Top 10 Best Hiking Shoes For Men & Women in 2019

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When it comes to hiking gear, just about nothing is more important than finding the right shoes. It can mean being able to cover long distances in comfort or trudging along in misery while blisters plague your feet. Shoes are what makes or break an outdoor adventure. Without a doubt, you need the best hiking shoes you can put on your feet.

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On this article, we will cover the importance of picking the right hiking shoes and which brands are currently on the market. We’ve done all the testing and research for you, and by the time you’re done reading this article, you should have a clear idea on which hiking shoes to get in 2019.

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Let’s take a look at how you can choose the best hiking shoes for your feet.

How to Choose The Best Hiking Shoes

Before you start looking, it’s essential to know exactly how to find the best pair of hiking shoes for you. We’re all different, so it’s not possible to say for certain that a shoe that works for someone else would work for you. Your ideal pair of hiking shoes might be totally different from your partner’s or your kids’ ideal pair. Your feet will be slightly different, and your stance and walking style is likely to be different from other people, too.

As much as we’re going to run down a top 10 list here, you absolutely shouldn’t just pick your shoes solely based on other people’s opinion.

Instead, you should do the following:

Focus on the Fit

Focus on finding a shoe that fits you well. Finding the right size will prevent blisters and ensure these shoes are more than just a functional tool to help you walk and hike around. You will enjoy putting those shoes on and venturing out into the world!

It’s essential to measure your feet and know:

  • How long your feet are.
  • The width of your feet.
  • How long your foot arches are.

You can do this measurment for yourself at home, but it is also a good idea to get your measured by a specialist. Find a local sportswear retailer and ask them to help. You don’t have to buy the shoes from the shop, but you can simply use the measurements to help you find the right pair of hiking shoes online, for example.

Boots should fit snug. Try the pair and walk around it all day to get a feel for comfort. Find a store or online retailer that lets you return the pair if it doesn’t fit.

Type of Socks

When you’re thinking about buying hiking shoes, you’ll want to keep in mind the kind of socks you’d be using. You want to include the thickness of the sock you normally use when hiking, as you are testing if the shoe is a good fit. Similarly, if you’re using any orthotics, you have to make sure you reflect their impact on the size. Of course, if you are buying hiking sandals rather than shoes, then you might often not wear any socks at all, although the fastening of your sandals should be flexible enough for you to wear them with or without socks as you wish.

You have to Try it On in Person

As you shop for the perfect hiking shoes, you have to try the boots on. Note that most online stores will allow you to return or exchange a shoe after purchase, no questions asked, so long as you haven’t clearly taken them for a “test run” on a long walk! This is important to know so that you can find the right fit.

One trick is to find a local store that carries the particular hiking shoes you like and then finding the same online to see if there’s a better price for it. However, if you’re going to a truly local business, we always recommend it’s better to support your local business than a corporate chain.

When you are trying the shoes for the first time, you should keep these tricks in mind to determine the right fit:

  • Try the shoes on in the afternoon when your feet are slightly swollen – this ensures you won’t end up with a too small size.
  • Wear a similar sock as you normally would when hiking, if necessary, when testing the shoes.
  • Don’t just try it on and move on, walk around a bit and if you can, test the shoes while climbing stairs or on a small inclination. Remember not to wear them outdoors in case you want to return them!

Once you’ve found your perfect shoes and bought them, remember to break them in before your first hiking trip!

Understand the Different Types and Hiking Boot Components

There are many types of hiking footwear out there. It’s important to pay attention to the different types available as well as to the various footwear components, to guarantee you find the right hiking footwear for your needs.

In general, you can divide hiking footwear into four categories:

  • Hiking sandals – Sandal-style hiking shoes with flexibility and support. Extremely light and work perfectly for people who walk a lot in not very demanding terrain. Also popular among people who work on their feet all day.
  • Hiking shoes – Low-cut shoes with flexible midsoles. Light and work well for day hikers and travelers.
  • Day hiking boots – Mid to high-cut shoes with flexibility. Intended use is for day hikes and short trips.
  • Backpacking boots – High-cut shoes with the most support around the ankle, with stiffer midsoles to make them more suitable for carrying heavy loads. Most popular for long hiking trips and off-trail travel.

What Sort of Hiking are you Planning to Do?

hiking boots in torres del paine

Hiking the Torre del Paine circuit requires sturdy hiking boots

When thinking about the right hiking footwear, think about the kind of hiking trips you like to make and the terrain you tend to hike on. Stiff boots, for example, are best for those who hike on very rocky terrain and for long hours. If you are mainly hiking normal paths and for shorter periods, you probably don’t want to opt for such a stiff boot.

Thru hikes like JMT or the W Trek in Torres Del Paine, require sturdy (usually stiff) boots that can stay dry when it rains. The same boots or shoes you will use in these places, you definitely don’t want to use for a hike in Death Valley – it’s far too hot! You might also consider a pair of hiking shoes for easy day hikes like Cathedral Lakes.

On top of this, you should consider the components and characteristics of different types of hiking footwear, because this can influence the weight and durability of the shoe. For example, you might require fully water-resistant footwear, which brings us to the next thing you should also consider:

Materials

Some materials are more suited to one terrain over the other. Goretex fabric will be waterproof (for the most part) but have very poor breathability characteristics. Mesh fabric is obviously made for warmer climates. Vibram rubber soles are great for gripping slippery terrain but come from different manufacturers; it can get confusing when manufacturers throw this name in the mix when there are actually dozens of different kinds.

It is important to take into account the material the hiking shoes are made of for what climate and activity you will be using it for. If you intend to do some running and jogging on the trail, hiking boots made of heavy leather are not the obvious pick.

The Best Hiking Shoes

With the above tips and points in mind, you can start looking for your ideal hiking footwear. Whilst it’s impossible to say for certain which shoe might become your favorite, there are plenty of popular shoes that other hikers find they can’t live without.

Here’s a list of the top 10 hiking shoes for you to look at when choosing your next hiking footwear.

Viakix Hiking Sandals

1. Viakix Napali Hiking Sandals

MSRP: $49

Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.

Upper: Woven fabric

Outsole: Foam/rubber

Closure Style: Slip-on

Gender: Women

For everyday use, Viakix sandals are a very popular pick. The sandals are comfortable, providing a lot of support for the sole and reducing friction. They are made from a breathable material to guarantee your feet don’t start sweating too much. If you do want a bit more coverage from your hiking shoes, the brand’s water shoes are a fantastic pick.

Viakix also focuses on the appearance of the shoe as well as on comfort and usability. This means these are perfect for those traveling and for people who are looking for a smart but comfortable hiking shoe. The company has been noted for producing high-quality footwear at very affordable prices.

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Pros

  • Low price but high-quality
  • Great brand
  • It’s available in six colors
  • Made of durable leather and breathable textile material
  • Omni-Grip technology for better traction and grip
  • Very lightweight
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Cons

  • Experienced hikers may want a thicker sole, especially for more advanced routes

Saucony Peregrine ISO

2. Saucony Peregrine ISO

MSRP: $120

Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.

Upper: Engineered mesh

Outsole: PWRTRAC tacky rubber

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

Saucony Peregrine is another popular lightweight hiking shoe. The ISO is their latest model, providing hikers with a super lightweight and comfortable shoe. It offers good water resistance, and you can dry them relatively quickly. When you’re wearing the shoe, it can feel a bit like putting on a sock, which might not be for all users. However, it does feel relatively comfortable and adds a lot of flexibility to the sizing.

The Saucony Peregrine ISO is a good hiking shoe for everyday use. The boots are a bit pricier than some models, but you won’t have to replace these anytime soon, and the quality is also very good. This shoes can be ideal for the beginner hiker or trail runner. If you’re doing some long-distance marathon on flatter surfaces, this shoes is perfect for you. Just don’t take it out to extremely muddy terrain as you might struggle as the shoes will.

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Pros

  • Good traction
  • Provides all-day cushion and comfort
  • A fit and secure upper
  • Allows breathability
  • Good durability
  • Toebox is good enough
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Cons

  • A bulkier shoe compared to version 7 and under
  • Although only weighing 8 by 0.5 oz. it’s also heavier than older models
  • Toebox is good but bigger would be better
  • The lower sides on the heel collar can let rocks inside the shoes

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator

3. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Ventilator

MSRP: $110

Weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz.

Upper: Suede leather/mesh

Outsole: Vibram/rubber

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

If you want a hiking boot, you should think about opting for the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Ventilator. It’s a popular model for both men and women. For a hiking boot, Merrell’s boots are quite lightweight, and you will find you get a lot of comfort out of these boots.

The shoes are made out of a mixture of suede leather and a breathable mesh. This makes them very durable, so you don’t have to worry about wear and tear with these. They aren’t the most water-resistant boots, and if you do want to guarantee your feet stay dry, it’s best to buy the waterproof version. However, this takes away some of the breathability. One of the best things about the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Ventilator boots is the wide model availability!

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Pros

  • Comfortable on most trails
  • Great traction
  • Very durable
  • Good arch support
  • Good cushion underfoot
  • Made of recycled materials
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Cons

  • Not very stable when carrying a lot of weight
  • Leaks in heavy water use

Brooks Cascadia 13

4. Brooks Cascadia 13

MSRP: $99.95

Weight: 1 lb. 7.8 oz.

Upper: Synthetic

Outsole: Rubber

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

If your hiking trips include running, you might like this combination shoe. The Brooks Cascadia 13 is a trail running shoe that makes traditional hiking and off-road running a lot of fun.

These shoes are flexible with a durable upper mesh section. This makes them long lasting hiking boots, but they are also slightly heavier than many other hiking shoes. However, you do get a lot of grip with these shoes, and many users report quick break-in times. They are good to go almost right from the moment you lift them from the box!

One potential downside to being aware of this particular model is that it has a rather narrow fit. If you are cursed (or blessed) with wide feet, you may find it impossible to find a comfortable size in these. At the same time, for those with narrow feet, these might just be the best shoes out there!

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Pros

  • Great traction even on mud
  • Comes with different width options
  • Good breathability
  • Soft cushion
  • Good protection from rocks
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Cons

  • A little heavy
  • Not as flexible as other models

Salomon Quest 4D

5. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Boots

MSRP: $230

Weight: 2 lbs. 13.2 oz.

Upper: Nubuck leather/textile

Outsole: Contagrip rubber

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

The Salomon hiking shoe is a boot style shoe with lots of support and protection. These are warm boots, which work well even in winter conditions. The Gore-Tex lining means they are waterproof and provide a lot of protection from the wind. However, it will take you a lot of time to get them dry if you do manage to get them wet!

Even though this is a boot model, the ankle support isn’t as protective as in some other models. You do get very good traction, and these will work well on the toughest of terrains. Just be mindful of the fact that these boots can be quite heavy to wear and to carry around. Overall, this boot is a highly-coveted model from a prestigious brand. It’s heavy, but that’s because it’s made for colder and rougher terrain. Warm weather hikers might want to look for something lighter.

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Pros

  • Excellent support
  • Great stability
  • Performance fit lacing system
  • Keeps your feet warm
  • Water resistant
  • Very little break-in time
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Cons

  • Too warm for hot weather use
  • Expensive
  • Only one width option
  • Not meant for shorter hikes

La Sportiva Bushido II

6. La Sportiva Bushido II

MSRP: $99.95

Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.

Upper: Air mesh/thermal adhesive microfiber/high-frequency welded ripstop overlays/TPU toe cap

Outsole: FriXion XT V-Groove2 rubber with Impact Brake System

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

If you need hiking shoes, not boots, for rough terrain, you should consider the La Sportiva Bushido II hiking shoes. They offer a lot of durability and support. The shoes are not as flexible as most hiking shoes. For example, they have a capped toe support and a high-quality, stiff sole. You get a lot of protection with these. However, if you just want a comfortable daily hiking shoe, then it would not be that good of a pick.

So, when you need a hiking shoe for rough terrain, this could be a contender. You can find this particular model for both men and women. The La Sportiva Bushido II hiking shoe is also great in terms of weather resistance. It’s not just for hiking/walking either, and the Bushido II is easily nimble and able to handle long-distance running well. The shoes are well adapted to uneven terrain and have very responsive traction. However, we think it could use a little bit more cushion for long distance runners.

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Pros

  • Excellent traction in any conditions, rocks, mud, wet-slippery
  • Locks in for greater control
  • Stable in the uneven terrain
  • Great protection
  • Very durable
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Cons

  • Could be lighter
  • Runs small and not made for bigger feet
  • Limited cushion

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

7. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

MSRP: $239.00

Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.

Upper: Nubuck leather/Cordura nylon

Outsole: Vibram rubber

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

Lowa’s hiking shoe is a mid-height boot that provides a good amount of protection and stability. These shoes have a heavy leather lining which can make them feel slightly heavy and hot. You wouldn’t necessarily want to use these on a long hiking trip, but for a daily hike, the shoes work very well.

For most people, the big selling point of this particular model is the customization in terms of fit. The hiking shoes are available for men and women in regular, narrow, and wide fit, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the perfect size! The Lowa is one of the most popular hiking boot because it has a very comfortable and a wrap around the ankle support. It’s ideal for thru-hiking in the JMT or just a short day-hike. It’s bulkier than most models here but one that does offer a good bang for the buck.

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Pros

  • Top-rated hiking boots for men and women
  • Great for various terrain
  • The nylon shank and monowrap midsole, and nubuck leather upper,
  • Waterproof Goretex material
  • Vibram rubber outsole for good traction
  • Comfortable footbed
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Cons

  • Runs narrow, so wider feet folks, beware
  • Goretex isn’t very breathable
  • Expensive
  • Stiff
  • Bulky

Altra Lone Peak 4

8. Altra Lone Peak 4

MSRP: $120

Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.

Upper: Mesh

Outsole: Rubber

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

Hiking shoes don’t come much more lightweight than the Altra Lone Peak 4. These shoes are extremely lightweight and flexible. This specific boot also has a unique toe box, which makes these quite a comfortable pick. Furthermore, these hiking shoes benefit from a zero-drop build, which means the heel and the ball of your foot are always at the same distance from the ground. This makes walking a lot less demanding on your feet.

Other great qualities of these shoes include great weather resistance and breathability. If your shoes get wet, they will dry quickly, and you get quite a good grip even when walking or running on mountain terrain. The shoes come with low or mid cut so you can pick the style that suits you best. Although and improve over its predecessor, it has some minor flaws. The midsole on this one isn’t as durable, and it might only go for a few hundred miles. With that said, these shoes are more than capable of taking you to various terrain.

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Pros

  • Comfortable straight out of the box
  • Secure around the ankle support
  • Outsole grips hard with the dedicated pattern through the lugs
  • Waterproof
  • Zero drop platform to help lessen impacts and added stability
  • Optional gaiter attachment
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Cons

  • Waterproof means less ventilation
  • Sizing was a bit off
  • Might not be able to tackle the more technical terrain

HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 3

9. HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 3

MSRP: $140

Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.

Upper: Engineered synthetic mesh

Outsole: Vibram Megagrip rubber

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

HOKA’s popularity in the hiking community is down to the lightweight nature of their shoes. This particular model doesn’t disappoint, as the shoes are more feather-light rather than just lightweight. However, you still get a lot of support and traction with these boots. The Speedgoat 3 also has a wider toe box, which creates a lovely, roomy feel for your feet.

The midsole is slightly higher than in most hiking boots, and this can make some people feel slightly unstable when walking. However, you get quite a bit of protection against the terrain because of it. If you want a lightweight shoe for your travel, this is not a bad choice. This shoes can pretty much do it all except the weird grip on concrete or asphalt that makes it hard to run. Trail runners, however, will find these shoes to be right up their alley.

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Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Can go the distance
  • Very responsive
  • Great traction
  • Can handle varied terrain
  • Good shocks
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Cons

  • The grip on concrete or asphalt makes it impossible to run on
  • Runs Narrow

The North Face Ultra 110 GTX

10. The North Face Ultra 110 GTX

MSRP: $129

Weight: 1 lb. 8.8 oz.

Upper: Woven Goretex

Outsole: Vibram Megagrip rubber

Closure Style: Lace

Gender: Men/Women

When it comes to finding a great hiking shoe for rough weather conditions, North Face is a brand you can trust. This particular model is fully waterproof and lined with Gore-Tex. This guarantees excellent breathability and comfort. You won’t get your feet wet or cold when wearing these hiking shoes. For a hiking shoe, the sole can feel stiff, but these are not meant for your average hiking trips. These shoes are for those hiking trips that take you out into the wild in harsh conditions. However, you definitely want to take time to break in these shoes before you travel.

The Ultra 110 GTX is a worthy upgrade to the 109 GTX. It’s moderately cushioned but allows you to tackle easy or rough trails. It looks similar to the 109, but the durability and traction have been improved. It bit on the heavy side, and the Goretex material means less breathability. You should find these shoes more suitable to the colder or wetter climate. Warmer weather would not be ideal.

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Pros

  • Relatively comfortable
  • Stable in most terrain
  • Very durable
  • Reasonable price
  • Good protection
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Cons

  • Not very breathable
  • Heavy and bulky

Tips on Making your Hiking Shoes More Comfortable

  • Get aftermarket insoles
  • Always break your boot/shoes in before you embark on a major trip
  • Check out other lacing methods if the current one you’re using isn’t comfortable
  • Wear appropriate socks and go with synthetic as it dries faster than cotton

Conclusion

As you can see, there are lots of options out there, and you can find your favorite shoe best by trying out as many different options as possible. You will likely want to pick a few different hiking shoes and think about which ones will be best for where you’re going and how you’re going to use them.

Get to know your feet, think about your hiking needs, and find your favorite hiking footwear!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BRAND? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

 


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