Footwear

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.

Learn more about how to choose footwear below »

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.

Need more help? Read our Guide to Outdoor Footwear and The Wet Foot Test: Find Your Foot Type.

Recent Footwear Product Reviews

Lowa Cevedale Pro GTX

rated 3 of 5 stars Great looking light weight footware, but too soft for backpacking. I own far too many boots, so I really didn't mind when I felt how soft these beautiful boots were in the store. My wife bought them for me (the men's boots) because they looked so good. Niw, they're my favorite for walking around in the Seattle winter streets. Full review

La Sportiva Men's Bushido

rated 4 of 5 stars Nimble light but robust trail runner. Narrow last, great protection. Fit: This shoe fits narrow. If you have wide feet you can stop reading now. If you have medium to narrow feet this trail runner will give you more support than you are used to. I have narrow feet and it is the first time that my mid foot and heel feel so locked in. There is a TPU frame and mid rock plate that really cups your mid foot and prevents any torsion from happening there. After 50Km I often have issues with the soles of… Full review

Fabiano Trionic

rated 5 of 5 stars Best boots I've ever owned. Got my Fabianos mail-ordered to me on the A.T. from Campmor during my thru-hike in '89. No break in. Put them on at the base of Mt. Moosilauke and no blisters. Still have them, as does my wife. Got another pair off eBay for my son who loves them as well. Just got finished Sno-Sealing all three pairs.  Full review

Scarpa Attack

rated 5 of 5 stars I have been utilizing the Scarpa Attack for over 20 years. They are lightweight, very durable, and comfortable. A good all round boot for the UK's climate, lower level. It's time to put them into retirement as the leather is starting to crack around the sides, been applying lots of wax. Sorry to see them go. Let's see what Scarpa has in their place as this design is now discontinued. The fit of the shoe was good for me, as I have wide feet. The lacing system is very easy to adjust. Breaking in time… Full review

Montane Trail Stretch Gaiter

rated 4 of 5 stars A low trail gaiter that finds a pleasing blend of light weight, durability, and functionality. This product is especially good for trail routes requiring frequent put-on and take-off (such as creek fords) due to ease and speed of application and removal.   Click to enlarge About the Gaiter: This product is marketed as a trail running gaiter featuring Granite Stretch fabric (90.5 % nylon / 9.5 % spandex with DWR), RAPTOR UTL kick patches (500 denier 100% nylon with DWR), hook and loop fastening… Full review

Herman Men's Survivor

rated 0.5 of 5 stars These are the worst boots ever. I paid top dollar for a pair and went to a junkyard to pull an engine. Fell apart and had to strap wires and seat belt parts to hold it together. With the straps holding it together, they have held up for a year now. Junkyard guy was so amused at my boots he gave me the old straps to keep my Frankenstein shoes together. I am stubborn and want my money out of these boots. I did that in less than an hour. The Japanese parts are lasting much longer. Horrible fit Terrible… Full review

Herman Men's Survivor

rated 5 of 5 stars Bought a pair of these on clearance from Walmart seven or eight years ago. They have been the BEST BOOT EVER!!! The poor reviews I am reading absolutely astonish me! My husband loved these boots so much, I've been searching for days online trying to find him a new pair for Christmas. If anyone knows where to get a size 11 Herman Survivors Big Buck 5305714 boot in a size 11, give me a shout. Full review