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

Injinji Outdoor Quarter Crew Sock

rated 4 of 5 stars Solves problems with toe blisters I am very blister prone in between my 3rd and 4th toes on both my feet, but especially my right foot. I always hike in shoes with a large toe box, but usually after about six hiking days I start to get blisters. I've tried taping, vaseline and all the usual remedies - even tried to "train" my toes to separate with this strange device I wore around the house for a week or two. In preparation for a long hike last summer, I was just figuring I would deal with the usual… Full review

Lowa Men's Weisshorn GTX

rated 4 of 5 stars Versatile mountaineering boot with good performance that won't break the bank. Good for general mountaineering. This boot does a lot of things well.  It's flexible enough to wear on medium to long approaches without killing your feet, yet it's stiff enough to use while front pointing on water ice.  I chose Lowa because I have a wide foot with a high instep and I knew that I could get the fit I was looking for because of being a previous Lowa owner.  The slanted top cuff allows the foot and leg… Full review

Danner Mountain Light II

rated 1 of 5 stars The heel cup can cause severe problems. My first pair of MLIIs (vintage early 1990s) never gave me a problem and I wore them out, so I recently bought a new pair directly from the Danner store in Portland, where they're made. After about 150 miles, they began to cause painful agony and I can no longer wear them. The internal heel cup inside the liner digs into the back of my left, outside ankle bone making every step extremely painful. The plastic cup is now thicker, higher and harder than in the… Full review

Salomon Men's X Ultra GTX Mid

rated 5 of 5 stars The perfect boot, I bought these a few months ago and have not taken them off yet. I figured I would break them in at work for a few days so come time for some camping, hiking they would be ready. Wow, did not have to break them in at all, out of the box great!!! Love these mid high boots, or should I say sneakers, that's how they feel. Full review

Scarpa Trionic

rated 5 of 5 stars Outstanding boots!!! I have had mine since 2001!! I've had mine since 2001 — and they performed perfectly on a 28-day mountaineering/whitewater expedition (21 days in the mountains) I took with Outward Bound in Idaho. No break-in, they were comfortable from the first day. And I didn't get any blisters, something my teammates had to deal with daily. And today, I used them on my adventure motorcycle trips. These boots are awesome!!  Full review

Ahnu Ridgecrest

rated 5 of 5 stars This is a really comfortable hiking or backpacking shoe for people who don’t like hiking boots. The Ridgecrest offers increased traction and stability in a waterproof package while still remaining breathable. Ahnu has packed a lot of technology into the design of their new Ridgecrest low-rise hiking shoe. The soles are comprised of Spider Rubber, known for its stickiness and durability. They feature directional lugs for increased traction during forward movement while also helping to eliminate… Full review

Merrell Men's Moab Ventilator Mid

rated 4 of 5 stars A good boot suitable for spring, summer, and autumn wearing in the hills and coastal paths. Comfortable straight from the box and are light on, although they have a sturdy but flexible sole. I normally wear leather boots, but find because my feet are a little wide I can't get anything comfortable for me. I have tried many boots ranging from the very expensive to really cheap and struggle to find a good fit. The most comfortable ones I have found are fairly cheap Regatta boots. A friend had asked… Full review