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
Danner Mountain Assault
Great boots, sturdy support, water tight! Take a beating and still look good! I have had these boots for about four years. They have held up very well under rough use. They compare to some of the Lowa boots I have (Tibet, Hunter Evo, Baffin Pro, etc). The toe box seemed low volume in a 14EE but broke in nicely with a little use. Love them for hiking, hunting, and woods play in cool or wet weather. Awesome with a big pack, very sturdy. With good socks good to freezing or below if active. Would buy… Full review
Asolo Men's Neutron GV
Great stability on steeper trails with load. Good for narrower feet. Bit on the heavier side. Great fit. Have been using these hiking boots for a few weeks now and wear them daily to work apart from trails on the weekends. I wear a 10.5 for my street shoes and got the same in these. These run a bit narrower and suit my somewhat narrow feet well. They did need a few days to break in. I haven't experienced any chafing. I did notice a sore point on my inner ankle bone on one hike, but this has since… Full review
Ozark Trail Men's Hikers
I have bought a few pairs of the boots and shoes for men. And it's a country flip if they make a bad odor. I wore the last pair shoes for about two hours and could start smelling them. Switch shoes (after washing again) and nothing. I'm sure it's in the material in some of shoes. But very comfortable. Full review
Brooks Men's Cascadia 11
These shoes serve as my day hikers and trainers. Great stability and traction with solid support. The fit is true to size and they are narrow in the heel, which is perfect for my foot. I run mountain trails to stay in hiking shape and was looking for a trail shoe with support and durability. I am very pleased with the narrow fit which prevents the shoe from slipping on my heels. The shoe is durably built and very stable on the trail which was key in my purchase decision. The support may be part… Full review
Salomon Men's Speedcross 4
Light, tough, comfortable. I have put over 500 miles on these in technical mountain terrain. Would not trade them for the world, except for a new pair. Full review
OOFOS OOahh Sport Slide Sandal
Perfect camp and backpacking sandal! Lightweight, extremely comfortable, easy to get on and off and packable. One-piece design means fewer potential failure spots, and the tread won't peel off. Absolutely recommended. My husband and I are rangers for The Dyrt.com, and we occasionally get products to test from time to time. On a trip to Joshua Tree National Park we had the opportunity to test some Oofos, and they were awesome! I'll admit without shame that when I pulled them out of the box and squeezed… Full review
Drymax Maximum Protection Trail Running Sock
Superb, all I can say. Bought three pair from the local sports shop and got one pair free. They are cool in winter and toes tingle slightly but no blisters, I wear them all day, approx 9 hours in running shoes. Feet don't smell. They wear very well with no sign of any wear after 10 months. I average approx 50km a week walking and 35km per week running—totals approx 4,000km for the year, testimony to itself. Comfy in running shoes in all weather conditions. Fit: Fit as noted on packaging. Comfort: Extremely… Full review