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

Brooks Men's Cascadia 9

rated 5 of 5 stars got these for Spartan racing. A solid shoe for running on the rocks of PA. fit is right on for me I use the "heel lock" tie and the laces could be a bit longer. good for multi use and Spartan Race tough even for muddy slopes. Full review

Adidas Men's Terrex Fast R

rated 4.5 of 5 stars I recently purchased this shoe after trying on about six other trail runners that did not fit. This shoe fit comfortably from the start, and it seems to be a little heavier duty than a typical trail runner. I have done a 7-mile hike in it, and it felt great. Purchased these at a locally-owned outfitter after making the rounds at other outfitters and stores, and finding nothing that fit. My foot measures 10 length, 10 1/2 arch length, and is on the verge of E width as opposed to D width. I typically… Full review

Inov-8 Oroc 340

rated 4.5 of 5 stars I've used this shoe for adventure races and general trail running. They perform amazingly on boggy trails and wet slippery rock due to the deep lugs and tungsten studs. The fit of the trainer is snug and the lacing system can get them nice and tight. They were comfortable out of the box and supportive around the bottom of the ankle. The traction is amazing on boggy ground and the mesh uppers allow the foot to breath. The metal studs are great off road but make for noisy running on tarmac or hard… Full review

Salomon Men's Synapse

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Pretty good day hiking shoe that is easy to get on and off. They don't lace down as securely as regular laces and the last is pretty bendy. Not the best for rough terrain. Great for maintained trails though. I got these last fall and overall I've been happy with them. The quick lacing is definitely convenient and makes them easy to put on and slip off but doesn't snug down as secure as standard laces. They were comfy from day one and breathe pretty well while not letting much dust filter in. Insole… Full review

Inov-8 Men's Trailroc 245

rated 5 of 5 stars This trailrunner may be a lightweight, but it's a heavy hitter when it comes to function. Light weight, good grip, and moderate longevity makes for an excellent three-season shoe on the trails. Low footdrop and minimal padding provides just enough foot protection from below while keeping your center of gravity low. I have owned several other Inov-8 shoes, and this is by far the best model I've purchased to date. Living in East Tennessee, most of my hiking is on trails in the Great Smoky Mountain… Full review

Merrell Women's Capra Sport Gore-Tex

rated 5 of 5 stars Great, supportive shoe for rocky trails. I LOVE these shoes!! Very sturdy soles for rocky trails, which is what I was looking for. My shop didn't carry the Goretex version but they ordered them in for me. I love being out in the rain and have excellent rain gear, thus the desire for dry feet to go with it. Fit: I have a lot of trouble finding a shoe to fit my right foot. A bad injury years ago collapsed the arch and though, over time and treatment, it has come back, there is a calcium deposit, a… Full review

Nevados Hiking Boots

rated 1.5 of 5 stars Nevados hiking boot quality is not great! Not much of waterproof on my hiking boots. Nevados hiking boots is comfortable to wear and going hiking, but the problem is it's not waterproof enough and you can feel the water go inside the boots. It will dry it up for a while. These hiking boots are too cheap and not a great quality. My recommendation is to be sure to purchase hiking boots that is a bit expensive  — the more the better to wear! Full review