I want to buy some comfortable shoes to wear while going to work. I have to walk 4 km every day. I want to use these shoes on rainy (not too heavy) days too. I am looking for shoes for all weather conditions (except heavy rain and snow) that are comfortable for walking.

I have found some shoes but they say "WaterProof Hiking Shoes" and I am curious about whether it is OK to wear these kinds of shoes in an office environment or asphalt streets. Do they have any disadvantages on clear surfaces?

  • 1
    Not an answer, but why not get a bicycle?
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 10:49
  • 1
    My office is 40 km away from my home. I am using subway and bus then walking about 2 km. Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 10:51
  • 4
    Loosely related: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/5695/… Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 10:59
  • 1
    Ah, I misunderstood the situation (you could still consider a folding bicycle).
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 11:30
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    Whether or not it's acceptable in the office depends entirely upon your office's policies. In my office, any shoes are acceptable - looking around, I see dress shoes, hiking shoes, running shoes, and even flip flops. But not all offices have such a liberal dress code.
    – Johnny
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 20:00

4 Answers 4


Concerning using hiking shoes on asphalt: it certainly can be done and is a much better option than the other way around (i.e. taking a business shoe on a mountain hike). Hiking shoes are a bit stiffer in their construction and might have a little less damping in their sole which can make them a bit uncomfortable to walk on longer asphalt stretches but this shouldn't be a problem for such short pieces that you intend to do. However, if you decide to stick to a hiking boot, I would try to stay with rather light ones as you won't necessarily need features like ankle support and stuff like that. You could also have a look into the category of so-called "approach shoes" which are a bit lighter but may also be more or less waterproof.

Concerning the question about wearing them in an office environment, that depends on the office environment and the dress code there. A professor at my university is often seen wearing his cycling shoes that he uses for cycling to work and nobody cares. Other environments might have more restrictive guidelines concerning clothes and shoes.

  • 1
    I once wore running shoes to office and my manager laughed at me for half an hour :P Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 11:32
  • I always thought that approach shoes will likely be even stiffer than hiking shoes because they are designed for more difficult terrain. Wouldn't that make them a worse choice? Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 11:08
  • @PaulPaulsen Not really. They have been "invented" for climbers to get to the foot of the climb in terrain where trainers are not quite suitable but hiking boots would be unnecessarily heavy. Compare: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approach_shoe Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 20:14

Benedikt already gave a good answer and he is right that a hiking boot would be a massive overflow. It just looks ridiculous because it is simply not designed to be used on flat terrain. What you need is a comfy and weather resistant shoe. Therefore you could go for a light hiking shoe.

I am wearing my approach shoes in daily use from time to time. But just two points regarding this:

  1. Most noticeably the sole wears off pretty fast on asphalt and therefore you have to replace the shoes quite early. Because outdoor equipment is a growing and somehow trendy business the shoes are expensive too.
  2. Even now (with decreasing temperatures) I am sometimes feeling too warm on the feet. You can adjust with lighter socks but still you could think in bringing other shoes for the office. Also to have an adequate more stylish looking office shoe or to simply have a very comfy slipper if your boss allows that.

In general lighter style hiking shoes have no disadvantages because they are made for walking even with difficult conditions/terrain. If you can live with the higher prices it's very fine in my opinion.

The longer the distance and the worse the terrain you are walking in daily, the more sense makes a proper hiking shoe.

  • 1
    +1 for the approach shoes. As a kind of really light hiking shoe, they are awesome everyday shoes (as long as you don't have to wear things like business attire ;-))
    – anderas
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 13:43
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    They do wear fast on hard surfaces, and the expensive ones don't last any longer than cheaper brands. I used to walk around 2 miles a day as part of my commute and wore out a pair of KSBs in a few months. My HiTecs lasted if anything slightly longer and weren't much more than half the price. Once a pair was starting to wear I kept my eyes open for a suitable replacement on sale. My main reason for choosing them was the occasional torrential rain; I was somewhere casual so I would otherwise have been in trainers.
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 14:39
  • @ChrisH my girlfriend wore the same pair of Lundhags almost daily for more than five years; after that, she got them resoled by the manufacturer for 50 €.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 19:27
  • @DavidMH I paid about that in the sale for my HiTecs, and I probably weigh a bit more than her, but apart from the soles wearing out it was no bad thing to have a fresh pair. Just occasionally they'd fill with water running down my legs in a 15 minute walk and that doesn't make them smell nice.
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 8:53

I keep a pair of loafers or Rockports at the office. That way I can wear whatever shoes are appropriate/comfortable for traveling to/from the office and switch once I get there. For me, hiking boots are what I wear in sloppy weather and running shoes are for when I run into work. A plastic trash bag is nice to have to put under the sloppy boots to keep from soaking the carpet.

  • What are loafers? What are Rockports? Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 11:10

I have a pair of hiking shoes that are waterproof so they appear to have been dipped in rubber for about an inch and a half up the shoe. They work with our dress code but I find that when I leave the carpeted area into the hardwood lobby where as everyone else's shoes go "click clack" mine go "squish squish"! Every time that happens I consider wearing my Rockports instead!

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