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

Kayland 8001

rated 4 of 5 stars Full review

Asolo Sasslong GV

rated 5 of 5 stars These are fantastic boots! I see everyone is complaining that these are stiff. Guess what? They're supposed to be. These are BACKPACKING boots, which means they are for carrying the additional weight of a backpack!!! These aren't "light-weight hikers," not even regular hikers. Also, it was mentioned that these don't have insulation. That's because some people hike in summer! These aren't suppose to have insulation. Fit was great.  These are extremely comfortable, but stiff. They are supposed be… Full review

Baffin Revelstoke

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This high quality winter boot successfully unites warmth, style, and function in a lightweight package. This boot will not cause you to overheat in warmer conditions with its high breathability, but will also keep your feet warm and dry when the temperature falls far below the freezing point! After years of ill-fitting, large snow boots that provide sub-par warmth, I began the search for a superior product for both hiking/backpacking, and general poor weather use. I have never been happy using my… Full review

Herman Men's Survivor

rated 3 of 5 stars I've bought this brand because they're comfortable, but every time either the soles split, fall off, or the materials or threads tear, or dry rot within a months time. This sucks considering I work hard for my money and have two little ones, so I can't afford this $#!@ buying new boots every month. Wish I could get my money back. Besides being comfortable and looking nice this brand is junk looks can be defending the work boots and hunting boots look tough and rugged but they're the complete opposite. Full review

Asolo Men's Fugitive GTX

rated 0.5 of 5 stars Rivet pulled out of lace retainer on the first time out! I understand manufacturing defects but the manufacturer refused a warranty claim as they were a gift and I had no receipt!! Thank god REI stands by its sales. Poor customer service and build quality. Buy Keens instead! Full review

Merrell Men's Capra Mid Sport GTX

rated 3 of 5 stars Strong marketing, and really solid look doesn't save this boot from failing to live up to its intended purpose. Footwear disclaimer: My foot is not your foot, my activities are not yours, and my preferences aren't either. These are simply my thoughts and what works for me, and by no means suggests this is a bad product. It just doesn't work in my area (Canadian Rockies). So this shoe has been getting a bit of hype, and it's been making some waves. I have only run it through a little test, and I… Full review

REI Men's Merino Light Hiker Crew Sock

rated 4 of 5 stars Really like them! Warm and comfortable. I might have been lucky, but I bought a few pairs of these about four months ago and they have been great. I've hiked in them and even worn them to work without any signs of breaking down. I know the other reviewer had horrible luck with these, but I have to say that mine have been great. I like the feel of them. They maintain warmth without drenching your feet in sweat. I might not be as hard on my socks as others, but no complaints after four months. Full review