Hiking shoes are lower cut and less stiff than hiking boots, while still being hard-wearing and having soles that offer good grip on slippery terrain, and usually, they have a reinforced toe box, to protect your pinkies.The main purposes of PU hiking shoes are to protect your feet against bruising and abrasion from rough wilderness terrain, to cushion your soles, and to provide good traction on a rough, steep, slippery, wet, and muddy terrain. Backpacking shoes must also offer enough stability and be durable. A reliable hiking shoe is a long-lasting shoe that won't leave you in the middle of the trail.