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

Vivo Barefoot Women's Ultra Pure

rated 4.5 of 5 stars A great, lightweight camp and water sport shoe! So far, I am extremely thrilled with this shoe. I was looking for a lightweight camping shoe to take backpacking, I wanted something more than the flip flop but nothing quite and heavy/big/clunky as crocs. These shoes don't squash down too terribly well, but they are light and easy to strap to the outside of my pack. They are great for around camp, tying the bear bag, late night trips into the brush, etc. They let your feet breathe and you can wear… Full review

Merrell Men's Reflex

rated 1.5 of 5 stars After two months of use — light hiking/walking the dog twice a day — the soles are wearing out. Heels and ball of the foot worn smooth. The rest of the shoe looks great and fits great... greatly disappointed in material quality. The shoes fit great right out of the box. Very comfortable for long walks (2-4 miles) on mostly flat terrain. After two months noticed the heel lugs were worn flat and through the sole and into heel support material. The ball of the foot on both shoes worn flat also. Full review

Esatto Men's Classic Hiker

rated 5 of 5 stars These boots are expensive, as other reviewers pointed out, but for those who have had issues with off-the-shelf footwear, these are a very smart long-term solution. They are durable, well made, and will last a very long time with care and maintenance. I have two differently sized feet, with high arches and a wide toe-box, so for me, this was a smart decision. The decision to finally order custom boots came from a hiking trip I took a few months ago. I realized I needed to invest in a better long-term… Full review

Salomon Men's XA Pro 3D

rated 4.5 of 5 stars These are my now go-to hiking and backpacking shoes that replaced my boots. It's also nice that they double as trail running shoes as needed. These are perfect for someone who wants to move fast on the trail but still wants the ankle support of a boot. I'd definitely recommend these if you are looking for a light fast and grippy shoe for all kinds of terrain. Just took these shoes on a cross-country backpacking trip, everything from climbing up and down talus, hike on unkept trails, through meadows,… Full review

Hi-Tec Trail Blazer

rated 4 of 5 stars Very comfortable lightweight trail shoes with an aggressive tread that grips really well. A good value. A great lightweight trail shoe with an aggressive tread. I found these to be very comfortable and well made, and for the sale price I see them at, a very good deal. I would recommend them to a friend. Full review

Merrell Men's Moab Waterproof

rated 0.5 of 5 stars Not waterproof. Toes get wet just walking through dew on the grass. Overpriced, cheaply made. Chinese junk!!! Do not waste your hard earned money!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Returned second pair today. Both pair leaked by just walking in wet grass. Junk that cost me over $100. Should have known. Merrells are made in China probably for about $2. Stupid American beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I need to note that these shoes are not the Mid version. This shoe comes with Merrell's own brand of waterproof (or not) bootie. Full review

Danner Men's Light II

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Best hiking boot ever. Bombproof, replaceable sole. DANNER! Danner boots are pretty rad. I have three pairs now, so I am a little biased. They are also right down the street from me in Portland, so repair is easy.  The fit is kinda weird at first. The leather is super tight, and almost painful, but I listened to the shoe salesman and just went with what I felt was too tight. There is a long break-in period. I could only walk to the store, about 3/4 of a mile round trip, and it felt like my shins… Full review