Are Hey Dudes good for walking or should you be thinking about buying a different type of shoe if you want comfort and support?
Whilst Hey Dude shoes are known as great casual comfortable shoes in some circles that doesn’t necessarily make them the best for your feet if you are thinking of wearing them for walking long distances or for hiking over uneven terrain.
Here’s what I know about walking shoes and whether Hey Dudes fit the bill.
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Are Hey Dudes Good for Walking Long Distances?
Are Hey Dudes good for walking? Well, the answer is it will depend on how far you are intending to walk, in what weather, and what the terrain is.
Hey Dude shoes are good for walking short distances, doing errands or dog walls around the neighborhood or perhaps walking around a shopping mall. If that is what you consider walking then you should find then comfortable shoes, have sufficient traction for your needs and can minimize sore feet.
If however, you are thinking about using them for hiking longer distances on uneven terrain in bad weather then they are absolutely not the shoe you need. For long walks or hiking, you will need footwear that is much more robust and supportive or you are going to experience problems.
What Could Be Considered a Good Walking Shoe?
These are just a few of the best walking or hiking shoes that you should be wearing if you are planning to do longer walks in tougher terrain. Yes they are more expensive than Hey Dude shoes but that is because they have a huge number of features that an ordinary pair of casual shoes just can’t match.
Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid Gore-tex Hiking Boots
For a great walking shoe then you don’t need to look much further than these Salomon Gore-Tex walking boots. These have:
- They have a rubber sole.
- They are waterproof.
- They have great traction even when it is wet.
- The Gore-Tex technology which helps them be breathable as well as waterproof.
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Lightweight Waterproof Shoe Hiking Boot
If you are looking for women’s walking boots then these Columbia Lightweight Shoes have an insane amount of positive reviews. This is because the boots have the following:
- Superior Omni-Grip traction that means they can even be worn in snow and ice.
- The lacing system means they are easily adjustable to get the perfect fit.
- They are made from waterproof leather which is breathable.
- They are lightweight and have great cushioning for comfort.
- The boot comes in a large number of different colors.
Are Hey Dudes good for walking when you compare them to these boots? Well here are just some of the reasons why they might be good as an everyday shoe but not suitable for more intensive walking or hiking.
Firstly a good walking shoe needs to have good arch support. Arch support can help to keep your foot in the correct position when you are walking and this can help stop your foot from leaning to the side or help with comfort if you have flat feet.
The problem is that Hey Dude shoes have poor arch support. This is easily illustrated by looking at the insole of a Hey Dude shoe which you can see is as flat as a pancake.
Whilst this is a memory foam insole that will help with some shock absorption it is not sufficient if you have flat feet or want your feet to stay in a good position as you walk.
Shoes that are good for walking should have sufficient arch support especially when you are going to be walking long distances or on uneven ground. They can help keep your feet in position and give you more support.
Does Hey Dude Make a Walking Shoe?
If you are looking for a professional walking or hiking shoe then currently Hey Dudes shoes don’t make something suitable.
They have plenty of designs that are great for general use but none of them are suitable for use in more challenging conditions.
This is probably because Hey Dudes has a specific USP which is to make lightweight, cheap casual shoes in a design that is relatively unique in the market.
If the Hey Dude brand changed the design to be suitable for walking the costs would increase, the shoes would have to be heavier and the entire design or look of the shoe would need to be changed.
Hey Dudes have made a design that is incredibly popular in the market but as with any shoe or boot it won’t be suitable for every type of activity.
General Support and Walking Shoes
When you are walking for longer distances or hiking you need supportive shoes. Hiking shoes tend to be made from robust quality materials like leather that can withstand rougher terrain and uneven ground as well as problematic weather conditions.
Hey Dudes with their fold technology are extremely lightweight. Some have a canvas or stretch-knit upper that is highly flexible. They are easy to wear and also easy to pack in your luggage but they are not going to support your feet when you start to walk in a forest, over rocks or up hills.
That fold technology is great in some cases but is the very reason why these are not great shoes for difficult walking conditions. A good hiking shoe needs to be protective, supportive, breathable, and able to withstand more extreme weather.
Hey Dudes may fit comfortably at first but if you take them away from the sidewalk they are not robust enough to support your feet.
Ankle Support Is Important
A good pair of shoes need to be able to support not only your feet but your ankles as well. This is because when you are walking on uneven hard surfaces that are potentially slippery your ankle can easily twist causing sprains or more serious foot injuries.
If you look at Hey Dude shoes they simply don’t have any ankle support at all because of the low-cut designs. This means that if you are wearing them on a long walk or hike you are more likely to cause yourself an injury because the shoes don’t have the protection that you need.
Contrast a casual Hey Dude shoe with for example KEEN’s Women’s Pyrenees Waterproof Hiking Boot and you can see it is like chalk and cheese. These boots are brilliant because they have that much-needed ankle support you need plus a whole raft of other features that make them better for walking longer distances.
The Importance of Adjustable Laces
When you are distance walking or out on a hike then your shoes need to fit well to prevent foot problems caused by the shoes themselves.
This is why hiking boots tend to have lacing systems that allow you to adjust a pair of shoes to the perfect fit for your feet.
Usually, hiking boots have two different zones for laces. The first zone helps to secure the shoes to the front and mid parts of your feet. The second zone helps to secure your footwear at the ankle.
By having these distinct zones you can make your walking shoes more comfortable and prevent them from causing blisters because of heel slip.
If you contract this to Hey Dude shoes you have a very different setup. Many Hey Dude shoe designs are slip-on which means no adjustment is possible. If however, you do buy a pair of laces you will find that they are not adjustable enough to provide a snug fit whilst you are walking.
Do Hey Dudes Have Good Traction For Walking?
If I am wearing a normal everyday pair of shoes I need them to be slip-resistant if I am walking on wet sidewalks or on smooth surfaces. Beyond that, I rarely think about traction because most shoes I buy aren’t slippery and keep me upright.
So when I am wearing my Hey Dude shoes around the neighborhood they work great because the traction they offer is perfect for my needs.
It is a totally different story if I were to wear them on a long hike in the rain whilst walking over slippery stones and rocks. Suddenly my casual footwear is going to have problems coping and it is very likely I would slip or twist my ankle wearing them.
Walking or hiking shoes have better traction for a good reason and that is to keep you safe. Never think that just because something is comfortable in a town is going to work on a hiking trail because it won’t be able to.
To get good traction you are going to need to spend a little more money and buy footwear with a better grip. If you are intending to walk in icy or snowy weather whilst walking you are going to need to spend more again and look for more specialized soles.
An example of this would be the Icebug Womens Pace3 BUGrip GTX Hiking Boot with Carbide Studded Traction Sole. These high-traction soles are noticeably different to even an ordinary hiking boot to make sure you don’t slip in treacherous conditions.
Are Hey Dudes Durable?
If you buy a new pair of Hey Dude shoes you are not buying them for their durability. Typically any that I have bought have lasted for a season with regular wear.
This doesn’t bother me because I know that the shoes are inexpensive and are great for casual wear in the hot weather. They are fun disposable fashion shoes in my view which need to be replaced regularly for a new pair or design when they have worn out.
Hiking boots or good walking boots however will last for significantly longer. If you do long walks then they probably need to be replaced every 1000 miles or so. As I am less hardcore and use mine more sporadically a pair of hiking boots can last me a good couple of years or sometimes even longer.
The fact is if you wear hey dude shoes away from sidewalks and malls they are soon going to become battered and beaten because of the materials they are made from. Add wet weather to the mix and they will degrade even faster.
The fact is a Hey Dude shoe is just not cut out to be long-lasting or durable beyond light wear in the summer months.
What about Waterproofing?
Are Hey Dudes Waterproof? Well if you read my other article on the topic you are going to find out that whilst Hey Dude Shoes might be water-resistant they most certainly are not waterproof shoes.
When I go on a hike or a long walk and the weather isn’t great I need a shoe that is going to help keep my feet dry and warm until I get to my destination. Hey Dude shoes are not going to help me if this is the outcome that I want.
In soaking wet weather a pair of Hey Dude Shoes is going to absorb the moisture in no time. That means I could potentially be spending the day walking around in sopping wet shoes giving me cold feet.
In light rain that lasts for short periods they usually do ok because of their water resistance but believe me when you are hiking you can’t guarantee the weather.
Good walking shoes need to have waterproofing to keep your feet warm, dry, and protected. Rember if your extremities get cold the rest of your body does as well.
Where Hey Dude shoes are great however is that they are washable. So you can put them on a cold wash and let them air dry and they will come out looking as good as new. This is great if you want to keep them looking great when you are wearing them for shorter jaunts.
Hey Dude Shoes Breathability
Depending on the Hey Dude Shoe you are wearing you are always going to find that they have limited breathability. They are generally fine for short walks but when it comes to longer distances you are going to find that they don’t have enough ventilation to stop sweat buildup and that is going to cause discomfort.
Good Hiking shoes will have superior breathability to prevent sweat build-up for good reason.
- If your feet get wet they get cold and that can impact your body temperature as well.
- Sweaty feet feel uncomfortable and you are more likely to experience your feet slipping in your shoes.
- Slippery feet that move cause blisters and shoe bites which leads to food pain.
- Nobody wants soggy feet and socks which can lead to fungal infections.
Never underestimate the importance of breathability when choosing the right footwear to wear as it can make a massive difference to your comfort and general foot health.
Hiking Shoes Help With Shock Absorption
Hey Dudes are known for being comfortable with their thick memory foam insole but is that enough to help with shock absorption?
The fact is that the memory foam insoles are not going to be sufficient in more difficult terrain where superior shock absorption is needed.
Hiking boots tend to have thicker shock-absorbing soles to help alleviate some of the impact that happens when your foot strikes the ground. Remember that on a long walk, this is happening over and over again so having shoes that absorb this kinetic energy is important.
Shock-absorbing shoes can help to minimize the risk of injury to your feet and joints and help make it far easier for you to walk.
The Hidden Extras That Are Missing
Are Hey Dudes good for walking long distances? Well as they haven’t got many of the additional extras that a pair of good hiking or walking boots have the answer is no.
Good walking shoes may have reinforced heels, cushioned midsoles, or extra support on the ball of the foot. They also help to protect your feet when you are walking in difficult terrain that could cause problems.
Hey Dudes shoes don’t have any of these features which means that you are not going to experience maximum comfort levels wearing them or have the appropriate safety features to protect your feet from harm.
So leave your Hey Dude shoes for shorter walks and trips around the neighborhood and invest in something more robust for longer walks. Your feet will thank you for it.
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