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

Tecnica Men's Forge GTX

rated 1 of 5 stars On my pair of boots the rand came unstuck along a half-inch section of the toe box after just one week (20 miles of use) !!!! Tecnica replaced them, but this does not bode well for build quality or longevity. Other big problem is the heel box. There is a heavily stitched seam running up the heel, meaning that any space/slack results in rubbing, especially on steep uphill going. Result : blisters. And this is only going to get worse over time as the boots loosens up. Frankly, putting a seam here… Full review

Esatto Men's Classic Hiker

rated 0.5 of 5 stars 2018 - Ordered my boots at the end of Jan 2018. He CASHED my check immediately. 3 months later and an email to him and a couple of phone messages left for him and he finally says it will be 4-6weeks for delivery. Do not hear from him for 8 1/2 weeks. I send an email and another email and still no reply. Is this guy a FRAUD?? I want a refund or boots !!!! Paid for them but 5 months no boots and Alex won’t respond to inquires about when I will receive them.  Full review

Luna Origen 2.0

rated 5 of 5 stars Great trail running and hiking sandals with long lasting materials and attention to detail in manufacture. One of the few chances to buy stuff not made in China ....Made in USA. The Luna Origen is a odd mix in that its a progression in the Luna stable but also a look back to the sandal brand's beginnings.   The short version is that a Chap called Christopher McDougall goes on a  of discovery which through process he "discovers" a bunch of Mexican Natives who use running as a pillar of their life. Full review

Xero Shoes DIY 4mm Kit

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Its a kit, you make it and then you have the skinniest sandals you can get simple really .... Basically you get a thin sole unit 4mm in this case and a 6mm if you want the heavier version.  You also get a set of cords and a hole punch.  Thats the kit. Following the instructions on line or in the kit you measure your foot.  Punch holes for the laces and assemble your own sandals, cutting off any excess sole rubber (they come in size bands and you cut to your specific fit). They are surprisingly… Full review

Xero Shoes Men's Z-Trail

rated 5 of 5 stars If minimalist is your thing these are a good offering. Having run over 200 miles in them and used them for day to day wear in between they have been robust and are very light. I run in sandals and have used a mixture, over time, to include Luna and Earth Runner sandals.  These are a slightly different take in that they use a over strap in the front of the sandal so are very nice for those people who dont like things between their toes.   Light on the foot they are very hard wearing but dont expect… Full review

Altra Men's King MT 1.5

rated 2 of 5 stars Long on comfort and short on durability, same as the 1.0. I can't afford shoes that don't hold up for more than a few hundred kilometers. A few months ago I reviewed the MT King 1.0. Much of what I wrote about that shoe applies to v. 1.5 -- they are very comfortable but wear out way too fast to be worth the price. When I sent some of the photos from that review to Altra, they sent me a new pair of the 1.5s for $10, the cost of shipping. I took the opportunity to go down a size for a closer fit,… Full review

Mammut Magic Guide High GTX

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Near perfect balance between comfort and fit, durability, features and innovation, grip, insulation, support, sure-footedness and weight Handsome looking boots. Recently purchased these B3 mountain boots for planned late Autumn/Fall expeditions to Alaska, North West Canada and Chamonix. So haven yet to try them out in the frigid conditions they were bought for. But they have seen some use when engaged in less technical(grades I-II) climbing and scrambling in Northern England and Scotland. I was… Full review