Looking For The Best Hiking Shoes?
Look No Further!
Whether you’re venturing off on a long-term backpacking adventure, or you’re heading off for a weekend of outdoor fun, a pair of hiking shoes should be the number one item in your backpack.
Because blisters, aching feet, pulled muscles, bruised toes, and all manner of other rather unpleasant side effects are sure to ruin your break!
When walking over different types of terrain your feet, toes, ankles, and legs are subjected to more pressure than they normally would be. If you don’t do your best to counteract this pressure and to protect your lower body from extra strain, you could find yourself seated in your tent or motorhome, with no hiking fun to be had. That’s the best case scenario, the worst case scenario is a chronic pain condition which will cause you to wonder why you didn’t look for the best hiking shoes at the time.
Why Are Hiking Shoes Important?
We’ve just touched upon the main reason why you need to buy the good pair of trekking sandals or shoes, but why are these such a vital part of your outdoor adventure kit?
Many people make the rather grave mistake of wearing a pair of regular sneakers or trainers and heading out, thinking that is going to be enough. These are not designed for rugged terrain. They’re not designed from scrambling over rocks. These are not designed to give your feet the support they need over long days. Hiking shoes are called hiking shoes because they are made for the purpose of being worn when hiking!
If you are a regular walker, it’s a good idea to purchase a pair of hiking shoes for women. The same can be said for men. Wear them when you head out regardless of the terrain. The reason is that the traction and breathability of these types of shoes are far superior to regular sneakers/trainers. In hot weather, trekking sandals are just as good. That is because they have the same considerations and will allow you to stay out for much longer.
When you’re moving over terrain that is uneven, rugged, or little bumpy for a long period of time, it’s not just your feet that take a hammering, but your ankles, calves, thighs, and even your knees. You could go as far as to say your hips too. A pair of good quality hiking shoes will take the pressure off those points. This allows you to stay aligned and comfortable for however long you’re out there.
What to Look For When Buying Hiking Shoes
Whether you’re looking for hiking shoes for women, trekking sandals, or you’re a man on the look out for his first pair of top quality hiking shoes, there are certain things you need to think about before any cash passes hands.
These are the main considerations to think about.
- When you’re looking for hiking sandals women, comfort and high quality or the best hiking shoes for overall use you do get what you pay for.
- We’re not suggesting you should spend a fortune. Do bear in mind that investing a little more will give you more comfort and probably style too.
Fit and Comfort Level
- Be aware that your feet might swell a little after you’ve been on them all day, or in hot weather.
- Trying on the pair of shoes you are thinking of buying is a good idea.
- Try them with the pair of socks you’re likely to wear.
- Bear in mind the possibility of swelling. Comfort is everything over a long day!
- The best hiking shoes tend to have a quite thick sole, to give extra padding and cushioning when walking over uneven and sometimes rocky terrain.
- This may mean a rigid feel, which should give a little over time.
- There are virtues to be considered in zero drop shoes. Thick soles are not everything.
- You need to make sure that your hiking shoes have grip and they will give you traction too.
- This is even more important when the terrain is rocky or possibly slippery.
- A thick sole doesn’t necessarily guarantee traction, so this is something to check in reviews before you buy.
Breathability and Waterproofing
- Sweaty feet is not a must have when you are hiking or walking for long periods of time.
- You need your shoes to be breathable.
- The problem is that breathable shoes tend to be made of materials which aren’t always waterproof.
- You need to find some middle ground.
- In addition, shoes that have little breathability are more likely to give you blisters.
- Yet you don’t want soggy feet is it’s raining!
- If the shoe is heavy in general, it’s going to be heavy on your feet as well.
- You don’t need to add extra weight if you’re out for a long day in the Great Outdoors.
- Looking for a lightweight option is a good go-to.
- In addition, lightweight shoes can help to avoid injuries, because you’re less likely to trip or twist due to the added weight.
Best Hiking Shoes Reviews
To help you decide which hiking shoes to opt for, let’s review some of the best hiking shoes currently on the market. We will pick a selection of the best women hiking shoes as well as some for men.
Columbia Men’s Redmond Waterproof Hiking Shoe
A big named brand and a stylish option for men who love hiking! The advantage of these hiking shoes is that they’re not that expensive, at around $70, but still with plenty of features to make them a quality buy.
Made of a combination of leather and textile. These shoes are durable, and the textile side makes them breathable. In addition, there is a mesh webbing inside. So you don’t have to put up with sweaty feet whilst you’re out and about! The sole is made of synthetic materials, and there is Omni-Grip technology built in, which means you have traction and grip rolled into one.
For a lightweight choice available in six different colours, and a stylish option too, this is a good go-to. For men who are just starting out, or semi-regular with their hiking.
- Low price and high quality
- Big brand name for peace of mind
- Available in six colours
- Made of leather and textile material, for durability and breathability
- Omni-Grip technology for traction and grip
- Great choice for beginners or semi-regular hikers, but experienced hikers may prefer a thicker sole, for more advanced routes.
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Merrell is a big name in the outdoors world and that means peace of mind, as before. These shoes are specifically designed to fit the foot of a woman, which means better fit and comfort for you over a long day. You can choose between 10 different colour options, but the price will vary depending on the colour you choose and your price. The price bracket goes from a low $70, and up to a rather expensive $350, so you need to pick carefully!
Despite the price difference, these are very attraction hiking shoes for women, and are made of suede leather and a mesh side panel for breathability. The arch section has a Nylon insert and there is a Vibram outsole, which helps to stabilise the shoe and minimise vibration when you’re walking over rough or rocky terrain. There is also an air cushion included in the shoe, for extra comfort too.
Overall, these are a high quality pair of women’s hiking shoes, as well as being very durable. The price could be an issue if you go for the highest price and size combination but you can minimise that by being careful with your choice.
- Attractive shoe from a big named brand
- Made of suede leather and mesh for durability and breathability
- Nylon insert in the arch for comfort, and an a air cushion
- Vibram outsole for stabilising
- Price is high if you choose certain size and colour combinations
Oboz Sawtooth Low Hiking Shoe – Men’s
If you’re a man who loves hiking and who heads out regularly over all manner of different terrain then this pair of hiking shoes are a great choice. As with our previous hiking shoes women choice, these shoes vary in price according to colour and size combination. There are four colours on offer, so you simply need to check your combinations carefully before purchasing to get the best price.
Made of a combination of leather and synthetic materials, these shoes are designed with the expert hiker in mind. The sole is thick and has a Nylon shank which gives extra support and comfort between the heel and the front of the foot. There are also EVA pods within the shoes which serve as shock absorbers, and are therefore ideal for uneven ground. In addition, the arch is sculpted, to give you extra support.
These hiking shoes are a top choice for serious hikers, and they are also designed to take moisture away from the foot, so you don’t have that annoying sweaty foot problem when you’re out for a long period of time.
- Made of leather and synthetic combination for durability and breathability
- Shoes are designed to take moisture away from the foot
- Thick sole with a Nylon shank included for extra stability and comfort
- EVA pods which work as a shock absorber to the feet
- Four colours to choose from
- Price varies according to colour choice and size
- Could be a little heavy on the foot for a beginner hiker
Viakix Hiking Sandals For Women
Hiking sandals are the ideal choice for women who don’t like to feel like their feet are encased or too limited. These are also a good choice for hot climates. Viakix is a big brand name, and these sandals are quite low in price, which makes them an affordable option. Available in four colours, you can also customise to your outfit!
These hiking sandals have adjustable straps, so whether you have a wide, narrow, or regular foot, you can get a good fit and stable feel to your hiking. These are also very lightweight, as you would expect, and fit easily into bags, e.g. if you’re travelling somewhere you’re likely to want to hike in. Waterproof, breathable, and durable, these shoes have heel support built in and webbing to carry moisture away from the foot.
- Low price and very cost effective
- Big brand name with a good reputation
- Lightweight and pack easily into bags for travel
- Available in four colours
- Adjustable straps, which can accommodate wide or narrow feet with a custom fit
- Water resistant
- Built in heel support
- Webbing built in to carry moisture away from the foot
- Hiking sandals are a good option, but they don’t last generally as long as hiking shoes do, which is something to consider
Oboz Women’s Luna Low Hiking Shoe
The general consensus when it comes to the Luna low hiking shoe is that they offer great comfort and stability. The soles are perfect for those hiking on hard terrain. They protect you from direct impact of coming into contact with these hard surfaces. There is no break in period for the luna low hiking shoes. Most users would agree that they are ready straight out of the box to be taken out for a hike.
Product Key Features:
- 100% Leather/Textile
- Rubber sole
- Welded, stitchless upper
- Strobel lasted construction
- Bfit Deluxe footbed
- Micro-suede and mesh come together atop a sturdy rubber outsole in this breathable, flexible hiking shoe.
O FIT INSOLE:
Designed to put your foot in a neutral position.
- High-density EVA sculpted arch for superior support.
- High-density EVA deep heel cup maximizes stability and support.
- EVA pods provide shock absorption and rebound.
- Medium-density EVA throughout for unmatched underfoot support.
- Moisture-wicking comfort top layer.
Granite Peak Midsole:
Our customized midsoles deliver precise torsional stability and protection. Firm but lightweight, they allow for streamlined outsoles.
- Nylon shank offers added support between heel and forefoot.
- Single-density EVA midsole provides supportive balanced cushioning.
- TPU chassis adds protection and torsional stability underfoot.
Granite Peak Outsole:
Our quintessential hiking outsole built to be supportive and protective. If you’re tired of feeling rocks and roots underfoot look no further. The map molded in the bottom of the outsole features Granite Peak, the tallest peak in Montana.
Designed to release moisture, the wicking properties inherent in Oboz fabrics draws moisture away from the skin and distributes it on the outside surface where it can evaporate keeping feet dry.
- Very comfortable.
- Nicely shaped sole, which is also flexible.
- Great for long hikes.
- No “breaking in” period.
- Sturdy tread.
- True to size.
- Breathable mesh gives your toes nice ventilation and they dry quickly.
- A little pricey.
- Longevity if questionable if you hike often.
- The arch is a dividing factor, some love it, others don’t.
The First Outdoor Women’s Waterproof Breathable Hiking Shoes
If you want a pair of hiking shoes that gives you the same sort of feeling that you get from wearing trainers/sneakers, these may be the best hiking shoes for you. On this pair, First Outdoor delivers a great looking hiking shoe at a reasonable price point. They are sturdy, with a protective heal and arch support.
Key Product Features:
- Rubber sole
- The upper consists of PU-coated leather and synthetic textile, with a First-Tex Performance Comfort waterproof breathable membrane.
- First-Grip Outsole: Our proprietary outsole bites into all types of terrain well and swallows rough terrain without blinking
- First-Comfort: Our air circulation insole will keep your feet remained fresh inside these shoes for miles and miles
- Lace up closure: It’s easy to tighten the laces as desired, The cushioned tongue allowed us to tighten the shoes tighter than comfortable on other models.
- Its ability to switch between long hikes and trail running makes it an excellent choice if you want to do both, and if you were going on a trip with a single pair of shoes, this would be it.
- It falls on the low end of pricing.
- Attractive design.
- Excellent grip.
- Reasonably comfortable.
- Great for cold weather, when thicker socks may be necessary.
- Offer water resistance, but is certainly not waterproof.
- Advertised as waterproof.
Oboz Women’s Sawtooth Low Hiking Shoe
The Oboz Women’s Sawtooth are what we have come to expect from Oboz shoes. They deliver the usual comfort and tread that is expected. As with other Oboz hiking shoes, they do not have a break in period. The break in period is that time which shoes tend to take to shape up to your feet before they become comfortable. There are small perforations in the insoles, which facilitate breathability. They provide excellent
Key Product Features:
- Water resistant
- 100% Leather and Textile
- Lug Sole sole
- Heel measures approximately 1.5″
- Upper: Nubuck leather & high abrasion-resistant textile, 3D molded heel counter
- Strobel lasted
- O FIT Insole
- Midsole: Dual density EVA, nylon shank
- Outsole: Sawtooth
- Cheaper than similar shoes by competing brands
- Fairly good at keeping feet dry.
- Very comfortable, even for long days.
- Good traction.
- Grip is not that great on wet rock or stone.
- Size issues here and there, especially with the brown in purple ones.
Katliu Non-slip Hiking Shoes
The solid rubber outsoles give great grip and traction on slippery and wet surfaces. Together with anti collision toe will protects your feet from sand, small stones, broken glass, sharp rocks, hot surfaces, coral reefs when walking. The drawstring can be adjusted to the proper position to protect the ankle. Like all barefoot or minimalist soles, you need to gradually transition from a regular sole. This is a good way to avoid injury from excess pressure on feet.
These are the sort of hiking shoes that would do well for a cross event day such as a triathlon. They are light enough to swim in, and sturdy enough for a run. You can certainly cycle in them as well.
Key Product Features:
- Spandex polyester and cotton
- Rubber sole
- Breathable soft upper with spandex polyester and cotton provide dry and comfortable for feet.
- Wear-resistant, non-slip rubber sole with anti-collision protection at the toe.
- The five-toe design is not only fashionable, but also reserves a wide enough position for the forefoot.
- Great price.
- Flexible with toe protection.
- Don’t always live up to the quick drying manifesto.
A good quality pair of hiking shoes is a must have if you are serious about spending a large amount of time in the Great Outdoors, exploring everything that Mother Nature has to offer. By ensuring that you’re buying quality, you’re actually investing in your health.
Chronic pain conditions are contributed to very easily by improperly fitting shoes and by choosing cheap option over quality. Whilst you shouldn’t out-budget yourself and spend too much, always remember that you really do get what you pay for in this regard.
There are some fantastic hiking shoes on the market, and we’ve reviewed four of the best. Whether you choose one of these, or you search out your own options, be sure to read reviews and make sure the size is a good fit for you.
The health benefits of exercise in general are very well documented, but walking and hiking are two of the most easily accessible for most people. If you can arm yourself with the best footwear for your new hobby, you’ll be safe, secure, and comfortable no matter where you choose to explore. Check out our Zero Drop Shoes The Ultimate 1 Stop Guide