10 Best Hiking Shoes Reviewed

Whether you just want to explore the wild, take a walk through the trails or be a lot more adventurous and conquer a mountain, one thing that remains constant is the fact you will need the proper equipment. Not just any will cut it.

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Finding the best hiking shoes can be a time-consuming task. You need to make sure that the shoe offers support, protection, are durable, and provide comfort, especially for those taking on strenuous hikes and need that much more underfoot cushion to ease the inevitable aches.

Traction, of course, is also very important. You will be on a trail which means that the terrain will be dirt, and similar rather than asphalt. A great shoe needs a lugged profile rather than being flat, as you will not need to generate friction for traction. You need to bite the ground to get it. Ventilation is great too, but some are willing to compromise on it a little bit for a waterproofed lining. Consider your terrain, and let us do the rest.

Featured Recommendations

Merrell Moab 2 Vent
  • Merrell Moab 2 Vent
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Air Cushion comfort
  • Price: See Here
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Keen Presidio
  • Keen Presidio
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Cushioned Footbed & Collar
  • Price: See Here
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Adidas Terrex Ax2
  • Adidas Terrex Ax2
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Super High Traction Rubber
  • Price: See Here
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We know how long it takes to compare all the data and shoes in order to make your selection. We’ve made it simple, and have done the hours of strenuous research for you, so you only need to focus on the hiking. Based on each critical metric, we’ve comprised the top rated, highest commended and guaranteed best shoes for hiking based on wear-tester feedback and overall consensus.

 

10 Best Hiking Shoes

 

1. Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator

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Merrell Moab Ventilator can be used for a variety of activities: hiking of course being at the top of the list, working out and walking. These low cut lightweight hiking shoe are a top contender when it comes to hiking shoes and for good reason. Most of the shoe is made of mesh and leather, making the shoe itself very breathable. The MOAB's are arguably the most comfortable hiking shoes ever designed.
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Comfort
The Merrell Moab Ventilator has a good amount of padding around the tops of the shoes that creates a snug fit and a lines the tongue, making this a very comfortable and functional pair of hiking shoes, with full-length, compression-molded EVA midsoles that supply all-day support and cushioning. The combination of Trek and Super Trek rubber compounds and Vibram Multi-Sport sole offers exceptional grip and durability. They are perfect for a day hike.

Design
The Merrell Moab Ventilator are a very functional shoe. You can hike off into warmer climates with these comfortable, supportive Merrell shoes in a variety of their rugged color combinations. The outer appearance makes them an even better pick for hiking a trail, with its mid-height dura leather/nylon ventilator mesh that looks good with a casual pair of jeans or any casual gear. Great to wear on a normal day-to-day basis.

Cost and Value
Based on the official Merrell website they come in around $120, so they are pretty affordable. For the price tag you are getting a decent pair of hiking shoes. They are priced fairly.
Pros

Lightweight and flexible

Great toe protection due to its rubber toe bumpers

Breathable mesh lining

tongue keeps debris out

Cons

Reported too loose in the heel

2. Keen Presidio

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At first glance, the Keen Presidio shoe resembles a basic walking shoe with an urban twist. They can turn any long treks into one of the best journeys ever. These water-resistant uppers makes it easier to stroll through puddles and enjoy rainy day hikes. The best thing about these shoes is the odor-controlling leather that keeps your feet fresh and dry. Who doesn’t love a good hiking shoe that keep your feet non-offensive?
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Style
If you like a hiking shoe that doesn’t look like an actual hiking shoe than you’ll love a pair of the Keen Presidio Shoes. They are very sporty with touches of stitching accents. It definitely gives you a chance to wear a more versatile shoe that goes with just about anything. From yoga pants, khakis or jeans.

Support
Keen Presidio shoes have something called a metatomical footbed for contoured support. The best thing about this feature is that it is removable and provides great arch support, naturally hugging the contours of the foot.

Cost and Value
According to the Keen Footwear website, these babies are priced just above $100 no more than $120. Not bad for the quality of the shoe and compared to other hiking shoes, these are considered to be reasonable.
Pros

Very stylish and versatile

Super comfy

Water-resistant leather upper

Non-marking rubber outsole

Very wide toe box

Good support

Cons

Very little heel rise

3. Adidas Terrex Ax2

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These hiking shoes are built for the great outdoors and can be considered multifunctional. They are lightweight and breathable so they dry quickly and are easy to clean.
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Style
You just can’t beat a shoe that is very stylish. At first glance they look like a basic running shoe, but when you look closer they are every bit a hiking shoe and of course with the brand’s signature stripes. Plus, they come in different styles.

Comfort
Because they look like sneakers one could definitely agree that they are just as comfortable. The shoe fits great on feet and are very easy to put on.

Cost and Value
Adidas sure knows how to keep their prices in check. According to their official website, the Adidas Terrex Ax2 are priced under $100 making these hiking shoes a must-have and unbeatable when it comes to finding a lower priced great hiking shoe.
Pros

Very durable

Well cushioned

Heel and arch support

Well-constructed

Waterproof

Cons

Sizing is a bit off

4. Adidas Terrex Swift R GTX

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Adidas really out did themselves when they decided to release a hiking shoe quite like the Terrex Swift R GTX. These incredible hiking shoes are super comfy, stable and ultra-reinforced for any outdoor hiking. They are interchangeable. They are great for hiking, but many use them for running and as a trail shoe. This is what makes them so great.
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Style
The Adidas Terrex Swift R GTS comes in tons of colors and styles to match just about anything. Of course, the shoe comes with Adidas’ signature three stripe logo that you can’t miss even though it is subtle. You can choose from bright to more natural hues depending on your preference, but for the most part they are good with any outdoor or casual gear.

Support
Yes, comfort and style is something one should always look for in hiking shoes, but the one thing that is just as important is support. Luckily, this trail shoe has a support system that is awesome. The stiff sole does wonders for hikers by providing an excellent torsional support. Even with the heaviest of backpacks, the Adidas Terrex Swift R GTS provides a great deal of support with every step.

Cost and Value
Adidas is usually good when it comes to keeping price at a reasonable range and but these are a pretty penny, priced above $130. However, taking into consideration all that these shoes have to offer, they are worth every penny.
Pros

Super lightweight, athletic upper

Doesn’t absorb water

Extremely durable and long-lasting

Great aesthetics

Cons

Lacks support for long distance, much better for medium loads

5. Keen Targhee II

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The Keen Targhee IIs are simply incredible. Hands down one of the best hiking shoes around. It continues to have a strong following in the hiking world and are designed for all of your off road challenges. Thanks to their KEEN Dry membrane that helps keep water out while letting vapors out, they stand up to wet weather. Keen Targhee II are also good for multi-week treks for those strong-footed hikers who need a lot more durability in each step.
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Comfortable
These hiking shoes are surprisingly comfortable and protects well in rough terrain. It is definitely not the most stylish hiking shoe as it is a bit on the bulky side so they’re not versatile. Plus, the heaviness of the shoe doesn’t allow them to be. Overall, they get the job done.

Design
These shoes are designed to be lightweight which makes it easier to hike up the most difficult treks. The Keen Targhee II are the shoe version of the award-winning boot, so of course, they had to live up to its name with style and versatility.

Cost and Value
The Keen Targhee II are priced just above $110, but not bad at all for a great pair of hiking shoes.
Pros

Excellent support

Extra toe protection

Nice lacing system

Wide toe box

Cons

A bit wide, not good for narrow feet

6. Ahnu Sugarpine Air Mesh

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These fashionable babies are meant to be worn in cooler climates at elevation. What makes this shoe a great hiking shoe is its breathable and moisture –wicking mesh that wraps the shoe. The Sugarpine is great for walking on rocky terrain or smooth.
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Breathability
The fact that the Sugarpine have a very breathable upper it’s great because it prevents the foot from overheating and from getting sweaty. The foot remains dry. No more worry about feet odor.

Protection
The Sugarpine Air Mesh has an EVA midsole that offers cushioning and the integrated nylon shank provides a bit of assistance on the arch. The incredible plate underneath the forefoot protects against stones and rocks, keeping your foot well-protected.

Cost and Value
Ahnu Sugarpine Air Mesh are worth every penny. They are priced just above $100, which places these hiking shoes in the reasonably priced range. They are very sleek and sporty so not bad at all if you are looking for a versatile, low-priced hiking shoe.
Pros

Comes in a variety of colors and styles

Very comfortable

Protects against rocky terrain

Very breathable upper

Reasonably priced so you get more for your money

Cons

Wide in the toe-box

7. Vasque Mantra 2.0

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The Mantra 2.0 is a lightweight, flexible hiking shoe that is good for moderate terrain and light loads for the most part. They are worn best in cool and wet climates, but not bad at all in rougher conditions due to their soft-flexibility. The very construction of these hiking shoes helps to provide support even for higher volume feet.
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Support
The upper is made of soft leather, along with a flexible sole. All of these components make the Mantra 2.0 very comfortable. However, they lack support on uneven terrain based on these two features, causing feet to roll around a bit within the shoes. But if your feet are higher in volume the fit might feel a bit more secure, which is a good thing.

Protection
The Mantra 2.0 has a thick and wide sole. Along with a mostly leather upper that protects the entire foot. Great for protection against stones and rocks on the trail. Something that backpackers look for in a good pair of hiking shoes.

Cost and Value
For the most part, the Mantra 2.0 are priced around $140 which puts this particular hiking shoe at a high-priced level. Most backpackers don’t mind paying for quality, while others are not too pleased with the hefty price tag. Depending on preference in the buyer, the Mantra 2.0 are still top-rated as one of the best hiking shoes around.
Pros

Very comfortable

Good arch support

Good protection from rocks

Cons

A bit stiff

8. Ahnu Sugarpine

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These boot are such a good mid-height contender. For a first timer buying hiking shoes, Ahnu’s Sugarpine are perfect because they have a lot if traction and they definitely do not soak. They scream comfort and durability with each step. Ahnu Sugarpines are definitely eye-catchers that can be seen around town rocking just about anything on a regular day while taking a stroll through town or hiking on a long-trek, either way you’ll love them.
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Support
These shoes have a relatively stiff sole and are ankle shaft height, made for a supportive feel on an all- day trail. Plus, the shock dispersal plate in the forefoot along with the integrated nylon shank provides support to the bottom of the foot as well as protecting the soles from bruising caused from rocks.

Traction
The Ahnu Sugarpine are good to use in dry and less wet conditions. The tread pattern on the bottom was designed to handle most terrain. Not bad for an ideal hiking shoe.

Cost and Value
These hiking shoes are highly priced based on most websites that they are sold. They are priced around $140. Most backpackers love the style and fit of these hiking shoes, especially the quality, so the price is not really an issue to most.
Pros

Stylish and fashionable

Good ankle support

Water resistant

Great value

Extremely hardy sole

Cons

Minimal Tread

9. Keen Voyageur

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Brand established in 2003, Keen has definitely come a long way from using an inspired sandal design that features combined toe protection and comfort. Just like its cousin, Targhee, these KEEN Voyageur hiking shoes offers stability and 4-wheel drive traction. Keen believes in the importance of working hard, so one would imagine that their products are built to be durable and supportive.
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Breathability
The Keen Voyageur is a very breathable shoe and a waterproof one. It is good to wear in hot and dry weather conditions, but won’t fail you if used in wet conditions. The waterproof material stands up to its repertoire.

Protection
For the most part, they have a protective rubber toe-box that just happens to be cut on the wide side, so if you have a wider foot they would be perfect. These Keen Voyageur just might be the right pair for you.

Cost and Value
The Keen Voyageurs are priced in a decent price range, right above $100. For such great style and comfort, many backpackers love them, so they are a pretty good price.
Pros

Very durable

Well cushioned

Heel and arch support

Well-constructed

Waterproof

Cons

Sizing is a bit off

10. Salomon Ellipse GTX

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The Salomon Ellipse GTX is considered a lightweight shoe, which is great for hikers that like to move at a faster pace, minus the bulkiness of a heavy, clumsy hiking shoe. Even though they are light, they are not for all day wear because of lack of support and comfort that most look for in a shoe they like to hike with.
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Support
These shoes are not great on support because the arch is slightly flat. However, many just lace up the shoe to prevent the foot from slipping and to keep it more secure. It’s best if the laces are tightened from the bottom up.

Traction
Salomon always uses their Contagrip rubber soles. These soles are designed with multi-directional lugs great for traveling in mud and rocks. The rubber is a little bit sticky, but the toe is flexible so they help to prevent slipping.

Cost and Value
Salomon Ellipse GTX are priced just around $120. A basic price that most other hiking shoe brands are selling their shoes for. The price is a considerably reasonable price.
Pros

Waterproof

Trail running design

Reasonable price

Cons

Very rugged feel to them

 

Need more insight on Hiking Footwear?

With the variety of hiking footwear available; hiking shoes with extra cushion, waterproof uppers, extra support and high traction, your experience on the trail becomes more ideal but your prep work more difficult. We created this review to provide insight on the very best hiking shoes to help you avoid a headache so you can get out there with the best on your feet.

best hiking shoes hiker on a mountain in cold snow conditions

If you’re still at a loss as to which shoe to choose, here’s a guide on how to choose the best shoes for hiking. 

 

Criteria for Evaluation of the Best Hiking Shoes

 

What to Look For

When looking for the best footwear for the outdoors, as is where hiking occurs, of course, you need to consider how durable the shoe is, it’s ability to withstand water as you will be running by plenty of streams or rivers, even snow, and how it performs in rugged settings. Yes, that is a vague statement, and there is much more to consider in specifics, such as weight, protection, the comfort factor, and much more. In short, hiking can be grueling, or casual depending on your level, so you need to consider every aspect before getting out there, and to be sure you have the perfect shoe, you need to choose accordingly. Here’s how.

 

Durability & Protection

best hiking shoes hiker with destroyed shoes

Think; dirt, rocks, rivers, maybe snow, holes, uneven terrain and enough hazardous objects to line a mountain twice. There’s plenty of reasons to consider your safety, and even more to consider the protection in which yo provide for your feet. That’s one of the main reasons casual footwear will not suffice on the trail. You need protection from the elements, whatever the season may be. Mother nature is unforgiving; make sure your feet are prepared as they will be what get’s you in and out.

Aspects that contribute to the Durability & Protection include:

  • Waterproofing/ Water Resistant – This may come in the form of a Gore-tex (GTX) lining, or the lack of breathable mesh material of the upper; meaning that a trail shoe will be generally less breathable than those made for casual, everyday use. The compromise is necessary as you can expect to be hiking through rougher terrain than you will usually see. Keep in mind, there are hiking shoes of every degree, so if you are doing casual, easy hiking, you can find yourself a shoe that is comprised of extremely breathable mesh and get away with it. If you are partaking in backpacking or hiking through unpredictable terrain, you want as much protection as possible. You never know when you will encounter streams or rivers with no options than to plow through.
  • Thicker, heavier, layered upper material – If you want lightweight, you are looking in the wrong direction. Hiking footwear is made to withstand constant impact with rocks, corrosion that comes with moisture retention, and long miles through dust and dirt. This means you will typically find the proper shoes comprised of material that is heavier, more layered and tougher than the standard shoe. One thing for sure is that you won’t be seeing flyknit or primeknit uppers on hiking shoes.