Skip to Content

How much does the average walking boot weigh?

Walking boots are specialized footwear designed to provide stability, support and protection for the ankle and foot while walking or standing. They are often worn during recovery from foot/ankle injuries or surgeries to help immobilize the joint and allow proper healing. But with all the rigid materials and protective features, many wonder – how much does the average walking boot actually weigh?

Typical Walking Boot Construction

Most walking boots consist of three main components:

  • Outer shell – Made of rigid plastic or composite materials to provide structure and stability.
  • Inner liner – Usually padded fabric or foam to cushion and protect the foot.
  • Straps/closures – Velcro, buckles or laces to ensure a secure fit.

The outer shell accounts for the majority of the boot’s weight, as it must be sturdy enough to limit mobility of the ankle. The inner liner and closures add some weight, but are relatively lightweight.

Walking boots are available in two main styles:

  • Short styles – Extend partway up the lower leg, ending below the calf. They immobilize the ankle only.
  • Tall styles – Extend up and over the calf to also immobilize the knee and lower leg.

Tall walking boot styles tend to weigh more than short ones, as they contain more material to encompass the larger area of the leg.

Weight by Boot Material

The exterior shell of the boot contributes the most to its overall heft. Shells are typically constructed from the following materials in order of increasing weight:

  • Thermoplastics – Lightweight polypropylene plastic compounds.
  • Fiberglass – Slightly heavier but very stiff and durable.
  • Metals/composites – Aluminum, carbon fiber or metal alloys. The heaviest boot materials.

While thermoplastics are the lightest, they tend to be less rigid than fiberglass or metal composites. So boot choice depends on finding the optimal balance between strength/stability and minimized weight.

Weight Ranges by Boot Type

Here are typical weight ranges for common walking boot types:

Short Walking Boots

  • Thermoplastic short boot: 1-2 lbs
  • Fiberglass short boot: 2-3 lbs
  • Metal/composite short boot: 3-4 lbs

Tall Walking Boots

  • Thermoplastic tall boot: 2-3 lbs
  • Fiberglass tall boot: 3-4 lbs
  • Metal/composite tall boot: 4-5 lbs

As expected, short styles tend to be lighter than tall ones and thermoplastic the lightest material option overall.

Additional Factors Affecting Weight

Some other considerations that can impact the weight of a walking boot include:

  • Size – Larger sizes contain more materials and weigh more.
  • Closure system – Buckles are lighter than dense rubber/Velcro strapping.
  • Liner thickness – More padding equals more weight.
  • Additional features – Pneumatic air bladders and pump systems add heft.

So in general, large, heavily-padded tall boots with air bladders will sit at the heavier end of the range, while small, minimally lined short boots with basic closures will be lightest.

The Average Weight

Given the above ranges, most walking boots fall between 2-3 pounds for short styles and 3-4 pounds for tall styles on average. Here is a summary table:

Boot Type Average Weight
Short thermoplastic 1-2 lbs
Short fiberglass 2-3 lbs
Short metal/composite 3-4 lbs
Tall thermoplastic 2-3 lbs
Tall fiberglass 3-4 lbs
Tall metal/composite 4-5 lbs

So if recommending an average walking boot, a fiberglass short boot or thermoplastic tall boot in the 2-3 pound range would be a safe bet.

Weight Distribution and Perceived Heaviness

It’s also important to note that the distribution of weight impacts the perceived heaviness of a walking boot. Because the weight is concentrated low on the foot/ankle rather than dispersed across the body, a 3 pound boot may subjectively feel heavier to wear than, say, a 3 pound backpack.

Additionally, immobility of the joint equates to heavier perceived weight. A more rigid and inflexible boot that fully immobilizes the ankle can seem heavier than its actual weight due to restricted motion.

These factors should be considered along with true measured weight when selecting the most appropriate boot for comfort and usability.

Impact on Energy Expenditure

Research has demonstrated that walking boots do increase the energy expenditure of walking in the range of 8-10% compared to athletic shoes. The heavier the boot, the more metabolic demand placed on the wearer.

However, this small increase in effort must be weighed against the benefits of protection and support provided by the boot for healing and recovery. Avoiding re-injury or complications is far more important than minor differences in energy cost when determining proper footwear for situations requiring immobilization.

Weight Comparison to Other Legwear

To provide some perspective on walking boot weight, here is a comparison to some other common leg garments and accessories:

  • Athletic shoe – 1-2 lbs
  • Snowboot – 2-5 lbs
  • Hiking boot – 2-4 lbs
  • Motorcycle boot – 3-5 lbs
  • Ski boot – 5-10 lbs
  • Knee brace – 1-2 lbs
  • Ankle brace – <1 lb
  • Leg weight for training – 2-5 lbs
  • Prosthetic leg – 4-8 lbs

Considering these comparisons, the weight of most walking boots is very reasonable in the context of other footwear. The heaviest ones approach ski boot territory, while the lightest are analogous to some ankle braces and training weights.


In summary, the average walking boot weighs in the range of 2-3 lbs for short styles and 3-4 lbs for tall styles. Many factors impact the final weight, with rigid materials like fiberglass and metal alloys sitting at the heavier end of the spectrum and flexible thermoplastics the lightest. While the concentrated weight close to the foot can feel heavier than its true load, walking boots are generally quite reasonable and even light in weight compared to similar rehabilitative legwear. Considering their injury protection and recovery benefits, the small increase in weight is well worth the tradeoff for most patients requiring temporary immobilization.