Leather vs. Synthetic Hiking Boots

If you’re buying a new pair of boots for hiking, make sure you choose comfort over fashion. Always go for the pair that keeps your feet comfortable and protected on the trail. After all, your footwear should be able to perform well on the trail, especially if you’re walking for miles.

There are different kinds of boots available and are made with different sorts of materials. The most commonly used are leather and synthetic hiking boots. So what are exactly the differences between the two?

Leather vs Synthetic

A leather material is produced from animal skin. It can be made from different kinds of animals such as cow, alligator, ostrich or snake among many others. For hiking boots, a cowhide is often used due to its durability and flexibility which is what you need when you’re trekking on rough grounds.

Synthetic boots, on the other hand, are made with plastic including nylon, polyester or what we call, synthetic leather. This material is lighter and more affordable than genuine leather. However, synthetic boots require waterproofing because it tends to absorb water.

Differences in Use

  1. Weight

Leather boots weigh more than synthetics. If you’re going on a short hike, synthetic or hybrid boots (combination of synthetic and leather) may be a more practical choice. Synthetic boots won’t weigh you down while providing your feet and ankle with enough support.

However, if you’re planning a more serious backpacking trip, we recommend you choose leather boots. A full-grain leather may be more suitable for this kind of expedition. Although it is heavier, it will keep your feet supported and balanced while you’re carrying a heavy bag.

If you want a footwear that’s in between the two, a hybrid style may fit you best. By combining synthetic and leather trims on your boot’s upper, the result becomes a combination of lightweight and durable materials.

  1. Flexibility

Every time you buy a new pair of shoes, you need to break them in at first. Breaking in your shoes means that you have to wear them for a while. Doing this will help reduce the stiffness in your shoes.

Leather boots take time before the material loosens up. Meanwhile, synthetic boots are quicker to break in.

Whether you’re using a leather, synthetic or hybrid boots, always keep your shoes protected from water and stains with the KevianClean Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. This can help extend the longevity of your boots and maintain its look for a long time.

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