Best Trekking Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Performance

If you’re an avid outdoors person or love to hike through the wilderness, then you know that having a durable and sturdy pair of shoes or boots is vital. No matter the terrain, you want to not only be comfortable but also have the traction and stability to move with ease. There a variety of different shoes and boots on the market, so how do you go about finding the one that is right for you? A big part of that decision comes down to what activity you’re engaged in, how often you will be wearing them, and the overall look you want.

Best Trekking Shoes - hikers on snow mountain trail

What makes trekking shoes unique and different from running shoes or just regular boots, is that they are designed with a specific purpose in mind. They tend to be heavier, to keep you stable and grounded, while also remaining flexible so you can traverse a variety of terrains. Many brands will be waterproof as well, making sure your feet stay warm and dry in whatever climate you’re in.

Last Updated: December 1, 2017
By Tenby Lloyd:

This update reflects the best trekking shoes as of 2017, and out list specifically reviewed based on performance, durability, and overall comfort. All 10 shoes on the list were individually rated and careful consideration was applied to the list of both pros and cons. All shoes are currently available for sale, and have some of the highest ratings as of when this update was written.

Featured Recommendations

KEEN Targhee II Mid WP
  • KEEN Targhee II Mid WP
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Fully Waterproof
  • Mid Height Ankle Support
  • Price: See Here
 
Merrell Moab Vent
  • Merrell Moab Vent
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Wet and Dry Environments
  • Air Cushioned
  • Price: See Here
 
Northside Burke II
  • Northside Burke II
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Quick Dry
  • Cushioned Footbed
  • Price: See Here

Durability is one of the most important factors, as trekking shoes will get far more damage than regular shoes with each use. Every rock you step on, every log you scrape on, every hill you climb; these will all wear away at the shoe so you want something that has a long-lasting sole and high-quality materials.

 

10 Best Trekking Shoes

 

1. Merrell Moab Ventilator

Crafted using water resistant leather, this all terrain hiking shoe is made to last. The air cushioned midsole will give you solid shock absorption, making them easy on your feet for all day wear. The breathability of this shoe will help ensure that your feet don't overheat, and that moisture and bacteria doesn't build up over time. If you want shoes that can last, this may be a great choice for you.
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M Select Fresh
This shoe is designed with M Select Fresh which is a long lasting, antimicrobial agent that will help your shoes stay fresh and scent free for longer. While hiking or trekking around, your feet are bound to sweat, and the last thing you want to is create a nice, warm, and moist home for bacteria and other things to grow. This will help keep your shoes scent free and enjoyable for a long time.

Vibram Lugs
The last thing you need when hiking or trekking is the threat of falling and tripping while moving. Traction is vital, and these shoes are crafted with a specific lug pattern on the bottom which will help give you stability no matter the terrain. Effective in both wet and dry environments, you can feel safe and comfortable knowing that you have great traction and stability while still having a shoe that is flexible enough to move with you.

Cost and Value
These shoes can be picked up for under $100, making them a great pair of shoes for the price. With trekking shoes being more costly than most other types of shoes, these are a bargain and you should feel like you've absolutely got your money's worth. With high quality materials used, it's a bargain at it's current price.
Pros
  • Water Resistant Leather
  • High Quality Materials
  • Flexible Sole
  • Enhanced Lug Traction
  • Ventilated
  • Air Cushioned Midsole
  • Antimicrobial
  • Good For All Foot Shapes/Sizes
Cons
  • May Not Have A Lot of Arch Support
  • Sizing May Run Large
  • May Want to Add New Insole

2. Salomon Speedcross 3

With 16 vibrant and unique color options, this trail running shoe is sure to make you stand out on your trek. Not only is it a fashionable and fun looking shoe, but it is also designed well to ensure it is both functional and durable. Completely water resistant, you can hit the trails in any weather and the contragrip is made for both mud and snow.
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Descent Control
For those who do a lot of trail running, it is very important that you have as much traction when going down a hill as you do when going up. No one wants to slide or fall, possibly injuring themselves, so descent control is a great and important feature. The contragrip is specially designed to optimize control and grip tightly to any surface you are on.

Quicklace
Forget struggling with laces, or worrying about them coming undone, because these shoes are equipped with a quicklace system that will ensure your shoes fit perfectly while never coming loose. Simply pull on the polyester cord to tighten the shoe, and then lock them in place with the attached stopper. No longer are your laces a tripping hazard, and the durable cord is sturdier to ensure there is no breakage while you run.

Cost and Value
Hovering around the $100 mark, these shoes are an investment for people who are serious about trail running. The design is created for those who run on a variety of terrains in all weather conditions. For those that need a pair of shoes that can hold up to their various sports and activities, these are a worthy investment that will be worth the money in the long run.
Pros
  • Anti Debris Mesh
  • Water Resistant
  • Mud Guard
  • Sensifit
  • Quicklace System
  • Descent Control
  • Lightweight Construction
Cons
  • Tread May Wear Down Quickly
  • Toe Box Doesn't Hold Toes Completely
  • Sizing May Run Small

3. Timberland Chocorua Gtx Mid

Crafted using leather and textile materials, these Timberland hiking boots are both lightweight and not at all bulky.
These are boots that are truly designed for long distance hikes in all sorts of terrains and weather conditions, and are a great option if you are backpacking through amazing locations across the globe. Comfortable out of the box, you can wear these for long periods of time without feeling fatigue or soreness in your feet.
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Anti Fatigue Technology
If you are a long distance hiker, or enjoy backpacking in remote areas, you want to make sure that your boots don't tire you out before you're ready to stop for the day. Using their unique, patented technology these boots are designed to cradle your foot and offers up enough flexibility that they move with you throughout the day.

Gore-Tex
Crafted using gore-tex, these boots are fully waterproof while still remaining breathable. Keep your feet dry in any weather, and enjoy your adventure without having soggy socks. The breathability will help reduce any bacteria from growing keeping these boots odour free longer.

Cost and Value
Timberland is a very well known brand, so it goes without saying that the cost will be a bit higher for these boots. The benefit is that you know you are buying from a reputable company, so the quality and durability is more assured. For the comfort and anti fatigue factors alone, these boots are worth their higher price tag, and their durable nature means you won't have to purchase new boots again for awhile.
Pros
  • Leather and Textile Materials
  • Gore-Tex Waterproof Membrane
  • Anti Fatigue Comfort
  • Breathability 
  • Flexible Forefoot
  • Long Lasting Durability
  • Comfortable Out of the Box
  • Tread Stands Up Over Time
Cons
  • Eyelets May Wear Away Laces
  • Sizing May Run Smaller
  • Sole May Have Some Separation Over Time

4. Adidas Outdoor AX2

4. Adidas Outdoor AX2
With over 27 different color choices, you can be sure to find a pair of these shoes that best fits your personality. Not only do they look great on, but these will take you where you need to go, with their lightweight and low cut design. Enhanced grip, adiprene support, and comfortable cushioning all combine to make this shoe great for your outdoor activities.
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Air Mesh
With the entire top of the shoe crafted using air mesh, you can be confident that your foot will have maximum ventilation and breathability. Keep your feet cool while you run or trek, while preventing any odour from building up over time.

adiPrene Insert
For those who love to run, you know how important both comfort and shock absorption is for your feet and body. The insert on these shoes is specifically designed for maximum shock absorption, taking the pressure off both your feet and knees while moving. The insole also provides extra cushioning for comfort, so you don't have to worry about blisters or fatigue while you're active.

Cost and Value
With a very mid-range price, these shoes won't break the bank while still delivering high quality results. Adidas is known worldwide and has a positive reputation that can give you confidence in your purchase. Compared with the other shoes on this list the price is still very average, and even considered low priced when compared with other shoes from the same brand.
Pros
  • Lug Sole for Traction
  • Air Mesh Ventilation
  • adiPrene Insert
  • Grips On Wet Roads
  • Drawstring Laces
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Variety of Color Options
  • Low Cut Design
  • Lightweight Materials
Cons
  • Not Waterproof
  • Sizing May Run larger
  • Gore-Tex Covering Only

5. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus

5. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus
This fully waterproof hiking boot is crafted from full grain leather, offering up a durable shoe for all your outdoor needs. With D-Ring and Clamshell lacing, you don't need to stress about tension eroding away your laces, and you can tighten them to what fits best for you. Water and stain resistant, these hiking books will look good and stay maintained no matter how hard you push them.
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Foam Midsole
Compression molded so that it stands up to the weight and pressure of you, this EVA foam midsole delivers a comfortable place to rest your foot while ensuring that it can still absorb any shock and pressure. The compression keeps the midsole durable and sturdy without hindering the comfort level.

Omni Grip Tread
One of the most important features of a hiking boot is it's tread, and this shoe has an omni grip tread that will keep you steady on any terrain. Even the most rugged of terrains won't be a match for these boots, so you can climb and explore wherever you desire most.
Pros
  • Omni Grip Tread
  • Waterproof
  • Ventilated and Breathable
  • PU Coated Leather
  • Water and Stain Resistant
  • EVA Foam Midsole
  • Good in all Climates
  • No Breaking In Required
Cons
  • Can be Stiff
  • Sizing Run Smaller
  • Weight May be Heavier
  • Difficult to Get on and Off

6. Keen Targhee II Mid WP

6. Keen Targhee II Mid WP
Offering up four-wheel drive performance for your feet, these hiking boots are designed to take you to any destination you have in mind. Rugged and durable, this is how a hiking boot should be, giving you the security and stability to take on any challenge. With a mid cut height to the boot you will not only have foot stability, but your ankle will be stabilized as well so you can get to hard to reach places injury free.
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Waterproof Membrane
Everyone loves to hike in different climates and across different terrains, so don't let the rain or water prevent you from exploring. With a thin waterproof membrane, your feet will stay fully dry so you can take on rainy climates and river laced lands. The membrane is also full breathable, so moisture can escape out keeping your shoes free from bacteria build up and unpleasant odors.

Multi Directional Lugs
Making sure your shoes have a strong grip while hiking is vital, and these shoes have taken that to heart by designing 4mm multi directional lugs to help you grip on to any surface. Slippery rocks and vertical heights won't be a problem as these shoes will aggressively attach and keep you from slipping and falling.

Cost and Value
These boots are one of the most expensive items on our list, but that price tag is higher for a reason. Instead of having to buy multiple pairs of boots over time, invest in one pair of these and have them last through multiple adventures. The construction is sturdy and the materials are durable, giving you a great boot for the price.
Pros
  • Not as Heavy as Other Hiking Boots
  • Mid Height for Ankle Support
  • Protective Toe Cap
  • Rear Pull Loop
  • EVA Foam Footbed
  • Waterproof Leather
  • Hydrophobic Mesh Lining
  • Multi Directional Lugs
  • Contoured Heel Lock
  • Hold Up Over Time
Cons
  • Sizing Runs Smaller
  • Must Be Broken In Before Long Hikes
  • Higher Price Tag

7. Keen Voyageur

7. Keen Voyageur
Another model by KEEN, this is their hiking shoe option which is lower cut than their boot. The quality and features on the shoe are similar to the hiking boot, but the hiking shoe is more lightweight and is ideal for people who like to rock climb while exploring. With the same aggressive tread that KEEN is known for, and the durability of high quality materials, these hiking shoes are a great choice for those who want to get out and explore.
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Mesh Sides
With a mesh side underlay these hiking shoes allow for air flow to keep your feet from overheating. When you're active the last thing you need is a shoe filled with sweat, so mesh sides are a must for reducing odor and keeping your feet comfortable all day long. Fully breathable you can enjoy your hike and know that at the end of it all your shoes wont have a smell or bacterial growth.

EVA Foam
TO ensure that your feet are comfortable, these shoes are crafted with both and EVA foam midsole as well as a dual density EVA footbed. This helps your foot to stay cushioned, while also providing shock absorption to keep your feet and knees healthy. The insole is removable, so you can always swap it out for custom insoles if you prefer.

Cost and Value
As KEEN is a higher end brand, their price tags reflect that so these are more expensive than some of the other items mentioned on our list. Since this is the hiking shoe, however, the cost is lower than if you were to opt for a boot, so you can save some money by choosing this model over others.
Pros
  • Multi Directional Lugs
  • Mesh Side Underlays
  • Pull Loops on Heel and Tongue
  • EVA Foam Midsole
  • Removable Insole
  • Patented Toe Protection
  • EVA Footbed
  • Waterproof Leather
Cons
  • Sizing May Run Smaller
  • Can Feel Clunky
  • May Slide on Narrow Feet

8. Merrell Siren Sport 2

8. Merrell Siren Sport 2
Another top brand in the trekking shoe industry, Merrell is making their second appearance on this list with another model of their hiking shoes. This lightweight and nimble shoe is great for both hiking as well as trail running, and is both breathable and water resistant. With a sticky sole, you can feel the shoes traction grip on to any surface providing you with support and stability.
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Q Form Comfort
Using a unique design, the Q Form Comfort is designed with comfort in mind. When you walk, the heel will absorb any shock and give you more stability as it is nicely cushioned. There are extra support areas built in to the midsole, keeping your foot centered and giving you an extra push when you step. With some added cushioning in the toe area, your weight should be evenly distributed providing you with all around comfort and support.

Lug Pattern
The lugs on the bottom of this shoe are placed in the front and back, while leaving an empty space in the center. The added benefit here is that you will have more overall flexibility and it will shape easier to the natural form of your foot. The areas with lugs are equipped with solid traction, keeping you steady on whatever terrain you like.

Cost and Value
With these shoes staying well below the $100 mark, they are one of the more budget friendly options on our list. As with any lower priced shoe, they may not last as long as some of the other options on the market, but they are easily worth the price as they perform well as a hiking shoe.
Pros
  • Leather and Textile Materials
  • Bellows Tongue to Remove Debris
  • Omni Fit Lacing System
  • Breathable Mesh Lining
  • Odor Prevention
  • Ortholite Footbed
  • Sturdy Lug Pattern
  • Q Form Comfort
  • Mermaid Vibram Sole
Cons
  • Not Waterproof
  • Narrow in Size
  • Footbed May be Firm
  • May Squeak

9. Ahnu Sugarpine

9. Ahnu Sugarpine
Designed with the natural shape of the foot in mind, Anhu's hiking boots are engineered to help center and guide your foot so that you can prevent any type of tension or injury while wearing them. Built using a heavy duty nylon, these hiking boots are fully waterproof so that you can tackle any environment or weather conditions. The height, paired with the lacing style, offers great ankle support and keeps your foot secure throughout the day.
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Numentum Technology
Designed for a stable and balanced stride, these shoes have been specifically engineered in a way that encourages your foot to move in it's most natural way. There is no weighing down or constricting of the foot, so you can move with ease and reduce any chance of foot injury while hiking. These boots allow your foot to stay in a neutral position, reducing tension and pressure when you walk.

Vibram Outsole
If you do a lot of hiking then you're bound to get mud and dirt trapped between the lugs of your boots. Ahnu has taken that annoyance away by crafting self cleaning lugs that push away mud and dirt while you move. The lugs are part of the non marking vibram outsole, which has dual density and grips securely to any terrain.

Cost and Value
Keeping the quality and durability high, these boots have managed to offer a lower price tag than a lot of other hiking boot brands. While still costing a little over $100 for a pair, you won't have to break the bank to get yourself these boots. With all of the uniquely designed features, these boots are well worth the price and you should find that they last you quite some time.
Pros
  • Fully Waterproof
  • Vamp Style Lacing
  • Numentum Technology
  • Mid Cut for Ankle Support
  • Padded Tongue and Collar
  • Pull on Loop
  • Stability Heel Clip
  • Rubber Toe Protector
  • Self Cleaning Lugs
  • Dual Density EVA
Cons
  • Boot Can Feel Stiff
  • Sizing May Run Larger
  • More Narrow Width

10. Northside Burke II

10. Northside Burke II
We've looked at different shoes and boots on this list, but our final trekking shoe is actually a sandal. Depending on where you hike, you may not want to heaviness or warmth of an entire boot or shoe, so there may be a desire to just slip on a rugged and secure sandal and enjoy the sun. With strong traction and secure materials, this sandal is crafted to endure adventure while still keeping your feet cool and breezy.
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Mesh Lining
While the sandal itself features numerous cut outs, there is also a mesh lining to help with breathability and ventilation. The design of the sandal makes it dry quickly, so if you love climbing cliffs and diving in to the waters below, you can do so with ease. The sandal itself takes little time to dry out, so you can get it wet and continue hiking without the lasting presence of a soggy foot.

Arch Support
Meant to be comfortable, these sandals have built in arch support so that your foots natural shape is upheld and supported. This is combined with the cushioned footbed, so that you have maximum comfort wherever these sandals take you. Easy to slip on, and with a bungee cord drawstring, these will support you during every day activities or on some extreme adventures.

Cost and Value
Very inexpensive, these sandals should cost you less than $30 a pair, making them an absolute must if you combine water activities with hiking or trekking. Well made and extremely comfortable, the value on these is worth so much more than it's low price tag.
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Mesh Lining
  • Quick Dry
  • Multiple Cut Outs
  • Slip on
  • Drawstring Bungee Cord
  • Arch Support
  • Lightweight Material
  • Durable
  • Cushioned Footbed
Cons
  • Can be a bit Roomy
  • Heel May Sink Over Time
  • Soles Can be Stiff

Whatever type of trekking you enjoy, there are numerous shoes on the market that will fit your needs. With a variety of shapes, sizes, features, and looks this list gives you a summary of the top 10 options that are on the market right now.

Boots, shoes, or sandals all can help take you on the most epic of adventures, so find the style that will give you both maximum comfort and stability to ensure that you walk away injury free and ready for the next challenge. Always make sure that the traction is secure and that you have the required support in order to prevent any slipping or falling. If you love checking out different terrains and enjoy exploring no matter the weather, be sure to find an option that will hold up in the rain and water as there is nothing worse than soggy feet!