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Hiking and Horseback Riding: The Best Multi-Purpose Boots

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When I go on extended trail rides or camping trips with my horse, it’s really important to pack light. So I have multipurpose footwear suitable for both riding and hiking. A friend accompanying us on our recent trail ride was curious about the effectiveness of my footwear, so I gave him my insight on boots you can use for riding and hiking.

Some boot makers design footwear for hiking and horseback riding. These multi-purpose boots typically have heels designed to fit a stirrup, traction so you can trek through trails, as well as ankle support for extra stability. The best ones have a solid grounding in both hiking and riding.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

This article looks at different highly-rated multi-purpose horseback riding and hiking boots. The boots come in a range of prices and features, so you will have options from this small sampling to find a great pair of boots for your trip.

Picture of a person wearing hiking boots with a heel standing on a log. 
 A backpack and thermos is also in the photo,

Ariat Terrains are the best multi-purpose riding boots

More and more horseback riders choose multi-purpose riding boots for working around the barn, wearing to town, or hiking. Very few riders buy boots solely for riding horses.

Things to consider when choosing your hiking/riding boots.

Multi-purpose boots need to be comfortable.

Many horseback riders find that riding boots with the flexibility to be used for various purposes has significant advantages over boots designed just for riding.

Multiple-purpose boots are more comfortable to walk in, allow you to carry less footwear on your camping trip, and save money because you don’t need extra shoes.

Don’t expect them to replace your riding boots.

Of course, multi-purpose boots aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking for riding boots to wear during competition, multi-purpose won’t meet your needs.

Horseback riding boots are an essential piece of equipment, so take your time choosing a pair that works best for you. If you’re interested in an exceptional pair of cowboy boots for horseback riding, click on this title: The Cowboy Boots We Like Best.

Choosing the perfect boot is complicated. But the process starts with deciding on how you will use the shoes, and while a fancy pair of cowboy boots may be nice to look at, they may not serve your purposes.

The equestrian market is filled with riding boots in various shapes, sizes, styles, and materials. How do you know you’re buying the right ones? We answer this question and provide other helpful information.

Safety is paramount when choosing boots to wear riding.

Safety and quality are paramount; a good pair of comfortable riding boots are designed to keep your foot in the stirrup and keep your leg in the correct position easier. I don’t want to sacrifice those features in a crossover hiking boot.

The increasing interest in horseback riding boots people can use for hiking prompted us to review the best boots that meet these needs. We look at different styles and highlight some essential details about multi-purpose boots so you can narrow down your search.

Picture of a boot in a saddle stirrup,

I want to wear boots that fit my saddles’ stirrup.

You want footwear that won’t get caught in the stirrup but provides traction and protects your foot if stepped on by a horse. Choose boots that come over your ankle so the laces and tongues don’t catch on the stirrup.

Multi-purpose riding boots should have a heel.

Having a heel with any boot or shoe, you use for riding is critical because it prevents your foot from going through the stirrup. Exclude tennis shoes, sandals, moccasins, loafers, and slip-on shoes from your choices.

Because you also intend to use the boots for hiking, you can’t have the extreme heel offered in standard cowboy boots. A good heel for a multi-purpose boot should prevent your foot from slipping through the stirrup but not be too high to make walking uncomfortable.

I want multi-purpose boots with full-grain leather uppers.

Hiking and riding boots need uppers made with durable material. Full-grain leather provides excellent protection, is long-lasting, and, when treated correctly good moisture resistance.

Boot uppers are also made with other materials, such as split leather and synthetics. These may offer comfort and are lightweight but fall short of durability. Full-grain leather boots are the best material for hiking and riding boots.

I have done my research into the boots I chose, but it’s a good practice for you to check out Amazons reviews as well; here is the link to the Amazon customer review pages so that you can see for yourself what hundreds of customers have to say:

My picks for the best combination of riding and hiking boots.

Ariat Terrains

Ariat Terrains are marketed to endurance riders who need to take on the elements. They claim to offer foot stabilizing technology to secure the foot and reduce fatigue. This line of boots comes in men’s and women’s and are either waterproof or water-resistant models.

Ariat Women's Terrain Waterproof Hiking Boot 0, Copper, 5.5

Horseback riders might be skeptical because they look more like hiking boots than riding boots and have chunky heels. The boot felt broken in and was very comfortable right away, and they didn’t need any break-in.

The boot holds up well to daily chores around the barn, and it felt comfortable all day. The waterproof style stood up well when washing our horses and walking in wet areas; however, the water-resistant types weren’t nearly as proficient in keeping the moisture out. Click here to check Amazon’s prices on Ariat Terrains.

Are Ariat Terrains good riding boots?

The boot fit the stirrups nicely, and the sole was slick enough to let me easily get my foot in and out. Most hiking boots have aggressive ground-gripping treads, so I was concerned that my foot would stick in the stirrup.

Terrains provide substantial arch support, and my feet felt good after a day of riding. Ariat Terrains were designed with the equestrians in mind. Overall, they are functional riding boots; the only concern is that you tend to rub your leg because you don’t have the standard riding boot shaft protection for your lower legs.

Are Ariat Terrains good hiking boots?

The Terrains are very comfortable walking boots, and my feet feel good even after many miles. But as mentioned above, functional hiking boots have aggressive soles for better gripping on slippery surfaces.

Though too much tread is not suitable for riding, too little grip is not so great for hiking. The treads on the soles don’t provide grip, and you often slip, especially when navigating down hills and over slippery rocks and gravel. I often felt like I was walking in dress shoes.

Overall, these are comfortable hiking boots and provide excellent arch and ankle support. They perform as well as any hiking boots; however, the soles don’t provide enough grip in wet areas or hilly trails.

Overall performance for riding and hiking

These boots are better than I expected. Terrains are designed for people who spend a considerable amount of time riding than hiking. Ariat Terrains are multi-purpose; you can ride, hike, work, and wear them to town and feel you are wearing the right boot for the occasion.

Mountain Horse Ladies Snowy River Zip Paddock Boots

Mountain Horse Rimfrost Paddock

These are expensive boots but also the best riding boots in the group we’ve reviewed. They are designed explicitly for cold-weather endurance riders.

Are Mountain Horse Rimfrosts good riding boots?

Yes, these boots are designed for a horse rider first and foremost. Mountain horse boots are comfortable and warm, and the makers take waterproofing seriously. The boot has a built-in waterproof and breathable membrane that keeps water from entering to ensure your feet are dry and comfortable.

It also has a heat-insulating lining to keep your feet warm in the coldest climates. The soles of Mountain horse boots have a patented stirrup control system with an enhanced grip to help you maintain stirrup position. The boot is also made with a steel shank to provide proper support. Click here to check Amazon’s prices on Mountain Horse Rimfrosts.

Are Mountain Horse Rimfrosts good hiking boots?

Yes, the sole of the boot has an excellent gripping ability that will keep you upright even in slippery conditions. The heel is fitted with shock-absorbing material to reduce impact while walking.

Mountain Horse Rimfrosts boots are multi-purpose and specifically designed for riders who spend time walking.

Overall performance for riding and hiking

These are expensive boots designed for cold-weather riders. They are well made, and you can easily transition from horseback rider to hiker. The boots are comfortable and stylish.

Roper Men's Horseshoe Kiltie Hiking Boot, brown, 7 D US

ROPER Horseshoe Kiltie Hiking Boot

Roper’s cross-purpose boots have all the features of a western boot, including a heel, spur ridge, and steel shank. These features don’t diminish its capabilities as an outdoor trekking boot.

The Roper Horseshoe Kiltie is a reliable leather boot and features a Nylex lining, a non-insulated removable insole, and a durable rubber outsole. These are comfortable boots that you can wear every day. Click here to check Amazon’s prices on Roper Kiltie Hiking boots.

Are Roper Kiltie Hiking boots good for riding?

Yes, like the Ariat Terrians, Roper seemed to have produced these boots for horseback riding. Functional boots should have enough heel to prevent your foot from sliding through the stirrup should you fall off your horse.

Most hiking boots are unsuitable for riding because they tend to be broad and have a sole with an aggressive grip. These features are suitable for hiking but can cause your foot to get stuck in a stirrup.

The Roper hiking boot doesn’t have these issues. It fits the stirrup nicely and has enough heel to provide stability in the saddle, and the sole is slick enough to slide in and out of the stirrup without difficulty.

Are Roper Kiltie Hiking boots good for hiking?

The Roper Kilties are light and comfortable; they feel more like tennis shoes than hiking boots. Because these boots are designed with the equestrian in mind, they don’t have an aggressive sole.

This lack of sole grip leads to slipping and losing footing on hills and in slick areas. These are functional hiking boots with sufficient arch support and cushion, and you should get a lot of comfortable miles.

Overall performance for riding and hiking

These sturdy, comfortable shoes perform well, whether working at the barn, sitting in the saddle, or hiking on the trails. Roper hiking boots are lightweight but still provide you with the necessary support you need.

Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Black, 9.5 Wide

Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot

Timberland hit the mark with these hiking boots. They are made of high-quality full-grain leather. With routine maintenance, these boots will last for years.

The Timberland White Ledge is built with a sturdy sole and has ample room in the toe box. They need a little time to break in but are very comfortable hiking boots.

Are Timberland’s White Ledge Hiking boots suitable for riding?

They are just ok for horseback riding. They have a good heel, but the sole is a little too extreme for me. I like a less aggressive sole, but these Timberlands are suitable for horseback riding in a pinch.

Are Timberland’s White Ledge Hiking boots suitable for hiking?

Yes, Timberland White Ledge boots are almost the perfect hiking boots; the only criticism is they don’t provide much ankle support. But they keep your feet warm and dry, and the soles offer excellent traction.

Overall performance for riding and hiking

The Timberland White Ledge boots are comfortable enough to wear and walk in all day. They are quality hiking boots but just adequate riding boots. These boots suit you if you plan to do more hiking than riding.

Honorable Mention

Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boot is primarily a hiking boot but has a nice heel for riding is water-resistant, and is very comfortable. I also recommend you check out paddock boots and Chelsea boots for riding, they are comfortable, and some have good traction for hiking.

Paddock boots are designed for riding with a short shaft and soles with some grip; they may work well for light hiking. One thing for sure is that they are durable and comfortable.

Below is a helpful YouTube video about horseriding boots.


What are the best boots for horseback riding?

Riding boots are a personal choice; with that said, I believe the best cowboy boots for horseback riding are Justin ropers. Ariat and Lucchese also make some excellent riding boots, as well as Laredo and Dan Post.

Can a snake bite through a leather boot?

Yes, some snakes have enough biting force to pierce some leather boots. However, most sturdy leather boots are too thick for snakes to bite through. You can read more on the subject here: Can Snakes Bite Through Leather Cowboy Boots?

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