If you are here because you were looking for another site about hiking shoes, you are in the wrong place. I intend to cover all aspects of the hike boot and hiking shoe here, as well as a bit of information on hiking itself.
Hiking can be more fun than most people believe
Hiking boots and climbing boots are a big factor in whether you have fun or not. Not only is hiking an inexpensive way to see the country, but it can be fun and rewarding at the same time. Getting there is half the battle. The right equipment, the right supplies, both important. You also must be in relatively good shape to attempt a hike. However, the all-encompassing game changer here is footwear. If you select the wrong footwear, you will at the very least, hate hiking as a pastime. Nevertheless, more importantly, you can possibly, seriously injure yourself and/or your feet with the wrong choice.
Now listen, I know there are umpteen web sites out there, telling you which shoe or boot is best and all of the reasons why. Many of these articles are written with a certain shoe or boot in mind and why you should buy it. I am not in that crowd and I hope to help you make the right choice when you shop. I say that because I speak from experience on these shoes and by giving you different reasons to look at choosing the perfect shoe or boot. You should be able to make an informed decision. Brand and price should not be the main motivators.
Hiking has many faces. Hence, the variety of Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoe choices. The day/nature hiker, who is simply out for some fresh air, or maybe, wanting to get some moderate exercise, falls into this category, Most hiking of this nature, is to a known place nearby. Usually chosen either for the serenity or for beauty of being there or maybe just to spend some “down time.” This style of hiking does not require much of a serious choice for footwear. However, I will give you an example or two of what to look for.
Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes Basics
Ok, we are going to start with the basic shoe for the basic hike. As I said, there are many brands to choose from. What to choose and how to choose? Well, looking beyond the obvious, foot comfort, your Hiking Boot and Hiking Shoes choice, must be supportive as well as flexible. Never too heavy. You will want a low side for comfort in hiking, but keep in mind; these trail type shoes are for lightweight, easy hiking on groomed forest service trails. Now, this is where the confusion begins.
The first thing, people think of when looking for a best hiking shoe is price. In today’s uncertain economy, we all know that price is important. However, keep this in mind, inexpensively priced shoes do not necessarily equate to good hiking boots. On the other neither side, nor does price imply that inexpensive shoes are flimsy and of poor quality. I am simply making a comparison.
You see, most people do not notice when you walk in gravel or dirt, that your shoe picks up and flings those particles in the air as you move. Thus depositing some in your shoes, ensuring that somewhere down the line, you will feel compelled to stop and remove your shoe to dump out the offending debris. The higher sides help prevent that. In addition, the non-marking sole is good on a variety of surfaces. Therefore, there you have it…a couple of choices to start with when shopping.
Shop accordingly. It makes sense, to work with your budget, but make sure the Hiking Boot and Hiking Shoe is comfortable and fits casually snug. By that, I mean it should feel like your foot is in a soft cocoon. Your foot should feel well supported, without being able to slide about inside the shoe. The worst thing ever, is your toes sliding to the end with each step, or your entire foot sliding sideways as you walk up or down a slope. You are just asking for blisters at the very least.
In this article I will look at what you should look for in hiking shoes, then I will shortly review men’s and women’s hiking boots and shoes.
Top 10 Hiking Boots & Shoes for Men
If you are looking for an outdoor shoes and boots, for your field work activity or just for travelling/backpacking and hiking whatsoever, here i recommend you some boots and shoes that are good looking for men, and of course very comfortable to wear.
|Boot / Shoe||Type||Weight||Waterproof||Upper||Price|
|Adidas Men’s Terrex Swift R GTX||Hiking shoe||1.31 pounds||Yes (Gore-Tex)||Mesh||$98.82|
|Timberland White Ledge||Hiking boot||1.1 pounds||Yes (Full-grain leather )||Leather||$69.52|
|NIKE Men’s Manoa||Hiking boot||3 pounds||Yes (Full-grain leather )||Leather||$79.99|
|Merrell Men’s Moab Edge||Hiking shoe||1.2 pounds||No||Mesh||$61.73|
|Salomon Men’s X Ultra Prime||Hiking shoe||2 pounds||No||Textile Synthetic||$74.96|
|RAX Men’s Wild Wolf||Hiking boot||1.76 pounds||Yes (Waterproof menbrance)||Suede leather||$63.00|
|Columbia Men’s Redmond||Hiking shoe||1.2 pounds||Yes (Omni-Tech)||Webbing||$41.14|
|Teva Men’s M Arrowood||Hiking shoe||12.2 ounces||Yes (Floatlite)||Leather lace||$68.85|
|Vasque Men’s Juxt||Hiking shoe||2.2 pounds||No||Suede leather||$82.45|
|Under Armour Men’s Glenrock||Hiking shoe||3 pounds||No||Mesh||$89.95|
The Salomon Men’s X Ultra Mid 2 GTX Multifunctional Hiking Boot
Remember, I said I would give you a couple of examples of choices in Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes? Well, the first example is the Salomon Ultra Mid 2 GTX hiking shoe. It offers not just comfort, but some “built ins” you expect in a more expensive shoe. Great for backpacking trips allowing excellent foot flexibility without the stiffness of the traditional boot. Light weight and breathable material, waterproof lining, with some fancy descriptions, like “CONTRAGRIP” for the out-sole. Bottom line? This entire means is, the shoes not only wick away moisture, but also they provide foot comfort-contoured interiors for comfortable wear, but they also have a great rubber sole. Try them out for yourself.
Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe
Price: $97.08 – $206.54
The Moab Ventilator is specifically designed to provide comfort for most terrain. This is a multi-sport shoe from the makers Merrell. The weight is three pounds. It has a breathable fiber mesh lining that allows air to flow through the shoe, when it is in motion. The heel and the toe bumpers also provide protection from rough environments. It has been made using durable leather materials.
Hikers that are flat footed have been able to use this shoe and report that they found it to be comfortable. I like the unique design and stylish look of the Moab Ventilator. The men’s shoe comes in a walnut color mesh or an optional grey colored mesh. The relatively light weight of the shoe will not bog down or tire out your legs. They are designed to keep your legs as stress free as possible. The Ventilators do this by distributing the weight that your foot has on it.
Find the right pair of shoes – Best hiking shoes 2018
If you are planning on hiking, one of the first things you need to do is to make sure that you have the proper shoes for your hiking terrain. This choice can make or break your outdoor adventure. If your feet are hurting or the shoes are causing blisters then you day is ruined. The most important thing is to make sure that your boots are comfortable and fit correctly.
When it comes to hiking shoes quality is much more important than price. If you are serious, invest in a good quality shoes or boots.
In this article I will look at what you should look for in hiking shoes, then I will shortly review men’s and women’s hiking boots and shoes.
What To Look For When Buying Hiking Shoes
- When you look at durability, heavier shoes tend to last longer, while lighter ones wear out more quickly. I have found that trying to balance durability and weight has worked best for me.
- If you are going to be hiking in wet conditions you should get a pair of waterproof hiking shoes, if however you are going to be walking in warm weather your shoes need to be well ventilated.
- When selecting a shoe size, keep in mind that you may be wearing thicker socks on the hiking trail, than you would normally use.
- You can choose from low top, medium top and high top shoes around the ankle. Low tops work well for firm ground, but a high top should be considered if you are planning a serious hiking adventure over difficult terrain.
Good hiking boots can be worn when outdoor or even for general use.
- Hiking boots have to be comfortable, lightweight and be able to walk in rugged terrain. It is also adviseable for them to be waterproof as the last thing you want is wet feet.
- The best quality and durability allow you to walk farther, faster and more safely especially on rugged terrain. They also protect your feet against water, mud, rocks and other rough areas. They also support your ankles from twisting.
Timberland Men’s Chocorua Trail Mid Hiking Boot
Price: $84.90 – $231.00
Quality manufacturing and comfortability are of the utmost importance when hiking. You are going to want to pick the right boot for your hiking adventure.
Timberland boots were originally designed solely for functionality. It was vital that men who worked hard in strenuous conditions had boots that could survive in those conditions. Timberland boots were originally designed to be supportive and comfortable for working men.
The Timberland brand of boots was to soon become a classic icon of American heritage. The Timberland brand of boot was associated with working class men who had jobs in outdoor and factory environments.
These Timberland hiking boots for men are durable and comfortable. The boots shown here have an EVA footbed for comfort and a flexible outersole. They adjust for comfort, and have a built in antimicrobial effect for controlled foot odor. The waterproof leather boots fend off raindrops on your way down the street to the dog park and conquer mountain streams in style.
Timberland hiking boots for men are some of the best you can get. Get yours today, and enjoy your next hike!
Hi-Tec Men’s Altitude IV Waterproof Hiking Boot
These hiking boots are great for both hiking and general wear. With the waterproof Nubuck leather that the boots are made from, ensure comfort, durabilty and the rubber hiking sole ensure that you are in control with downward braking. A great pair of boots are what many happy customers say, they say the boots last and are comfortable and easy to wear. Underneath, the outsole is made of sturdy carbon rubber. In my opinion this bottom sole, provides you with pretty good grip.
If cost is a significant concern for you I would suggest this Waterproof Hiking Boot, they are a respectable pair of inexpensive backpacking boots. These are Nubuck hiking boots, as a result they are much more comfortable, but a little less rugged than standard leather boots.
10 Best Hiking Boots & Shoes for Women
Whether you are looking for a low, mid or high top shoe, our selection of each of these types of boots and shoes designed especially for a woman that appreciates and enjoys the outdoor life. If you would rather be on the trail than indoors, check out these hiking shoes made especially for women. Have fun enjoying the beauty of nature!
|Boot / Shoe||Type||Weight||Waterproof||Upper||Price|
|Merrell Women’s Siren Edge||Hiking shoe||3 pounds||No||Mesh||$49.95|
|Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX W||Hiking boot||14.1 ounces||Yes (Gore-Tex )||Textile Synthetic||$120|
|Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine||Hiking boot||3 pounds||Yes (Leather )||Suede Mesh||$70.55|
|Columbia Women’s Fire Venture||Hiking boot||12.8 ounces||Yes (Omni-Tech)||Suede||$47.94|
|Under Armour Women’s Post Canyon||Hiking boot||13.4 ounces||Yes (UA Storm)||Textile leather||$89.99|
|KEEN Women’s Targhee II||Hiking shoe||1.76 pounds||Yes (KEEN.DRY)||Nubuck leather||$55.42|
|North Face Storm III||Hiking shoe||13 ounces||No||Mesh Suede||$62.95|
|KEEN Women’s Terradora||Hiking shoe||13 ounces||No||Textile Synthetic||$76.11|
|Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX||Hiking shoe||12 ounces||Yes (Gore-Tex )||Leather Textile Synthetic||$89.96|
|Clorts Women’s HKM823||Hiking shoe||3 pounds||Yes (Uneebtex)||Suede||$55.99|
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
Price: $68.00 – $162.88
Another brand of Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes I use and like, are made by Columbia. The particular style I am talking about is the Newton Ridge Plus. This shoe is considered a mid-sided hiking shoe. That just means that the sides are a bit higher than a normal shoe, but not as high as a mid cut. They too, are made with a Full-grain leather and suede exterior. I like these shoes for the days when I feel like a fairly fast hike and want a bit more support. In addition, since the sides are a bit higher, they easily keep out the dirt and pebble one encounter. I know, lots of big words to describe this boot, but rest easy knowing that they are warm, dry and comfortable.
Now, we are getting to the meat of hiking. I say that, because we are going to talk about what’s necessary in foot wear for those lightweight hikes or weekend quick getaway hikes. A trip where you will be carrying a very light load on your back for a short trip. For these hikes, I prefer a higher cut boot. Now, as described above, the mid cut is higher sided for a couple of reason’s. One, it provides better ankle support when you are moving across varied terrain, and two, the higher sides protect your ankle form brush, etc as well as keeping out small pebbles and debris. When selecting this style boot, first and foremost is terrain use and the non marking rubber soles also offer great traction and stability.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, and dealing with variable and changing weather conditions, I tend to go for an insulated boot. Would I wear the same boot hiking across the desert? Of course not. But to enjoy mountain hiking, you need to be prepared. You may encounter rain and or cold weather in your hike. So the one I prefer, is the boot by Columbia. These boots have been around since 1993 and they continue to improve upon the design.
Choice should never be dictated by what’s popular or whatever “The Brand” that “all” are wearing. Make your choice functional. I list these to simply give you comparisons.
Vasque Women’s Breeze 2.0 GTX-W Hiking Boot
Here we have light hiking boots, with a weight of just 3 pounds, 15 ounces per pair. Don’t be misled however, it is a tough pair of boots. The Breeze’s quality is actually superior because of the reinforced stitching and Nubuck leather panels.
A great hiking boot, extremely comfortable and durable. This entry level hiking boot offers comfort and performance. It is made with breathable mesh uppers and leather overlays and molded rubber underlays. They are good quality and value for money boots.
The boots are available in two designs: non-GTX and GTX . That is a reference to the Gore-Tex liner that makes the pair waterproof, but still lets them breathe. If you hike in a warm climate it might be somewhat uncomfortable, you will be better off going with the non-GTX version.
The Breeze uses a rigid, plate-reinforced sole. In addition the insole of the Breeze is well-padded improving comfort during off-road walks.
Simply speaking the Breeze GTX is my top pick as best hiking boots for women of 2018, since they’re tough, offer excellent support and great grip.
Teva Women’s W Arrowood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Teva Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boot has stunning deep teal details within the shoe. This hiking shoe offers optimal comfort to consumers. These are not clunky or look like a man’s hiking boot style. They were designed and created specifically for women to use outdoors. You can get a complete package with this shoe, looks, comfort and safety on the hiking trail.
If you have never owned a pair of these shoes, then you will be surprised by just how good Tera women’s shoes are. Consumers who use this shoe to walk several miles a day, every day have been very happy with it’s performance. Because, it is so perfect for the women’s foot this product is a great choice. This shoe has safety features that are also geared toward the female joints. This can help eliminate sprains from stress on the ankles. Many customers buy these to simply wear around from day to day. For the maximum comfort this is the shoe for hiking.
The Teva Hiking boot can give anyone the confidence to step out onto the trails. It has a waterproof lacing system and has a secure fit for the consumer. The rubber sole is patented with grooves that will help you to maintain traction even on wet slippery rocks.
The shoes are made with leather & textile materials. This material is made for outdoor rugged terrain and will provide the hiker with comfort and cutest style. They have the Full-Grain Waterproof Leather Upper that repels water. The rubber sole for best traction and comes with a one-year warranty. It has a unique look and offers protection to your feet. Overall, this shoe will not disappoint.
KEEN Men’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe
Hiking shoes really are Keen’s specialty. Outdoor living is what they do best. Whether you are looking to go trail walking or rock climbing, Keen Hiking Shoes are the perfect footwear for the experience.
Whether you are looking for a low, mid or high top shoe, Keen does offer a selection of each of these types of shoes designed especially for a woman that appreciates and enjoys the outdoor life. If you would rather be on the trail than indoors, check out Keen hiking shoes made especially for women. Have fun enjoying the beauty of nature!
These low-profile, high-comfort Keen men’s shoes can be worn anywhere. Walking through town, on the beach or even what they’re made for…hiking!
Very stylish, made of leather with a rubber sole. These hiking shoes also have full ankle support using Keen’s S3 Heel support system. There is even a removable EVA foot-bed to support arches. The hiking shoes also feature a waterproof membrane and wicking treatment that draws moisture away from you feet.
Extreme Condition Wear
This Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes choice, is for the extreme. I say extreme, because not only can you carry a fully loaded 40-80 lb pack, but hike in ice and snow or even climb a mountain wearing this type of boot. They are what is considered, high top, for maximum ankle and leg support. Remember, these boots are big and heavy and may feel uncomfortable, so break them in before you go. Most of all, make sure you’re feet and legs are used to them. A side note? There is nothing wrong with adding your own waterproofing to an already waterproof boot.
Now, when deciding what style or which brand is good for you? I go back to my earlier statement. Know the terrain and buy accordingly. If you’re hiking/climbing in ice, then make sure the brand you choose is able to accept crampons. Also, if selecting crampons, talk to someone before just buying any old type. Crampons are becoming more and more technical and specialized by activity. So find out from someone, which one is right for you and your boot choice. I will cover crampons, styles and uses in a later blog.
Back to the boot and the the nitty gritty. Once you have found a style for your terrain, check the soles. Select something with a narrow, stiff sole and a full shank. Why? Because the narrow sole will facilitate better control and the full shank will maximize your support. Next, ensure that the boots have fully insulated and removable liners. Why is it important for the liners to be removable? Simple……you want to remove them at night and place them inside your sleeping bag with you. That way, they are warm in the morning when you put your boots on.
Finally, if you intend to go to the extremes in climbing and hiking, there is a boot out there, just for you. When I say extremes, I am talking wind, ice and snow areas, all while carrying a heavy load. You need a boot that goes beyond the standard insulated hiking boots. That is, you want something whose design is similar to that of a ski boot. That means that the inside removable liner, is a moldable type. ( it forms to the contours of your foot, providing maximum comfort and support.) You want the boot itself, made of a stiff plastic, or waterproof outer shell, again for support and insulation. The soles must clean easily while providing the maximum amount of traction.
Generally, this type of Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes are used for technical mountaineering. You know, those places where the environment is harsh and/or extreme? But, here’s a caveat. If you suffer from cold feet on your normal multi-day hikes? You might consider buying a pair of these, and as always, when getting into technical climbing and the need for different types of equipment required, consult an expert.
Just the right pair of Socks
In closing, when trying on boots, do so while wearing only one pair of socks. One good medium thickness sock will do the trick. This is to ensure the size is correct. You do that, by first….sliding your foot all of the way forward in the boot. All of the way forward, until you feel your toes touch the end. Secondly, you see if you can insert two fingers inside the boot, between your foot’s heel and the boot’s heel. If you can? You have chosen a boot with a proper fit. If the boot pinches your foot in any way or rubs anywhere, try the next 1/2 size, or even up to a full size larger. There is nothing worse than wearing boots that causes blisters. These style boots should feel snug when you first try them on. That’s what you want. Snug, but comfortable. Don’t worry about the inner liner’s too much, as they mash down and compact to fit you foot after just a few trips anyway.
Hiking with a boot its all about the soles. Get the best sole you can afford. Stiff with a steel toe if you are gonna be carrying a pack. The uppers can be leather or synthetic depending on the type of weather you will be in. Probably will need a breathable boot for backpacking.
Well, that does it for today. I hope you find the right boot for the right hike, but remember, let you foot tell you which boot to buy. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you on the trail.