Comfort: Well-cushioned outsoles, midsoles, and insoles are imperative for keeping your feet from fatiguing. Additionally, shanks help keep your arch supported.

Waterproofness and breathability: The weather is an important factor to consider when buying a pair of hiking shoes. For precipitous situations or terrain that might include trekking through puddles, you’ll want a waterproof shoe. Gore-tex tends to be the most waterproof material, but many brands will opt to use other materials.


The Best Hiking Shoes Overall

Salomon

X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes

Over the past few years, French mountaineering outfitter Salomon has crossed over from the Alps into the fashion world. While the brand’s sleek trail runners have been the shoe du jour for all the stylish people you know—and even landed our Sneaker of the Year honor back in 2019—their flagship hiking shoe deserves equal praise. The Salomon X Ultra 4’s feature outsoles with a variety of rubber lugs for excellent traction for any kind of terrain, the upper chassis provides maximum stability, and the pillowy soft foam insoles cradle your feet with a snug-but-comfortable fit. They’re gorp-y and modern without looking too Spy Kids futuristic, striking the perfect balance of aesthetics and function that’s ideal for any outfit.

The Best Budget Hiking Boots

Considered by many hikers to be the best of the best, the Moab 3 Mid is built to handle the roughest of terrains. Unparalleled grip, a waterproof yet breathable upper, and stellar ankle support make it a consistent best seller among novice and advanced hikers alike. The mix of synthetic materials and natural suede uppers land the Moab smack in between the rugged heritage of an old-school alpine boot and the advanced modernism of a do-it-all trail shoe. That is to say: its looks are lovably granola. And we love that they come in different versions for different climates, including non-waterproof breathable low-tops.

The Best Everyday Hiking Shoes

Despite what hardcore multi-day backpackers might have you believe, hiking can be a pretty chill affair that doesn’t require the most strapped of crag-gripping boots. In fact, there are plenty of lowkey hiking shoes that can take on a light hike like a walk in the park and, uh, actually go for a walk in the park without looking like you’re way too overprepared. Scarpa’s Mojito shoes are just that. They’re a low-cut, lightweight approach shoe with sneaker-like looks that make them great for off-trail endeavors bopping around the city, but the cushioned midsole, protective toe cap, and Vibram outsole also make them completely capable of breezy hikes.

The Comfiest Hiking Boots

The Hoka Kaha 2 boots have maintained their place atop the hiking shoe mountain thanks to a heaping helping of cloud-like comfort and rock-solid grip. The ultra-thick EVA midsole is the plushest-feeling out of the bunch and Hoka’s SwallowTail heel gives every step a smooth landing. The Vibram megagrip lug soles ensure you’ll keep your footing on any terrain and the waterproof Gore-tex uppers mean you won’t have to think twice when you come across a puddle. And don’t let their undeniable chunkiness fool you—they’re way lighter than they appear.

The Best Classic Hiking Boots

Danner’s classic Mountain boots made a serious impression when they first debuted in the 1970s and they’re still making a great impression to this day. They feature a single-piece full-grain leather upper, a supportive fiberglass shank, a waterproof Gore-tex lining, and a grippy Vibram kletterlift outsole. At a hefty 29 ounces per shoe, they’re more than double the weight of some of the other options on this list and come with an inherent break-in period, which will undoubtedly turn some people off. But the classic old-school alpine looks will outlast any design trend so if you’re into the aesthetics now, you can bet you’ll still be into them years from now. Not only that, they’re also the only hiking shoe on this list that’s fully re-soleable. Thanks to the stitchdown construction, the Mountain Light can easily be recrafted by your local cobbler. They may be the heaviest. They may be the most expensive. But they’re also the most durable.


Plus 6 More Hiking Shoes We Love

Adidas

The Free Hiker 2.0 is Adidas’ hybrid take on the hiker with the chassis of a sneaker and the engine of a trail shoe. The Boost midsole is extra cushy while the Continental rubber lug soles maintain a good grip. Plus, the knit collar allows for mobility while keeping dust and dirt out, not to mention reducing weight.

Keen Targhee III

Keen’s Targhee III are some of the most beloved everyday hikers on the market because they do so many things right. They’re built with a nice wide toe box so you won’t have to worry about pinching and the external shank provides great support. Add to that Keen’s Keen.Dry technology and multidirectional lug soles and you’ve got a shoe that’ll keep out moisture and keep you firm on your feet.

Altra

The Altra Lone Peak is an ideal trail running shoe that’s ultra light on the feet thanks to the stitchless knitted mesh uppers. Through light trails and rough terrain, the MaxTrac soles can keep its grip. Plus the generous toe box is ultra comfy. Hell, the American Podiatric Medical Association gave these shoes a stamp of approval.

La Sportiva

Spire Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes

A low-top waterproof hiking shoe that’s equally adept at day hikes and trail running, La Sportiva’s Spire shoes feature a breathable and waterproof membrane, ventilation outlets, a Vibram XS Trek sole for rocky terrain, and slick looks that’ll survive a gauntlet of fashion fiends back in the city.

Diemme

x Throwing Fits Rosset Boots

Diemme combines its multigenerational heritage in alpine-grade footwear with modern tastes that reveal the brand’s forward-thinking prowess with every season. The Rosset boot combines a super beefy rubber rand that wraps around the bottom of the boot which adds durability and waterproofness. And despite the monster truck looks, the Rossets ride as smoothly as an electric car.

Nike ACG

Gorpcore’s wave has produced a flood of throwback outdoors goods, everything from ’70s-inspired down jackets to deep-pile fleece zip-ups, and of course, hiking boots. Nike ACG’s Torre boots pull from the Swoosh’s deep vault and the retro looks combined with capable features makes these great for lowkey hikes and day-to-day jaunts in urban environments.

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