1. Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX ($150)
The Salomon X Ultra 3 is an awesome hiking shoe that is super light and comfortable. our top lightweight hiking shoe for 2020, combining a feathery feel with impressive on-trail performance. The shoe weights just 1 pound 10 ounces and the tread design provides nice grip in all conditions. Its Gore-Tex® waterproof bootie liners allow your feet breathe while protecting them from the elements.
2. Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator ($100)
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator is a great hiking shoe that provide ventilation, comfort, durable leather and supportive footbeds. The Merrell Air Cushion in the heels absorbs shock and adds stability. The EVA midsoles offer stability and comfort. Priced at $100 Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator is a great choice for every hiker.
3. Altra Lone Peak 4.5 ($120)
Altra Lone Peak 4.5 offers solid traction, and the thick cushioning isolates hikers from harsh impacts underfoot. The shoe is ultralight and flexible, and its skeletal Stoneguard™ protects against rocks without hampering foot flexibilty. Balanced cushioning places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage proper, low-impact form throughout your trail run.
4. Asolo Agent Evo GV ($210)
Asolo Agent EVO GV are very comfortable and durable hiking shoes designed for light day hikes and don’t hold up well when carrying a load or on difficult terrain. They don’t have much cushioning in the footbed, but some hikers prefer that. Water-resistant suede leather uppers are lined with GORE-TEX waterproof, breathable membranes to keep your feet dry when hiking in wet conditions.
5. Salomon X Raise GTX ($130)
With Salomon X Raise GTX you can keep your feet comfortable and protected on all-day hikes. These shoes provide great cushioning and comfort in a lightweight and flexible package. The waterproof/breathable GORE-TEX® membranes help keep your shoes dry from the outside as well as the inside. Moreover, the QuickLace system allows fast, one-pull tightening and easy on/off.
6. Danner Trail 2650 ($150)
Danner Trail 2650 are fantastic hiking boots that keep you pushing forward with tough, breathable construction and grippy traction. The boots come with durable, lightweight leather and textile uppers. The mesh liners improve and the lightweight, shock-absorbing EVA midsoles are topped with open-cell OrthoLite® footbeds for cushioning.
7. Keen Targhee Low Vent ($130)
With Keen Targhee Low Vent you can tackle the trail with confidence. This shoe features tough leather construction, great weight, and well-cushioned interior. Its injected TPU heel-capture system promotes stability as you hike
8. Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX ($170)
Arc’teryx is ultralight at just over 1.5 pounds for the pair, waterproof with a Gore-Tex membrane, and combines nimble construction with the stability and protection you need to conquer the route ahead. With this shoe you get are more protective than your trail runner and more comfortable than your approach shoe. Plus, Vibram® Megagrip outsoles deliver surefooted traction across varied terrain.
9. Oboz Sawtooth II Low ($110)
Oboz Sawtooth II Low are excellent hiking shoes that feature breathable mesh paneling and sturdy, lightweight heel counters. O FIT Insoles™ provide great fit, feel and performance. In addition, the asymmetric collars articulate with ankle motion, accommodating for unique ankle bone locations.
10. La Sportiva Spire GTX ($190)
La Sportiva Spire GTX is a fantastic hiking shoe that is superlight and comfortable. It provides great protection isolating you from rough and rocky trails. Designed to keep you stable on unpredictable terrain, these durable rubber outsoles deliver traction in all conditions. They’re flexible and responsive—and they’re nonmarking, so you won’t get in trouble if you wear them inside. Their GORE-TEX® SURROUND® membranes protect your feet, and breathe easily.
Hiking shoes are the most basic and fundamental gear for hiking. You can’t use running shoes or sneakers to hike a mountain as they’re not designed for that purpose. Hiking shoes are specifically designed to provide support for hikers to step on hiking trails or terrains while protecting their feet. A hiker must have at least a pair of hiking shoes. However, there are hundreds if not thousands of hiking shoes available in the market from various brands, and choosing the one that suits your preferences and budget could be tricky. Check our buying guide to choose the right hiking shoes below.
When it comes to hiking boots, your hiking styles could be a determinant factor. If you like a quick day hiking on groomed trails, the low-cut hiking shoes with lightweight would do a great job. These light hiking shoes provide you with more flexibility and tactical advantages when on trails. However, if you like hiking in extensive days on rocky terrain while carrying a heavy pack all the way through, the light-low-cut hiking shoes may not provide support, stability, and protection for your needs. Instead, you’d need hiking boots with high-cut or mid-cut construction to provide you with more ankle support on the uneven terrain. The high-cut hiking boots are typically featured with rougher outsoles to provide a better grip. At this point, you’d need to refer to where and how you would wear the shoes for hiking. Before purchasing hiking shoes, consider your hiking styles or preference.
Another factor you should consider is the terrain you’d hike most of the time. if you likely hike rougher terrains especially in the mountains, you need hiking shoes with high performance. As you need to go through an extensive hiking trip, the hiking shoes should provide you with comfort and protection. It would be great if the shoes are light but durable for such prolonged hiking activities. Check your hiking plans and consider the nature of terrains you want to hike near in the future.
Make sure that you’re comfortable with shoes as it would affect your hiking experience. Despite the fitness, comfort is highly related to the materials used to build the hiking shoes. Solid leathers are widely used in hiking boots but more hiking shoes are now made with fabricated or synthetic materials to support flexibility, waterproof feature, and breathable construction. If you are likely to have prolonged hiking, you may consider hiking shoes with breathable materials to endure the trip.
However, it should also be noted that high cut shoes with solid leather provide you with more ankle support and stability. The materials are less breathable than synthetic material, so you need to take a periodic break when hiking.
Support and Stability
Support and stability are also fundamental when it comes to hiking shoes. The low-cut and light hiking shoes may give you speed but not adequate support if you’d have to carry a heavier pack on rocky trails. High cut shoes provide you with ankle support to keep stable movements while protecting your feet during hiking from sharp objects and injury. They might be less comfortable but these high cut hiking shoes allow you to hike safely while carrying a heavyweight pack. If you desire a prolonged hiking experience that lasts for days, there would be more tools and equipment you should carry during your trip. On the other hand, high cut hiking boots may not be necessary for a quick day hiking on a groomed trail.
No matter what type or brand of hiking footwear you want to choose, they should fit your feet perfectly. Oversized or undersized hiking shoes isn’t recommended as it could cause safety issues. If you want to go across the brands or if it’s your first hiking shoes, we recommend you to fit the footwear in person. You may go to a retail store at the end of the day to try the hiking shoes because feet tend to swell in the daylight. If you’re not sure, you can come back the next day to ensure the perfect fit. If you want to shop your hiking footwear online, it’s better to choose the item from the brand you’ve known to avoid oversized or undersized issues.