some of the impacts while you’re hiking and that can allow you to hike for longer with less risk of damage to your feet. This can be a game-changer when you’re doing a long hike such as the Pacific Coast Trail.
Logger boots also tend to have a longer boot shaft, generally around 8 inches.
This means that you’ll be lacing your boot up well above the ankle. Rolling or spraining an ankle is one of the most common injuries that a hiker can experience.
Logger boots can help reduce the risk of injuring your ankle and ending your trip early.
There’s also the caulked bottom of logger boots to consider. These caulked soles are basically spikes that dig into the ground to help provide you with stability and traction.
These were designed originally to help loggers navigate the wilderness while they worked and maintain their balance standing on wet logs.
They’ll work just as well to help you traverse a hike on any trail or mountain.
Also Reade: Are Duck Boots Good for Hiking?
Pros and Cons of Hiking in Logger Boots
Logger boots have a lot of good qualities but, like everything in life, they aren’t perfect. Choosing the right footwear is one of the most important preparations for hikers and looking at the pros and cons of different options can help you determine what is the right fit for you.
Pros of Logger Boots
- Durability: Logger boots are made to withstand long, repeated hours in the wilderness in a variety of weather conditions. They’re made with strong leather that can hold up against tough conditions.
- Waterproof: Most logger boots offer some degree of waterproofing. Keeping your feet dry during a long hike can be a challenge even in ideal weather. Logger boots will help you to avoid complications that can come along with prolonged physical activity with wet feet.
- Stability: Finding footwear with good stability can mean the difference between completing your hike or going home early with an ankle injury. The longer boot shaft that logger boots have will help keep your ankle from rolling while hiking over uneven ground.
- Comfort: The raised heel on logging boots helps reduce the amount of impact your feet absorb. They’re made to be worn for long periods and designed to provide you the comfort needed to keep you on your feet all day long.
- Long-lasting: These boots are designed to last for years. When logging boots were originally made it was for the purpose of aiding lumberjacks who often worked long hours year-round. These boots will last you for more hikes than most average hiking boots!
Cons of Logger Boots
- Weight: Logger boots are made out of leather, have a larger shaft, and caulking on the bottom. All of these elements will make it heavier than traditional hiking boots. Carrying extra weight on your feet can impact the amount of stress your body experiences during a hike and how long you can hike continuously without taking a rest.
- Expense: Logger boots are made out of high-quality material and that doesn’t come cheap. If price is a consideration for you then you may want to consider finding alternative footwear.
- Break-in time: Leather tends to be a tough material that takes time to conform to you. While you may only need to wear a new pair of hiking boots for a few days to break them in, logger boots may take a couple of weeks to achieve ideal comfort levels.
Best Logger Boots for Hiking
There’s such a wide variety of logger boots to choose from. It can be difficult to sift through all the different types of logger boots to find your perfect pair for hiking. Here are 5 types of logger boots that will help keep you comfortable, warm, and dry on your hike!
Logger Series- 9” Brown Trail CrazyHorse
Designed for those working in the lumber industry these steel-toed logger boots are guaranteed to provide the comfort and protection your feet need all day long.
They’re insulated, waterproof, and come with a removable shock absorption footbed. They also come with a steel shank and a tough rubber outsole that will help you keep your stability and traction on even the roughest trails.
Ad Tec Steel Toe Logger
These Ad Tec logger boots are constructed with strong, durable leather that is made to be long-lasting.
These boots can survive dozens of rough hikes and come with a slip-resistant lug sole that will help you keep your footing regardless of what the weather or terrain throws your way.
The Ad Tec logger boots have a shorter break-in time than others and contain a well-cushioned insole to keep your feet comfortable.
Chippewa Waterproof EH Logger
These waterproof, insulated, 100% leather boots are perfect for protecting your feet from the elements during a long hike.
They have a long, 9’’ boot shaft to provide the stability your ankle needs while navigating difficult terrain. The longer heel on these boots absorbs the shock that would usually fall on your feet. This will help keep you comfortable and reduce your risk of injury.
Georgia Low Heel Logger
These boots have a simple and clean design that makes them more affordable than others on this list. Their 1” heel is lower than most logging boots but is still good for shock absorption.
The shaft of these boots provides extra stability and goes up to your calves. It also comes with a padded collar to prevent chafing and provide some extra comfort for long-term wearing.
When Should You Hike in Logger Boots
While logger boots are designed to be year-round and all season that isn’t necessarily the case. Most logger boots are made out of heavy leather material and contain additional insulation with the intent of keeping your feet warm in cold and wet weather.
Traditional logger boots are perfect for hiking in chilly weather, especially if your environment is going to be damp most of the time.
These boots would be ideal for someone hiking in the Pacific Northwest. After all, that is where they were originally designed!
If you’re going to be hiking in the summertime or warmer climates then you may want to consider a more breathable option.
Logger boots could cause your feet to sweat excessively which could lead to blistering and other foot problems that can end your adventure early.
How Long Do Logger Boots Last
With all the boasting about how logger boots are long-lasting, it may lead you to wonder what exactly this means. How long can logger boots actually last when used for hiking?
A couple of different factors go into answering this question. It all depends on a few key factors:
- Which brand do you buy.
- How frequently do you go hiking.
- How long each hike takes you.
- The type of terrain you hike.
Some logger boots can last for up to 5-10 years! If you want to buy a pair of logger boots that are going to last for this long then be sure to find a pair that is mostly made out of leather, has a long shaft and heel, and advertises itself as long-lasting.
Finding the right pair of logger boots could carry you through your outdoor adventures for years to come.
How Long Does It Take To Break-In Logger Boots
It is so important to break in a new pair of logger boots before setting out on a hike. Forgetting to break in your boots can result in blisters, rashes, and pain. None of that sounds like fun when you’re about to take on a 5-mile hike!
Typically, it takes between 80-100 hours to break in a new pair of boots. That’s 4 straight days if you wear them 24 hours a day! Your feet will definitely get torn up if you try to break them in this way.
Instead, you want to space out how frequently you’re wearing the boots. It’s recommended to wear a new pair of boots for 2-4 hours at a time, once a day. You need to give your feet a break to prevent discomfort and injury.
If you wear your new boots for 4 hours a day then they should be completely broken in within 20-25 days. That may sound like a long time but it will be well worth it once you’re on the trail.
You’ll be glad you took the time to get your feet used to these new boots before taking on your latest hike.
There’s no need to stick to the status quo when it comes to hiking. While hiking boots are a great option to have available to you there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider some alternatives.
Logger boots are made to be long-lasting, comfortable, waterproof, and provide traction to those spending long periods of time in the wilderness. This makes them a great option for your next outdoor adventure!
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About the Author
Hussain is a passionate hiker and traveler that love the outdoor and enjoys what nature has to give, whenever he can he love to write and give tips & honest reviews to help others get out there and just seek more unforgettable experiences.