Blog /Fashion/ 15 Best Hiking Shoes in U.S. [December, 2023]
15 Best Hiking Shoes in U.S. [December, 2023]
By Aravind Pai -
Hiking is a popular outdoor activity that allows you to explore nature, get exercise, and enjoy fresh air. Having the right hiking shoes is crucial to keeping your feet comfortable and avoiding injuries on the trail. There are many factors to consider when choosing hiking shoes, such as fit, weight, traction, and support. In this blog post, we will review the top 15 best hiking shoes to help you find the perfect pair for your next adventure!
The Columbia Men’s Crestwood hiking shoe is a lightweight and durable option perfect for day hikes. These shoes feature a waterproof leather and suede upper to keep feet dry in wet conditions. The advanced traction rubber outsole provides grip on varied terrain. Reviewers praise the Crestwood’s comfortable fit and good ankle support. The padded tongue and collar add cushioning around the foot. At just 1 pound 3 ounces per shoe, the Crestwood is light enough for vigorous hiking without tiring your feet. According to our product testers, these Columbia hiking shoes excel at providing a snug yet comfortable fit perfect for the trail.
This hiking boot from Salomon is designed to provide comfort, support, and traction for hiking on rugged terrain. The waterproof leather and textile upper keeps feet dry, while the rubber toe cap protects against rock impact. Salomon’s SensiFit technology ensures a precise, secure fit. The EVA midsole cushions each step, and the high ankle collar hugs the foot to prevent rolling. The Contagrip outsole features large, multidirectional lugs to grip slippery surfaces. Reviewers praise these boots for their lightweight feel, stability, and traction on dirt, mud, snow, and wet rocks. According to our product testers, the Salomon X Ultra Pioneer stands out for its superior traction and secure ankle support on uneven ground.
3. Columbia Men’s Valley Pointe Waterproof Hiking Shoe
The Valley Pointe hiking shoe from Columbia is a waterproof option designed for trail comfort. The suede leather and mesh upper keeps water out while allowing ventilation. The Techlite lightweight midsole provides long-lasting cushioning and high energy return. Omni-Grip rubber outsoles with razor-siping offer traction on wet, slippery terrain. Reviewers love the simple, classic style of this shoe and praise its comfortable fit. The Valley Pointe runs true to size and offers good breathability on warm hikes. According to our experts, this Columbia hiking shoe provides excellent traction and waterproofing at an affordable price point.
4. Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Wp Hiking Shoe
Columbia’s Newton Ridge Plus hiking shoe provides waterproof protection for active trail use. The leather, suede, and mesh upper keeps feet dry while allowing air flow. Omni-Grip rubber outsoles with multidirectional lugs deliver secure traction on rocky and uneven ground. Techlite lightweight midsoles supply long-lasting cushioning and comfort. Reviewers praise the Newton Ridge Plus for its supportive fit, grippy outsole, and excellent waterproofing in wet terrain. At just over 1 pound per shoe, it provides a nice balance of stability and light weight. Our testers found this to be an excellent waterproof hiking shoe at a reasonable price point.
The Moab 3 Mid hiking boot from Merrell is a waterproof style made for trail performance. The suede leather and mesh upper repels water while allowing ventilation. M Select FRESH technology prevents foot odor inside the boot. Merrell’s air cushion heel absorbs shock with every step. Vibram TC5+ rubber outsoles provide durability and grip on slippery terrain. Reviewers praise the support and stability provided by this boot’s sturdy build. An EVA foam footbed adds underfoot comfort for all-day wear. According to our experts, the Moab 3 Mid supplies reliable waterproofing, support, and grip at an affordable price.
This low-cut hiking shoe from Merrell offers much of the same technology as the Moab 3 Mid, but in a lighter, more breathable style. The suede leather and mesh upper is durable, flexible, and waterproof. Vibram rubber outsoles deliver excellent traction on slick rocks and trails. Underfoot comfort comes from a cushioned EVA foam footbed. Weighing in at just over 1 pound per shoe, the Moab 3 supplies stability without weighing down your feet. Reviewers love these shoes for their comfort straight out of the box and impressive grip during hikes. Our testers found the Moab 3 hiking shoe to provide excellent traction and waterproofing in a lightweight package.
7. Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Ii Suede Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Newton Ridge Plus II boot from Columbia is a waterproof hiking shoe with a higher ankle collar. The suede leather, mesh, and metal hardware upper repels water while providing structure and support. Omni-Grip rubber outsoles deliver secure traction on slippery terrain. Techlite midsoles supply lightweight, long-lasting cushioning. Weighing just 1 pound 7 ounces per boot, the Newton Ridge Plus II is comfortable for all-day wear. Reviewers praise the excellent quality and waterproof performance. The higher ankle collar provides more stability and protection than a low-cut shoe. Our product testers found this to be a supportive, grippy waterproof hiking boot.
8. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
This hiking boot from Columbia is designed specifically to fit women’s feet. The waterproof leather, suede, and mesh upper keeps feet dry while allowing ventilation. Omni-Grip outsoles provide durable traction over rocks and slippery terrain. A Techlite midsole offers long-lasting cushioning and high energy return to reduce fatigue. Weighing just over 1 pound per boot, the Newton Ridge Plus Amped supplies stability without added weight. Reviewers praise the secure lacing system, cushioned support, and quality waterproofing. Our testers found this women’s boot provides excellent comfort and traction for trail use.
9. Columbia Men’s Crestwood Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Similar to the original Crestwood but with enhanced waterproofing, this hiking shoe from Columbia stands up to wet conditions on the trail. Seam-sealed leather and suede work with a mesh upper to repel water while allowing air flow. Omni-Grip rubber outsoles provide multi-directional traction over tricky terrain. Lightweight Techlite midsoles cushion each step while managing shock. Reviewers love the comfortable fit and praise these shoes for keeping feet dry even when hiking through streams. According to our experts, the Crestwood Waterproof supplies reliable waterproof performance in a comfortable, breathable package.
10. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Lightweight Waterproof Shoe Hiking Boot
The Newton Ridge hiking boot from Columbia offers a lightweight women’s option for waterproof trail protection. The leather, suede, and mesh upper repels water while allowing ventilation. Omni-Grip outsoles provide secure traction over varied terrain. Techlite midsoles deliver responsive cushioning that reduces fatigue over long distances. Reviewers praise the athletic style and comfortable fit of this boot straight out of the box. Our testers found the Newton Ridge to offer excellent quality, ventilation, and waterproofing in a lightweight women’s hiking shoe.
11. Columbia Men’s Peakfreak Ii Outdry Hiking Shoe
Columbia’s Peakfreak II hiking shoe utilizes OutDry technology to provide complete waterproof protection. OutDry layers the inside of the shoe with a waterproof-breathable membrane while sealing all seams on the outside. The exterior suede upper resists abrasion. Lightweight Techlite midsoles provide cushioned comfort that lasts. Omni-Grip outsoles deliver secure traction on slippery ground. Reviewers praise the Peakfreak’s excellent grip and breathable waterproof performance. At just over 1 pound per shoe, it’s comfortable for hiking all day. Our testers found this shoe provides fully waterproof protection perfect for wet trails.
The Hatana Breathe hiking shoe from Columbia combines breathability and water resistance for female hikers. The suede leather and mesh upper allows ample air flow while repelling light moisture. Omni-Grip rubber outsoles provide reliable traction over rocks and uneven ground. Techlite midsoles deliver lightweight cushioning and high energy return to reduce fatigue. Reviewers love the athletic-inspired style and praise the secure fit and ventilation. According to our experts, the Hatana Breathe is an excellent lightweight hiking option for women seeking breathability.
Much like the women’s version, the Hatana Breathe hiking shoe for men focuses on optimizing breathability for hiking comfort. The suede leather and open mesh upper allows constant air flow while repelling some moisture. Techlite EVA midsoles provide responsive cushioning that springs back with each step. Rubber outsoles deliver secure traction over rocks and slippery terrain. Reviewers praise the Hatana Breathe for feeling light as a sneaker while providing necessary trail grip. Our testers found this to be an excellent men’s option for well-ventilated hiking.
14. Eddie Bauer Women’s Mt.Bailey All Weather Hiking Boot
Eddie Bauer’s Mt. Bailey hiking boot supplies women with stability, traction, and weather protection on the trail. The waterproof leather and textile upper keeps moisture out while remaining breathable. The padded collar locks down the heel to prevent rubbing and hot spots. Dual-density EVA provides stable, shock-absorbing cushioning. HardyCloud outsoles grip slippery surfaces while resisting abrasion. Weighing just over 1 pound per boot, the Mt. Bailey remains comfortably lightweight for extended wear. Reviewers praise this boot for its excellent construction, secure fit, and impressive traction in all conditions.
The Yokota 2 from Merrell is a well-ventilated low-cut hiking shoe for men. Upper mesh panels allow constant air flow across the foot to prevent overheating. M Select FRESH technology prevents odor buildup inside the shoe. Merrell Air Cushion heels absorb shock and deliver stability with each step. Vibram MegaGrip outsoles provide durable traction across varied terrain. Reviewers love the comfortable fit right out of the box and praise the Yokota 2’s grip and ventilation. Our testers found this to be an excellent warm weather hiking option for men seeking a breathable low-cut shoe.
Columbia Men’s Valley Pointe Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Wp Hiking Shoe
Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Ii Suede Waterproof Hiking Boot
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
Columbia Men’s Crestwood Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Lightweight Waterproof Shoe Hiking Boot
Columbia Men’s Peakfreak Ii Outdry Hiking Shoe
OutDry waterproof membrane
Columbia Women’s Hatana Breathe Hiking Shoe
Columbia Men’s Hatana Breathe Hiking Shoe
Eddie Bauer Women’s Mt.Bailey All Weather Hiking Boot
Merrell Men’s Yokota 2 Hiking Shoe
How to Choose the Best Hiking Shoes
When selecting the best hiking shoes for your needs, here are some key factors to consider:
Fit – Hiking shoes should fit snugly without restricting circulation. Try shoes toward the end of the day when feet are largest. Be sure to wear hiking socks similar to those you’ll use on the trail.
Weight – Lightweight shoes around 1 to 1.5 pounds per shoe are ideal for hiking comfort. Heavier boots can cause fatigue over long distances.
Traction – Look for deep multidirectional lugs on the outsoles to grip slippery surfaces like mud, snow, and wet rocks. Rubber compounds like Vibram also improve traction.
Waterproofing – Waterproof membranes or coatings help keep feet dry in wet conditions while still allowing some breathability.
Support – A stiff midsole provides torsional rigidity for arch and ankle support. Padding around the collar locks the heel in place.
Durability – Durable uppers resist abrasion from rocks/debris. Rubber toe caps protect against impact on rough terrain.
Types of Hiking Shoes
There are a few main types of hiking shoes:
The most supportive option, hiking boots have stiff midsoles and extended ankle collars to prevent rolling. They excel at carrying heavy loads over rugged terrain.
With low-cut collars, hiking shoes offer greater breathability and mobility at a lighter weight. They work well for day hikes over moderate terrain.
With lightweight mesh uppers and minimal tread, trail runners are optimal for running over flatter, less technical trails. They sacrifice some stability for agility.
Developed for climbing approaches, approach shoes have sticky rubber outsoles for scrambling over rocks. They lack stabilizers in the heel for flexibility.
Hiking Shoe Care and Maintenance
Caring properly for your hiking shoes will maximize their lifespan and performance. Here are some tips:
Allow shoes to air dry fully between uses to prevent mildew buildup. Stuff with newspaper to maintain shape.
Wash mud and debris off uppers with a brush and mild soap after each use. Rinse thoroughly.
Use waterproofing sprays to replenish water repellency after a few trips.
Replace insoles every 300-500 miles for fresh cushioning and support.
Check outsoles periodically and resole once lugs show noticeable wear for grip.
Store shoes in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight when not in use.
FAQs about best hiking shoes
Q. What are the best hiking shoes?
A. Based on expert testing and user reviews, some of the best hiking shoes include waterproof options like the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus, Merrell Moab 3 Mid, and Salomon X Ultra Pioneer for wet terrain. Top lightweight shoes are the Columbia Crestwood, Merrell Yokota 2, and Columbia Hatana Breathe. The Columbia Peakfreak II and Eddie Bauer Mt. Bailey supply weather protection. Cushioned choices like the Columbia Valley Pointe and Newton Ridge Plus II provide comfort for all-day wear.
Q. What are the best shoes to wear for hiking?
A. The best shoes to wear for hiking offer traction, support, and comfort over varied terrain. Look for shoes with grippy rubber outsoles, stiff midsoles, breathable/waterproof uppers, and cushioned insoles. Hiking boots provide the most support while low-cut hiking shoes are more breathable. Trail runners are optimal for faster-paced hikes over moderate trails. Approach shoes work well for hikes involving rock scrambling.
Q. What are the best shoes for hiking?
A. When choosing the best shoes for hiking, consider how much support, cushioning, traction, and weather protection you need. Sturdy hiking boots with waterproofing excel for backpacking trips with heavy packs. More breathable hiking shoes work well for day hikes with light loads. Well-ventilated trail runners suit fast-paced hikes over easier trails. Grippy approach shoes allow scrambling over rocks.
Q. What shoes are best for hiking?
A. Hiking boots and shoes are generally the best footwear choices for hiking depending on the activity. Waterproof hiking boots with stiff midsoles provide the most support for challenging terrain and heavy loads. Low-cut hiking shoes offer greater breathability and flexibility for day hikes. Trail runners are optimal for running over moderate trails. Approach shoes allow scrambling over rocky ground.
Q. What kind of shoes are best for hiking?
A. The best kind of shoes for hiking depends on the trail conditions and the type of hiking you plan to do. Hiking boots offer the most ankle support and stability for rugged terrain and backpacking trips. Hiking shoes provide good traction in a more lightweight, breathable package for day hikes. Trail runners suit fast-paced hikes over groomed trails. Approach shoes are ideal for scrambling over rocky ground.
Q. What features make the best hiking shoes?
A. Key features that make the best hiking shoes include breathable yet waterproof uppers, stiff midsoles for support, multidirectional lug patterns for traction, and cushioned yet responsive midsoles for comfort and energy return.
Q. Are hiking boots or shoes better?
A. Hiking boots provide more ankle support and stability for carrying heavy loads over rugged terrain. Hiking shoes are lighter weight and more breathable but lack the structure of boots. Choose boots for backpacking trips and shoes for day hikes.
Q. How should hiking shoes fit?
A. Hiking shoes should fit snugly with enough room to wiggle toes. Heels shouldn’t slip when walking downhill. Wearing thick hiking socks, try shoes at the end of the day when feet are largest.
Q. How do I waterproof hiking shoes?
A. Waterproof membranes or coatings help repel water. Use waterproofing sprays to reapply protection after a few trips. Seal seams with silicone sealant. Periodically wash shoes with mild soap and reapply waterproofing after.
Q. How can I get better traction from my hiking shoes?
A. Look for shoes with deep, multidirectional lug patterns on the outsoles to grip varied terrain. Rubber compounds like Vibram also improve traction. Replace shoes once lugs show significant wear for optimal grip.
Aravind Pai is a passionate blogger and content creator who has been writing extensively on technology topics since 2020, with a focus on Online shopping deals and product reviews. He graduated as a B.Tech 4 years ago and enjoys road trips and exploring latest gadgets.
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