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
L.L.Bean Women's Bean Boots, 6"
These boots are wonderfully dry and warm to keep you comfortable in all weather but one. In winterweather which switch between thaw and frost, there will be thick ice on the ground and you need to have good antislides added to your soles or you will fall continously!! This boot gives a very good fit, is a little tricky to get on, but easy to get out of. It keeps you warm, dry and confortable in all weather. I think perhaps there has been an inner insulater, but I do not know since my pair… Full review
Nanospikes are a super versatile traction device that work on snow, ice, rocks, and pavement. I purchased these for hiking in Colorado in the winter. I wanted a traction device that would allow me to go back and forth between snow/ice and rocks/dirt. Nanospikes fit the bill perfectly. I never slip, even on solid ice (though I do make sure my foot is firmly planted with each step, to set the spikes.) My traction on rocks and pavement is unaffected, and I also appreciate that these tiny tungsten carbide… Full review
Zamberlan Trekking Medium Weight Socks
Excellent pair of technical socks that keeps feet (mostly) dry! Having a good outdoors experience greatly depends on the boots you're wearing. I believe that boots comprise 80% and socks the rest 20% of this experience. And 20% is a lot... No matter how breathable your boot/shoe may be your comfort still relies on the direct-to-skin component: your sock. Your skin breathes, even when you're standing still, let alone hiking. Your feet sweat, the sock soaks, and the skin starts to get wrinkly and… Full review
Mion Men's Shagashellic Clog
Har haft sådan et par sko i gennem flere år. man får ikke bedre fodtøj at gå i. ønsker di kommer i produktion igen find mig et par nye, da jeg savner dem meget. de har været udsat for alt men nu har min hund spist den ene )-: st EU 45-46 Full review
Easy slip-on, easy slip off, won't fall off. Well designed and durable. I bought two sets of these. They are easy to put on, easy to remove, yet won't fall off thanks to the silicone band they use for the foot mount. Easy to learn how to put them on—I learned in seconds where the front and rear were, and there's a pull tab on the rear to facilitate this. Silicone and all-stainless construction of the metal parts make these extremely durable for use. The spikes appear to be case-hardened, a necessity… Full review
Like them very much. Fit very snug. I can place them in my backpack and don't have to worry about damaging anything. Has kept me safe on ice and snow. Thanks again. Full review
Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid
I love my Lowa boots. They are comfortable, light, reliable, and great looking. Rating: 4 1/2 stars Source: Purchased new from RiverSports Outfitters retail store Price Paid: $220 Fit: These boots fit true to size in my experience Comfort: I feel that my Lowas are as comfortable as most tennis shoes Support: These boots offer good support around the ankle and the Mono-Wrap footbed seems to provide good foot support. Water Resistance: I have had no issues with leaks and feel that the one piece GoreTex… Full review