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

Herman Men's Survivor

rated 0.5 of 5 stars Cheap boots, don't waste you time & money. Chinese junk. I understand Herman Survivors are now built in China and owned by Wal-Mart.  My own experience with them has been very poor.  I purchased and wore them just 6 months and the sole of one of them came loose.  Literally fell off half way from front of boot to back.  I tried gluing it but with the sole flexing and the heat (working in desert conditions) the glue did not work.  Someone told me the old company used to give you a life time… Full review

Injinji Performance Crew Sock

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Keeps them digits from co-mingling and forming blisters while looking ruggedly stylish on the trail. I started using these socks some 4 years ago doing seasonal Forest Service trail work. They hold up well if cared for. Used as an under sock to help separate your toes,  prevent blistering, keep feet warmer and dryer. Keep toe nails trimmed or you will wear holes in the ends of the toes. Some synthetic outer sock may case pilling of inner sock so I found Merino wool outer sock a better choice. Wash… Full review

Hi-Tec SEQUOIA LOW

rated 0.5 of 5 stars These were a replacement for Altitude Trek Low which broke down within months of purchase. Recommended by the NZ Importer/agents for Hi-Tec. First impression was good: These shoes were a replacement for Altitude Trek Low which were totally wrecked after the inner sole broke down within 6 months.  The NZ Agents?Importers recommended the "Sequoia Low" as a replacement but gave me choice of shoe as the replacement. I took their advice and picked up the new shoes.  Again from the box a great fitting… Full review

John Calden Boots Men's Mountain Shoe

rated 5 of 5 stars There are very few craftsmen left in the world who can make a boot like John Calden. If you do a lot of backcountry hiking, your feet deserve a pair of these boots. I have kind of unusual feet. I wear a size 11, but my foot is very low volume. I have struggled with blisters for almost 30 years with store bought boots. I finally decided to find a craftsman out there to make me a pair of custom boots. I found John Calden after extensive research. I only wish I had found him earlier. He is one of a… Full review

Kahtoola MICROspikes

rated 5 of 5 stars Great for ice or any hard pack surface. Wear with any boot—hiking, pac boot, and even big, bulky Muck boots. From flat trail walking with your dogs to light mountaineering to ice fishing with your pals, the MICROspikes will NOT disappoint. Outperform other traction devices in the class not considered 10 point crampons. I've used on a variety of surfaces from packed snowmobile trails walking my dogs to Maine/New Hampshire mountains where there is often ice on the trails at different times throughout… Full review

Point6 Hiking Tech Medium Mini Crew

rated 4.5 of 5 stars A four-season, merino wool hiking sock that is just as comfortable as it is durable. I came across Point6 socks after my wife received a free pair from an Eddie Bauer store. After a couple months of use, she told me how impressed she was with the comfort and durability and that I should buy myself a pair. Not one to ignore my wife, I bought a couple pairs and have enjoyed them ever since. Conditions: I’ve owned these socks for a little more than one year now and wear them on any occasion possible—hiking,… Full review

Altra Men's Lone Peak 1.5

rated 4 of 5 stars A great shoe for fastpacking with lots of toe space. I wore these shoes as thru hiking shoes. They were the most comfortable thing I'd put on my foot during the whole trail, especially after wearing the Merrell barefoot shoes for several hundred miles. I experienced zero blisters or foot issues in these shoes over about 500+ miles which was quickly reaching the life of the shoes. The uppers wear quickly and Altra is incredibly hard to get in contact with to warranty anything. They are NOT water… Full review