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.
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.
Recent Footwear Product Reviews
Adidas Men's Terrex Swift R Mid GTX
Excellent all-around hiking and trail running shoes. Very rugged, yet comfortable. I bought these shoes to make the transition between hiking boots and trail runners as I lowered my pack weight. Adidas is not that popular in the hiking scene, but being a product designer, I saw many attractive features, so I decided to pull the trigger when I found a good deal on them. The outsole lugs and rubber compound provide excellent grip on all surfaces, except wet, smooth rock. The traction does diminish… Full review
Wigwam Diabetic Walker
I've had multiple foot surgeries and now have subsequent problems findings shoes to fit or that I can walk in. Therefore, finding a new pair of shoes takes a lot of time, trial, and error. I've almost run out of options, and was hesitant to order on line just because I knew I'd probably have to return them I have had plantar fasciitis for a year+ and found that these slippers make walking less painful. I also believe that by ordering a new pair as soon as I see "wear" that they are helping me to… Full review
Asolo Flame GTX
My favorite boots ever. I haven't worn a million pairs of hiking boots and I would say I am a rare hiker...maybe 5-10 times a year, but I wear these boots all the time and have had them for 6 years and they still feel great and the sole is in good shape. I'm retiring this pair to yardwork detail and am looking to buy a new pair of them on sierra trading post for $150. They leaked on me one time when I was at Acadia and it was raining on me for hours and hours. Full review
Merrell Men's Moab Waterproof
Excellent daily walking and trail shoe. Waterproof, fairly lightweight, supportive on my size 13 feet. I'm on my third or fourth pair so far, and I always keep my older pair for dirty work. I've found Merrells to fit better than other brands such as Keen, North Face, Columbia, and others. Waterproofing is excellent. Good shoe for walking in rain and snow. I tend to get over a year's use of almost daily wear. Full review
Teva Terra Wraptor XCR
Pretty much the best light hikers ever made! Super comfortable, great grip in all sorts of conditions, easy adjustments, waterproof (Goretex), nice style (to me:)). I wish Teva would bring them back! Teva, bring these shoes back! This review is long overdue. I purchased my first pair of Teva Terra Wraptor XCR shoes about 10 years ago. After wearing them for just a few weeks, I knew I'd found a pair of shoes that I loved! So, I bought a second pair. Then, I bought a pair for my older brother, then… Full review
Merrell Men's Moab FST
A good, quality made, comfortable hiking shoe that I look forward to putting to the test for hiking and some light backpacking. I'd prefer a dark/black sole. My brother bought a pair of these in the spring of 2017 and used them on a three-day, 20+ mile backpacking trip in the Sawtooths of central Idaho. He really liked the fit and comfort, until day three on the way back down the mountain hauling around 45 pounds of gear, his feet just got a bit fatigued and beat up. But, even after that, he still… Full review
Keen Men's Targhee EXP Waterproof Mid
A well-constructed boot that is comfortable with a little break in, and supportive with good traction. The waterproof claim seems good for normal recreational use but in constant water or snow, dampness seeps in. Overall a good boot at a better price point than many similar sturdy boots. Specifications Size 11.5 Weight (spec): 18.3 oz (each boot - 36.6 oz total) Weight (my scale): 18.9 oz (after some use, so minor dirt included) Design This new model of the popular Keen Targhee is comprised of waterproof… Full review