Proper, comfortable footwear can make the difference between outdoor adventure and outdoor agony. Save yourself the blisters. Find our top hiking, backpacking, and climbing shoes and boots, plus trail runners, sandals, and water shoes below.
Browse thousands of independent footwear reviews and ratings by real hikers, backpackers, mountaineers, climbers, paddlers, and trail runners to select appropriate, dependable, field-tested shoes for your next trip. And don’t forget the wicking socks, gaiters, insoles, and booties. Your dogs will thank and reward you.
Reviews and product information will point you to quality outdoor footwear, but ultimately the most important aspect is a good fit. Here are some tips to help you properly fit hiking and backpacking boots:
Try on boots at the end of the day, when your feet are their largest.
Wear the socks and any insoles or inserts you would normally use with the boots.
One of your feet is probably larger than the other. Size boots to the larger foot. Better to have one shoe a little loose than the other too tight.
Walk around in the boots for at least 15 minutes.
Toes should have a little room to wiggle, and shouldn't jam into the toe box.
Heels should feel firmly in place with no heel slippage.
Walk up and down an incline to check for heel slippage on the uphill and any toe jamming on the downhill.
Try different styles and widths. You may be a different size in different brands.
Women typically should consider footwear that's built on a women's last, instead of models sized down from a men's last (but everyone is different, buy the shoes that fit you).
Boots should feel like they fit initially. Don't rely on breaking them in to make them fit. If they don't fit now, they won't stretch to fit later.
While you want to pick a boot that fits from the start, you can tweak boots with custom orthotics and insoles (to fill up extra space), professional stretching of the boot (to add space), and different lacing techniques (to reduce foot movement).
No matter how well they fit, don't forget to break in your boots around the house or on some easy day hikes before you embark on that weeklong backpacking trip.
Recent Footwear Product Reviews
They work for light duty or maybe packed trails. I've had two pairs. Hiking where snow was deep, then shallow, then deep, etc, I lost one. I called the company and they sent me another pair! [I had to return the one I had first]. I found one on a trail and then lost one of mine again! They slip off a big boot. I gave the remaining pair away. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to use them around town and they do slip on easy, but I wouldn't use them in the outdoors again and they aren't the only brand… Full review
Overall does the trick! I own the Green pair and the Orange pair and preferred both over my experience with a pair of SOLE. I wear them everyday in running shoes. I only run about two miles 1 to 3 times a week. What I liked They are durable and have lasted me through two pairs of shoes. I probably wear shoes way longer than most. These are going into their second year. I took them in to a very reputable high end running store and the sales person gave me a great tip in that they don't really… Full review
Limmer Men's Standard
Very very well made, but will probably take some time and pain to break in. Just received my non-custom Limmer Standard boots so I can’t comment on the break-in period or longevity (update to come). I do have a pair of custom White’s boots, Salomon Quest 4D GTX hiking boots and several pairs of Allen Edmonds goodyear welt dress shoes; all of which are fantastic and very well made. In comparison the Limmer’s are equally well made and built like a tank. I have no doubt in my mind that these… Full review
Vasque Men's Sundowner
Rejoice everyone! Vasque has finally heard us! The Sundowner is BACK! I have been wearing Vasque boots since I mowed grass all summer long to buy a pair of Montanas back in 1983. I bought my first Sundowners in 1992 and they lasted 15 glorious years. My last pair of Sundowners was bought about 4 years ago and it was my first experience with the Chinese boot. I was very saddly dissapointed with the fit and feel of them. I didn't wear them long enough to experience any of the quality issues most complain… Full review
Ozark Trail Hikers
The soles absolutely will not hold up to hiking. Purchased these as it is so difficult to find low cost shoes to hike in that are my size. After the purchase I decided I liked their look and I would hold on to them as regular wear shoes. I broke down and started to recently use them as an alternate hiker. They broke in real well comfort-wise at first. Then 40 miles into them and my forefoot started hurting on rocks where it hadn't before. After the next hike I checked the boots. Feeling the sole… Full review
Keen Women's Gypsum Mid
These are the best hikers I've ever worn! Very supportive and yet light and comfy. Great tread to keep you from slipping in mud. Full review
Salomon Women's XR Mission
It is perfect for trail running then hitting the streets. It has an automatic lace system which comes in handy when running so you don't have to worry about tying your shoes. All around fantastic quality trail running shoe. I'm hiking the JMT next summer and right now I am training and these shoes are perfect for training. I wouldn't recommend doing long treks with these because the tread is more for daily trail runs. I run 5 miles a day on trails and these are perfect for that. Full review