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

Salomon Men's X-Scream

rated 4 of 5 stars Transitioning from road to trail is a tough thing to do for a shoe. The Salomon X-Scream does an incredible job of providing rugged support for trails yet a smooth ride on pavement. Disclaimer: I own a running store. However, I do not carry Salomon products.  The Salomon X-Scream is a new shoe in Salomon's City-Trail line that boasts itself to be a transition shoe from pavement to off-road. I have been turned off by Salomon's shoes in the past due to their narrow fit and my wide feet, but I thought… Full review

Salomon Women's Techamphibian 3

rated 4 of 5 stars This is a fast drying water shoe great for hiking or cycling. I originally got these for hiking the Zion Narrows trail a couple of years ago. They worked great for that purpose. They had decent traction on slick rock, dried relatively quickly and they nicely protected my toes while still being well ventilated for hot weather. For the same reason I have worn them canoeing and on cycling tours. After being caught in a total downpour on my bike, the next morning I woke up at my campsite and the shoes… Full review

Merrell Men's Moab Waterproof

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Solid shoe great support. Walking through wet grass and waterproofing held up. You will give up breathability to get waterproof, but if that is what you are looking for you won't go wrong with the Moab. I was breaking them in during a house move and wore them all day. Very comfortable and saved my feet and legs from strain in a way only good boots can. They do run about 1/2 size small, so make sure to try them on. Full review

Herman Men's Survivor

rated 5 of 5 stars Biota so comfortable I can sleep in them. This best pair of boots I've ever owned. I've owned Timberland, Wolverines, and numerous other brands of boots. I do all types of construction with these boots and hike in the woods. Found them marked down to ten bucks at Walmart. Original was 60$. I'd pay 60$ for another pair of these boots and only wear them for my after work boots. I love them. Sorry if you guys got a bad pair, but mine are the best. Full review

Merrell Men's Barefoot Trail Glove

rated 3 of 5 stars A very expensive water shoe that takes a long time to dry. Covers your bare feet enough to protect from the elements. The ankle material/fit allows for a lot of trail debris to get into the shoes. Breathable material on the sides keeps your feet well ventilated. I would recommend this product to those who have seasoned feet, this is truly a minimalist shoe and allows you to do more than you would with a bare foot. But the fit, minimal sole material and support is not for the weak of foot. I would… Full review

Montrail Men's Bajada

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Great fitting trail running shoe that inspires confidence on the trail. No rock plate in sole limiting factor on rocky trails. Fit: This is the best fitting shoe I have ever had on, period. I realise this is different for everybody, but here is how it fit me. I have narrow feet and with the Bajadas the heel is really nice and secure, with a quite roomy toe box that gives me enough space to never feel cramped in the front. I lace down pretty tight in the front, normal in the mid section and a bit… Full review

Esatto Men's Classic Hiker

rated 2.5 of 5 stars For $899 and an additional insole fit summed up for $1200 dollars I could have three $400 top of the line boots such as Danner or many other good boots. This boot is for people with deformed feet or if you are not unemployed and have a pocket full of money to burn and like to tell people "I own the Classic ESATTO hiker boots. What can I say? The Quality? This boot is for people who have two different size feet or have deformed feet and can't find a boot that fits them. I waited a month for the… Full review