The best 7 pairs of hiking shoes you can buy according to experts
The best hiking shoes would be a comfortable shoes that fits well. You could choose from any type of trail shoe, but if you’re going to be walking in wet conditions, then a waterproof shoe might be best.
Finding the perfect fit is challenging, and we know how important it is to get the right shoe for your foot type. We’ve scoured the market to bring you the top choices, so you can shop with confidence. Whether you’re looking for an everyday casual hiker or a rugged mountaineering boot, we’ll help you narrow down your options and pick the perfect pair.
Don’t hesitate to take your family hike. It will be more enjoyable if you find the right hiking shoes for your kids.
What matters most to you when choosing hiking shoes?
COMFORT & FIT
When choosing running shoes, pay attention to comfort, motion control, and fit. Generally, the most comfortable shoes should be able to give your foot plenty of room to move naturally and have some flexibility in their upper so they fit well.
We’re usually willing spend a little bit extra on good shoes because we really believe that the happiness of our travels depends on wearing comfortable, well-fitted shoes. Fit and comfort usually outweigh price in our books, but we recommend some good options at a range of prices.
To keep your body in balance, your muscles need to work together. If one muscle group is stronger than another, it creates an imbalance. Your brain then tells your body to correct for the imbalance by sending messages to different parts of your body.
If you want to increase muscle mass, you need to be careful not to go overboard. You don’t want to end up hurting yourself by lifting too much weight.
WATERPROOF VS NON-WATERPROOF
Waterproof footwear can help you stay safe during outdoor activities. Whether you’re walking around town or exploring the countryside, these types of boots provide protection against rain, snow, and sleet. However, they won’t protect you from heat. That’s why we suggest wearing something lighter and drier instead.
The best hiking shoes
Adidas Terrex AX3
Adidas’s Terrex shoes are a favorite among our textile analysts because they offer top-notch performance and sleek design. If you want a light, comfortable shoe for easy hiking during the summer, these picks check all the right box.
These sneakers boast a comfortable fit and soft cushioning for added comfort. They’re made from durable materials so they won’t wear out quickly. And because they feature a rubber toe cap, they can withstand even the most challenging surfaces without breaking down.
Our expert reviewers particularly enjoyed the impressive traction from the shoe’s out sole and appreciated the high-quality materials used in its construction. They also liked the fact that the AX3 uses some materials found in more expensive sneakers from the same brand.
The only caveat is these sneakers are better suited for those who go on short or less demanding hikes rather than backpackers or multi-day trips, as they’re not as protective or durable as others on our list.
Buy here the Adidas Terrex AX3
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator
One of the best known and most popular walking shoes for men is the Moab 2 from Merrel. It’s durable and comfortable without being too clunky.
These shoes are comfortable, light weight, and easy to wear. They’re also durable and able to withstand rugged conditions. Reviewer comments also agree, with one saying, “They’re lightweight enough not to tire out my legs, but they’re sturdy and easily handle rough terrains and rocks.”
Buy here the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator
Keen Targhee III Low
Keen is known for their comfortable hiking footwear, sandals, and shoes, and our testers agreed, finding them to be highly comfortable and well-fitting.
The Targhee III is an ideal hiking boot for those who want a comfortable, durable pair of shoes that offer good protection from rocks and roots. It’s also a great choice for those longer hikes where you need something that provides lasting support and comfort.
Don’t let a soggy trail deter you —the Targhee II was a standout performer in our last water-resistance test. It’s just a tad heavier than some of the lighter shoes on our list for those seeking lightweight options for the warmer months.
Buy here the Keen Targhee III Low
HERE’S Biom 2.1
This light hiking shoe from Ecco is an ideal choice for both outdoor hikes and daily wear thanks to its simple yet supportive cushioning. It has a bouncy, polymeric midfoot support system and a durable, flexible sole that provide excellent stability and traction in various conditions. Plus, it has reflective detailing around the edges so you’re more visible when walking at night. Our analysts think the sleek but supportive sneaker-like feel makes this pair a good option for exploring a new place or for hiking.
These hikers were particularly impressed by their ability to walk comfortably on all kinds of terrain with no ill effects from the fact that they had to wear two pairs of socks. However, if you’re a man who wears a size 10 shoe, be aware that the men’s sizes run large.
Buy here the HERE’S Biom 2.1
Oboz Sawtooth X Low
The latest iteration of Oboz’s sawtooth line is a good choice for hikers looking for a sturdy pair of hiking boots that offer excellent protection from rocks and roots. They’re particularly well suited for muddy conditions because they feature mesh panels for increased airflow.
The new version of the Sawtooth X has an even better fit than the previous one, and although it doesn’t offer quite as much space in the toe box as the original, testers found that it was just as comfy. They also liked the added cushioning of the inlay and the extra support provided by the insole and the footbed.
The caveat is that this shoe works best if you’re looking for something sturdy, but not too heavy, which makes it well-suitable for short, slow-pace hikes.
Buy here the Oboz Sawtooth X Low
Saucony Peregrine 12
If you’re looking to buy a pair of hiking boots for trail runs, these may be the best option available. They’re known for their high performance footwear, but they’ve taken things up a notch by adding some serious traction to their design.
Testers liked the comfort of these shoes, giving high ratings for ankle support and overall performance. They felt that they were well-suited to running but not so good at absorbing impact when walked on hard surfaces. Some testers reported feeling pain on their feet after wearing them for long periods of time.
Buy here the Saucony Peregrine 12
New Balance Fresh Foam Iron V6
It has a sleek, casual design that looks good on any type of terrain. It features special technology designed to help you perform at your best when you’re out on the road or hiking through the woods.
New Balance’s Fresh foam midfoot offers plenty of cushion and support for runners who need a soft ride on their feet. It has been tested by testers who found it particularly useful for hiking technical terrain because of its toe protection technology.
This shoe is also designed to help stabilize your foot when going down hill, due to its extended sole and loose fit. It also provides extra support for your ankles, which makes it easier to go up and down hills. And, testers and online reviews agree that they really enjoy the generous loops on the heel cup and the loosely gussetted tongues, so they’re easy to slip on and off. However, this shoe is heavy because of all these features.
Buy here the New Balance Fresh Foam Iron V6
Hiking Shoes vs Hiking Boots : Which Is Better?
As far as hikers go, the current trend seems to be towards lighter, lower-heeled walking/hiking boots rather than heavy, high-ankled ones. Walking boots are usually heavier than hikeing boots, so switching them out for a lighter version can help you perform better.
Also, most hiking boots have very stiff sole material that keeps your foot from bending properly. Most hiking boots are made out of non breathable materials which means that your foot is more likely to sweat and develop blistered. However, hiking boots can be an excellent choice for people who want lots of ankle support or under foot stiffness.
Hikers’ shoes are usually similar in shape to a set of sneakers or athletic shoes. However, hikers’ shoes are designed with durable materials and feature a sole that grips rough terrain. They’re lighter than boots, but they don’t provide the support of boots.
Is It OK to Hike in Sneakers?
For most people, walking on flat surfaces in urban environments or backyards, sneakers are sufficient. But if you’re planning to hike long distances or backpack, then you need to invest in good quality footwear.
What is the difference between a hiking shoes and a walking shoes?
There are two main differences between hiking and regular sneakers: One is the level of protection they offer against impacts from rocks, tree roots, etc., and the other is their ability to be worn during long walks.
On one side, sneakers are primarily designed for indoor use. They’re usually made from synthetic materials and feature thin soled and low-cut designs. On the other side, hikers’ shoes are designed for outdoor use and are typically made from leather and feature thick soled and high-cut designs.