When it comes to finding the best hiking shoes for your excursions, you certainly won’t be lacking for options. The time of just one or two staple brands competing against each other are over. Nowadays, there are more brands and different styles within those brands than you can count.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a casual one, having a decent pair of shoes is critical to the success of your hikes. This is in terms of both comfort and safety. Not to mention a hiking dayback, the right clothes and even a multi-purpose pocket knife. Yes, they are all hiking checklist must-have items!

two person walking on the pathway between plants wearing the best hiking shoes

You’ll be spending miles with those shoes. Thus, you want a pair that’s comfortable and won’t cause you any pain during the hike. You also want a pair that gives you the support you need, so that your joints and tendons aren’t in pain afterward.

You want to find a pair that’s built to last.

Hiking boots and shoes in general can be pretty pricey, so you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth and that they’re worth the investmentBut how do you find a good pair of hiking shoes that has everything you’re looking for?

With so many options out there to choose from, you need to be able to quickly narrow them down to your prime candidatesBelow, we’ve provided a list of our top 10 pairs of hiking shoes in 2018. We hope that this list will help take some of the guess work out of it and lead you down the path to the perfect pair of hiking shoes for you.

The Top 10 Best Hiking Shoes: Comparison Table

Image
Description
Rating
Price
Salomon X Ultra 3 as one of the best hiking shoes

The body of this shoe is textile and synthetic materials, while the toe and sole are rubber. 

Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 GTX
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 GTXas one of the best hiking shoes

Made of textile materials with synthetic material and mesh lining the front of the shoes to make them lightweight and comfortable.

Salewa Wildfire S GTX
Salewa Wildfire S GTX as one of the best hiking shoes

It provides a support ankle cage and an external grid that wraps around the shoe, providing extra support.

Merrell Moab 2 as one of the best hiking shoes

This shoe features a molded sockliner to increase comfort and improve the overall fit of the shoe.

Altra Lone Peak 3.5
Altra Lone Peak 3.5 as one of the best hiking shoes

This shoe improves natural foot positioning within the shoe, toe splay, and overall comfort.

La Sportiva TX3 GTX as one of the best hiking shoes

It features a “rubber sticky vibram megagrip traverse outsole” that aims to increase stability

The North Face Ultra 109 GTX as one of the best hiking shoes

This is a great pair of hiking shoes to get if you’re looking for something that is waterproof.

Lowa Renegade II GTX LO
Lowa Women's Renegade II GTX LO as one of the best hiking shoes

Unlike most hiking shoes that feature a rubber sole, these shoes feature a synthetic sole. 

KEEN Targhee II as one of the best hiking shoes

The shoe offers easy-on heel pull and Torsion stability, along with a lugged outsole and locked-in heel stability support

KEEN Voyageur as one of the best hiking shoes

Made from a sturdy leather with mesh on the top of the shoe for breathability and comfort.


How We Chose Our Ratings


We chose our ratings of these shoes based on a combination of a variety of factors, mainly: overall design, comfort levels, durability, pricing, and, most importantly, customer reviews. 

It is our goal to provide you with as accurate and unbiased information in this list as possible so that with your pair of hiking shoes you’ll be able to take on whatever trail any mountain throws at youThe majority of the shoes listed below are available in both men’s and women’s sizes.


Review Of The Best Hiking Shoes


In terms of stability, the Salomon X Ultra 3 seemingly has it all. The body of this shoe is textile and synthetic materials, while the toe and sole are rubber. 

The top arm of the shoe is reinforced, working to keep your foot firmly in place of the shoe, even when making those treacherous downhill descents.

Colors: Phantom, Darkest Spruce

Pros

  • Overall, users really like the Ultra 3, praising it for its perfect grip in dry conditions and overall comfort.
  • Buyers also really enjoy the speed-lacing nature of the shoes laces.

Cons

  • There are a few complaints concerning the longevity of the shoe, claiming that the rubber toe wears out quicker than it should. These complaints are few and far between, however.

A cushioning form is surrounding the advanced Chassis. The chassis connects directly to the sole to provide optimum heel stabilization. In terms of the sole itself, it is overlaid with two types of rubber that work together to give the shoe an impressive grip, so you don’t have to worry about slipping and sliding.

Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$


This pair of hiking shoes is from textile materials with synthetic material and mesh lining the front of the shoes to make them lightweight and comfortable.

The shoe features a molded sockliner to increase comfort and improve the overall fit of the shoe. Also, the rubber sole provides an excellent under-shoe grip.

Colors: These shoes come in 13 combinations of Black, Blue, Green. Grey, Carbon, and their derivatives.

Pros

  • Reviews of this Adidas shoe are overwhelmingly positive. Customers praise the shoe for its comfort, heel support, and lacing style. 

Cons

  • There are a few customers who claim the sizing can be a bit off, stating that they generally run a size large though if you have wide upper feet you may actually need to go up half a size.
Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$$


This shoe is from textile and synthetic materials with a mesh top and Vibram sole. The Salewa Wildfire S GTX works with the goal to provide blister-free use and support. 

It provides a support ankle cage and an external grid that wraps around the shoe, providing extra supportCustomer response for these shoes has been overwhelmingly positive.

Colors: Black/Citro

Pros

  • Users love the supportive cages that surround the shoe and state that it has great traction and support

Cons

  • There are a few users who wish it had more insole padding
Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$


The first shoe up is the Merrell Moab 2, and is one of the best hiking shoes currently on the market today. 

This shoe uses a variety of materials in tandem with each other to create a shoe that is flexible, durable, breathable, and comfortable.

Colors: Beluga, Charcoal Grey, Walnut, Pecan, Castle Rock, Black Night, Earth, Navy, Brindle, Dusty Olive

The bulk of the shoe is made of a supportive suede leather and a mesh lining that allows air to flow. Its synthetic sole and rubber toe cap lend the shoe durability, protecting the bottoms of the feet and preventing any painful toe stubs that can happen all too easily on an uneven trail. It also features a closed-cell foam tongue that works to keep out moisture and debris.

Pros

  • Users state that the shoes are comfortable and easy to wear, and also last a good while for their price. 

Cons

  • There are a few who complain that the Moab 2 does not have the upper eyehole for laces that the original Moab did, and so they aren’t able to get the same amount of support.
Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$


Like the Salomon shoe, the Altra Lone Peak 3.5 is from textile and synthetic materials. It has a rubber sole and quick-dry air mesh material along the top so that your shoe is able to breath and won’t retain moistureThis shoe improves natural foot positioning within the shoe, toe splay, and overall comfort.

Colors: Blue, Yellow, Black, Red

The shoe also features StoneGuard Rock Protection around the lower rim of the shoe, so your feet will stay safe from any rocks or other obstacles that might come in your way.

Pros

  • Customers loved that these shoes afforded them the room to flex and relax throughout the extended amount of rough miles.
  • Has a stable platform (if laces are tightened well).

Cons

  • Reviews of the Altra Lone Peak 3.5 are overall positive, though there does seem to be an issue with sizing
  • Customers recommend getting a shoe that is a size up of what you would usually get, as the hiking shoes tend to run short and narrow.
Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$


The La Sportiva TX3 GTX is from synthetic materials. It features a “rubber sticky vibram megagrip traverse outsole” that aims to increase stability through providing a trail bite heel braking platform. The laces are harnessed in close to the shoe for a precise and comfortable fit. The shoe has a wide forefoot to increase overall comfort.

Colors: Spicy Orange, Blue/Papaya

Pros

  • Users of the La Sportiva TX3 GTX really love the shoe for its combination of running shoe and hiking boot elements.

Cons

  • This shoe has a tendency to absorb water. Thus, it is not waterproof in the slightest.
Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$$


This shoe from North Face is from a sturdy leather with small amounts of mesh sporadically over the top. They provide lace-up closure, so you can make your shoes as tight and secure as necessary. The rubber sole works to give you stability and traction while hiking.

Colors: Tnf Black & Dark Shadow Grey, Zinc Grey & Pompeian Red, Coffee Brown/Rosewood Red

Pros

  • Gives you stability and traction when blazing down slick, uneven trail.
  • Feels lighter and comfortable in all kinds of terrain and weather/temperature.

Cons

  • This is a great pair of hiking shoes to get if you’re looking for something that is waterproof. For the price of being waterproof, however, you can expect to sacrifice some comfort, users stating that the material can be a bit rough on your feet.
Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$$


This shoe is from a durable leather. Unlike most hiking shoes that feature a rubber sole, these shoes feature a synthetic sole. 

The leather is waterproof and the shoes provide a climate-control footbed, so you don’t have to worry about any unwanted moisture seeping into your shoes, no matter the weather conditions.

Colors: Espresso/Brown

Pros

  • Boasts a GORE-TEX waterproof, breathable lining
  • Features a climate-control footbed that wicks away moisture
  • Has the innovative LOWA MONOWRAP® construction web integrated into the upper stabilizing and protecting areas that especially need it

Cons

  • Can be too narrow in the toe box with hiking socks
  • The lace up system can be improved

Users really like this shoe for its durability and ability to withstand weather conditionsWhile customers tend to claim that the shoes are not always the most comfortable at first, once they’re broken in they enjoy their fit.

Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$$


The KEEN Targhee II is another pair of hiking shoes made of leather. To properly treat and take care of the leather, KEEN recommends regularly using a leather cleanser and conditionerThe shoe offers easy-on heel pull and Torsion stability, along with a lugged outsole and locked-in heel stability support.

Colors: Gargoyle/Midnight Navy, Cascade Brown/Brown Sugar, Raven/Tawny Olive, Cascade Brown/Golden Yellow

Pros

  • Features an easy-on heel pull and Torsion stability ESS shank
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Waterproof nubuck leather upper
  • Has a hydrophobic mesh lining

Cons

  • A customer review stated that the heel isn't snug so it slips around
  • Not recommended for rocky terrain

Most users really like the KEEN Targhee II, citing the shoes as comfortable and durable. There are a few, however, who complain that the shoes wear out after only a few months of continuous use, much quicker than previous shoes. This shoe also tends to run a half size small.

Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$


The KEEN Voyageur hiking shoes are from a sturdy leather with mesh on the top of the shoe for breathability and comfort.

Be sure to regularly treat the leather of the shoes with cleanser and conditioner to keep it in good, clean conditionThe shoe also features a removable insole, so you can customize the amount of support your feet receive.

Colors: Black Olive/Inca Gold, Alcatraz/Legion Blue

Pros

  • Water resistant leather and mesh upper
  • Features a non-marking rubber outsole
  • Boasts a dual density compression molded EVA midsole
  • Has a moisture wicking textile
  • Has a removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed

Cons

  • Sole wears fast
  • A customer review stated that a high point (due to the stitching) was noticeable on the left shoe which does become rather irritating after wearing them for several hours

Users overall really like this shoe for its durable nature combined with comfortable and breathable mesh. There seems to be a problem when it comes to sizing, though, the shoes typically running a half size to a size small. There have also been a few complaints of the glue in the shoes eroding over time.

Quality
Price
Our Rating

$$$


What to Look for in a Pair of Best Hiking Shoes


Let’s establish what exactly the best hiking shoes are—that’s right, not hiking boots, hiking shoes. Hiking boots are what are more traditionally thought of as hiking footwear. Recently, however, derivatives of hiking boots have emerged, such as hiking shoes and trail runners.

While hiking boots are all about durability and providing support, hiking shoes typically try to combine functionality with comfort. So, they’re a bit less sturdy and tough than your average hiking boot, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get the job done. 

The best hiking shoes are great for just day hikes and provide as much support as you’ll need as long as you have a relatively healthy foot/ankle areaFor more on the differences between hiking boots and hiking shoes, check out this article by Sierra Trading Post.

In terms of the qualities your hiking shoes should possess, we’ve already recapped them above: comfort, durability, and priceFinding the magic combination of these three features is what goes into the best hiking shoes.

Buyer’s Guide

So, what is the ultimate pair of the best hiking shoes that you should invest in for your next adventure? Any of these shoes will serve you well on the trails. What you should be most concerned with, then, is longevity and price.


We will of course give our top recommendations to our 5 star shoes: the Salomon X Ultra 3, the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 GTX, and the Salewa Wildfire S GTX. Also, we hope that we’ve been helpful in your shoe search and that you will find the best hiking shoes to travel with you on all your journeys.

With this information, prepare to hike or might as well go all out with your camping gear! Go forth and conquer California's finest hiking spots or the Colorado hanging lake if you must

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