Are all winter clothes fit for summer? No? Can we say the same for hiking boots? Well, you’re about to find out. What comes to your mind when you hear winter or its season is near? You think about extreme cold and getting warm clothes in your wardrobe for the season.
Manufacturers of winter clothing make them to keep you warm during the season. The same goes for winter hiking boots. The designs of winter hiking boots are such that they keep your feet warm during each hike in cold seasons.
If you can already picture the extreme cold, temperatures dropping, and snow all around; the last thing you want to worry about is frostbite or getting cold feet, literally.
Hence, you have to protect your feet while hiking with the right hiking boots. But what happens when winter is over, and you want to go hiking during summer?
Does that mean you have to get new hiking boots for summer, or can you wear your winter hiking boots? Well, you are going to find more about that. Let’s find out if you can wear all kinds of winter hiking boots in summer or if you can’t wear any at all.
- Winter Hiking Boots
- Can You Wear Winter Hiking Boots in Summer?
- Why Wear Winter Hiking Boots In Summer?
- Deciding Which Winter Hiking Boots Insulation Is Okay For Summer
Winter Hiking Boots
You already know that your hiking boots are different from your regular shoes because they are designed to protect your feet while you are out hiking.
The designs of winter hiking boots are such that they specifically keep your feet warm when you’re out during winter. They are highly insulated so that outside air doesn’t get into the boot and trap warmth in the boot.
Furthermore, winter hiking boots can be single-layer insulated, Thinsulate, or heavy-layer insulated for different reasons. Some winter hiking boots are more insulated than others, and the degree to which they keep you warm varies.
For instance, their insulation grams vary from 200 grams to 800 grams. The 400 grams of insulation is fit for below treeline hiking. However, you may need a higher gram if you’ll be out hiking for a longer period so your feet can be warm all through.
You can wear 200 grams insulated hiking boots for shorter distances, less hiking duration, and weather.
At the same time, people wear thick socks with hiking boots to be extra protective and keep their feet warm all through their hiking trip.
Winter hiking boots have an extra cushion on the sides that make your feet comfortable and prevent them from getting blisters. So, including the warmth they provide, they are very comfortable as well.
Since summer is hot, do you need that much warmth or insulation when hiking? Should you trade breathability for comfort, or would you rather go for less insulated winter hiking boots?
Can You Wear Winter Hiking Boots in Summer?
Yes, you can wear winter hiking boots during summer, but that also depends on different factors. How so?
Usually, the summer season screams heat, and that gives room for a sweaty body, including your feet. This means that you need to wear something light when you are out hiking to reduce the itching, irritation, and smell that comes with sweating.
Winter hiking boots with breathable lining and membrane can help keep your feet warm and cool so that your feet don’t sweat. Also, they can help your feet to remain dry throughout your hike.
Are Winter Boots Too Hot for Summer?
Not all winter boots are too hot for hiking in summer. You can wear winter hiking boots with up to 200 grams of insulating layers because they won’t make your feet as hot as boots with higher insulating grams.
More importantly, it depends on you. If you have super sweaty feet, you may not want to wear winter hiking boots at all because that would only increase your sweating. On the other hand, if your feet get too hot during summer, go for other hiking boots with little to no insulation instead.
If you would rather have your winter and summer hiking boots in one pair of hiking boots, shop for those with breathing lining and lesser insulation gram.
Unfortunately, that means you have to wear extra thick socks and normal hiking socks during winter to offer protection to your feet from blisters.
What Kind of Hiking Boots Should Be Suitable for Both Winter and Summer?
When you are shopping, look for the following features:
- 200 grams to 400 grams of insulation
- Linings should be breathable.
- Be waterproof and breathable so adequate air can get into the boots and out for dry and warm feet.
- It should be lightweight.
- Winter hiking boots with vented holes.
How to Wear Winter Hiking Boots in Summer?
Since you can wear winter hiking boots in summer, what are the best ways you can wear them that you’ll be comfortable during your hiking trip?
Here’s how you can:
- Wear with cool socks
It would be best if you wore breathable socks inside your winter hiking boots during summer. It will help keep our feet cool even when the boots’ insulation emits heat.
- Get moisture-wicking socks
There is a high chance that you are likely to sweat when you wear winter hiking boots. So it would be best if you had moisture-wicking socks to compensate for that.
Also, moisture-wicking socks prevent your feet from getting wet and your feet from irritation. They collect sweat from your feet without messing it up.
If you get the right moisture-wicking socks, they dry up quickly, and they keep your feet cool at the same time. Merino wool socks are the best moisture-wicking socks you can pair with your winter hiking boots.
The right moisture-wicking socks will help you in tackling insulation heat effects.
- Soft Breathable Moisture Control Fibers
- Arch Compression Support and Stability
- Ventilation Channels Enhance Air Flow
Last update on 2021-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- Have moisture-wicking liners
Another way you can wear winter hiking boots is to have moisture-wicking liners with them. Just like moisture-wicking socks, moisture-wicking liners help absorb sweat from your feet and enable adequate airflow within your hiking boots.
- Get pull-on winter hiking boots
Pull-on boots can be more breathable than lace-up models. This is because they allow airflow in the boot and keep your feet dry.
Why Wear Winter Hiking Boots In Summer?
Winter hiking boots are suitable for different hiking adventures, and they have quite some disadvantages over regular hiking boots. So, why should you or shouldn’t you wear winter hiking boots?
Let’s examine a few pros and cons of wearing winter hiking boots in summer.
- They are comfortable
Winter hiking boots are usually comfortable. This is because they have extra padding and cushion meant to keep your feet comfortable when you are out hiking.
Also, some have a soft cotton lining that makes your skin feel comfortable and soft on the shoe layer. And depending on the insulation gram you pick, the level of warmth in the hiking boot will vary.
In some hiking destinations, their temperature varies quite a lot between days and nights. It can be -5 degree C at night and up to 25-30 degree C at daytime even in summer. Therefore, winter hiking boots with adequate insulation can warm their feet at night time while on hiking trips.
- Waterproof designs
Winter hiking boots can be waterproof. When you wear them, they allow you to hike in the rain, muddy waters and not worry about getting your socks or feet wet. You can wear them on any hiking trail all through summer.
- They have good traction
Winter hiking boots were designed for freezing weather conditions. Additionally, they have designs that aid good traction when hiking in the snow. That is, they protect you from falling when you are hiking on slippery trails due to snow.
Also, you can wear them hiking for long hikes or uphill trails without worrying about slipping or falling. Their outsoles are firm, making every stride you take strong.
- Ankle coverage
Winter hiking boots have tall ankle coverage, giving your legs extra protection. This coverage protects your ankles from blisters, by preventing cold and other things from entering your hiking boots.
Additionally, you can tuck your pants into your boot for more style. If you don’t want your pants hanging on your hiking boots loosely, you can fit them into your boots.
- They have bulky designs
Winter hiking boots can be bulky – this is because they have designs that provide enough insulation for hikers. The insulation has to be enough, and they have to provide thick protection for your feet.
Therefore, this can make hiking a little bit uncomfortable for you. They may slow you down, make you tired, awkward or uncomfortable throughout your hike
If they are too bulky, you may not be able to wear them for longer hiking distances. Plus, if you want to be as free as possible during your summer hike, then winter hiking boots are a no-no.
- Heavily weighted
Add bulkiness and insulation together, and you can have a heavy pair of hiking boots. Unfortunately, they slow you down and make hiking tiring for you.
This means that if you want to go on longer hikes during summer, you are better off winter hiking boots because they can be heavier than regular boots. You may end up exerting all your energy on getting your feet to lift your boots throughout the journey.
- They make your feet sweat
The insulation in winter hiking boots can make your feet sweat while doing any activity, especially in the summer. This may be bad for you if your feet sweat a lot. If you couple that with non-moisture-wicking socks and you have wet and smelly feet afterward.
Wet socks and feet allow fungi to stay in your hiking boots, resulting in smelly and itching feet.
Also, your feet can get cold from the wetness, and you can become cold from that. So as an alternative, wear breathable hiking boots instead, so your footwear can have the right temperature for your feet.
- It can be bad for your health
Profuse sweating can be bad for your health. This can result in dizziness and fainting, making you jeopardize your health. You don’t want to faint while hiking in a harmful environment.
- Can lead to a lack of moisturization
Heat and high temperature can make you sweat profusely, leading to a lack of moisturization. As a result, your skin can become dry and cracked. This could also result in your skin itching or bleeding.
- Can cause blisters
When the heat becomes too much, it makes your feet sweat. And sweaty feet equals wet feet, and that could lead to blisters. While you’re walking with wet feet, it could rub against your boots, leading to blisters and chafing.
Deciding Which Winter Hiking Boots Insulation Is Okay For Summer
Like we have mentioned before, winter hiking boots insulation can be lightweight, Thinsulate, or heavyweight. So how comfortable you’ll be hiking in your winter hiking boots depends on the insulation grams of your boots.
So, let’s compare insulation ratings so you can decide what you want to wear for your summer hiking.
- 100g Insulation
You can wear 100g insulated winter hiking boots during 40°F to 50°F (4.4°C to 10°C) weather. Additionally, they are good for short hikes during chilly evenings.
- 200g Insulation
Wear 200g of insulated winter hiking boots during 30°F to 40°F (-1°C to 4.4°C) for early winter hikes or lightweight hiking.
- 400g Insulation
400g of insulated winter hiking boots are suitable for 15°F to 30°F (-9.4°C to -1°C) for longer hikes, snowy weather, mild moisture, etc.
- 600g Insulation
600g of insulated winter hiking boots are good for -5°F to 10°F (-15°C to-12.2°C) for extreme cold weather, winter backpacking, and longer hiking adventures.
Additionally, chilling hilltops would be the most suitable area to hike with this boot in the summer.
- 800g Insulation
800g of insulated winter hiking boots are good for -20°F to -10°F (-28.9°C to -23.3°C) during extreme cold weather conditions, mountaineering, and long hiking periods.
You might want to consider wearing these only in high elevated areas in the summer. For instance, you might want to wear them for high mountain hikes.
Since you already have insulation guides on selecting your winter hiking boots, you can go right ahead to shop for your preferred hiker’s footwear.
Besides, always keep in mind your comfortability, the insulation gram, and the hiking experience. As an expert tip from us, we advise that you keep the insulation grabs of your footwear as low as 100g to hike in the summer.
Not all attires are fit for all year round and that includes your hiking boots. Winter hiking boots are majorly for the cold seasons, but you can also wear them during summer. This depends on the insulation gram, how you wear it, the hiking trail and duration, and other factors.
Also, wearing winter hiking boots during summer has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, always consider the hiking duration, trail, and comfort when you want to go hiking during summer.