Explore mesmerizing trails in the best hiking shoes

·Contributing Writer
·8 min read
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Bonfiring on cold weather
Bonfiring on cold weather

Exploring nature by hiking trails with gorgeous sights is an excellent way to satisfy your inner adventure-lust and remain fit. But trekking high mountains can feel like a nearly impossible task if you do it wearing regular shoes because they are not comfortable enough.

That’s why you should shop for a pair of the highest-rated hiking shoes of 2022 that offer stability, protection, and comfort during your expedition. If you aren’t sure which option is right for your needs, especially considering the extensive choices on the market, check out one of the pairs below. Get any other must-have information by reading through our detailed buying guide.

Top Picks

Best overall: Adidas Hiking Shoes

The Adidas brand has a long history and deep-rooted connection with sport
The Adidas brand has a long history and deep-rooted connection with sport

As the leading sports brand globally, Adidas takes great pride in creating impressive, high-quality hiking shoes — and this pair is no exception. Though pricey, it offers a wide array of functionality to you. Its durable toe cap ensures your toes receive adequate protection while hiking on rugged trails. The midsole is lightweight and cushioned in order to make your hiking easy and fatigue-free. Its rubber outsole renders a firm, non-slip grip, making it possible for you to traverse uneven terrains easily without fear of losing your balance. Thanks to their lightweight construction, high durability, and other features, these shoes are considered the best overall on our list.

Key Features:

  • Available in three colors

  • Comes in 15 sizes

  • Made of mesh, thermoplastic polyurethane and rubber

Most affordable: Mayzero Hiking Shoes

The wide toe gives your toes a more comfortable space to move
The wide toe gives your toes a more comfortable space to move

Are you looking for practical yet budget-friendly hiking shoes? In that case, these sneakers from Mayzero are a great deal. Available in a wide range of colors and designs, this good-quality pair ensures your feet feel cozy and comfortable while hiking. It’s lightweight and doesn't cause much fatigue in your feet. Thanks to the wide and thick five-toe design, these hiking shoes offer extra protection from sharp objects. Their rubber outsole, along with convex dots, makes them slip and skid-resistant, allowing you to walk safely. This option also has drain holes to enable quick drying in case you have to cross any creeks.

Key Features:

  • Available in 45 colors and styles

  • Comes in unisex sizing options

  • Made of breathable fabric and rubber

Most durable: Columbia Hiking Shoes

A durable mid-cut waterproof hiker that provides great traction and comfort
A durable mid-cut waterproof hiker that provides great traction and comfort

Made with a blend of durable materials and seam-sealed construction, these hiking shoes from Columbia are one of the sturdiest options for women. The lightweight Techlite midsole and top-quality cushioning contribute to making them lightweight, comfortable, and long-lasting. Designed with age-old mountaineering style in mind, these shoes offer the exceptional stability and traction you need while hiking on rugged and uneven terrain. Their proprietary Omni-Grip non-marking rubber outsole also ensures superior grip over different terrains. Investing in this pair once can help you hike comfortably and stress-free for years.

Key Features:

  • Available in 16 colors

  • Comes in standard and wide sizes

  • Made of leather, suede, mesh and rubber

Easiest to put on: Merrell Hiking Shoes

Shaft measures approximately ankle-high from arch
Shaft measures approximately ankle-high from arch

The wide range of features integrated into the Merrell Hiking Shoes makes them an excellent choice. This pair offers unparalleled comfort and is easy to slip on and off as you need. The other unique aspect of these shoes is the little to no break-in period. They also come with Merrell’s patented outsole, known as the M.Select, which is durable and offers an excellent grip. The simple lacing system allows you to custom fit the shoes as per your comfort level, while the mesh panels are abrasion-resistant and breathable. If you prefer a minimalist appearance, you will fall in love with these hiking shoes.

Key Features:

  • Available in six colors

  • Comes in 12 women’s sizes

  • Made of high-quality suede, textile, and rubber

Most waterproof: Timberland Hiking Shoes

For the best in hiking boots, rain boots, work boots, casual shoes & boots & more, choose Timberland
For the best in hiking boots, rain boots, work boots, casual shoes & boots & more, choose Timberland

If you are looking for a pair of comfortable and waterproof hiking boots to add to your collection, this pair from Timberland is an excellent choice. Since they are well-padded and lightweight, they offer immense comfort while hiking. Their seam-sealed construction and 100% waterproof leather make them highly durable, ensuring a pleasant outdoor experience even if the weather is not in your favor. They also have rubber soles with raised treads for providing excellent traction on uneven surfaces. These shoes will offer you enhanced stability and comfort to take your hiking experience to a whole new level.

Key Features:

  • Available in four colors

  • Comes in standard and wide men’s sizes

  • Made of 100% leather and rubber

  • Includes a limited warranty

Find your next pair of hiking shoes: A buyer’s guide

The wide range of hiking shoes available on the market makes choosing the right pair for you quite challenging. In order to ensure you invest in the ideal product, read through this comprehensive buying guide to make your purchase a successful one.

Why should you choose hiking shoes over running shoes?

If you are not sure why you should wear hiking shoes instead of your regular running shoes for trekking, the below points will help ease your doubts:

1. Hiking shoes protect your feet from uneven surfaces, rocks, debris, and other obstacles. On the other hand, running shoes do not offer such a level of protection.

2. With hiking shoes, there won’t be any fatigue in your feet. But the same can’t be said for running shoes.

3. Hiking shoes can offer a comfortable, stable, and snug fit all at once, but you may not achieve this by hiking in running shoes.

What are the key factors to consider while selecting hiking shoes?

  • Weight: The weight of the hiking shoes is a crucial factor to consider. The more the weight of the shoe, the more fatigue you will feel. A heavier pair can consume more energy and tire you out more than the backpack you carry, making it difficult for you to enjoy trekking.

  • Comfort: Irrespective of the style and features, the hiking shoes must be comfortable. Make sure the pair you choose has enough room to let you wiggle your toes, plus premium cushioning to offer enhanced comfort.

  • Stability: The built-in internal supports render stability in a pair of hiking shoes. While flexibility is crucial, support is much more essential when you are eager to explore uneven surfaces. For this, you should ensure that your shoes come reinforced with an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole and footbed, making them ideal for on and off-trail travel.

  • Traction: Traction is one of the essential factors you need to look out for while choosing hiking shoes. Shoes with treaded rubber soles offer a firm grip on uneven surfaces, helping you stay safe from slips and falls. This is another reason why casual footwear is not advised for hiking.

  • Toe protection: Hiking shoes with a toe cap are critical for hiking. This is because hiking trails often contain rocks, sharp objects, and other things that can severely injure the foot. You won’t be having fun hiking if you end up needing medical attention.

  • Waterproof: While hiking, you may encounter unfavorable weather conditions or have to wade across streams or creeks. So make sure your shoes are made of 100% waterproof leather to keep water at bay or have drainage holes and are made of quick-drying material to ensure the water flows out of them in no time. It will also create a cozy environment inside your shoes, providing you with the utmost comfort.

  • Cost: The average cost of hiking footwear can range from $18 to $238, depending on its type. Hiking boots usually cost more than hiking shoes. Similarly, material, comfort, features and brands also contribute to the price of these shoes.

How long can you use hiking shoes?

Hiking those seemingly unconquerable hills and across rugged terrain gives you a boost of adrenaline and can feel thrilling. But it’s impossible for hiking shoes to last forever. At some point, they are going to wear out.

Most manufacturers recommend changing shoes after 350-500 miles have been traversed or within three to six months. There are also other factors that can change the average timeframe. Some of them include the nature of the terrain you hike, environmental conditions, and the weight of the footwear.

People also asked

Q: What is the difference between hiking shoes and hiking boots?

A: The primary difference between hiking shoes and hiking boots is breathability. Hiking shoes offer a great deal of breathability, allowing your feet to stay cool. On the other hand, boots have a short break-in period, which means you don't have to tolerate too many painful blisters.

Q: Are trekking and hiking shoes the same?

A: No, trekking and hiking shoes are not the same. They have different features that make them optimal for different scenarios. For instance, if you want to go for a full day of hiking, choose hiking shoes because they are much more lightweight and comfortable than trekking ones.

Q: Can I use regular shoes for hiking?

A: No, you cannot use regular shoes for hiking. That is because hiking requires footwear that can offer support, protection, comfort, and stability throughout the journey You cannot expect this from your regular footwear. If you are exploring a paved trail, however, you can use regular sneakers or running shoes.