For any hike, your shoes are what can make it or break it. With the wrong footwear, you’re only going to end up blisters, aching ankles, and heels or even worse.

But we didn’t want you to waste your precious time on the internet looking for the best hiking shoes and that’s why we did it for you. We’re sure you’ve got plenty to plan for your next adventure than just shoes (so we’ve got this one covered at least).

We picked out the top 10 best hiking shoes (5 models for men and women each) based on various important factors like cushioning provided, waterproof mesh, budget etc. so you can hike without the fear of slipping or aching feet even when the going gets tough.

Last update on 2019-08-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof

The Moab hiking shoe hit legendary status after being the top dog for almost 10 years and with the Moab 2, Merrell once again leaves no stone unturned (it truly is the mother of all boots).

With a Suede leather build, the Moab 2 can take a real beating without compromising on flexibility or softness and is lightweight too so you can tackle the most dangerous of trails with utmost comfort.

Backing that is the waterproof nature of the shoe so your feet remain nice and dry through rains and rivers. Also, the 5mm deep lug provides excellent traction on the wettest of surfaces (so there’s literally no stopping you).

Furthermore, not letting moisture play spoilsport are the breathable mesh lining and the M Select DRY (don’t like sweaty feet? With the Moab 2 you won’t have them either).

Last but not the least, like with any wearable, it all comes down to comfort and support provided and the removable thick insole of the Moab 2 does not disappoint.

Plus, the arched design of the insole does a great job of holding your feet in the right direction preventing twisting and turning of the ankle while jumping, running etc. (because in the wild, safety is the priority).

While there’s isn’t much to fault about the Moab 2, it’s longer break-in period means you might suffer from a few early blisters (though a rarity).

Also, it’s higher price tag means it’s not a shoe for the average buyers but keeping in mind the out of the box features, it’s worth every penny (you have our word for it).

What we liked

  • It’s waterproof
  • Provides ample cushioning and support for all terrains.
  • Has plenty of breathing room to prevent moisture build-up
  • Suede leather build means it will last you for years.
  • It’s lightweight
  • Provides excellent traction with 5mm lug

What we disliked

  • Slight expensive
  • Longer break-in period thus may result in blisters early on

Bottom Line

Experience out-of-the-box comfort in this waterproof hiker. With durable leathers, a supportive footbed, and Vibram traction, all in a versatile package,you won’t doubt why Moab stands for Mother-Of-All-Boots.

Check it on Amazon →

2Adidas Outdoor Men’s Terrex Swift R2 GTX Shoe

If your feet crave the best and we mean only the best hiking shoe the Men’s Terrex Swift R2 GTX is the answer to it all (it’s got a freaking 4.9 rating on Amazon).

One of the reasons users rate the shoe so highly is its mesh and synthetic upper which make the shoe lightweight and comfortable (because that’s what a good hiking shoe is all about).

To add to that comfort, Adidas has ensured a well-cushioned midsole and a sock liner which prevents moisture build-up so you can trek for even days.

Furthermore, with the Continental Rubber outsole and traxion sole which comes with deep lugs, the shoe provides unmatched traction and grip on wet trails

And also making sure water doesn’t dampen the adventure is the waterproof Gore-Tex lining (now cross rivers, waterfalls etc. without the hassle of wet heavy shoes).

Lastly, for a shoe of this quality, it goes without saying that it is an investment for years to come as its durability remains superior to most.

The only turnoff about could be its higher price but if you put its features into perspective is it really ‘expensive’?

What we liked

  • Shoes built to last
  • It’s waterproof
  • Wicks away moisture quickly and efficiently
  • Seamless cushioning and comfort
  • Provides unmatched traction of wet terrains
  • It’s lightweight

What we disliked

  • Premium buy at a premium price

Bottom Line

Designed for the mountain, these men’s fast hiking shoes are lightweight and breathable in an abrasion-resistant ripstop mesh.

Check it on Amazon →

3Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX Hiking Shoe

What sets the Ellipse GTX out of the pack is its Asymmetrical Sensiflex technology which means its an ideal fit for almost every foot shape.

Adding to the comfort is the excellent cushioning especially around the heel which not only makes the shoe highly stable but also ensures comfortable hiking even for 2-3 days.

Furthermore, ensuring you get excellent traction on slippery slopes is the contagrip technology (a new grippy lug pattern so there’s never a bad slip up).

Also, keeping your feet dry even during the worst of rains is the Gore-Tex waterproof lining while the abrasive resistance lining keeps out moisture by allowing easy airflow.

Lastly, improving the stability and comfort of the shoes are the protective heel and toe cap while the same protective material on the outside keeps debris and mud out.

On the downsides, users have complained of the sides of the shoe hitting the ankle. Also, like the Merrell Moab 2, the GTX is also slightly higher priced.

But considering its strong build, waterproof nature and excellent traction, you’re sure to get your money’s worth.

What we liked

  • Sensiflex Technology ensures it fits all types of feet
  • Contagrip provides great traction
  • The Gore-tex lining makes the shoe waterproof
  • Protective outside material prevents debris and mud from entering the shoes
  • Adequate cushioning means you can hike for days.

What we disliked

  • Users have complained of the sides hitting the ankle
  • Slightly expensive

Bottom Line

Athletically inspired details and specific fit make this lightweight waterproof hiking shoe ideal for women who like to move quickly in the mountains.

Check it on Amazon →

4KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoe

The Keen Men’s Targhee II sports both high durability and comfort making the no.2 spot rightfully its own.

Making that possible is the nubuck leather build and the hydrophobic mesh which means the shoe can take a beating day in and day out and yet last you for years without compromising on comfort.

And comfort it does provide even you are crossing rivers or hiking through rains with its KeenDry Waterproof technology which also wicks moisture quickly (so no smelly sweaty feet either).

Also, making sure you do not slip during these risky crossings is the lugged outsole and contoured heel which provide A-grade traction.

Furthermore, with the removable insole, the shoe is ideal for any foot type while the Dual Density EVA midsole and Padded tongue and collar mean there’s cushioning aplenty.

One of the very few issues with the Targhee is the rough break-in but guarantees comfort in the long run.

Also since there’s only a single stitch around the toe box, there’s always the risk the risk of it coming loose (few small cons of what is another top-notch hiking shoe).

What we liked

  • It’s waterproof
  • One of the most durable shoes
  • Ideal cushioning for long and rigorous hikes
  • Removable insole for easy fitting
  • Provides great traction in wet conditions

What we disliked

  • Rough break-in
  • Stitch around toe might come loose

Bottom Line

It’s designed to keep your feet dry and let them breathe, and the aggressive outsole bites into the terrain.

Check it on Amazon →

5Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker – Budget pick

From the top pick to one that fits the pocket, well, Merrell’s surely got you covered but their Siren Edge hiker is far beyond its cheap price and here’s why.

The standout feature of the Siren Edge Hiker is its contoured footbed which keeps your feet odorless even after hours of hiking (because nobody likes smelly feet, right?).

Further helping with that is the breathable mesh lining which allows for air circulation keeping your feet dry so you can easily hike for hours.

Apart from that, the bellow tongue keeps out debris from entering which allows you to walk over rocky and muddy trails without any hindrance.

The shoe has an adequate amount of air cushioning capable of handling all kinds of shocks and jerks adding to the comfort and stability while the Vibram traction outsole makes the shoe suitable for hiking even during wet conditions.

Last but not the least, if you’re looking for a shoe with out of the box looks, the webbing and ghillie laces are sure to catch the eye of everyone around (there are a few compliments coming your way).

On the downsides, the shoe isn’t waterproof which means it can’t be used during rainy conditions.

Also, the Merrell Siren lacks the durability of our top picks and thus serves best for short hikes or occasional use.

But downsides aside, the Siren Edge Hiker goes easy on the pocket and makes for an excellent shoe for any newbie (it’s best-seller for a good reason).

What we liked

  • Offers great cushioning for comfort and stability
  • Vibram traction outsole ensures no slip-ups in wet conditions
  • Breathable mesh prevents moisture build-up
  • Attractive design
  • Contoured footbed prevents smelly feet
  • Bellow tongue keeps out debris

What we disliked

  • Not waterproof
  • Less Durable

Bottom Line

Keep your feet feeling good in these hikers with mesh lining and fatigue-fighting cushioning.

Check it on Amazon →

6Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe – Budget pick

Is a hiking shoe list ever complete without a Merrell? No, and this time too comes another one of their classic pocket-friendly models, the Moab 2 Vent.

Considering its price range, the suede leather build and mesh offer impressive durability (that’s why it’s the best bang for your buck).

But it doesn’t end there, with bellows and specially designed foam tongue the shoe remains free of debris even after hours of hiking.

The M Select FIT.ECO+ technology means it slides into any foot type without any hassle and comes with just the right amount of cushioning for a comfortable hike.

Furthermore, the breathable mesh keeps away sweat adding to the overall comfort of the shoe.

And in case you do get stuck in wet conditions, the Vibram TC5+ sole and 5mm lugs provide the ideal traction to help you through it.

But since the shoes aren’t waterproof you’d want to leave these shoes at home on hikes where rain is expected.

Also, since it lacks ankle support that top models offer, hikes that last for 2-3 days can become slightly painful.

What we liked

  • Solidly built yet lightweight
  • Breathable mesh keeps feet sweat free
  • Comes with M Select FIT.ECO+ technology for hassle-free fitting
  • Lugs and Vibram sole provide great traction.
  • It’s budget-friendly
  • Keeps out debris really well

What we disliked

  • Not waterproof
  • Lacks ankle support

Bottom Line

Experience out-of-the-box comfort in this ventilated hiker. With durable leathers, a supportive footbed, and Vibram traction, all in a versatile package, you won’t doubt why Moab stands for Mother-Of-All-Boots.

Check it on Amazon →

7Oboz Women’s Sawtooth Low BDry Hiking Shoe

The proprietary insole of the Oboz Sawtooth is what’s got everybody talking about it and is designed keeping in mind comfort, fit and performance.

The supportive arch and well-cushioned heel cup in tandem with the triple density EVA provides top-notch comfort and stability (because hiking should be fun, not painful or tiring).

And with the moisture-wicking top layer even hours of hiking won’t leave your feet sweaty and smelly (it’s comfort all-round).

Plus, with the specially designed sidewall lugs, you get not only excellent traction on wet terrain but it also keeps out debris and mud.

And to top it all of, with the B-DRY technology you will be dry even during rains and muddy trails or rivers as it makes the shoe waterproof and improves its moisture wicking capability.

The only issue we had with the Sawtooth Low was that it takes time to break into so you’d want to walk/run around a bit before the hike.

And yup, it’s pricey but the question is, is it really worth it? With features like that, sure as hell, it is.

What we liked

  • Especially designed insole and midsole offer excellent cushioning.
  • Lugs prevent debris and provide great traction.
  • B-DRY technology makes shoe waterproof.
  • Keeps feet dry and odorless with its moisture-wicking top layer.

What we disliked

  • It’s Expensive
  • Takes time to break into

Bottom Line

The Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry women’s hiking shoes may be the most-used hiking shoes in your closet.

Check it on Amazon →

8The North Face Men’s Ultra 109 GTX

To help you overcome the rigors of a rough and rocky terrain, the shoe comes with an ESS shank underfoot and TPU Toe cap which offer top-notch cushioning.

And if you have a hike in the rains, keeping your feet dry is the Gore-Tex mesh which keeps out water. Plus, the highly breathable mesh prevents moisture buildup so neither water nor sweat can spoil your day.

Also, keeping you going during the wet conditions is the rugged lug design responsible for the excellent traction the shoe provides.

The shoe also features a lace-up closure which not only gives the shoe a neat finish but also allows a custom fit (an ideal shoe for every food type).

On the downsides, while the company suggests it to also be an excellent running shoe (mind you, it is due the comfort and protection it offers), using it for both activities can hamper durability.

And while it may seem pricey, for a versatile and comfortable shoe like the Ultra 109 GTX, every penny spent is only an investment well made.

What we liked

  • Provides unmatched cushioning and comfort for long hikes
  • It’s waterproof
  • Breathable mesh prevents sweaty feet
  • Lace-up closure offers a custom fit for individuals.
  • Can be used for both running and hiking

What we disliked

  • Multiple uses mean lower durability
  • It’s expensive but worth the cost.

Bottom Line

Built to excel in all conditions and environments, the Ultra 109 GTX utilizes a GORE?TEX® waterproof, breathable membrane and durable UltraATAC™ outsole.

Check it on Amazon →

9Xero Shoes TerraFlex Trail Running Hiking Shoe

We’d want our shoes to be comfortable and good fitting and that’s what the Xero Shoes TerraFlex aims to provide.

Making that possible firstly is the Xero Drop sole which ensures great posture, balance, and agility because trails can be both unpredictable and dangerous.

Secondly, with the TerraFlex feature, you can bend, twist and flex your feet as they were meant to. Plus, the use of FeelTrue rubber and removable insole means you can use the shoe without socks.

To make sure you come unhurt even after the most grueling of treks is the 3mm BareFoam and 6mm FeelTrue Rubber which provides plenty of cushioning.

Lastly, with the 4mm lugged sole you get enough traction to go uphill or downhill irrespective of whether the conditions are dry or wet.

One of the main reasons the Xero Shoes TerraFlex doesn’t make the cut into the top 2 is because it’s not waterproof which limits its use.

Also, users have reported of the size running small. But despite its flaws, the Xero Shoes TerraFlex is a great buy if comfort is a priority.

What we liked

  • Offers unmatched comfort and cushioning
  • Lugged sole provides top-notch traction in wet conditions
  • Comes with removable insole for added room
  • Can be used without socks

What we disliked

  • It’s not waterproof
  • Size may run small

Bottom Line

Built with the same DNA as our best-selling Running Shoe, TerraFlex lets your feet move, bend, flex and feel, the way they’re meant to.

Check it on Amazon →

10Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes

Taking the last spot in the roundup is the Salomon Ultra 3 GTX and here’s everything there is to love and hate about it.

Ultra GTX can fit any foot type as it comes with the Sensifit Technology and keeping your foot in place through the bumps and strains of the terrain is the reinforced top arm (because strain and sprains are a nightmare during hikes).

Plus, the shoe takes a mere few seconds to put on or take off because of the quick lace feature (so you’re always ready on the go).

Keeping you on your feet even when you come across wet patches are the deliberately placed rubber on the sole and the specially designed heel pattern which ensures optimum traction.

Further, making your hikes more comfortable is the presence of the well-cushioned chasses. Also, it’s connection the sole also keeps your heel stable.

On the negative side, the shoes are only water-resistant and not waterproof which means it keeps sweat away but isn’t ideal for rainy conditions or crossing rivers etc.

Apart from that, they are also quite highly priced but their great build, traction, and comfort make it a shoe worth a consideration.

What we liked

  • Sensifit technology makes it ideal for any foot type
  • You get excellent traction with the specially placed rubbers and heel pattern
  • Cushioned chasses ensure heel stability
  • Quick lace feature for quick on/off

What we disliked

  • It’s not waterproof
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

A best seller, the X ULTRA 3 GTX has evolved into an even more effective hiking shoe.

Check it on Amazon →

Hiking Shoes Buying Guide

Here’s a summary of the features we’ve based our searches on. A hiking shoe with these features is sure to keep your feet happy and as we here say, happy feet means a happy hike.

Comfort

Like any apparel, be it your clothes, hats, bands etc. even with your shoes comfort and fit are a priority and more so in case of hiking shoes (you don’t want to end up with aches and sprains). Each person has a different feet type so it’s important you test out the shoe before buying.

Yup, the higher end models come with technology like Sensifit etc. which means it fits any foot type easily but giving the shoe a trial run is always advisable. Also, always get a size bigger because feet tend to swell up when hiking for long hours.

Cushioning

While comfort is important, hiking shoes also play another significant role which is protecting our feet against the rigors of the rocky, muddy trails. This is why it’s important the shoe has adequate cushioning all around.

In case of insoles and midsoles the most commonly used material is ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam and the thickness of these parts has a significant impact on the comfort provided. The material can take a real beating allowing you to run, walk without any injuries.

Also, most shoes also come with shanks that run throughout the midsole and are placed with an aim to provide added support to the arches and heels.

Further adding to the cushioning provided are rubber heels and toe caps which keep out loose rocks. And lastly, for added support and cushioning, don’t forget to put on your socks.

Waterproofing

If you’re planning a hike in an area with high rain expectancy, then it’s important to have waterproof shoes.

Most high-end models come with a Gore-Tex mesh which prevents water from entering the shoes making it possible for you to cross rivers etc. hassle free.

Also, don’t we all just hate smelly and sweaty feet? Well, to prevent that problem a breathable mesh is equally important as it wicks away moisture keeping your feet dry even after hours of hiking.

Material

Hiking shoes are often made using nubuck leather. Why? Simply because it’s one of the most durable materials available. Apart from that, suede leather is another commonly used material and is comparatively flexible and soft so break-in time is quick.

You can also find hiking shoes that are a combination of leather and textile mesh and while they lack the durability of leather shoes, they offer greater breathing room so your feet remain cool and dry.

Few other factors to keep an eye on are:

  • The shoes should be lightweight
  • Ankle support is always a welcome addition
  • Should have a decent heel to toe drop for running efficiency

Conclusion

We know buying the right hiking shoe is easier said than done. With multiple brands, tons of models and features improving day by day buying a shoe was never more confusing and that it is today. That is why we put together this list of the 10 top hiking shoes in 2018 with models that are feature-rich and also few that are pocket-friendly.

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