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

Yaktrax Pro

rated 1 of 5 stars Good idea, but only work under certain conditions I bought a pair for simple winter trail walking. No pack..nothing crazy and these do not function well. The bottoms are grippy as expected and if you are walking on ice or frozen compacted ice like snow, they will function. Anything even sort of soft or add 1 inch of snow and the movement of the snow under foot builds up and acts like a bulldozer and pushes the rubber webbing off to the side, up over your toe or moves the whole thing out of its correct… Full review

Altra Men's Lone Peak 2.5

rated 4 of 5 stars A lightweight running shoe fit for backpacking. The Lone Peak 2.5 came highly recommended to me by a fellow hiker as a lightweight, fast drying, comfortable trail shoe. After doing some additional research, Altra seemed to have some durability issues, but I took a chance.  After about 150 miles over three months, about half running on city trails and streets, and the other half backpacking in the Rockies and Ozarks, the toe cap on both shoes is peeling off.  The tread still looks almost new. I… Full review

OOFOS OOriginal Sport Sandal

rated 4 of 5 stars Super comfortable sandal. Great arch support and very lightweight. I have to admit that prior to receiving the Oofos OOriginal sport sandal for testing, I hated flip-flop type sandals. They all hurt my toes and their flat profile made them horrible to walk in. So it was with a lot of skepticism that I agreed to test the Oofos sandal in a men's size 9. The Marsala color is attractive. The bottom of the sandal is a dark gray, fading to a soft red color at the straps. Fitment was good, with a half… Full review

L.A. Gear Trek

rated 4 of 5 stars If you are on a TIGHT budget, this shoe will fit and by fit I mean WIDE FIT for those in need as I am. Most comfortable shoe I've worn in years on the trail, around town, mowing the lawn, etc. I am relatively new to hiking and I know people are going to say L.A. Gear for hiking!! I liked these shoes so much after my first 6-day hike that I went back and bought 5 more pairs for the future. Some of you may be able to relate that as soon as you like a certain shoe and you go back to guy another. The… Full review

Under Armour Men's Verge Low Gore-Tex

rated 3 of 5 stars These shoes land solidly in the middle of the pack in the waterproof-breathable trail runner category. I have been using trail runners for almost all of my hiking now for over four years. I find the increased dexterity and reduced fatigue with lighter footwear to be a big endurance and safety benefit on the trail. I have even worn Gore-Tex trail runners to Camp Muir in the snow. I know some prefer the heirloom boot direction, but this is my way and I like it. I also trail run 12-18 miles per week… Full review

Hoka Men's Challenger ATR

rated 4.5 of 5 stars The Hoka one one Meta-Rocker totally changed my training and hiking experience by relieving pain and neuropathy in my right foot. Super cushiony underfoot and a wide sole for stability. Excellent breathability. After hearing all the buzz about Hoka one one shoes on hiking forums I was pretty excited when I was offered a pair to test and review. While the Challenger ATR is a trail running shoe I have used it almost exclusively for gym training on the treadmill and hiking in my local Northern California… Full review

Salewa Men's Alp Trainer Mid GTX

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Lightweight, adjustable, and comfortable, with good ankle support. The Alp Trainer Mid is a good combination of light weight and ankle support. I particularly like the cuff to toe lacing that allows tweaking to foot shape. Mine tend to be wide, but I like a firm heel cup and roomy toe box, and both are possible with this type of lacing. Vibram sole is good. Midsole is a bit thin. I always replace factory insoles with Superfeet, which help with heel stability and arch support, while providing a… Full review