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

Salewa Men's Mountain Trainer GTX

rated 4.5 of 5 stars I am a seasoned boot user, but after reading a number of opinion blogs I thought I would try a hiking shoe. The Salewa Mountain Trainer has turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. While not as comfortable on my foot as my Aslo boots are, they have proven to be a very solid shoe and I really appreciate the lighter footwear compared to my boots. The shoe fits great. While it did require a good deal of time to break in, the shoe is relatively comfortable now. I have about 100 miles on the shoes… Full review

Oboz Teewinot Low

rated 5 of 5 stars Oboz introduces a very capable hybrid that is part low trail shoe and part approach shoe. It is somewhat heavier and less cushioned than most trail running shoes—so walk, don’t run. It is particularly well-ventilated for an full leather shoe, and the sticky rubber sole has outstanding grip yet ably sheds mud and muck. Durability should be great. Overall, a near-outstanding shoe: a close-fitting shoe that is all-day comfortable for walking and stellar for rock scrambling. Basic Information Out… Full review

Ozark Trail Hikers

rated 2.5 of 5 stars Not high quality, but then, they are not high price. I bought these a couple of years ago on sale and as I had no immediate need put them away. I have started training for a backpacking trip and decided to use these. I have used about 30 days of approximately 6 to 10 miles a day with a 25 lb backpack. Pros:  They are a comfortable boot. I did not really require a break-in period. They ran a bit small on me. I had to buy a size 10.5 for my size 10 W foot. That said I have had no blisters or hot… Full review

Herman Men's Survivor

rated 5 of 5 stars I have put them through hell. They have held up to every job and are still completely waterproof. I have run over 500 miles in them for cross-country running and worked for close to two years doing everything from roofing to concrete. I have to say they are the best boots I've ever owned. The finishing of them were welding. but I knew better.   Full review

Chaco Men's Beckwith

rated 1 of 5 stars Beyond terrible. The Chaco Beckwith is hands down the worst piece of outdoor equipment I've ever owned. Despite spending 3 hours in the store with weight, on an actual trail these boots caused the worst heel blistering I've ever encountered, derived entirely by a reinforced heel cup that was as inflexible as steel. Any incline whatsoever forced the heel into this cup with brutal efficiency. Three miles into my first hike and my heels were bloody nubs. Not only was the Beckwith terrible, the company… Full review

Ridgeline Apache

rated 4 of 5 stars The Apache hiking boot is well constructed, broad lasted fitting for serious off track wilderness travel. Buying new boots for the serious outdoors man is always a traumatic experience I find; This is especially so when on a limited budget. I have found in the past I tend to have a king's desire with a beggar's purse, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find a very good looking boot offered at half price. Having had foot surgery in the past which left me with shortened toes finding a good fit… Full review

The North Face Men's Ultra Fastpack Mid

rated 5 of 5 stars I got this boot in very low price for summer hiking and backpacking. I bought this boot for shot day hikes or summer short backpacking. And used this two times: on the soil and rock surface.  In fact I did not have any expectation of this boot. I got it in the outlet, reason is only one: cheap. Under 60 USD. And after testing, my thinking is 180° changed. Upper of this boot is mesh, more than 80%. But boot holds feet very well, stable. Mesh make very good ventilation, don't need to sweat and… Full review