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
Lily Trotter Socks
Great socks for smaller feet that don't fall down or shift in your shoes Note: Occasionally, I get to test products for companies. I received these socks for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. I tested a pair of awesome compression socks from Lily Trotters. I received two pairs in size S/M, but only tested one at this campground. To be honest, they are so awesome, I didn't want to get the second pair dirty quite yet :) The Totally Solid Black were just that...absolutely, totally solid,… Full review
Swiss Barefoot Company Free Your Feet (Classic Swiss)
Poorly made. Not as advertised Pure garbage. Wore them for two bouldering sessions. The rubber nibs wore off quickly and I wore a hole in the fabric. So much for being durable and made of the strongest fiber. The company said they would be happy to exchange them, but first asked me to check the fit. What's the point if it already has a hole worn into it? Interesting idea but poorly executed. SAVE YOUR MONEY. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. Full review
Ecco Exceed Low
This style is stylish and comfortable. I also like its versatility as both an fashionable everyday casual shoe and as a function urban walker or hiker. I feel like I got two pairs of shoes for one price! I do a lot of travel and am always looking for a comfortable pair of travel or walking shoes. I want something versatile for travel. A style which I can wear for both style and function. ECCO has always been a good fit for me and they wear extremely well. So, when I came across this walking… Full review
Danner Mountain Light II
Great boot for most people looking for a combination of a traditional and more modern hiking boot. It's a good boot, merging old and new concepts to create a comfortable and durable hiking and trekking boot. One piece of good leather to last possibly a lifetime and stitchdown construction that can be resoled. The kletterlift sole paired with the EVA midsole offers the best shock absorption I have experienced on any footwear except maximalist running shoes. Unfortunately, a heel counter issue (like… Full review
Keen Men's Voyageur
I find the Keen Men's Voyageur shoe to be very comfortable, especially if the fronts of your feet are wide. They have excellent traction for most situations, breathe very well, and dry quickly if they get wet. I bought my Keen Men's Voyageur hiking shoes about a year ago, to wear casually and on easier trails where boots were overkill. The fit was excellent right out of the box, with no breaking in required. The toebox is nice and roomy for feet that are wide in the toes like mine, I've never had… Full review
OOFOS OOriginal Sport Sandal
Single purpose shoes that work perfectly for the role they were designed for. They are incredibly comfortable and help your feet recover but not useful outside of that type of situation. I would highly recommend it for athletes or hikers who will be spending long hours on their feet or putting their feet through high-intensity workouts. I got the Oofos sport sandals as a reviewer for the Dyrt and tried them out on a recent several night camping trip which involved many miles of hiking. The first… Full review
Coleman Men's Golden Hiking Boots
These Coleman boots are awesome. These Coleman boots are awesome. My son and I wore these just once for 6 miles before going on vacation. We then kiked out of the Grand Canyon. From Phantom Ranch to the south rim. One of the toughest trails in the country. No blisters or hot spots. The long range models are the best boots I have ever had. Full review